What has the cast of The Sopranos been doing during those looooong stretches of hiatus? Putting pen to paper, apparently. About a dozen books are credited to Sopranos cast members (with a little help from ghostwriters and co-authors), from Jamie-Lynn Sigler to Frank Vincent to Steve Schirripa—and more Steve Schirripa. There are how-to books and memoirs. There are novels and cookbooks, and even a novel/cookbook. Some have wisdom. Some have violence. All have Italian food.
Schirripa is by far the most prolific, with The Goomba’s Guide to Life, The Goomba’s Book of Love and young-adult novel Nicky Deuce currently on shelves. The Goomba Diet lands in May, and a Nicky Deuce Christmas book arrives later this year. Schirripa, whose co-author is Charles Fleming, says he has some non-Goomba-related books in him, too. “I’m not done yet,” he says. “The book business hasn’t seen the last of me.”
A guide to the Sopranos literary canon:
What It’s About
Ode to Italian Cuisine
What You’ll Learn
A Meal To Die For
Joseph R. Gannascoli
Benny is a gourmet chef who has been summoned to cook up an elaborate meal for some “family” members. Will he end the evening with “lead in the head”?
“He let the slice of meat sit on his tongue for a couple of seconds before he chewed it. Oh yeah, he thought.”
“Oil/wine transfusion” is when cheap grape or olive oil is funneled into high-quality containers and sold to unknowing customers.
A Guy’s Guide to Being a Man’s Man
The title says it all.
“If you’re Italian and your girlfriend wants mayo on her meatballs, it’s definitely over.”
“A man’s man is not afraid to be in the presence of his current woman’s ex-boyfriend.”
Shut Up and Eat!
A collection of “heartwarming stories and mouthwatering recipes” from your “favorite Italian-American stars”
“The smells of homemade Italian cooking—the meat gravy, grilled sausage and pepper, fresh-baked Italian bread, and delicious Italian pastries—filled the air as their delicious fragrances floated out from all the kitchen windows.”
Good Italian food is too precious for people to sit at a table and talk. So shut up and eat!
Entertaining With the Sopranos
“Compiled by” Carmela Soprano
Homemaker Carmela dishes advice on how to make every event the perfect occasion.
“Googootz—a very long, pale green summer squash. Also used for zucchini or a dish using zucchini. Just a fun word to throw around.”
Screaming and excessive back-patting at a surprise party for an old person could lead to heart failure.
The Goomba Diet
Steve Schirripa (Bobby Bacala)
Approaching life—family, sex, being a Sopranos cast member—as if it were a plate of gabagool
“Never use olive oil as a sexual lubricant. This is a waste of olive oil.”
A Meal To Die For author Joe Gannascoli collects bobble-head dolls.
The Goomba’s Book of Love
Stories from his youth, and the scores of women he and his friends bedded
Under “Goomba Pickup Lines”: “Would you like a bite of pepperoni?”
Tip the pool man at a resort, and he’ll send the hot women your way.
The Goomba’s Guide to Life
Living life the good goomba way
“Maybe it’s a nice veal roast, or maybe a veal chop, or a chicken. Or an osso bucco.”
The word “goomba” probably came from “compadre.”
Suburban kid spends summer in Brooklyn and learns about his Italian heritage.
“You can call it pasta sauce if you want. But don’t if you want to be a goomba. No goomba calls it 'pasta.’”
Friday night is for the boys and goomars, Saturday night for the wife and family.
Her rise from tomboy kid on Long Island to playing Meadow
“[Gandolfini] ordered me an eggplant parmesan sandwich, and the rest of my castmates gathered around and comforted me.”
Meadow was supposedly conceived in the parking lot of the Meadowlands!
The Sopranos Family Cookbook
“Compiled by” Artie Bucco
Italian recipes from Bucco’s Vesuvio restaurant in New Jersey
“Never have there been better times in my life than … sitting down to an evening meal of pork chops with peppers and garlic and laughing about the day’s events.”
Don’t eat gabagool that’s been sitting out for a week.