Food for thought: Morristown artist Baker serves sweet books with pastries

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For the next few weeks, literary food is on the menu alongside scrumptious scones, croissants and pies at The artist baker in Morristown.

true love booksa pop-up bookstore, features 70 of the author’s favorite works Carey Wallace (The blind countess’s new machine, stories of saints, The Ghost in the Glass House).

The books will be on display in the Cattano Avenue Bakery until May 14, 2022. They are all hand-edited, with Wallace’s short essays on vellum explaining why she loves these stories. (Scroll down for a sample.) Visitors can also post their favorites and testimonials.

And Wallace will be there the next three Saturdays, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“I love asking people what their favorite books are,” says Wallace, a Michigan native who lives in Brooklyn. “A lot of us feel like we haven’t read enough or maybe we don’t think we’re reading the right things. But when you ask people what book they really like, they light up and you learn so much!

For her, True Love Books answers the question her fans always ask: What is your favorite book?

Aspiring writers can also learn the tricks of the trade from Wallace. She will teach Poetry as a game May 7 and Storytelling Fundamentals May 14.

Both classes run from 4-6 p.m. and the $65 price includes bakery treats. All ages are welcome; slots can be booked here.

‘TRUE LOVE BOOKS’: Popup Bookshop at The Artist Baker in Morristown, Spring 2022. Photo courtesy of The Artist Baker

“Small businesses are personal and there is freedom in having one. I love exploring that,” says Andrea Lekbergthe painter-turned-chef who opened The Artist Baker in 2009.

These explorations include some interesting collaborations. Over the years, Lekberg has shared his dining room with a bicycle mechanic, a florist, and a gourmet pasta vendor.

“I like it because it’s more conceptual than the businesses we’ve had in the store,” says Lekberg, who sees prose and baking as complementary dishes. “I like both!” she says.

She also relishes the company of creative people.

Lekberg met Wallace through one of them, mutual friend Danielle Merzatta of the Merzatta jewelry store, a few doors down. (Merzatta and her husband Chris have turned pine cones and coral into prized wearable pieces of art.)

Wallace began appearing in The Artist Baker…and a pop-up bookstore was concocted.

A new confection, you might say.

SAMPLE ESSAY: CAREY WALLACE ON LEWIS CARROLL’S “ALICE IN WONDERLAND”:

Alice in Wonderland was released at the end of the American Civil War, but still resonated a century later, after the invention of electric light and the atomic bomb, when Disney made it one of the movies most popular in the world. How does a children’s story survive so much history? Maybe because it’s so different. He refuses to teach any kind of lesson, other than that which is true at all times and in all places: the world is full of absurdities, some delicious and some terrifying. And despite the elaborate ways we all pretend, none of us really know what we’re doing – especially the people in charge. Alice isn’t on a mission to save the world or even find her own way: she’s an accidental explorer in a world that has as little meaning as ours. Almost all fiction, no matter how dark or romantic, reimagines a world far more orderly than ours, where things happen for reasons we can see and understand. Alice must negotiate a world as absurd and dazzling as this, where it’s not always clear if she wants to stay or go home. She doesn’t discover a secret or do the wrong thing – unless it resists the absurdities surrounding her, which she does at the end of both books, causing her dreams to end. But she always ends up coming home, and there’s a deep grace to that as well. The story doesn’t compel him to make sense of the world or earn his return home. But it gets her home safely, anyway. If you’ve ever read Alice, it’s both weirder and smarter than you remember. And if you haven’t, you’re in for one of the few pleasures in the world.

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