Here is my list of wonderful, marvelous, varied, worthy, fascinating, beautiful, interesting, practical, fanciful, thoughtful, moving, funny, poignant, truthful, inspiring, delicious, fine, and worthy cookbooks and food-centric books that are on my list for 2011. It’s a long, no, make that generous and thorough list. There is no short list. It is completely subjective and very personal, and if you know me well, you will know that many of these authors are my friends. Not all of them, but many of them. I love my work, which brings me into friendships with people who share my fascination and love of food, cooking, history, stories, and such. This is not a list of the Very Best — it’s a list of my favorites, and I know I left something out. I was going to comment on each one, but that would have made this the 90,000 word post (verbosity is my blessing and flaw), so I leave you to figure out why I like each one (different reasons), or more importantly, whether you might want to buy a given book for your own kitchen or as a gift for someone who would enjoy it and appreciate you. Please go to or order from an independent bookseller. They are angels straight from God, and it’s not easy in 2011 to make a living, even a Bob Cratchit-level living, from being a merchant of words, stories, pictures and ideas. I want them to prosper and stay open. If you need to find the lowest price, no harm done. But if you, like me, are lucky enough to have discretion in what you spend and where, consider being a patron of booksellers and authors (Full disclosure: I am one and surely my opinion is colored by that fact.) But here we are. You can find a bookstore near (-ish) to you, or find ways to order these books, by going to http://www.indiebound.org/ . Holiday greetings and happy winter wishes to you. And if I missed your favorite food-centric book this year, tell me all about it in commentland!
by Gabrielle Hamilton
Jessica B. Harris
Julia M. Usher
Elizabeth S.D. Englehardt
Martha Hall Foose
Nathalie Dupree and Cynthia Graubart
Edited by Sara Roahen and John T. Edge
T. Susan Chang
Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan
Stephanie L Tyson
You made it all the way to the end! How wonderful. May I wish you the very best as this year of 2011 winds down and the New Year of 2012 blooms open like a winter sunrise, slowly and filled with promise, hope, and if we are lucky, friendship and love. “God bless us every one!” as Tiny Tim hollered in his outside voice.