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WATCH: UC’s Edible Books Festival a Worldly Celebration

Librarians, students and staff take to the kitchens to whip up a delicious celebration of the written word.

Date: 4/1/2010 12:00:00 AM
By: Dawn Fuller
Phone: (513) 556-1823
Photos By: Dottie Stover

UC ingot  

UC Libraries hosted its ninth-annual International Edible Books Festival on April 1, with edible creations ranging from children’s books to literary classics and works of art.

View the Slide Show of the UC International Edible Books Festival

UC Libraries Dean and University Librarian Victoria Montavon emceed the event, noting there were nearly two dozen entries for 2010 created by UC librarians, students and staff.

The creations were judged by Mark Palkovic, head of the Albino Gorno Memorial Music Library, and A&S student Nayla Pica, a student peer mentor for Langsam Library’s Info Commons. Each of them was awarded in different categories.

The “Best Overall” category was awarded to Suzette Combs, director, Pre-Professional Advising Center, and Marie Knecht, program coordinator, UC Parents Association, for their edible interpretation of  “Caps for Sale,” by Esphyr Slobodkina. The “Best Overall Student Category” was awarded to A&S student James Finnigan, for his edible creation of “The Revenge of the Teacher’s Pet,” by Darrin Doyle. The creation included a caramel-filled “poison” apple and a chocolate-filled “syringe.”

The entry, “A Day No Pigs Would Die,” created by DAAP student Jacob Gartin, included a description of the ingredients, which were vegan and all-kosher. Book creators representing the College of Law Library jokingly wore face masks around their creation, “Toxic Torts in a Nutshell.”


“People have outdone themselves once again. It’s just such a fun event,” said Montavon.

The International Edible Book Festival Web site states the festival was initiated by librarian and artist Judith A. Hoffberg. It became an international sensation in 2000 when artist Béatrice Coron launched the Books2Eat Web site. Traditionally, the event is celebrated on April 1 to mark the birthday of Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin (1755-1826), a French lawyer and politician who became famous for his book, “Physiologie du goût (The Physiology of Taste).” Only a few rules apply – the event must be celebrated on or near April Fool’s Day, creations must be edible, and they must reflect a literary work.

Cleanup from the event went quickly. After the awards were announced, the displays were devoured. Here were the entries in UC’s 2010 International Edible Books Festival:

Edible Books Participants 2010

(Listed by prize, creator, title – some with an edible twist – and author)

Most Deadly
Susan Boland, associate librarian, College of Law Library – “Toxic Torts in a Nutshell,” by Jean Macchiaroli Eggen

Long Overdue
Katrina Bowling-Bergman, circulation and student supervisor for the UC Chemisty-Biology Library – “2010: Cake Odyssey II”

Best Written
Stephanie Bricking, research associate, Health Sciences Library –“If You Give a Mouse a Cookie,” by Laura Numeroff

Most Romantic
Megan Carroll, assistant, Web Communications – “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies,” by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith

Best Overall
Suzette Combs, director, Pre-Professional Advising Center, and Marie Knecht, program coordinator, UC Parents Association – “Caps for Sale,” by Esphyr Slobodkina


Most Clever
Jessica Ebert, preservation services, Langsam Library – “If You Give a Cat a Cupcake,” by Laura Numeroff

Best Use of Ingrediants/Best Overall Student Category
A&S student James Finnigan – “The Revenge of the Teacher’s Pet,” by Darrin Doyle

Most Whimsical
DAAP student Jacob Gartin – “A Day No Pigs Would Die,” by Robert Newton Peck

Most Edible
Katie Joyce, Social Work student – “Animal Farm,” by George Orwell

Best Written
Sarah Maguire and College of Engineering and Applied Science student Brian McLaughlin – “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,” by J.K. Rowling

Most Checked Out
Sarah Maguire and College of Engineering and Applied Science student Brian McLaughlin – Harry Potter and the Deathly Mallows,” by J.K. Rowling

Most Ambitious
Sara Mihaly, library associate, DAAP Library – “Obey: Supply and Demand, the Art of Shepard Fairey”

Most Well Crafted
Lauren Mills, program coordinator, UC Libraries – “The Mad Hatter’s Hat from Alice in Wonderland,” by Lewis Carroll

Most Hysterical
Linda Newman, associate senior librarian, UC Libraries – “Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal,” by Eric Schlosser

Most Memorable
Linda Newman, associate senior librarian, UC Libraries – “Disintegration of Persistence of Memory,” by Salvador Dali. 


Truest to Form
Melissa Cox Norris, director of library communications, UC Libraries – “The Thorn Birds,” by Colleen McCullough

Most Gruesome
Holly Prochaska, head, Geology-Mathematics-Physics Library – “In Cold Blood,” by Truman Capote

Most Literary
Holly Prochaska, head, Geology-Mathematics-Physics Library – “Duck! Rabbit!” by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tom Lichtenheld

Most Inspirational
Edith Starbuck, senior research associate, Health Sciences Library, Marilyn Wehri, and Marty Harrington – “Guess the title,” which was “Race to the South Pole”

Most Creative
Deborah Weinstein, director, business affairs, Student Affairs and Services – “Where is the Green Sheep?” by Mem Fox and Judy Horacek

Most Childish
Josh, Katie, Livie and Tim Zack  (family of Senior Librarian Debbie Tenofsky) – “The Ultimate Lego Book”

In addition to celebrations around the United States, the 2010 International Edible Books Festival included celebrations in Australia, Canada, Ireland, Italy, Singapore and Sweden.