I’ve been meaning to get this post up for awhile, but it’s been hectic around here (speaking of hectic, it’s Spring Weekend here @ Brown!!)….Now, for all you foodies, here are some books that I highly recommend:

1. Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly, by Anthony Bourdain. Well-known chef, Bourdain, documents his journey from dish-washer to chefdom and all his inappropriate, hilarious antics along the way. Definitely my favorite of the lot.

2. Tender at the Bone: Growing Up at the Table, by Ruth Reichl. Reichl, editor-in-chief of Gourmet magazine, tells heartfelt stories about making and discovering foods with friends and family throughout her life. There’s also a sequel to this one, called Comfort Me With Apples.

3. Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 564 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment, by Julie Powell. Frustrated with her job as a secretary and with her life in general, Julie decided to cook her way through every recipe in Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking in a year. This project actually started as a blog documenting this huge undertaking- and she actually managed to do it! Julie is honest, open and willing to try anything.

4. Diet for a Small Planet, by Frances Moore Lappe. My Dad gave me this book when I first decided to go vegetarian. Written in the 1970s, Lappe encourages readers to go veg, think about their impact on the environment, and take an active part in giving back to the earth. Yeah, it’s a little hippie-esque, but still very relevant in the U.S. today.

5. Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise, by Ruth Reichl. Another one by Reichl! I love her writing style…This one is funnier than her other 2 books though. After becoming famous in NYC as a NY Times food critic, Reichl has to start eating in costume, laughing and making some startling discoveries along the way.

6. Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal, by Eric Schlosser. This one is worth reading, and I’m not just saying that because I’m vehemently anti-fast-food. It’s informative, if gross at times. If you eat fast food, it will make you rethink that Big Mac. If you don’t, it will just give you more reasons to avoid it.

7. The Man Who Ate Everything, by Jeffrey Steingarten. Steingarten was forced to overcome a number of food aversions- such as his hatred of kimchi and raw vegetables- when he became food critic for Vogue magazine. Steingarten’s funny essays range from the quest for the perfect French Fry to a chapter called “Salad, the Silent Killer.”(I found this one particularly funny because I used to be super picky, but eventually forced myself to become more adventurous in my eating.)

8. This is a series, but whatever: any of the Best Food Writing books are a great collection of essays all about food and related topics, edited by Holly Hughes. I’ve read both 2004 and 2005, and can’t wait for 2006 to come out in December!

Here are some that I’m itching to read, but haven’t gotten a chance to dig into yet:
1. My Life in France, by Julia Child and Alex Prud’homme. It just came out recently!
2. The Gastronomical Me, by M.L.K. Fisher. A classic. Or so I’ve heard.
…I know there are other ones sitting on my bookshelf at home, but I can’t seem to think of them right now.

I hope you enjoy the reading list- these books are partly what got me hooked on food in the first place! But, if you’re a college student dreading finals and already have enough reading as it is, I guess you’ll have to wait a few weeks. In the meantime, check out this article from Wednesday’s Times: “Salad or No, Cheap Burgers Revive McDonald’s

Have a loooovely weekend!