Feeling hungry? Dip into the world of cooking-themed books with these recommendations! With a variety of genres to choose from, these books are sure to help distract your appetite— or decide what kind of food should be the main character in your next meal!
Looking for new recipes to try after reading one of these books? Check out our Cook from a Book recommendation list!
Call# 921 Mayes "A lyrical and evocative collection of personal stories from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Under the Tuscan Sun, in which the queen of wanderlust reflects on the comforts of home. While Frances Mayes is known for her travels, she has always sought a sense of home wherever she goes. In this poetic testament to the power of place in our lives, Mayes reflects on "home," from the earliest imprint of four walls to the startling discoveries of feeling the strange ease of homes abroad, friends' homes, and even momentary homes that spark desires for other lives. Her musings are all the more poignant after so many have spent their long pandemic months at home. From her travels across Italy-Tuscany, of course, but also Venice and Capri-to the American South, France, and Mexico, Mayes examines the connective tissue among them through the homes she's inhabited. A Place in the World explores Mayes's passion and obsessions with houses and the things that inhabit them-old books, rich food, beloved friends, transportive art. The indelible marks each refuge has left on her and how each home influenced the next serve as the foundations of each chapter. Written in Mayes's signature intimate style, A Place in the World captures the adventure of moving on while seeking comfort in the cornerstone closest to all of us-home"--
A Place in the World : Finding the Meaning of Home by Frances Mayes
Call# 921 Mayes
"A lyrical and evocative collection of personal stories from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Under the Tuscan Sun, in which the queen of wanderlust reflects on the comforts of home. While Frances Mayes is known for her travels, she has always sought a sense of home wherever she goes. In this poetic testament to the power of place in our lives, Mayes reflects on "home," from the earliest imprint of four walls to the startling discoveries of feeling the strange ease of homes abroad, friends' homes, and even momentary homes that spark desires for other lives. Her musings are all the more poignant after so many have spent their long pandemic months at home. From her travels across Italy-Tuscany, of course, but also Venice and Capri-to the American South, France, and Mexico, Mayes examines the connective tissue among them through the homes she's inhabited. A Place in the World explores Mayes's passion and obsessions with houses and the things that inhabit them-old books, rich food, beloved friends, transportive art. The indelible marks each refuge has left on her and how each home influenced the next serve as the foundations of each chapter. Written in Mayes's signature intimate style, A Place in the World captures the adventure of moving on while seeking comfort in the cornerstone closest to all of us-home"--
The Saturday Night Supper Club by Carla Laureano
Call# Inspirational Laureano
Denver chef Rachel Bishop won a James Beard Award and heads up her own fine-dining restaurant-- until she is the target of a smear campaign. Alex Kanin was highlighting the pitfalls of online criticism-- and destroyed the career of a perfect stranger. Plagued by guilt, he agrees to help rebuild Rachel's tarnished image by offering his connections and his home to host an exclusive pop-up dinner party targeted to the Saturday Night Supper Club. As they work together to make the project a success, can Rachel give up her lifelong goals without losing her identity as well?
The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
Call# Fiction Tan
Four mothers, four daughters, four families, whose histories shift with the four winds depending on who’s telling the stories. In 1949, four Chinese women, recent immigrants to San Francisco, meet weekly to play mahjong and tell stories of what they left behind in China. United in loss and new hope for their daughters’ futures, they call themselves the Joy Luck Club. Their daughters, who have never heard these stories, think their mothers’ advice is irrelevant to their modern American lives – until their own inner crises reveal how much they’ve unknowingly inherited of their mothers’ pasts.
The Blue Bistro by Elin Hilderbrand
Call# Fiction Hilderbrand
Adrienne moves to Nantucket in the hopes of starting over and gets a crash course in restaurant management at a popular locale that is preparing to close, an endeavor that is compromised by her budding relationship with her boss.
The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender
Call# Fiction Bender
Being able to taste people's emotions in food may at first be horrifying. But young, unassuming Rose Edelstein grows up learning to harness her gift as she becomes aware that there are secrets even her taste buds cannot discern.
The Chicken Sisters by K. J. Dell'Antonia
Call# Fiction Dellantantonia
"Fannie Flagg meets Elin Hilderbrand in this deliciously charming debut novel about fried chicken, family feuds, and the foibles of the human heart"--
The Glass Kitchen by Linda Francis Lee
Call# Fiction Lee
"Portia Cuthcart and her two sisters find their way from Texas to Manhattan over the years, the heiresses to a dilapidated brownstone on the Upper West Side. Portia is running from a bad divorce and the knowledge that she has always been a little bit different, a little bit strange: the talented cook who knew exactly what to serve on what occasion, even to the point of predicting events that hadn't even happened yet. But she doesn't cook anymore. She has tamped down this "knowing." It has caused her way too many problems. When she meets twelve-year-old Ariel Kane, she sees a girl in desperate need of a mother and a family in dire need of fried chicken, biscuits, and strawberry rhubarb pie. Widowed Gabriel Kane has his hands full with two daughters on the cusp on womanhood, plus the Kane family have so many secrets and rivalries of their own. Ariel, especially, must find a way to bring them all together with the help of Portia: the non-cook, the non-believer in happy endings. Portia, who just might have to rethink the pages of her own story and take a few chances to claim what she wants deep down inside.."--
Love & Other Disasters by Anita Kelly
Call# Fiction Kelly
While competing on a popular cooking show, Dahlia Woodson stirs up trouble when she gets involved with nonbinary contestant London Parker, and as their relationship heats up both in and out of the kitchen, she wonders if they have the right ingredients for a happily ever after.
Lessons in Chemistry : a Novel by Bonnie Garmus
Call# Fiction Garmus
"Set in 1960s California, this blockbuster debut is the hilarious, idiosyncratic and uplifting story of a female scientist whose career is constantly derailed by the idea that a woman's place is in the home, only to find herself starring as the host of America's most beloved TV cooking show. Elizabeth Zott is not your average woman. In fact Elizabeth Zott would be the first to point out that there is no such thing as an average woman. But it's the 1960s and despite the fact that she is a scientist, her peers are very unscientific when it comes to equality. The only good thing to happen to her on the road to professional fulfillment is a run-in with her super-star colleague Calvin Evans (well, she stole his beakers.) The only man who ever treated her-and her ideas-as equal, Calvin is already a legend and Nobel nominee. He's also awkward, kind and tenacious. Theirs is true chemistry. But as events are never as predictable as chemical reactions, three years later Elizabeth Zott is an unwed, single mother (did we mention it's the early 60s??) and the star of America's most beloved cooking show Supper at Six. Elizabeth's singular approach to cooking ('take one pint of H2O and add a pinch of sodium chloride') and independent example are proving revolutionary. Because Elizabeth isn't just teaching women how to cook, she's teaching them how to change the status quo. Laugh-out-loud funny, shrewdly observant, and studded with a dazzling cast of supporting characters, Lessons in Chemistry is as original and vibrant as its protagonist"--
The Donut Trap : a Novel by Julie Tieu
Call# Fiction Tieu
Stuck in a rut working at her parents' donut shop, Jasmine Tran finds help in the form of an old college crush, but when their relationship doesn't work out, she must scheme to find a solution and get herself out of the donut trap.
The School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister
Call# Fiction Bauermeister
Eight students gather in Lillian's Restaurant every Monday night for cooking class. It soon becomes clear, however, that each one seeks a recipe for something beyond the kitchen as Chef Lillian, a woman whose connection with food is both soulful and exacting, helps them to create dishes whose flavor and techniques expand beyond the restaurant and into the secret corners of her students' lives.
The Marriage Game by Sara Desai
Call# Fiction Desai
"It's a clash of culture in this romantic comedy about arranged marriages from Sara Desai. Layla Santos is the child of first-generation immigrants from India. Her parents run a Michelin-starred Indian restaurant in San Francisco and are very traditional in their ways, including a firm belief in the benefit of arranged marriages. Her father, thinking he knows best, signs Layla up for IndianGirlMatch.com and sets up a series of dates without telling her.... Sam Mehta is the self-made CEO of a corporate consultancy specializing in downsizing. Also the child of first-generation immigrants with traditional beliefs, his family treated him like a prince and saw him as a symbol of their social and economic strength. But his sister's marital experience has taught him that parents don't always know what's best for their children, and arranged marriages don't always end in a happily ever after. When life throws Layla and Sam into close quarters, Sam finds himself unexpectedly chaperoning Layla on her dates. But neither can deny the chemistry building between them, and they wonder if perhaps they should make an arrangement of their own.."--
Kitchen Confidential : Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly by Anthony Bourdain
Call# 921 Bourdain
New York Chef Tony Bourdain gives away secrets of the trade in his wickedly funny, inspiring memoir/expose. Kitchen Confidential reveals what Bourdain calls “twenty-five years of sex, drugs, bad behavior and haute cuisine.”
My Life in France by Julia Child
Call# 921 Child
Here is the captivating story of Julia Child's years in France, where she fell in love with French food and found "her true calling." From the moment she and her husband Paul, who worked for the USIS, arrived in the fall of 1948, Julia had an awakening that changed her life. Soon this tall, outspoken gal from Pasadena, California, who didn't speak a word of French and knew nothing about the country, was steeped in the language, chatting with purveyors in the local markets, and enrolled in the Cordon Bleu. She teamed up with two fellow gourmettes, Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle, to help them with a book on French cooking for Americans. Filled with her husband's beautiful black-and-white photographs as well as family snapshots, this memoir is laced with wonderful stories about the French character, particularly in the world of food, and the way of life that Julia embraced so wholeheartedly. Bon appetit!--From publisher description.
Cooking As Fast As I Can : a Chef's Story of Family, Food, and Forgiveness by Cat Cora
Call# 641.509 Cor
"Before she became a celebrated chef, Cathy Cora was just a girl from Jackson, Mississippi, where days were slow and every meal was made from scratch. Her passion for the kitchen started in her home, where she spent her days internalizing the dishes that would form the cornerstone of her cooking philosophy incorporating her Greek heritage and Southern upbringing-- from crispy fried chicken and honey-drenched biscuits to spanakopita. But outside the kitchen, Cat's life was volatile. In Cooking as Fast as I Can, Cat Cora reveals, for the first time, coming-of-age experiences from early childhood sexual abuse to the realities of life as a lesbian in the deep South. She shares how she found her passion in the kitchen and went on to attend the prestigious Culinary Institute of America and apprentice under Michelin star chefs in France. After her big break as a co-host on the Food Network's Melting Pot, Cat broke barriers by becoming the first-ever female Iron Chef. Cooking as Fast as I Can chronicles the difficulties and triumphs Cora experienced on the path to becoming a chef. She writes movingly about how she found courage and redemption in the dark truths of her past and about how she found solace in the kitchen and work, how her passion for cooking helped her to overcome hardships and ultimately find happiness at home and became a wife and a mother to four boys. Above all, this is an utterly engrossing story about the grit and grace it takes to achieve your dreams" -- Provided by publisher.
Peach State by Adrienne Su
Call# 811.54 Su
"Peach State has its origins in Atlanta, Georgia, the author's hometown and an emblematic city of the New South, a name that reflects the American region's invigoration in recent decades by immigration and a spirit of reinvention. Focused mainly on food and cooking, these poems explore the city's transformation from the mid-twentieth century to today, as seen and shaped by Chinese Americans. The poems are set in restaurants, home kitchens, grocery stores, and the houses of friends and neighbors. Often employing forms--sonnet, villanelle, sestina, palindrome, ghazal, rhymed stanzas--they also mirror the constant negotiation with tradition that marks both immigrant and Southern experience"--
Tacos for Two by Betsy St. Amant
Call# Inspirational Stamant
"Rory Perez can't cook, but she inherited a taco food truck from her late aunt. Desperate for money to keep the family business, she goes up against her worst competitor in a festival competition-the man she's been anonymously flirting with online for weeks"--
Food : a Love Story by Jim Gaffigan
Call# 818.602 Gaf
""What are my qualifications to write this book? None really. So why should you read it? Here's why: I'm a little fat. If a thin guy were to write about a love of food and eating I'd highly recommend that you do not read his book." Bacon. McDonalds. Cinnabon. Hot Pockets. Kale. Stand-up comedian and author Jim Gaffigan has made his career rhapsodizing over the most treasured dishes of the American diet ("choking on bacon is like getting murdered by your lover") and decrying the worst offenders ("kale is the early morning of foods"). Fans flocked to his New York Times bestselling book Dad is Fat to hear him riff on fatherhood but now, in his second book, he will give them what they really crave--hundreds of pages of his thoughts on all things culinary(ish). Insights such as: why he believes coconut water was invented to get people to stop drinking coconut water, why pretzel bread is #3 on his most important inventions of humankind (behind the wheel and the computer), and the answer to the age-old question "which animal is more delicious: the pig, the cow, or the bacon cheeseburger?""--
Comfort Food by Kate Jacobs
Call# Fiction Jacobs
Shortly before turning the big 5-0, hostess extraordinaire and Cooking with Gusto! TV personality Augusta “Gus” Simpson finds herself planning a birthday party she’d rather ignore – her own. She’s getting tired of being the hostess, the mother hen, the woman who has to bake her own birthday party. To make things worse, the network execs at the Cooking Channel want to boost her ratings by teaming Gus with the beautiful, ambitious Carmen Vega, a former Miss Spain, who is decidedly not middle-aged. But Gus won’t go without a fight. She recreates her show as an on-air cooking class, which she uses as an excuse to bring together her extended family for some lessons in life as well as cuisine.
Black Cake : a Novel by Charmaine Wilkerson
Call# Fiction Wilkerson
"In this moving debut novel, two estranged siblings must set aside their differences to deal with their mother's death and her hidden past--a journey of discovery that takes them from the Caribbean to London to California and ends with her famous black cake. In present-day California, Eleanor Bennett's death leaves behind a puzzling inheritance for her two children, Byron and Benny: a traditional Caribbean black cake, made from a family recipe with a long history, and a voice recording. In her message, Eleanor shares a tumultuous story about a headstrong young swimmer who escapes her island home under suspicion of murder. The heartbreaking journey Eleanor unfolds, the secrets she still holds back, and the mystery of a long-lost child, challenge everything the siblings thought they knew about their family, and themselves. Can Byron and Benny reclaim their once-close relationship, piece together Eleanor's true history, and fulfill her final request to 'share the black cake when the time is right?' Will their mother's revelations bring them back together or leave them feeling more lost than ever? Charmaine Wilkerson's debut novel is a story of how the inheritance of betrayals, secrets, memories, and even names, can shape relationships and history. Deeply evocative and beautifully written, Black Cake is an extraordinary journey through the life of a family changed forever by the choices of its matriarch"--
Delicious! : A Novel by Ruth Reichl
Call# Fiction Reichl
Working as a public relations hotline consultant for a once-prestigious culinary magazine, Billie Breslin unexpectedly enters a world of New York restaurateurs and artisanal purveyors while reading World War II letters exchanged between a plucky 12-year-old and James Beard.
Tender at the Bone : Growing Up at the Table by Ruth Reichl
Call# 921 Reichl
At an early age, Ruth Reichl discovered that “food could be a way of making sense of the world…If you watched people as they ate, you could find out who they were.” Her deliciously crafted memoir, Tender at the Bone, is the story of a life determined, enhanced, and defined in equal measure by a passion for food, unforgettable people, and the love of tales well told.
The Hundred-foot Journey : a Novel by Richard C. Morais
Call# Fiction Morais
Hassan Haji is a skinny Indian teenager with that mysterious something that comes along once a generation. He is one of those rare chefs who is simply born. He is an artist. Born above his grandfather's modest restaurant in Mumbai, Hassan first experienced life through intoxicating whiffs of spicy fish curry, trips to the local markets, and gourmet outings with his mother. But when tragedy pushes the family out of India, they console themselves by eating their way around the world, eventually settling in Lumiere, a small village in the French Alps. The boisterous Haji family takes Lumiere by storm. They open an inexpensive Indian restaurant opposite an esteemed French relais, that of the famous chef Madame Mallory, and infuse the sleepy town with the spices of India, transforming the lives of its eccentric villagers and infuriating their celebrated neighbor. Only after Madame Mallory wages culinary war with the immigrant family, does she finally agree to mentor young Hassan, leading him to Paris, the launch of his own restaurant, and a slew of new adventures.
The Irresistible Blueberry Bakeshop & Café : a Novel by Mary Simses
Call# Fiction Simses
Ellen Branford is going to fulfill her grandmother’s dying wish–to find the hometown boy she once loved, and give him her last letter. Ellen leaves Manhattan and her Kennedy-esque fiance for Beacon, Maine. What should be a one-day trip is quickly complicated when she almost drowns in the chilly bay and is saved by a local carpenter. The rescue turns Ellen into something of a local celebrity, which may or may not help her unravel the past her grandmother labored to keep hidden. As she learns about her grandmother and herself, it becomes clear that a 24-hour visit to Beacon may never be enough.
32 Yolks : From My Mother's Table to Working the Line by Eric Ripert
Call# 641.509 Rip
"Before he earned his third Michelin star at his iconic restaurant, Le Bernardin, the James Beard Award for Outstanding Chef of the Year, became a regular guest judge on Bravo's Top Chef, even before he knew how to make a proper omelet, Eric Ripert was a young boy in the South of France who felt that his world had come to an end. At the age of five, his parents went through a bitter divorce. Eric moved away with his mother, whose new husband, Serge, quickly grew to resent Eric and seemed to delight in making him miserable. The only place Eric felt at home was the kitchen, where his mother tried to cheer him up with lavish meals, but once the plates had been cleared, his unhappiness returned. Then he met Jacques, a locally renowned chef and restaurant owner. Jacques took Eric under his wing, letting him into his kitchen everyday after school where he would teach Eric how to make real chocolate mousse and regale him with stories from his travels. Watching Jacques and the obvious pride he took in his work, Eric began to see a future for himself, one in which his lifelong love of food could become something that he shared with other people. His desire to not only cook but to become the best would lead him into some of the most celebrated and demanding kitchens in Paris, serving under legendary chefs like Joel Robuchon and Jean Louis Palladin and trying to survive the brutal, exacting environment of their kitchens. Like Jacques Pepin's classic memoir The Apprentice, Eric Ripert's is a coming of age story about how he learned to cook and finally found his place in the kitchen"--