100 books like Climbing the Mango Trees

By Madhur Jaffrey,

Here are 100 books that Climbing the Mango Trees fans have personally recommended if you like Climbing the Mango Trees. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Crying in H Mart

Christine Ma-Kellams Author Of The Band

From my list on From Christine's list of books for BTS fans.

Who am I?

I discovered BTS a few years ago right in the middle of an era when the world was falling apart and everyone was stuck at home. I know they’ve gotten a lot of people through hard times, but for me they did something arguably more life-changing: they inspired me to write my debut novel featuring a Kpop band who has also achieved worldwide domination, but in my fictional story, must face cancellation, violence, and a retributive girl band who disbanded under the most tragic of circumstances. Now that we’re waiting for BTS’ return from military service, I hope that these books will help hold us over until their return. 

Christine's book list on From Christine's list of books for BTS fans

Christine Ma-Kellams Why did Christine love this book?

In my defense, I read this book long before Jungkook recommended it, and it single-handedly became my gateway drug into memoir. I had never heard of Japanese Breakfast beforehand, but no matter—hers was the kind of story around food and loss that I found incredibly relatable in feeling, even if not in the actual details. 

By Michelle Zauner,

Why should I read it?

9 authors picked Crying in H Mart as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One of Barack Obama's Favorite Books of 2021

The New York Times bestseller from the Grammy-nominated indie rockstar Japanese Breakfast, an unflinching, deeply moving memoir about growing up mixed-race, Korean food, losing her Korean mother, and forging her own identity in the wake of her loss.

'As good as everyone says it is and, yes, it will have you in tears. An essential read for anybody who has lost a loved one, as well as those who haven't' - Marie-Claire

In this exquisite story of family, food, grief, and endurance, Michelle Zauner proves herself far more than a dazzling singer,…


Book cover of Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef

Brianne Moore Author Of All Stirred Up

From my list on mouthwatering reads for foodies.

Who am I?

I grew up in a family of chefs and restaurant owners, so it’s probably no surprise that food plays a major role in my debut novel, All Stirred Up. (The two main characters are, in fact, chefs and restaurant owners. You write what you know!) Cooking plays a major part in my life as well—I’m always making something for family and loved ones. It’s probably no surprise that I love a good food book as well, whether it be fiction, memoir, or history. On my list are just five of my favourites.

Brianne's book list on mouthwatering reads for foodies

Brianne Moore Why did Brianne love this book?

Gabrielle Hamilton isn’t just a ‘reluctant chef’ (in her own words), she’s also an absolutely exquisite writer (her MFA really paid off!). Her memoir traces her life and love of food from her New Jersey childhood, through her many professional ups and downs and international travels (I especially love the parts where she’s staying at her Italian mother-in-law’s home, describing the incredible produce she was able to get. Oh, the tomatoes!) Did I extra love this because she grew up in the same small town I was born in? Maybe, but it’s a wonderful book no matter where you’re from.

By Gabrielle Hamilton,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Blood, Bones & Butter as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Magnificent' Anthony Bourdain

A sharply crafted and unflinchingly honest memoir. This is a rollicking, passionate story of food, purpose and family.

Blood, Bones & Butter follows the chef Gabrielle Hamilton's extraordinary journey through the places she has inhabited over the years: the rural kitchen of her childhood, where her adored mother stood over the six-burner with wooden spoon in hand; the kitchens of France, Greece, and Turkey, where she was often fed by complete strangers and learned the essence of hospitality; and the kitchen of her beloved Italian mother-in-law, who serves as the link between Hamilton's idyllic past and her…


Book cover of Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly

Kayla Anderson Author Of Moon Northern California Road Trip: Drives along the Coast, Redwoods, and Mountains with the Best Stops along the Way

From my list on embarking on epic adventures from your armchair.

Who am I?

I was born and raised in Northern California, right on the banks of the Sacramento River. While I didn’t realize it growing up, it was an epicenter for outdoor adventures. Along with skiing, snowboarding, hiking, wakeboarding, and camping, I always read a lot. My dad was worried that I would have no sense of direction because I was always in the back of our van or RV reading a book. That led to writing…and I had my first article published in a wakeboarding magazine when I was 15 years old. Traveling always took a backburner to reading, but now it’s front and center of my writing. 

Kayla's book list on embarking on epic adventures from your armchair

Kayla Anderson Why did Kayla love this book?

Anyone who has ever worked in the food or hospitality industry—as a cook, a waitress, a hostess, a barista, or otherwisecan identify with this book.

The restaurant business is a different beast, and Anthony Bourdain took a huge risk in writing this and burning bridges with his bosses and coworkers. But in doing so, he unlocked the universal hidden language that food and hospitality workers share.

As a former hostess/waitress myself who spent most of her college years with a part-time job at IHOP and the Golden Waffle, I could relate to a lot of what Bourdain experienced working in NYC, especially with minority groups and how they were treated during that time. He was a huge inspiration to a lot of people, including me. 

By Anthony Bourdain,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked Kitchen Confidential as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE CLASSIC BESTSELLER: 'The greatest book about food ever written' 'A compelling book with its intriguing mix of clever writing and kitchen patois ... more horrifically gripping than a Stephen King novel' Sunday Times 'Extraordinary ... written with a clarity and a clear-eyed wit to put the professional food-writing fraternity to shame' Observer _____________________________ After twenty-five years of 'sex, drugs, bad behaviour and haute cuisine', chef and novelist Anthony Bourdain decided to tell all - and he meant all. From his first oyster in the Gironde to his lowly position as a dishwasher in a honky-tonk fish restaurant in Provincetown;…


Book cover of Heavy: An American Memoir

Rachana Vajjhala Author Of Kinetic Cultures: Modernism and Embodiment on the Belle Epoque Stage

From my list on dazzlingly written books from the past five years with both style and substance.

Who am I?

I’m a music historian who loves to read novels. Most of my childhood was spent either playing the piano or devouring whatever books I could get my hands on. Now, I try to share my love of music and good writing with my students at Boston University. When not at school, you can usually find me exploring the trails of New England with my dog.     

Rachana's book list on dazzlingly written books from the past five years with both style and substance

Rachana Vajjhala Why did Rachana love this book?

As someone who writes about historical embodied practices such as music and dance, I am always interested in how people write about lived experiences in their own bodies.

Though ostensibly a memoir about growing up in Mississippi, Heavy also explores the possibilities and impossibilities of writing. Laymon, nevertheless, gives lightness to his profound narrative with complex, challenging, yet always luminous prose.  

By Kiese Laymon,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Heavy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

*Named a Best Book of the Year by the New York Times, Publishers Weekly, NPR, Broadly, Buzzfeed (Nonfiction), The Undefeated, Library Journal (Biography/Memoirs), The Washington Post (Nonfiction), Southern Living (Southern), Entertainment Weekly, and The New York Times Critics*

In this powerful, provocative, and universally lauded memoir—winner of the Andrew Carnegie Medal and finalist for the Kirkus Prize—genre-bending essayist and novelist Kiese Laymon “provocatively meditates on his trauma growing up as a black man, and in turn crafts an essential polemic against American moral rot” (Entertainment Weekly).

In Heavy, Laymon writes eloquently and honestly about growing up a hard-headed black son…


Book cover of The Omnivore's Dilemma

A. Whitney Sanford Author Of Living Sustainably: What Intentional Communities Can Teach Us about Democracy, Simplicity, and Nonviolence

From my list on the industrialization of and fight for the future of food.

Who am I?

I became fascinated by the intersection of food, sustainable agriculture, and culture when I moved to Iowa. I had long been an environmentalist, but moving to the land of big corn forced me to rethink food production. I wrote a book that explored agricultural narratives in India (Growing Stores from India) and developed a class on Religion and Food. I then became curious about how people and communities translate their values of sustainability into practice. For example, how do you decide what to eat, and who gets to decide? These books helped me think about links between food, sustainability, and culture and the power to decide what to eat.

A. Whitney's book list on the industrialization of and fight for the future of food

A. Whitney Sanford Why did A. Whitney love this book?

What should we eat, and how do we choose? Where does our food come from?

In Omnivore’s Dilemma, Michael Pollan traces the origins of four meals to help answer this question. Each of these meals represents a food production system, big organic, industrial agriculture, for example. He takes us from a McDonald’s meal (hint: it’s corn) to a hunt.

In reading this book, I especially loved his investigative journalism, how he explored the environmental, social, and economic ramifications of each food and its system of production. 

By Michael Pollan,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked The Omnivore's Dilemma as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 10, 11, 12, and 13.

What is this book about?

The New York Times bestseller that's changing America's diet is now perfect for younger readers

"What's for dinner?" seemed like a simple question-until journalist and supermarket detective Michael Pollan delved behind the scenes. From fast food and big organic to small farms and old-fashioned hunting and gathering, this young readers' adaptation of Pollan's famous food-chain exploration encourages kids to consider the personal and global health implications of their food choices.

In a smart, compelling format with updated facts, plenty of photos, graphs, and visuals, as well as a new afterword and backmatter, The Omnivore's Dilemma serves up a bold message…


Book cover of My Life in France

Leslie Karst Author Of Justice is Served: A Tale of Scallops, the Law, and Cooking for RBG

From my list on food memoirs about transformative personal journeys.

Who am I?

Since childhood, when my best friend and I would experiment together with recipes from the Time-Life Foods of the World cookbook series and then gorge on the delectable results, I’ve been enamored of food and cooking, a love which eventually led me to pursue a degree in culinary arts (while simultaneously spending my days as a research and appellate attorney). In addition to Justice is Served, I also write the Sally Solari Mysteries, a culinary series set in Santa Cruz, California. 

Leslie's book list on food memoirs about transformative personal journeys

Leslie Karst Why did Leslie love this book?

Commencing with that momentous lunch of Sole Meunière (“it was the most exciting meal of my life”), which launched Julia Child on her quest to unravel the secrets of French cuisine, this is a delightful memoir of the post-war years of the future celebrity chef spent in Paris and Marseille with her charming husband Paul. I can hear Child’s hearty laugh and exuberant voice throughout as she regales us lucky readers with stories of learning how to properly scramble an egg at Le Cordon Bleu, of visits to the local crémerie for fresh-churned butter and Camembert cheese, and late-night dinner parties at their Parisian digs. Few books have made me smile (and feel hungry) as much as this one did. 

By Julia Child, Alex Prud'homme,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked My Life in France as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

NATIONAL BESTSELLER • Julia's story of her transformative years in France in her own words is "captivating ... her marvelously distinctive voice is present on every page.” (San Francisco Chronicle).

Although she would later singlehandedly create a new approach to American cuisine with her cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking and her television show The French Chef, Julia Child was not always a master chef. Indeed, when she first arrived in France in 1948 with her husband, Paul, who was to work for the USIS, she spoke no French and knew nothing about the country itself.

But as she…


Book cover of Born Round: A Story of Family, Food and a Ferocious Appetite

Leslie Karst Author Of Justice is Served: A Tale of Scallops, the Law, and Cooking for RBG

From my list on food memoirs about transformative personal journeys.

Who am I?

Since childhood, when my best friend and I would experiment together with recipes from the Time-Life Foods of the World cookbook series and then gorge on the delectable results, I’ve been enamored of food and cooking, a love which eventually led me to pursue a degree in culinary arts (while simultaneously spending my days as a research and appellate attorney). In addition to Justice is Served, I also write the Sally Solari Mysteries, a culinary series set in Santa Cruz, California. 

Leslie's book list on food memoirs about transformative personal journeys

Leslie Karst Why did Leslie love this book?

Possessing an insatiable appetite even as a toddler, Frank Bruni has long had a complicated relationship with food. Body shame—made all the worse by being a single gay man trying to conform to an impossible standard—drove him from fad diets, to manic exercise, and even bulimia. Nevertheless, in 2004, he accepted the position as restaurant critic for The New York Times. Having spent the better part of my own life acutely conscious of my caloric intake, I found Born Round to be a moving account of the struggle so many of us face regarding body image, and how coming to terms with our own limits and the compromises we need to make can provide a path to self-love and happiness. 

By Frank Bruni,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Born Round as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The New York Times restaurant critic's heartbreaking and hilarious account of how he learned to love food just enough

Frank Bruni was born round. Round as in stout, chubby, and always hungry. His relationship with eating was difficult and his struggle with it began early. When named the restaurant critic for The New York Times in 2004, he knew he would be performing one of the most watched tasks in the epicurean universe. And with food his friend and enemy both, his jitters focused primarily on whether he'd finally made some sense of that relationship. A captivating story of his…


Book cover of Indian Cooking

Frances Kuffel Author Of Passing for Thin: Losing Half My Weight and Finding My Self

From my list on cookbooks for weight loss and maintenance.

Who am I?

I love to cook and it’s difficult to find something beyond chicken and salad when you’re trying to lose weight.  Over the years I’ve assembled a cookbook library that covers many topics (interested in how the Georgians ate green beans? I can help you out!), many of them as off-topic from weight-loss as my cookie cookbook collection. But I still return to what I call “abstinent” favorites, simply because they are so tasty.

Frances' book list on cookbooks for weight loss and maintenance

Frances Kuffel Why did Frances love this book?

If you discount Northern Europe and North America, it’s amazing that most of the world has such clean food. I love Indian food and Madhur Jaffrey knows how to make it accessible and easy for the rest of us.  You’ll find dishes here that are not part of your local Indian spot: Dry Moong Dal, Goan-style Hot and Spicy Pork, Cold Yogurt Soup with Mint.

By Madhur Jaffrey,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Indian Cooking as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Chef magazine called this book�s author �the best-known ambassador of Indian food in the United States� . . . and the Boston Herald referred to her as �the renowned author and actress [who] teaches home cooks about the sophistication and infinite diversity of Indian fare.� The New York Times described her simply and succinctly as �the Indian cuisine authority.� For many years a best-selling cookbook, Madhur Jaffrey�s seminal title on Indian cuisine now has been totally revised, redesigned, enlarged, and enhanced with 70 brand-new full-color photos. With chapters on meat, poultry, fish, and vegetables, as well as pulses, relishes, chutneys,…


Book cover of Classic Indian Cooking

Manju Malhi BEM Author Of Easy Indian Cookbook: Over 70 Deliciously Simple Recipes

From my list on easy peasy cooking with easy to find ingredients.

Who am I?

Growing up as an Asian girl in the UK has its ups and downs. I was bullied at school but sought solace in cooking and learning from my mother about Indian cuisine. Now in my adult life, I’ve been awarded the British Empire Medal for cooking services to the community during the pandemic. A straightforward approach to cuisine has won me fans globally and a TV series broadcast to over 80 million viewers cooking British dishes for an Indian audience. After writing 6 books on the subject of easy cooking, I hope you like the choices on my very personal list which are dog-eared and spice stained with overuse and love. 

Manju's book list on easy peasy cooking with easy to find ingredients

Manju Malhi BEM Why did Manju love this book?

I interviewed Julie about her book many years ago for BBC Radio and I remember that time that I was so impressed with her details and historical background to the dishes she featured. Even the glossary was informative, but above all, the recipes were versatile and easy to follow. The book inspired me to cook beyond my comfort zones and allowed me to experiment further.

By Julie Sahni,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Classic Indian Cooking as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This extraordinary cookbook is a complete course in Indian cuisine. When it was first published it was hailed by both Jane Grigson and Elizabeth David, who said of it.. 'This is a marvellous book. Julie Sahni tackles the daunting task of presenting the multiple, complex traditions of Indian cookery to the English-speaking world and brings it off triumphantly.' Illustrated throughout with explanatory line drawings it introduces all the basic spices and special ingredients so fundamental to Indian food, then explains the techniques employed in using them. So brilliant a teacher is Julie Sahni that it is immediately obvious that Indian…


Book cover of Dakshin: Vegetarian Cuisine from South India

Didi Emmons Author Of Vegetarian Planet

From my list on Southeast Asian cookbooks from a Chef who uses them daily.

Who am I?

Thirty-two years ago, I got my start as a chef by cooking in a shoebox cafe in Boston that played with curious Asian ingredients. Ten years later, after using lots of Asian cookbooks, I was incorporating Thai and Vietnamese cooking into my menus at the restaurant I was running. A few years after that, I opened and ran a Vietnamese restaurant in Cambridge (unfortunately, after major success, it burned down after a year). After this, the tourism board of Malaysia sent me on a four-week trip to write about the street food for FoodArts magazine. It is these experiences that greatly influenced my interest in Southeast Asian cooking.

Didi's book list on Southeast Asian cookbooks from a Chef who uses them daily

Didi Emmons Why did Didi love this book?

This is a glossy cookbook published first in India and then in 1994 by an Australian division of Harper Collins. I’ve made many, many recipes in this book and it’s opened my eyes to the meat-free, texturally complex cuisine of South India. The careful but dynamic mix of ingredients such as mustard seeds, curry leaves, dried coconut, dal, and cumin seeds used in tempering dishes brings the food to life. I recommend this book to the curious and adventuresome home cook who enjoys shopping at Indian markets. The recipes are solid and for the most part easy once you become familiar with its cuisine and techniques.

By Chandra Padmanabhan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Dakshin as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Dakshin" in an ancient Sanskrit word meaning "south." It symbolizes what this Indian cookbook is all about - the best and most delicious of South Indian vegetarian cuisine.

Filled with tempting recipes and beautiful photographs, Dakshin: Vegetarian Cooking from South India presents the finest cooking from the region. Drawn from the states of Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Andhra Pradesh, and the union territory of Pondicherry, the recipes in this vegetarian cookbook bring traditional South Indian cooking within reach of any cook in any kitchen.

From sambars and rasams, to cooling desserts and sweet treats, Dakshin takes you through the…


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