Amazon’s 100 cookbooks for a lifetime of eating

cookbook collage 

If there is one trait that sets humans apart from the rest of the animal kingdom it must be our love of making lists. We rank, rate, and organize everything. Perhaps an even more human characteristic is the inclination to disagree about what should be placed on any such list. Cookbook lovers (i.e., EYB Members) will want to check out Amazon’s recently published, ripe for discussion list of 100 cookbooks for a lifetime of eating and drinking

Although there are many beloved classics on the list, like Joy of Cooking, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking, and The Art of Eating, the list skews to more recent works. It even includes books that haven’t been released yet, like Anthony Bourdain’s Appetites and Ina Garten’s Cooking for Jeffrey

The fact that books not yet released are included, along with several blogger and special diet cookbooks, begs the question about the staying power of some of these works. The Food Lab might stand the test of time, but in twenty years, will we still be eschewing grains or dabbling in molecular gastronomy? Will this release of Ina’s be the one that people still turn to in a decade? Will Hello Cupcake inspire bakers in the next century? It will be interesting to see what cookbooks from the next ten years will make the inevitable update to this list.

After the list was posted, CNN interviewed chefs and other culinary experts to find out which cookbooks resonated with each of them. My Bookshelf contains several volumes in the Amazon compilation, although many of their choices won’t end up in my collection any time soon. Some of my personal favorites didn’t make the cut, like James Peterson’s Sauces. What do you think of Amazon’s list? 

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  • ericg  on  October 19, 2016

    Some of those books are only released for one month or so…..I smell a rat,

  • IslandgirlOK  on  October 19, 2016

    A couple of those books were just released this week, and while they may have sold well for Amazon, haven't been proven to stand the test of time yet. I agree with you on James Peterson's Sauces, and also think they should've included Marcella Hazan's Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking.

  • IslandgirlOK  on  October 19, 2016

    Oops I my mistake. I just spotted Marcella Hazan's book on their list. Still there are so many others that I feel are missing from it.

  • apattin  on  October 19, 2016

    Bah. It's marketing mixed in with some good ones and some golden oldies. The book on bitters? How long will this last?

  • BethNH  on  October 19, 2016

    Ludicrous. Books that have not been released can not be said to have contributed to a lifetime of anything.

  • Radish  on  October 20, 2016

    I have bought hundreds and hundreds of cookbooks from Amazon. Hundreds of those cookbooks have been sent to demise some where. This is not the best of the best. Just take Chinese cooking, Grace Young or Fuchsia Dunlop are not on the list. And some new Chinese cookbook is?

  • susan g  on  October 20, 2016

    Well, Amazon has some strange 'cookbooks' – it includes some memoirs with few or no recipes, books of limited and/or passing interest.
    My score: 7 books in my collection (includes 3 memoirs!); 9 authors of whom I have a different book or books — this out of my EYB count of over 500 book, maybe 100 more not on the EYB list.
    In this 1984 world of confused speech, do words about food count as recipes?

  • Analyze  on  October 20, 2016

    Interesting observations!

  • sir_ken_g  on  October 26, 2016

    The Amazon motto is every page must sell….
    Not an impressive list.

  • sir_ken_g  on  October 26, 2016

    I have about 8 of them….

  • lsgourmet  on  November 4, 2016

    Talk about self promotion. What a ridiculous list. They should call it the 100 books we recommend you buy this year. Outside of Essential Pepin, Master the Art of French Cooking, Joy of Cooking and Essential Italian these are books about or by today's internet or television celebrities. Not to put her down but does Ree Drummond really outrank the likes of Pierre Franey, James Beard, James Peterson or Lidia Bastanich?

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