100 books like Kachka

By Bonnie Frumkin Morales, Deena Prichep,

Here are 100 books that Kachka fans have personally recommended if you like Kachka. 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 Food of Life: Ancient Persian and Modern Iranian Cooking and Ceremonies

Felicia Campbell Author Of The Food of Oman: Recipes and Stories from the Gateway to Arabia

From my list on best international cookbooks for both culture and food.

Why am I passionate about this?

Felicia Campbell is a food writer, editor, and author of The Food of Oman: Stories and Recipes from the Gateway to Arabia, the first English-language cookbook on Omani cuisine. She earned her masters degree in culinary anthropology from New York University with a specialization in Middle Eastern foodways. She has lectured on Omani food and food in zones of conflict at the Smithsonian Institute, Leiden University, New York University, and Arizona State University. She is currently developing a documentary series about endangered cuisines around the world. 

Felicia's book list on best international cookbooks for both culture and food

Felicia Campbell Why did Felicia love this book?

Over the last four years, I have been cooking my way through my mother-in-law’s canon of Persian dishes, from ghormeh sabzi herb and braised meat stew to countless pots of the crispy-bottomed saffron rice called tadiq. When a family recipe is lacking in key details (like measurements or timing), I always refer to Najmieh Batmanglij’s book, which is considered the bible of Iranian cooking. Her recipes offer elevated versions of all the classics, along with a number of more obscure regional specialties, and explanations of Iranian traditions and customs. If you are only going to have one Persian cookbook on your shelf, this should be it.

By Najmieh Batmanglij,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Completely redesigned for today's generation of cooks and food enthusiasts, the 25th Anniversary Edition of Food of Life: Ancient Persian and Modern Iranian Cooking and Ceremonies by Najmieh Batmanglij provides a treasure trove of recipes, along with an immersive cultural experience for those seeking to understand this ancient and timeless cuisine. This edition is a more user-friendly edition of the award-winning and critically acclaimed cookbook series which began in 1986. Food of Life provides 330 classical and regional Iranian recipes as well as an introduction to Persian art, history, and culture. The book's hundreds of full color photographs are intertwined…


Book cover of Ethiopia: Recipes and Traditions from the Horn of Africa

Felicia Campbell Author Of The Food of Oman: Recipes and Stories from the Gateway to Arabia

From my list on best international cookbooks for both culture and food.

Why am I passionate about this?

Felicia Campbell is a food writer, editor, and author of The Food of Oman: Stories and Recipes from the Gateway to Arabia, the first English-language cookbook on Omani cuisine. She earned her masters degree in culinary anthropology from New York University with a specialization in Middle Eastern foodways. She has lectured on Omani food and food in zones of conflict at the Smithsonian Institute, Leiden University, New York University, and Arizona State University. She is currently developing a documentary series about endangered cuisines around the world. 

Felicia's book list on best international cookbooks for both culture and food

Felicia Campbell Why did Felicia love this book?

Long intimidated by the unfamiliar ingredients, cooking methods, and, most of all, the fermented dough required to make classic injera bread, it was with trepidation that I opened Yohanis Gebreyesus’ new cookbook. What I found were straightforward and inviting explanations of cooking techniques, ingredients, customs, and flavors alongside incredibly easy-to-follow recipes that made me wonder why I’d waited so long to begin exploring this comforting cuisine. The pumpkin stew, perfumed with a complex, floral spice blend that’s savory, sweet, and slightly spicy, has become a favorite I return to over and over again. If you want a friend to take you by the hand and introduce you to Ethiopian culture and cuisine, Yohanis Gebreyesus is your man.

By Yohanis Gebreyesus,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Winner of a 2020 James Beard Foundation Book Award in the International category

Ethiopia stands as a land apart: never colonised, the country celebrates and preserves ancient traditions. The fascinating cuisine is enriched with the different religious influences of Judaism, Christianity and Islam - a combination unique to Africa. The delicious dishes featured are Doro Wat, chicken slowly stewed with berbere spice, Yeassa Alichia, curried fish stew, and Siga Tibs, flashfried beef cubes, as well as a wealth of vegetarian dishes such as Gomen, minced collard greens with ginger and garlic and Azifa, green lentil salad.

Chef Yohanis takes the…


Book cover of Delights from the Garden of Eden: A Cookbook and History of the Iraqi Cuisine

Felicia Campbell Author Of The Food of Oman: Recipes and Stories from the Gateway to Arabia

From my list on best international cookbooks for both culture and food.

Why am I passionate about this?

Felicia Campbell is a food writer, editor, and author of The Food of Oman: Stories and Recipes from the Gateway to Arabia, the first English-language cookbook on Omani cuisine. She earned her masters degree in culinary anthropology from New York University with a specialization in Middle Eastern foodways. She has lectured on Omani food and food in zones of conflict at the Smithsonian Institute, Leiden University, New York University, and Arizona State University. She is currently developing a documentary series about endangered cuisines around the world. 

Felicia's book list on best international cookbooks for both culture and food

Felicia Campbell Why did Felicia love this book?

When I want a truly traditional recipe for an Iraqi dish, or any classic Middle Eastern food, I reach for Nawal Nasrallah’s tome. As a culinary historian, she spares no detail when describing the origins of the food of her homeland, and interspersed with recipes are folkloric tales, cultural tidbits, and bite-sized histories. What you come away with is a deep appreciation of the complex, ancient culinary traditions of the fertile crescent, as well as recipes for the best falafels you’ve ever made (spoiler: use both fava beans and chickpeas for heartier flavor).

By Nawal Nasrallah,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Delights from the Garden of Eden as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This is a concise version of the award-winning and highly acclaimed second edition published in 2013. It is luxuriously illustrated throughout with colour photos, paintings, medieval miniatures and sketches and displays the diversity of the region's traditional culinary practices, delicious and enduring. This edition book contains 300 of the original 400 recipes, all tested and easy to follow, and covers all food categories with ample choice for both vegetarians and meat lovers, and many that will satisfy a sweet tooth. Ingredients and cooking techniques indigenous to the region are fully explained.

Unlike the majority of cookbooks, the book uniquely traces…


Book cover of Bangkok: Recipes and Stories from the Heart of Thailand

Felicia Campbell Author Of The Food of Oman: Recipes and Stories from the Gateway to Arabia

From my list on best international cookbooks for both culture and food.

Why am I passionate about this?

Felicia Campbell is a food writer, editor, and author of The Food of Oman: Stories and Recipes from the Gateway to Arabia, the first English-language cookbook on Omani cuisine. She earned her masters degree in culinary anthropology from New York University with a specialization in Middle Eastern foodways. She has lectured on Omani food and food in zones of conflict at the Smithsonian Institute, Leiden University, New York University, and Arizona State University. She is currently developing a documentary series about endangered cuisines around the world. 

Felicia's book list on best international cookbooks for both culture and food

Felicia Campbell Why did Felicia love this book?

Leela Punyaratabandhu doesn’t dumb things down in her cookbook, which is an ode to the city of her birth. Hers are Bangkok-style Thai dishes as they are cooked in Thailand. Through it we learn not only how to caramelize beef using jaggery (an unprocessed sugar), but also how to pair it with deeply savory and spicy dishes for a meal that harmonizes contrasting flavors and textures. The suggested meals in her book require cooking sets of dishes, often four or more. While not the makings of an easy weeknight dinner, if you follow her instructions, the results are truly transportive.

By Leela Punyaratabandhu,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From one of the most respected authorities on Thai cooking comes this beautiful and deeply personal ode to Bangkok, the top-ranked travel destination in the world.

WINNER OF THE ART OF EATING PRIZE

Every year, more than 16 million visitors flock to Thailand’s capital city, and leave transfixed by the vibrant culture and unforgettable food they encounter along the way. Thai cuisine is more popular today than ever, yet there is no book that chronicles the real food that Thai people eat every day—until now.

In Bangkok, award-winning author Leela Punyaratabandhu offers 120 recipes that capture the true spirit of…


Book cover of Beyond the North Wind: Russia in Recipes and Lore

Zuza Zak Author Of Slavic Kitchen Alchemy: Nourishing Herbal Remedies, Magical Recipes & Folk Wisdom

From my list on wild foods and ancient ways.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was born in Communist Poland, and when we emigrated to the UK, I craved the tastes of my childhood. More than that, I missed the culture of foraging, preserving, fermenting, and the stories that accompanied these processes–there was something deeply ingrained in my soul that I have been called to explore within my own work. I have written four books on East European cuisine. Slavic Kitchen Alchemy is rather different from the others because of its focus on herbs, healing, and mythology. The books on this list have inspired me in my own writing, and I will keep returning to them again and again.

Zuza's book list on wild foods and ancient ways

Zuza Zak Why did Zuza love this book?

Darra Goldstein is an academic and approaches the topic of food from a scholarly perspective, making this more than just a cookbook.

It includes essays on little-known culinary history and paints a fascinating portrait of this rather secretive part of the world through the language of food. As you might expect, the recipes include plenty of wild and fermented foods. 

By Darra Goldstein,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Beyond the North Wind as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

100 traditional yet surprisingly modern recipes from the far northern corners of Russia, featuring ingredients and dishes that young Russians are rediscovering as part of their heritage.

IACP AWARD FINALIST • LONGLISTED FOR THE ART OF EATING PRIZE • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST COOKBOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE WASHINGTON POST AND FORBES

“A necessary resource for food writers and for eaters, a fascinating read and good excuse to make fermented oatmeal.”—Bon Appétit

Russian cookbooks tend to focus on the food that was imported from France in the nineteenth century or the impoverished food of the Soviet era. Beyond…


Book cover of Salt & Time: Recipes from a Russian Kitchen

Zuza Zak Author Of Amber & Rye: A Baltic Food Journey: Estonia - Latvia - Lithuania

From my list on travelling through food.

Why am I passionate about this?

Some people travel through food–they seek out authentic foods when they are travelling, visit certain places just to eat their specialties, and travel from their own kitchens when they are at home. This book list is for them. The same has always been the case with me, and I have continued this habit of exploring culture through food in the writing of my own cookbooks. Amber & Rye was the book for which I physically travelled the most, and my partner did all the travel photography too, so it was a family experience.

Zuza's book list on travelling through food

Zuza Zak Why did Zuza love this book?

This book takes you to a place that not many people will travel to in their lifetime: Siberia.

While it isn’t strictly a food and travel book–the author was born in Siberia, and this is her take on Russian food–it does involve a journey back to the place of her birth. Other journeys also feature in the narrative, as Alissa’s Jewish ancestors undertook many journeys before settling in Siberia.

Read this book if you like to explore the road less travelled.

By Alissa Timoshkina, Lizzie Mayson (photographer),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A collection of delicious modern recipes from Siberia and beyond from the chef and author who founded #CookforUkraine

Salt & Time will transform perceptions of the food of the former Soviet Union, and especially Siberia—the crossroads of Eastern European and Central Asian cuisine—with 100 inviting recipes adapted for modern tastes and Western kitchens, and evocative storytelling to explain and entice. Why not try the restorative Solyanka fish soup (a famous Russian hangover cure), savor the fragrant Chicken with prunes or treat yourself to some Napoleon cake.

In Alissa Timoshkina’s words:

“Often we need distance and time, both to see things…


Book cover of Riot Days

Henry Virgin Author Of Exit Rostov

From my list on psychological enquiry in alternative formats.

Why am I passionate about this?

Certain books have the ability to inspire you or help you go beyond the boundaries of your understanding, to teach you something new or to show you how to look at things differently, to alter and enhance your perception. Each of these texts have encouraged and enchanted me, with hard-won truths. I appreciate the style of writing which draws you further and further into the author's psyche, and thus into your own, like deep diving into uncharted depths. Also, as someone who tries to write poetry and prose, I find each of these writers have a refreshing and interesting technique and method of communicating their thoughts and ideas.

Henry's book list on psychological enquiry in alternative formats

Henry Virgin Why did Henry love this book?

The book describes the performance, arrest, and prison term, of Maria Alyokhina, in deft, immediate, and succinct ‘beat’ style lingo, illustrated with her drawings. The text is refreshing on the open page, well spaced out. As one of the key members of Pussy Riot, her bravery shines out for her courageous activism which continues to this day. On 21 February 2012 the band performed their anti-Putin, anti-patriarchy Punk Prayer, called "Holy Shit", on the altar at Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. Critical of the relationship between the orthodox Church and Putin, with lines including “Virgin Mary, Mother of God, chase Putin out”, or “Virgin Mary, Mother of God, Be a feminist! Be a feminist!” the band managed to escape after the performance, but the video went viral, leading to their arrest and imprisonment. Testament to her punk character and iron resolve, the book describes the terrible prison conditions, and…

By Maria Alyokhina,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From activist, Pussy Riot member and freedom fighter Maria Alyokhina, a raw, hallucinatory, passionate account of her arrest, trial and imprisonment in a penal colony in the Urals for standing up for what she believed in.

'One of the most brilliant and inspiring things I've read in years. Couldn't put it down. This book is freedom' Chris Kraus, author of I Love Dick

'Reading: RIOT DAYS, by PussyRiot member MariaAlyokhina. A women's prison memoir like no other! One tough cookie!' @MargaretAtwood

'In oppressive political systems, some of the most effective weapons are sarcasm and dark humour. It is exactly these…


Book cover of Romanoff Gold

Coryne Hall Author Of Little Mother of Russia: A Biography of Empress Marie Feodorovna

From my list on Imperial Russia and the Romanovs.

Why am I passionate about this?

I developed a fascination for Imperial Russia in childhood when I learned that my great-grandmother was born in St Petersburg, an almost exact contemporary of Nicholas II. I have studied the Romanovs and Imperial Russia for over 40 years and lectured in England (including the Victoria & Albert Museum), America, Denmark, The Netherlands, and Russia. My many books include To Free the Romanovs and Queen Victoria and the Romanovs.

Coryne's book list on Imperial Russia and the Romanovs

Coryne Hall Why did Coryne love this book?

This is an updated version of William Clarke’s Lost Fortune of the Tsars with additional information added since first publication. It gives a detailed, comprehensive account of the immense wealth of the Imperial family before the revolution and what happened to the money, jewels, palaces, and other riches in the chaos that followed. Faced with bank confidentiality and reluctance to talk, it reads like a detective story as the author investigates bank accounts, vaults, and jewels spirited away. The result is a fascinating account of what belonged to the Tsar’s family and what belonged to the state.

By William Clarke,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

When World War I broke out in 1914 Russia's Romanov dynasty was among the world's richest families. Yet ever since the Bolsheviks executed Tsar Nicholas II, his wife Alexandra and their children at Ekaterinburg, the mystery of what happened to their wealth has remained unsolved. This book is an account of the authors' answers to the Tsar's lost fortune.


Book cover of The One and Only

Peter Martuneac Author Of Her Name Was Abby

From my list on with strong, admirable women.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have an amazing daughter in my life, and I want there to be more books for her to read that feature strong, admirable, and good women in leading roles. That’s one of the things I keep an eye out for in the books I read as well as the books I write.

Peter's book list on with strong, admirable women

Peter Martuneac Why did Peter love this book?

So often, the ‘strong woman’ character is in fact just a really rude, self-centered person, but not here. In Julia Ash’s The ELI Chronicles series, Ruby is a kind-hearted, brilliant scientist trying to do what’s right for her family and for the world. She’s also a great mother and is in a healthy, wholesome marriage with a supportive husband. That’s wonderfully refreshing amidst the plethora of toxic relationships we see in movies and books.

By Julia Ash,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

“And while the zombie action is exceptional, readers will likely find themselves rooting for the messy demise of Ox, whose lechery boils from the page.” – Kirkus Reviews

Ruby thinks being a new mother and government microbiologist during a pandemic are hard enough. But then the pathogen mutates into ZOM-B and Russia kidnaps her while on assignment in Taiwan.

Somehow, Ruby is at the center of a global crisis.

Will she find out why? More importantly, can she save her family and perhaps the world?

If only she could break out of the Moscow prison and find her way back…


Book cover of Ukraine Diaries: Dispatches from Kiev

Douglas Kellner Author Of American Horror Show: Election 2016 and the Ascent of Donald Trump

From my list on Russia invasion of Ukraine and threats to democracy.

Why am I passionate about this?

My work since the 1970s has focused on the major political struggles of the day as they impact U.S. democracy and provide challenges for understanding and action. As a professional philosopher, I focused on ways that history, philosophy, and theory provide key tools for the interpretation and critique of salient issues. I've written books on U.S. politics and the media, the Gulf War and Iraq War, 9/11 and the War on Terror, and am particularly interested in the interaction between Russia, the U.S., and Europe; hence, the rise of Putin in Russia, the New Cold War, and the 2020s conflict in Ukraine and the response of Western democracies.

Douglas' book list on Russia invasion of Ukraine and threats to democracy

Douglas Kellner Why did Douglas love this book?

Andrey Kurkov is one of Ukraine’s most popular and best-known writers, acclaimed for the satirical Penquin Diaries and many other amusing and penetrating satires of Russia and Ukraine. His Diaries, written during 2014-2015 provide an illuminating first-hand account of the beginning of Russia’s plans to take-over Ukraine, beginning with the seizure of Crimea and Russia’s encouraging and arming of separatists in the Donbas region of Ukraine that is hotly contested militarily as I write in summer 2022. Kurkov combines insightful political analysis and documentation of the ongoing crisis in his country with poignant pictures of everyday life and his relations with his wife, children, and friends, ranging from personal crises to social celebrations. Kurkov also provides accounts of his literary activities and cultural activities in Ukraine and Europe, providing vibrant accounts of Ukraine culture, while also expressing his pro-democratic and often satirical and caustic accounts of Ukraine’s politics and…

By Andrey Kurkov, Sam Taylor (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Acclaimed author Andrey Kurkov gives powerful insight into life in Kyiv following the 2013 protests and before the 2022 Russian invasion.

-16 DegreesC, sunlight, silence. I drove the children to school, then went to see the revolution. I walked between the tents. Talked with rev olutionaries. They were weary today. The air was thick with the smell of old campfires.

Ukraine Diaries is acclaimed writer Andrey Kurkov's first-hand account of the ongoing crisis in his country. From his flat in Kyiv, just five hundred yards from Independence Square, Kurkov can smell the burning barricades and hear the sounds of grenades…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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