What Is Your Favorite Cook the Books Selection?

17 01 2011

Here’s a reminder that the deadline for reading, cooking and blogging up your thoughts about our current Cook the Books selection, Victoria Abbott Riccardi’s “Untangling my Chopsticks: A Culinary Sojourn in Kyoto” is January 28, 2011.  Be sure to either leave a comment here on one of the recent Cook the Books posts or send me an email at info [at] oldsaratogabooks (doT) com.

In the meantime, I was wondering what your favorite Cook the Books picks have been.  Here’s what we’ve read so far:

1) La Cucina, by Lily Prior

2) The Language of Baklava, by Diana Abu-Jaber

3) Kitchen Confidential, by Anthony Bourdain

4) The Little White Horse, by Elizabeth Goudge

5) The Last Chinese Chef, by Nicole Mones

6) French Lessons, by Peter Mayle

7) A Taste for Adventure, by Anik See

8) Like Water for Chocolate, by Laura Esquivel

9) Eating for England, by Nigel Slater

10) The School of Essential Ingredients, by Erica Bauermeister

11) Climbing the Mango Trees, by Madhur Jaffrey

12) Heat, by Bill Buford

13) Untangling my Chopsticks, by Victoria Abbott Riccardi

We’ve read foodie novels, memoirs, essays, a children’s fantasy and travel literature.  I love this group because I end up reading books I never would have found on my own.  So what has your favorite CTB book been and why?






13 responses

17 01 2011

With no hesitation whatsoever, my top three, in order, have been:
The Language of Baklava
Kitchen Confidential
The Last Chinese Chef

18 01 2011

No hesitation here either: The Last Chinese Chef, by Nicole Mones
Novels are my favorite type of reading and this one managed to layer old and new in a way that kept me interested until the last page.

18 01 2011

I totally agree with Arlene! Those 3 have been the definite highlights for me.

20 01 2011

Without doubt, The Last Chinese Chef, followed by
The School of Essential Ingredients, but as I haven’t
read the other two (joined after) will correct that

22 01 2011

Wow, it’s a toss-up. My top three are Kitchen Confidential, French Lessons, Climbing the Mango Trees… and Heat. Okay, that’s four. ☺

22 01 2011

Untangling my Chopsticks
French Lessons

23 01 2011

I like how #8 came up as the smiley with sunglasses. 8) hilarious.

23 01 2011
Can't Believe We Ate...

My favorites are… The Last Chinese Chef… Untangling my Chopsticks…and…School of Essential Ingredients, in that order. I loved the history tied to food…I guess in all cases!

25 01 2011


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Best regards,


27 01 2011
Heather @girlichef

Hmmm…although I enjoyed so many, I think my favorites have been The School of Essential Ingredients, The Last Chinese Chef, and A Taste for Adventure. Oh, and Climbing the Mango Trees 😉

30 01 2011

I think my three favourites have been Kitchen Confidential, The school of essential ingredients and Heat.

30 01 2011

I haven’t read all of these books but I really enjoyed The School of Essential Ingredients and Like Water for Chocolate.

12 07 2011

I love your list of books. I recently read The school of Essential Ingredients (upon your recommendation) and also the Provencal Cure for the Broken Hearted.
I also want to suggest another author: Sarah-Kate Lynch. All of her books have a culinary edge. Blessed are the Cheesemakers is an almost fairy tale about cheesemakers and it is whimsical. By Bread Alone… about bread and a family… beautiful. The House of Daughters: a great story about CHAMPAGNE and sisterhood. Magical. On Top of Everything: about a great dream of a bakery. And my favorite: Eating with the Angels. This book should be a MOVIE. Just read it: don’t want to give it away, but it was about a restaurant critic, and reminded me a bit of Garlic and Sapphires by Ruth Reichel.
Sarah-Kate’s books would fit in perfectily with your list. Happy reading, and thanks for teh great recommendations.

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