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I really did not plan to post a gift guide. But, as I was finalizing my own gift list, the who, the what, the when, and the why, I started thinking about books. How could I not? I love books. I’m always happy to receive a book as a gift. (Or something for the kitchen, but the kitchen is almost completely covered with everything I… need?)

As much as I love buying cookbooks, this year I did not buy as many as in previous years. After more than 130 cookbooks – I stopped counting – I changed direction a bit and focused more on other food-related books and mostly on food memoirs. My favorites are the food memoirs. Each one has a unique voice and story to tell, and recipes to share. I love recipes that are connected to stories. Anyone can write a recipe but not too many people can attach a great story to a good recipe.

I want to share with you some of my favorite books from 2009. If you’re a little behind on your holiday shopping, like me, then I’d like to help a little. I’m gonna share my list as my holiday gift to you.

I really don’t want to analyze or review why and what I liked about these books. How very conveniently, almost all these authors blog as well! So, either you’ll have to trust my judgment on this one or go visit their blogs to get a sample, a taste, of their writing. Ahhh, go there anyway, I won’t take it personally. No, I won’t see it as a sign of not trusting me. No Siree, I won’t. Go, have fun, enjoy it. I just hope that in a small way I might have helped you out a bit just in case that you were stuck with the holiday shopping. And don’t forget to treat yourself to a book too. It’s the holiday! But who needs an excuse to buy a book, right?!

I would love to hear about the great books you read this year! Please tell me and share with others in the comment section below, OK? Thanks!!!

Here’s my list:

“A Homemade Life” by Molly Weizenberg, the author of Orangette, one of my favorite blogs: http://orangette.blogspot.com/. It reads like poetry.

homemade life 

“The Sharper Your Knife, The Less You Cry” by Kathleen Flinn, blog: http://kathleenflinn.blogspot.com/. A romantic story of studying at Le Cordon Blue, cooking and living in Paris.

Sharper Your Knife


“Julie and Julia” by Julie Powell, blog http://blogs.salon.com/0001399/2002/08/25.html. She’s got a mouth! Honest and direct, she doesn’t try to make things pretty. I love it!

Julie & Julia:

“Hungry Monkey” by Matthew Amster-Burton, blog: http://www.rootsandgrubs.com/. I am starting to believe he’s got a point and I’m trying to adopt his approach with my kids and their picky eating. The book also made me laugh a lot. But mostly one night when I was haunted by guilt feeling that I am not a good enough mom.



“The Sweet Life in Paris” by David Lebovitz, blog: http://www.davidlebovitz.com/. Funny stories and observations about life in Paris from the eyes of an American who happens to be a former pastry chef in one of the best restaurants in the US.

sweet life paris

“Not Becoming My Mother” by Ruth Reichl. Ah, I have discussed this book in length. It started here.

Ruth Reichl

One of the handful of cookbooks I bought this year – the one who made it into my cookbooks shelf – is “The Steamy Kitchen cookbook” by Jayden Hair, blog: http://steamykitchen.com/. It’s easy Asian cooking with which I didn’t have much experience but I could not resist making these sweet and sour pork meatballs! And the rest is history.


Next I’m going to read “Fat of the Land” by Langdon Cook. His blog and book made me very curious as he is a forager! As in hiking in the Northwest mountains, forests, and shores searching for food from the wild, wild mushrooms, clams, geoducks and more. How cool is that? Visit his blog: http://fat-of-the-land.blogspot.com/.

Fat of the land

Also I can’t wait to dive into this book, “Best food writing 2009”, a collection of the best… well, the title says it all.


And, coming out in February, I cannot wait to read “The Butcher and The Vegetarian” by Tara Austen Weaver. I love Tea’s blog: http://teaandcookies.blogspot.com/. It’s real life, with the whole spectrum of emotions, good and the bad, happy and sad. It makes me feel good and normal and sane.

Butcher and vegeterian


Don’t forget Menu For Hope!!!

Donate = buy tickets to bid on really awesome food prizes! It’s a great way to help others. As little as $10 helps a lot and then you have a chance to win something delicious and exciting. Click here for details.

Menu for hope pic


Happy Holiday!


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Categories : Food books & Cookbooks, Food link love, Holidays

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