Two great non-cookbooks of 2013

For the last week, I have been consuming a steady diet of leftover turkey and 2013 cookbooks.  The turkey is great, and so are the books (you can see my top 10 picks on CookShelf, my cookbook-rating app). But for a change of pace, I wanted to showcase two really wonderful books published this year, neither of which has even a single recipe.

The first one may look familiar, because I think I mentioned it in the November roundup.  For those of you who like food history, Repast, by Michael Lesy and Lisa Stoffer (Norton, $25.95), is more than a repast - it's a feast!  It's a thoughtful, beautifully told account of Gilded Age dining - from the perspective of rich, poor, and everything in between.  And the photographs and reprinted menus are priceless.

  

My other choice is as up-to-the-minute as Repast  is nostalgic. You may have previously come across Mary Roach, the science writer (known for her hysterically funny approach to the subjects that make others squeamish) in provocatively titled books like Stiff, Bonk, and Spook.  As people who love food and cooking, most of our attention centers on what happens before the food goes into our mouths.  Gulp follows food's journey all the way to the end - and I mean all the way.  Like I said, not for the squeamish.  But vastly entertaining if, like me, you like that sort of thing.

Back to more normal cookbook coverage next week.

1 Comment

  • sideshoes  on  12/3/2013 at 4:23 PM

    Gulp was such a fascinating book!

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