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My Favorite Food Books

Once upon a time, before the interweb stole my attention span, I read books. These days, I struggle to make time. That is why I’m happy to have audiobooks that allow me to “read” while I walk or commute or clean the house. This is what behavioural economist call “temptation bundling”, linking one enjoyable activity to one less-than-exciting activity. Think of all the times you may have watched television while folding laundry. That, my friends, is temptation bundling.

my-favorite-food-books

As much as I love temptation bundling, I am determined to make time for proper reading this year. That means pulling up a comfy chair in sun and sticking my nose in a paper book. I’m sure I can pull myself away from Facebook long enough to read a chapter or two a day, really.

I read non-fiction more than fiction and a lot of that non-fiction is about food. I thought it might be fun to share some of my favorite food related books with you.

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The Man Who Ate Everything and It Must’ve Been Something I Ate – Jeffrey Steingarten

These books are collections of articles written by lawyer turned Vogue Magazine food writer Jeffrey Steingarten. At first read, Steingarten can come off as a bit of a pompous jerk but the more you read the more you see that this is part of his humour. When he tackles a food topic, he does it with gusto. Memorable articles include ‘If MSG Is So Bad For You, Why Doesn’t Everyone In Asia Have A Headache?’ and ‘Taro, Taro, Taro’.

For more details and reader reviews, click the images below. 

        

Eating Animals – Jonathan Safran Foer

I’m not a vegan and I do my best to stay away from diet politics on my blog because I am neither an expert or an activist. I do enjoy reading books that can help me make informed decisions about the food I choose to eat. This book is a well written look at the food industry (Safran Foer is a world renowned novelist). Despite the excellent writing, it’s not an easy read due to some graphic descriptions.

For more details and reader reviews, click the image below. 

The Billionaire’s Vinegar: The Mystery of the World’s Most Expensive Bottle of Wine – Benjamin Wallace

I love wine, but I rarely buy bottles that cost more than $25. This book will fill you full of schadenfreude as you read about the world’s richest people falling for counterfeit wine scams. This book reads like a suspense novel, but the over the top characters are real people!

For more details and reader reviews, click the image below. 

Tender at the Bone: Growing Up at the Table – Ruth Reichl

I read this book on the beach in Maui. Although Reichl’s memoir isn’t all sunshine, it still makes for a great vacation read. Reichl’s writing is humorous and descriptive. Her path to food-world goddess is fascinating. Much of the story centres around her mother, a compelling character with manic tendencies. This is a book about food, family and self-discovery.

For more details and reader reviews, click the image below. 

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life – Barbara Kingsolver

This books illustrates one family’s experience with eating local food for one year. The book is written from Kingsolver’s perspective, with additional commentary from her husband and daughter. I personally can’t live without mangoes, so the idea of eating 100% local just doesn’t appeal to me. Still, this is another great book full of food industry information that can help you form your opinions of what you choose to eat. Barbara Kingsolver is also the author of one of my favorite fiction novels (The Poisonwood Bible: A Novel).

For more details and reader reviews, click the image below. 

I’m sure this list of favorite food books will expand in the future. I’ll update it as I find other great food books to share.

Do you have something to recommend, feel free to leave a comment!

2 Comments

  1. I want to read all of these books now, Jas! I’m a voracious reader and although I read more fiction than non-fiction (your opposite) I LOVE food writing. I’ve highly recommend Ruth Reichl’s Garlic & Sapphires, wherein she writes about her time as the food critic for the New York Times and the disguises she wore when she would attend different restaurants. I adore David Leibovitz’s My Sweet Life in Paris and Jacques Pepin’s memoir The Apprentice: My Life in the Kitchen is a fascinating look at his career (which started when he was a little kid).

    • Jasmine Lukuku says

      I listened to Garlic & Sapphires and My Sweet Life in Paris on audiobook! Loved them both!I have to check out Jacques Pepin’s book, that sounds right up my alley!

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