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April 15, 2018 BOOKLIST
Find more Top 10 Narrative Food & Drink Books
These food histories, biographies, and memoirs (some with recipes), reviewed in Booklist between October 1, 2016, and September 15, 2017, make for thought-provoking solo reading as well as great book discussions.
Bound to the Fire: How Virginia’s Enslaved Cooks Helped Invent American Cuisine. By Kelley Fanto Deetz. 2017. Univ. Press of Kentucky, $29.95 (9780813174730).
Deetz honors enslaved African American cooks and the significant contributions they made to U.S. cuisine.
The Comfort Food Diaries: My Quest for the Perfect Dish to Mend a Broken Heart. By Emily Nunn. 2017. Atria, $26 (9781451674200).
Nunn’s memoir of healing through cooking is full of honesty, humor, and recipes that will make book-club members say, “I could make that!”
Coming to My Senses: The Making of a Counterculture Cook. By Alice Waters. 2017. Clarkson Potter, $27 (9780307718280).
In her charming memoir, icon Waters writes of her 1950s upbringing, a college-age interest in countercultural living, and opening the celebrated Chez Panisse.
Cork Dork: A Wine-Fueled Adventure among the Obsessive Sommeliers, Big Bottle Hunters, and Rogue Scientists Who Taught Me to Live for Taste. By Bianca Bosker. 2017. Penguin, $17 (9780143128090).
Bosker left her job as a tech journalist to spend 18 months preparing for the Master Sommelier exam, and here she recounts her experiences, both positive and negative, with all things vinicultural.
The Cooking Gene: A Journey through African-American Culinary History in the Old South. By Michael W. Twitty. 2017. Amistad, $28.99 (9780062379290).
On the crowd-funded “Southern Discomfort Tour,” Twitty revived old recipes and cooking methods to get a feel for the food that sustained his ancestors. He puts his revelations in the broader context of the heritage of black cooking, noting contributions by unsung great black American cooks.
Craft Coffee: Brewing a Better Cup at Home. By Jessica Easto and Andreas Willhoff. 2017. Agate, $19.95 (9781572842335).
This thorough guide is for readers who want to up their coffee game with high-quality beans and one of the manual brew methods detailed in the book’s pages.
Fasting and Feasting: The Life of Visionary Food Writer Patience Gray. By Adam Federman. 2017. Chelsea Green, $28 (9781603586085).
Environmental- and food-journalist Federman’s biography of Patience Gray will attract today’s farm-to-table enthusiasts and tells a little-known story of a food writer who was eons ahead of her time.
Give a Girl a Knife. By Amy Thielen. 2017. Clarkson Potter, $26 (9780307954909).
With writing as earthy as her grandma’s sauerkraut hot dish, Food Network host and cookbook-author Thielen traces her life laced together by food and its preparation.
Grocery: The Buying and Selling of Food in America. By Michael Ruhlman. 2017. Abrams, $28 (9781419723865).
Ruhlman’s inspiring history of the grocery business weaves in stories of the author’s relationship with his father and the rise of a family-owned Cleveland supermarket chain.
The Potlikker Papers: A Food History of the Modern South. By John T. Edge. 2017. Penguin, $28 (9781594206559).
Edge compellingly relates the rise of southern cooking, from its roots in the region’s twin scourges of poverty and racism through the back-to-the-soil movement and beyond.
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