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Bookworms in the Pantry 2007

Imagine my surprise when, back in February, I discovered Bookworms in my pantry. It started with one -- my friend Marcia, who lives up the road -- and spread from Rhode Island to The Philippines to Michigan to Washington DC to Wisconsin, to North Carolina, to England ... well, it turns out that there are bookworms everywhere! To date, more than twenty Pantry readers have shared their favorite reads.

Each Bookworm recommended five food-related non-cookbooks to add to our collective library. On this list you'll find Michael Pollan and Julia Child, of course. Ruth Reichl and Anthony Bourdain. Calvin Trillin, Nigel Slater, Lewis Carroll, MFK Fisher, Kermit Lynch, Dr. Seuss. There's something for everyone.

More or less alphabetically, here's the entire list to date (books mentioned more than once are indicated in parentheses). UPDATED 9/22/07.

  • A Cordiall Water, by MFK Fisher
  • A History of the World in Six Glasses, by Tom Standage
  • A Moveable Feast, by Ernest Hemingway
  • A Natural History of the Senses, by Diane Ackerman
  • Adventures on the Wine Route, by Kermit Lynch (2)
  • Alice Waters and Chez Panisse: the Romantic, Impractical, Often Eccentric, Ultimately Brilliant Making of a Food Revolution, by Thomas McNamee
  • Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass, by Lewis Carroll
  • American Diner Then and Now, by Richard J.S. Gutman
  • The Anatomy of Dessert, by Edward Bunyan
  • Anecdotes of Destiny and Ehrengard (includes "Babette's Feast), by Isak Dinesen
  • Animal, Vegetable, Mineral, by Barbara Kingsolver (2)
  • An Omelette and a Glass of Wine, by Elizabeth David
  • Aphrodite: A Memoir of the Senses, by Isabel Allende
  • Are You Really Going to Eat That? Reflections of a Culinary Thrill Seeker, by Robb Walsh
  • The Art of Eating, by MFK Fisher (2)
  • Back Story (and the Spenser mystery series), by Robert B. Parker
  • Becoming Whole: The Story of My Recovery from Breast Cancer, by Meg Wolff
  • The Belly of Paris, by Emile Zola
  • The Big Oyster, by Mark Kurlansky
  • Blessed Are the Cheesemakers, by Sarah-Kate Lynch
  • Blue Jelly: Love Lost and the Lessons of Canning, by Debby Bull
  • Blue Trout and Black Truffles, by Joseph Wechsberg
  • The Book of Salt, by Monique Truong
  • The Botany of Desire, by Michael Pollan
  • Bread Alone, by Judith R. Hendricks
  • Bread of Three Rivers: The Story of a French Loaf, by Susan Mansfield Taber
  • The Century in Food: America's Fads and Favorites, by Beverly Bundy
  • Chocolat, by Joanne Harris (2)
  • Cod, by Mark Kurlansky (2)
  • Comfort Me with Apples, by Ruth Reichl (2)
  • Coming Home to Eat: The Pleasure and Politics of Local Food, by Gary Naban
  • Consuming Passions: A Food-Obsessed Life, by Michael Lee West
  • Crescent, by Diana Abu-Jabar
  • The Day Everything Tasted Like Broccoli (Maximum Boy #02), by Dan Greenburg
  • The Dead, by James Joyce
  • The Debt to Pleasure, by John Lanchester (2)
  • Devil in the Details: Scenes from an Obsessive Girlhood, by Jennifer Traig
  • The Devil's Larder, by Jim Crace
  • Dictionnaire Gastronomique, by Bernard Luce
  • Down and Out in Paris and London, by George Orwell
  • Eating Between the Lines: The Supermarket Shopper's Guide to the Truth Behind Food Labels, by Kimberly Lord Stewart
  • Extra Virgin, by Annie Hawes
  • Extremely Pale Rosé: A Very French Adventure, by Jamie Ivey
  • Fast Food Nation, by Eric Schlosser
  • Fat Land, by Greg Critser
  • Feeding a Yen, by Calvin Trillin (2)
  • Floyd in the Soup, by Keith Floyd
  • Food in History, by Reay Tannahill (2)
  • The Food of France, by Waverly Root
  • French Lessons, by Peter Mayle
  • From Here You Can't See Paris, by Michael S. Sanders
  • Garlic and Sapphires, by Ruth Reichl (4)
  • The Gastronomical Me, by MFK Fisher
  • The Girl with a Pearl Earring, by Tracy Chevalier
  • Gluten-free Girl, by Shauna James Ahern
  • Green Eggs and Ham, by Dr. Seuss
  • Havana Salsa, by Viviana Carballo
  • Her Fork in the Road, edited by Lisa Bach
  • The Hills of Tuscany, by Ferenc Mate
  • Home Cooking: A Writer in the Kitchen, by Laurie Colwin
  • How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World, by Marjorie Priceman
  • Hungry Planet, by Peter Menzel and Faith D'Aluisio
  • In Search of Lost Time, by Marcel Proust
  • Interpreter of Maladies, by Jhumpa Lahiri
  • I Will Never Not Ever Eat a Tomato, by Lauren Child
  • Kitchen Confidential: Notes from the Culinary Underbelly, by Anthony Bourdain
  • The Kitchen Diaries, by Nigel Slater
  • La Cucina, by Lily Prior (2)
  • The Land was Everything, by Victor Davis Hanson
  • The Life of Hunger, by Amelie Nothomb
  • Like Water for Chocolate, by Laura Esquivel (2)
  • The Magic of Provence, by Yvonne Lenard
  • The Mammoth Cheese, by Sheri Holman
  • The Man Who Ate Everything, by Jeffrey Steingarten
  • The Measure of Her Powers: An MFK Fisher Reader, by MFK Fisher and Ruth Reich
  • The Mistress of Spices, by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni (2)
  • Monsieur Pamplemousse series, by Michael Bond
  • The Mortdecai Trilogy, by Kyril Bonfiglioli
  • Mostly True, by Molly O'Neill
  • Murder Al Fresco, by Nadia Gordon
  • My Life in France, by Julia Child
  • The Nasty Bits, by Anthony Bourdain
  • The Omnivore's Dilemma, by Michael Pollan
  • On Food and Cooking, by Harold McGee
  • On Persephone's Island, by Mary Taylor Simeti
  • On Rue Tatin, by Susan Hermann Loomis
  • One More Day, by Mitch Alborn
  • The Oysters of Locmariaquer, by Eleanor Clark
  • Oranges, by John McPhee
  • Paula Deen: It Ain't All About the Cookin', by Paula Deen
  • The Physiology of Taste, or Meditations on Transcendental Gastronomy, by Brillat-Savarin
  • Pomegranate Soup: A Novel, by Marsha Mehran
  • Poet of the Appetites: The Lives and Loves of MFK Fisher, by Joan Reardon
  • Pot on the Fire, by John Thorne
  • Road Food, by Jane and Michael Stern
  • Salt, by Mark Kurlansky
  • Second Nature, by Michael Pollan (2)
  • The Secret Life of Lobsters, by Trevor Corson
  • The Seven Silly eaters, by Mary Ann Hoberman and Marla Frazee
  • The $64 Tomato, by William Alexander
  • The Short Stories of Saki, by HH Munro
  • The Soul of a Chef, by Michael Ruhlman
  • Spice: A History of Temptation, by Jack Turner
  • The Supper of the Lamb, by Robert Farrar Capon
  • Sweets: A History of Candy, by Tim Richardson
  • Take Big Bites, by Linda Ellerbee
  • Talking with My Mouth Full, by Bonny Wolf
  • Tender at the Bone, by Ruth Reichl (2)
  • The Tequila Worm, by Viola Canales
  • Thunder Cake, by Patricia Polacco
  • Toast, by Nigel Slater (2)
  • Tsukiji: The Fish Market at the Center of the World, by Theodore Bestor
  • The Tummy Trilogy, by Calvin Trillin
  • Typical American, by Gish Jen
  • The Van, by Roddy Doyle
  • Vie de France, by James Haller
  • Voice of the Violin (Inspector Montalbano Mysteries), by Andrea Camilleri and Stephen Sartarell
  • The Way Life Should Be, by Christina Baker Kline
  • The Whole World Over, by Julia Glass (2)
  • We Could Almost Eat Outside: An Appreciation of Life's Small Pleasures, by Philippe Delerm
  • Why We Eat What We Eat, by Raymond Sokolov
  • Women Who Eat: A New Generation on the Glory of Food, by Leslie Miller
  • The World is a Kitchen, edited by Susan Brady and Michele Anna Jordan
  • The Zen of Fish, by Trevor Corson

Something missing? Big gaping hole on the bookshelf? A few favorites you'd like to add?

If you'd like to be a Bookworm in the Pantry, start here.

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.


Yes . . . I know it's new (and unfortunately, trendy right now), but what about Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver?

Dulcimer, welcome to The Perfect Pantry. Absolutely, I'll add this book to the list. All good reads are welcome, as long as they have something to do with food, and I know a lot of people are reading and talking about this particular book. Thanks!

I love food books. I can't imagine only naming five of them. So here I have chosen my favorite five food books about fish:

Eleanor Clark, "The Oysters of Locmariaquer"

Trevor Corson, "The Secret Life of Lobsters" (Runner up: he also wrote "The Zen of Fish")

Theodore Bestor, "Tsukiji: The Fish Market at the Center of the World"

Mark Kurlansky, "Cod" (Runner up: he also wrote "The Big Oyster")

Joseph Wechsberg, "Blue Trout and Black Truffles" (OK, it's about more than just fish)

Mae, I will add these books to our book list, with pleasure! Thank you so much. I hope Pantry readers will stop by and visit your blog: http://maefood.blogspot.com/.

Hi Lydia,
I've added a post to my blog that tells a little more about these five fish books and links to some earlier posts I did about them.

Mae, thank you!

Here's the link to Mae's post:

Lydia, thank you for taking time to compile this list. Also, much appreciation to those who send in recommendations. My shelves are groaning with precariously stacked volumes..and library stats have soared.

Hi Lydia,
It's me again with my books. I posted early this am., but I realize it's a "Monday"!

I decided my book recommendations will be:

1. Becoming Whole, The Story of My Recovery From Breast Cancer, by Meg Wolff

2. The Way Life Should Be, by Christina Baker Kline

Thank you.

Just one more question: Does anyone know when Jhumpa Lahiri is going to publish another book?!

Marcia, thank you for getting us started.

Meg, I've added your books to the list. Thanks so much.

What a great list!

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