12 Books to Read on Your Summer Vacation [Fodor's Travel]

Read the  article   by visiting Fodors.com.

Read the article  by visiting Fodors.com.

One of this summer’s most hotly anticipated titles, this novel tells the story of a life-long foodie (and Minnesota native) who becomes the star chef behind the country’s most coveted reservation, a legendary yet secretive pop-up restaurant. Inventively structured, each chapter of the book focuses on a single dish and character, all the while crafting a portrait of Midwestern culture, delicious heirloom ingredients, and foodie culture itself. Stradal is an active player in the West Coast literary scene, and his writing has appeared in many publications, but this is his first novel.
— Michael Alan Connelly, Fodor's Travel

New novel is ode to Midwest, snot-like lutefisk and all [TwinCities.com]

New novel is ode to Midwest, snot-like lutefisk and all [TwinCities.com]

Read   Mary Ann Grossmann's  story   about J. Ryan and his debut novel   Kitchens of the Great Midwest .

Read  Mary Ann Grossmann's  story  about J. Ryan and his debut novel  Kitchens of the Great Midwest.

He has been a producer for reality television shows, such as ‘Ice Road Truckers,’ and edited or produced shows for VH1, MTV, ABC, Fox, A&E, Discovery and History. He edits the fiction section of the Nervous Breakdown, an online magazine featuring emerging writers and poets.

Although Stradal can cook — he made a chicken-wild rice hotdish recently — he most enjoys wine. Interesting pairings show up at several places in his novel.
— TwinCities.com

July 2015 LibraryReads List

July 2015 LibraryReads List

I am shocked and deeply honored to get the news that I'm at the top of the Library Reads List for July. As a person who not only spent much of his young life in libraries, and owe so much to the encouragement and support of librarians (starting at Tilden Elementary, where, while I was in second grade, they helped me prepare a lecture on the "Dinosaurs of North America"), this means so, so much. Thank you, libraries and librarians -- you were already in my heart, and I was already in your debt.


*Stradal, J. Ryan. Kitchens of the Great Midwest. Pamela Dorman: Viking. Jul. 2015. 320p. ISBN 9780525429142. $27.95; ebk. ISBN 9780698196513. F

Renowned chef Eva Thorvald commands $10,000 per couple for exclusive, destination dinner parties that leave guests swooning. But how did she develop her discerning palate and culinary chops? What made her into the sensitive, beloved genius she is today? Each chapter, told from a different person’s viewpoint, presents a phase in Eva’s life, going back to her infancy when her father first introduced her to braised pork shoulder (puréed) and heirloom moonglow tomatoes. Though Eva’s life is at turns tragic—her mother left the family when she was a baby, for starters—she always has her fascination with food to sustain her. At age 11, Eva grows hydroponic chocolate habaneros in her closet and uses them to take revenge on bullies. In high school, she experiences her first kiss and her first grilled walleye. By her twenties, Eva is working as a sous chef while struggling to cover medical bills for her adopted father. Eva perseveres and eventually thrives, surrounding herself with friends and family who love her and support her artistry. VERDICT Stradal is a confident first novelist, crafting characters who are singular, sometimes unlikable but always human. Foodies and those who love contemporary literature will devour this novel that is being compared to Elizabeth Strout’s Olive Kitteridge. A standout. [See Prepub Alert, 2/1/15.]—Christine Perkins, Whatcom Cty. Lib. Syst., Bellingham, WA

Summer Reading List [Los Angeles Daily News]

Summer Reading List [Los Angeles Daily News]

Silver Lake author J. Ryan Stradal serves up something fresh and satisfying with his fantastic debut novel told in well-crafted, connected stories with a mother-daughter story at its heart.
— Allison K Hill, Los Angeles Daily News

Check it out,  Los Angeles Daily News.