Good Food Book Club

In Memory of Bread: When a Love of Wheat Turns Sour

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In detailed and thoughtful prose, balancing the lyrical with the scientific, Graham illustrates how his deep connection to bread was challenged, and how his body was gravely poisoned by his glutinous true love. ~ Publishers Weekly

Welcome, April! It’s not quite mid-March as I write, and the forsythias are edging to pop on a 60+ degree day on the Palouse. This month the Good Food Book Club turns from the evocative essays of last month’s book on dirt to the rich and compelling memoir, In Memory of Bread: A Memoir, by Paul Graham. 

Graham is a man who not only unabashedly loved to munch all kinds of breads—especially his wife’s homemade creations—he also brewed his own beer. It’s safe to say he was a man who was smitten with his wheat, and his gluten. That is, until he was diagnosed with celiac disease at 36 years old.

Lucky for readers, Graham also is a writer who brilliantly tracked his own journey confronting how one of the great loves of his life turned out to be toxic. (Yes, there’s a metaphor for unhealthy relationships in here somewhere!) When he realized his love of wheat was actually harming him, he turned to research, reflecting on a fierce identity crisis, and spotlighting his deeply human and poignant passage from a diehard bread-head to a gluten-free memoirist.

This book is not just about food, it’s about what we do when life turns upside down. When what we thought we loved turns out to be poison. When our task is to reach for new knowledge, growth, and change in order to create a new standard of personal health and harmony. To embrace a new understanding of what love is. It’s also a microcosm; a story of a much larger social upheaval—the stratospheric rise of wheat and gluten intolerance, why that’s happening, and what people are doing in the face of it.

Please join us to discuss In Memory of Bread: A Memoir by Paul Graham (Clarkson Potter, 2016) on Sunday, April 29, from 4:30 – 6 p.m. at a member’s private residence. Location and details will come in this month’s email reminder. Remember to email to receive reminders about the Good Food Book Club. In Memory of Bread is available through your local library. If you are interested in buying the book, check out the area’s local used bookstores or visit BookPeople of Moscow where Book Club members receive a discount. For more information about the Good Food Book Club, check out the Outreach section of the Co-op website at



May: Plenty: Eating Locally on the 100 Mile Diet by Alisa Smith and J.B. Mackinnon

June: The Coincidence of Coconut Cake by Amy Reichert

July: Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil by Tom Mueller

August: The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat, and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet by Nina Teicholz

September: Lentil Underground by Liz Carlisle

October: Fat for Fuel: A Revolutionary Diet to Combat Cancer, Boost Brain Power, and Increase Your Energy by Dr. Joseph Mercola

November: Delicious Foods by James Hannaham

December: Extra Virgin: A Young Woman Discovers the Italian Riviera, Where Every Month is Enchanted by Annie Hawkes