Jessica Hicks, founder of Books and Chow, came to Good Things Utah to share her favorite books for the summer. Hicks finds the perfect food pairings for each book and makes recipes inspired by the books she’s read. Hicks has an abundance of recipes that are gluten free, which is  a great option for anyone with a wheat allergy, celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. Hicks reads books in anticipation for her next culinary creation. “I get excited everytime I start a new book [because] I [think] ‘What’s it going to be this time?” said Hicks. Hicks makes the food before she finishes the book as to not give any spoilers when posting the food. 

Hick’s first pick is ‘The Love Hypothesis’ by Ali Hazelwood. The book is about a romance between a graduate student and a college professor. The protagonist tries to prove she is over her ex boyfriend by kissing the first attractive man she sees which turns out to be her professor, not known for being a nice guy. The professor agrees to be her pretend boyfriend and a real romance then ensues. The book is full of science jokes and great for any self proclaimed nerds. Hicks pairs this book book with Starbucks coffee, a banana, and chocolate chip cookies, all of which are eaten by the characters who also frequent Starbucks.

In honor of Pride Month, Hicks recommends “The Guncle” by Steven Rowley. In the story, two young children of a deceased mother stay with her gay best friend when their dad goes to rehab. The friend, who doesn’t want children, reluctantly takes the kids after he has experienced the death of his partner. The kids and the friend, who they call “Guncle”, form a bond as they are both grieving the loss of their loved ones. The Guncle, which comes from “gay uncle”, is a sitcom star and is the breakout character of the book. Hicks paired this book with french toast, cottage cheese and fruit, which is what the characters eat at a brunch together. 

The final book Hick shared was “The Paris Apartment” by Lucy Foley and was recommended to Hicks by Courtney Otis, founder of ‘Seeking Good Things. Otis was also a guest on GTU. The book is a thriller about a woman named Jess with an unpleasant boss. Needing to escape, Jess decides to stay with her brother in Paris for a bit. Her brother leaves a voicemail sharing details of when to arrive and how to enter the apartment. She arrives at his place and he is nowhere to be found.  After listening to the voicemail another time, Jess believes her brother was attacked while recording the voicemail. Hicks paired this book with French hot chocolate, a decadent beverage with heavy cream, powdered sugar espresso, and dark chocolate topped with whipped cream. Hicks would also recommend this book to anyone who has just had bunion surgery, like GTU host Surae Chinn. “You’re already in pain, you don’t need a book that’s going to make you cry, too.” said Hicks. This book is very engrossing and keeps you at the edge of your seat with a twist ending. 

For more book and food recommendations, follow Hicks on Instagram.