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Bookworms in the Pantry 2007: The Complete List

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! More than twenty-five Pantry readers 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 for 2007 (books mentioned more than once are indicated in parentheses), including suggested additions that arrived by email.

  • 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
  • The Apprentice: My Life in the Kitchen, by Jacques Pepin
  • 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 Body in the Bouillon: A Faith Fairchild Mystery, by Katherine Hall Page
  • 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
  • Cooking for Mr. Latte, by Amanda Hesser
  • 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
  • Heat: An Amateur's Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta-Maker, and Apprentice to a Dante-Quoting Butcher in Tuscany, by Bill Buford
  • 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
  • Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen, by Julie Powell
  • Killer Calories (Savannah Reid Mysteries), by GA McKevett
  • Killer Pancake, by Diane Mott Davidson
  • 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
  • More Home Cooking: A Writer Returns to the Kitchen, by Laurie Colwin
  • 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 Nantucket Diet Murders (Eugenia Potter series), by Virginia Rich
  • 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
  • Titus Andronicus, by William Shakespeare
  • 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
  • Under the Jaguar Sun, by Italo Calvino
  • The Van, by Roddy Doyle
  • Vie de France, by James Haller
  • Vineyard Blues, by Philip R. Craig
  • 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

If this isn't the very best list of food-related non-cookbooks anywhere, I'll eat my hat. And if there's no hat in my pantry (after all, it's not really perfect), I'll eat something else.

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.


Hi Lydia,
Going over your list and am happy to find one by Gish Jen that I don't think I've read! I'll have to find it! Thanks.

OK, I've printed the list out. Library here I come! How far can I get before the next list?

I am totally printing this out! I have read quite a few...I love Cooking for Mr. Latte. But now have many, many more to read! Thanks for doing this!.

Impressive list!


Meg, Susan, Peabody, Paz: happy reading!

This is an awesome list. Can't wait to see 2008.

I LOVE that you took the time to write these all out! I am a cookbook hoarder.
Well, maybe not as much as a Cooking Magazine hoarder.

Foodhunter, Caroline: Welcome to The Perfect Pantry. Isn't this a wonderful reading list? It will keep me busy all year.

Oh my lord, this list is the best thing that ever happened to my Amazon wish list! Thank you!

Sarah, I'm so proud of all of us for compiling this great reading list. I'm going to send it to all of the people who just might want to give me a birthday present or holiday gift, with all of the books I don't have marked with a star!

Wow -- have you done one of these for 2011? I read a lot of food-related non-cookbooks, and knew some of these -- just reviewed The Mammoth Cheese which is what lead me her e-- but wow! I learned a lot and will think about a lot of these for my blog.

Bibliochef, I just posted a request for recommendations on our Facebook page. If you have suggestions, you can leave them here or on Facebook, and I'll pull together an updated list. Thanks for the nudge!

This is an awesome list! Do you mind if I add a book? "Who's Killing the Great chefs of Europe." It's an old book but I read it and found it amusing. I don't know who the author is, sorry.

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