January book picks: Day nine of January's best reads

Jan 9, 2012 at 10:05 a.m. ET

We've tapped Luxury Reading's book lovin' blogger, Vera, to give us the scoop all month long on what books are worth the read. She'll be dishing out daily book picks -- and here's pick nine.

As a child growing up in pre-revolution Iran, Donia Bijan did not realize that the lavish lifestyle of her Maman's Homesick Pie coverparents and her progressive education at an international school were not necessarily the norm.

While on vacation in Spain in the 1970s, the Bijans got the word that Ayatollah Khomeini's followers were rising up against the Shah and bombing establishments they believed to represent the evil Western influence. The Bijans' home was seized and their assets frozen; they were now refugees unable to return to their homeland. With her older sisters already in college in the U.S., 16-year-old Donia is sent to a Michigan boarding school, and eventually the entire family tries to rebuild their lives in San Francisco.

Maman's Homesick Pie is Donia's chronicle of her life in Iran and the U.S., her studies at the Cordon Bleu in Paris and her work as a chef in San Francisco. In some ways, it is also an ode to her parents, whom she regretted leaving in Spain, and especially her mother, who had always inspired Donia with her cooking and her hospitality.

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