LJ Best Books 2017

It's time again for LJ’s annual Top Ten Best Books of the year, selected by our editors, as well as Top Five lists for genre fiction, nonfiction, poetry and literature, graphic novels, and SELF-e titles.   SEE WHO MADE THE LIST

Best Books 2013: Cookbooks

Madison, Deborah (text) & Melissa Hamilton & Christopher Hirscheimer (photos). Vegetable Literacy: Exploring the Affinities and History of the Vegetable Families, with 300 Recipes. Ten Speed: Crown. 2013. 416p. photos. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781607741916. $40; ebk. ISBN 9781607741923. COOKING
Leading vegetarian cooking authority Madison’s (Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone) latest cookbook combines the poetic gardening savvy of Nigel Slater’s Tender and Ripe with the history and botany of James Peterson’s Vegetables, Revised. This ambitious reference, beautifully photographed by Hamilton and Hirscheimer of Canal House, can help readers deepen their vegetable knowledge. (LJ 03/15/13)

The Grilling Book: The Definitive Guide from Bon Appétit. Andrews McMeel. 2013. 192p. ed. by Adam Rapoport. photos. index. ISBN 9781449427528. $45. COOKING
Bon Appétit editor in chief Rapoport delivers a functional and stylish collection that includes contributions from some of today’s best grill masters and chefs (e.g., Steven Raichlen, Bobby Flay, Jean-Georges Vongerichten). After condensing essential techniques into an accessible “Grill Prep” chapter, he shares more than 380 recipes that previously appeared in the magazine. A stunning contemporary collection for the modern griller. (LJ 07/15/13)

Segan, Francine (text) & Lucy Schaeffer (photos). Pasta Modern: New & Inspired Recipes from Italy. Stewart, Tabori & Chang. 2013. 208p. index. ISBN 9781617690624. $35. COOKING
To research this unusual pasta cookbook, food historian Segan (Dolci: Italy’s Sweets) traveled all of Italy consulting home cooks, chefs, journalists, pasta companies, and other experts. In these ten chapters, pasta is not only boiled but also smoked, baked, and deep-fried. Meticulously researched, thoughtfully curated, and artfully designed, this unique collection will inspire readers to try new preparations and flavors. (LJ 08/15/13)

Shaw, Hank. Duck, Duck, Goose: The Ultimate Guide to Cooking Duck and Geese, Both Wild and Domesticated. Ten Speed: Crown. 2013. 240p. photos. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781607745297. $24.99; ebk. ISBN 9781607745303. COOKING
Shaw’s extensive journalistic experience is one of many reasons his second cookbook, a “bill to feet” guide to preparing farmed and wild waterfowl, is so successful. Duck fat (“God’s gift to potatoes”) is an ingredient in nearly all these recipes, which range from quick and simple to extremely difficult. Even if you never plan to cook a goose, this is a fascinating read. (LJ 09/15/13)

Fearnley-Whittingstall, Hugh (text) & Simon Wheeler (photos). River Cottage Veg: 200 Inspired Vegetable Recipes. Ten Speed: Crown . 2013. 416p. photos. index. ISBN 9781607744726. $35; ebk. ISBN 9781607744733. COOKING
Fearnley-Whittingstall (The River Cottage Meat Book) wants to prove that vegetables alone can make a satisfying meal. Fittingly, he begins his collection with substantial comfort foods such as chiles stuffed with beans and spinach, squash, and fennel lasagna. Let these easy, reliable recipes, which emphasize interesting preparations and contrasting flavors and textures, renew your interest in vegetables. (LJ 03/15/13)