A few days ago I finished Gourmet Rhapsody by Muriel Barbery. This was her first book, but I'd read her second book first. I'm glad I did, because honestly her second book was better. By reading her second book first, I was able to appreciate the subtleties of the first. If I hadn't, I might have been a little too bored and given up. But because I was already familiar with her style, I could just relax and enjoy her beautiful prose.
Gourmet Rhapsody is the story of a food critic on his death bed. He hasn't been a very good man, he's a terrible father, husband and in general, human being. But on his death bed, when you'd think he'd be pondering all his failures as a person, he's thinking about flavours. With only 48 hours until his demise, all he wants is to taste a particular flavour once more. The only problem is, he doesn't know what it is. So he thinks back over everything he's tasted in his life, looking for the flavour that he's missing.
It's an interesting book, not especially riveting, but I really enjoyed the descriptions of the food. Muriel Barbery is an especially talented writer when it comes to crafting beautiful prose, but the story line was indeed lacking. But, if you're willing to just have a book that you take your time with and just enjoy the poetry of the language, then it's a fine read.