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Bookworms in the Pantry

Marcia, a Pantry reader from the very first day, suggested I feature some non-cookbooks in Lydia Recommends (in the right-hand column), where I highlight cooking and gardening books that are in my own collection or that I use as references.

I thought it was a great idea. So good, in fact, that this week I'm spotlighting Marcia's selection of good reads that have food as an important ingredient in the story.

*UPDATE: A Pantry reader suggested I list the books in each post, after the end of the "official" Bookworm week. Thanks, Shawn, for the great idea. Marcia recommended:

  • Voice of the Violin
  • The Mistress of Spices
  • Anecdotes of Destiny and Ehrengard (includes "Babette's Feast")
  • The Debt to Pleasure
  • La Cucina

Are you a Bookworm in the Pantry? Would you like to share your reading list of non-cookbooks that have something to do with food? I'll be happy to feature your list of up to 5 food-related books: nonfiction or fiction, mystery, poetry, travel, food history, food gardening, art or photography. Books must be available in English, new or used, on Amazon.com or Jessica's Biscuit; no ancient tomes or unpublished manuscripts, please.

Bookworm lists will be featured for one week, Saturday to Friday, in the order in which I receive them.

To be a Bookworm, simply email your book list (title/author) to lydia AT ninecooks DOT com. I'll do the rest!

Disclosure: The Perfect Pantry earns a few pennies on purchases made through the Amazon.com links in this post. Thank you for supporting this site when you start your shopping here.


This is a great idea! I'll email you a few later.

I just *love* this idea...I'm always looking for foodie books and I can see so many recommendations here. I'll also mail you my own list :)

Susan and Nupur, I'm so glad you like this idea. I'll look forward to discovering what's on your reading lists!

Grrrreat idea!

I'm in!

Is there a deadline? The next two days are kinda busy.

Mimi, and all bookworms: I'm so glad you're loving this idea! There's no deadline. I've received a few lists already, and I'd like to run each list for at least one week. So send your lists whenever, and I'll post them in the order I receive them.

So many good reads to discover. Thank you, everyone!

I need some new reads, I'll be looking forward to these lists!
I've been enjoying everything Michael Ruhlman has written, (The Making of a Chef, The Soul of a Chef, The Reach of a Chef, Charcuterie....) and although he irritated me at first, I've come to enjoy Anthony Bourdain too and have read all of his. I just finished Heat by Bill Buford and it was alright too!

What a really great idea! I'll be checking for the lists!


This is a great idea! I'd love do participate - must start thinking of something nice asap!

Brilynn, I agree completely. Ruhlman, of course. Bourdain -- annoying though he can be, he has found his niche, and his writing makes me laugh. Buford is a long-time favorite in my household, from his days at Granta. I enjoyed most of Heat, until he went to Italy. So there -- you've made a bookworm list!

Tanna, I'm amazed that there's been very little duplication in the lists I've already received, so there will be lots to discover.

Patricia, thanks -- I'll look forward to your list!

I love Marcia's list — it's a lot more up-to-date than mine. I live in a town with three small bookstores but none of them caters to food lovers.

Lydia, Thanks so much for running with this idea...which certainly turned out to be selfserving: I can hardly wait to see the other lists.
Thanks, Mimi: the trouble was Lydia limited it to five!! Just in case she's not looking this way, shhh...here's another: Life a la Henri: Being the Memories of Henri Charpentier.

Great list. The last three I´ve read, but the others have gone straight to my must-do list for the winter. thanks.

Lydia, I'm in!
I'm a hungry, hungry bookworm.

I'm always looking for new books to read--wonderful idea!

Hey cool idea! :) My shelf is comprised mostly of books about travel and/or food. So I would most definitely love to see what others with the same interests are reading. Thanks for doing this. :)

OMG! Books! If I get any more books I'll have to move into the garage! I shall have to ponder this to come up with my 5 favorite....Maybe next week.
What a marvelous idea!

I'm a wannabe bookworm. Really trying to get back to non-work related reading. This is a great idea.

I was only going to check a few blogs and get to the Monday stuff, but...the Tahini caught my eye...then your book about Gluten Free (I blogged about that yesterday in my lasagne recipe)...and then the Bookworm thing...I can never resist reading recommenedations and other people's book lists. You had some of my favorites like Ruth Reichel and Michael Pollan. Do you ever notice that when you read books on India everyone is always cooking? Anyway, I will shoot you off my list. I think I need to update my favorite books on my site too.

Funny note on bookworms. Driving from Maine to NY one day I listened to a book on tape by David Sedaris, can't remember which one, but he talks about how he listens to books on tape, and he asked the question, Does that make me a "tapeworm"? Happy Monday!

Hi, i'd love to contribute, but I'm not sure which books you already have. Any way I can find the up to date list?? :)

Nora, Meg, Radish, here's the list of everything to date:

My pantry is always filled with a box of Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate Company solid chocolate breakup. I just break off a little triangle of milk chocolate every morning then start my day. Here is where i found it: http://www.chocolatechocolate.com/2lbspecial.htm

Allison, chocolate is always a treat, wherever you find it! Thanks for the source.

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