100 books like Salt & Time

By Alissa Timoshkina, Lizzie Mayson (photographer),

Here are 100 books that Salt & Time fans have personally recommended if you like Salt & Time. 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 Black Sea: Dispatches and Recipes, Through Darkness and Light

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 is a book you’ll want to go to bed with again and again. It combines travel and food in the most evocative, interesting of ways.

In this book, Eden travels from pre-war Odesa to Istanbul and on to Trabzon, covering the little-known history of the fascinating Black Sea region along the way. You’ll want to cook all the recipes if only to add that extra dimension to your reading experience. 

By Caroline Eden,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Black Sea as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Winner of the Art of Eating Prize 2020

Winner of the Guild of Food Writers' Best Food Book Award 2019

Winner of the Edward Stanford Travel Food and Drink Book Award 2019

Winner of the John Avery Award at the Andre Simon Food and Drink Book Awards for 2018

Shortlisted for the James Beard International Cookbook Award

'The next best thing to actually travelling with Caroline Eden - a warm, erudite and greedy guide - is to read her. This is my kind of book.' - Diana Henry

'A wonderfully inspiring book about a magical part of the world' -…


Book cover of Zaitoun: Recipes from the Palestinian 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?

It’s quite painful opening this book at this moment in time (when Gaza is being bombed), yet it remains one of my favourite food-travel books for the human stories it contains within it.

Khan used to be a human rights campaigner before she started writing cookbooks, and her previous incarnation comes across in the writing. The recipes are colourful and joyous, while also being simple enough to make you want to cook them immediately.

By Yasmin Khan,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Yasmin Khan unlocks the flavors and fragrances of modern Palestine, from the sun-kissed pomegranate stalls of Akka, on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, through evergreen oases of date plantations in the Jordan Valley, to the fading fish markets of Gaza City.

Palestinian food is winningly fresh and bright, centered around colorful mezze dishes that feature the region's bountiful eggplants, peppers, artichokes, and green beans; slow-cooked stews of chicken and lamb flavored with Palestinian barahat spice blends; and the marriage of local olive oil with earthy za'atar, served in small bowls to accompany toasted breads. It has evolved over several…


Book cover of Mexico: The Cookbook

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?

I have always wanted to go to Mexico, and this cookbook takes me there!

This is not a travel book as such, yet it’s sheer size and the amount of recipes it contains means that Mexico feels somehow within reach. This is a bible of Mexican food and a book you will keep coming back to whenever Mexico calls, as I do.

By Margarita Carrillo Arronte, Fiamma Piacentini (photographer),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Mexico: The Cookbook is the definitive bible of home-cooking from Mexico. With a culinary history dating back 9,000 years, Mexican food draws influences from Aztec and Mayan Indians and is renowned for its use of fresh aromatic ingredients, colorful presentations and bold food combinations.

The book features more than 700 delicious and authentic recipes that can be easily recreated at home. From tamales, fajitas, and moles to cactus salad, blue crab soup, and melon seed juice, the recipes are a celebration of the fresh flavors and ingredients from a country whose cuisine is revered around the world.

Organized by food…


Book cover of Kaukasis: A Culinary Journey Through Georgia, Azerbaijan & Beyond

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?

Olia Hercules is one of my favourite food writers and a wonderful human being, something that shines through her books.

I could have picked any of her four cookbooks for this list, yet this book feels most like a journey to me. In it, she revisits Georgia and Azerbaijan, countries she had discovered during a childhood journey, and the two narratives are combined with other parts of the “mosaic” that paints a portrait of the region.

It is a heartfelt book with wonderful recipes and atmospheric photographs.

By Olia Hercules,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"A sensitive, personal journey expressed through the beauty of food - just wonderful" - Jamie Oliver

"Olia Hercules is a storyteller-foodwriter, and a wholly original voice in the kitchen - there's not a recipe of hers I don't want to cook immediately" - Nigella Lawson

"This is an incredible book - as I began to leaf through I started to smile, and I didn't stop" - Diana Henry

Award-winning cookbook author Olia Hercules takes a culinary trip through the Caucasus—the vibrant region that bridges Europe and Asia —and share the recipes, stories, and striking images of this rich region.

In…


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 Kachka: A Return to Russian Cooking

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?

Want a visual primer to all things Russian from the items found at the cured meat and fish counter to helpful phrases when grocery shopping? How about recipes for infused vodkas ranging from tarragon to cranberry and an entire chapter devoted to dishes wrapped in dough? Kachka is a cookbook that will not only teach you to cook Russian food, it will teach you how to eat, drink, and entertain like a Russian in a way that’s quirky, highly visual, and as fun as it is authoritative.

By Bonnie Frumkin Morales, Deena Prichep,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Celebrated Portland chef Bonnie Frumkin Morales brings her acclaimed Portland restaurant Kachka into your home kitchen with a debut cookbook enlivening Russian cuisine with an emphasis on vibrant, locally sourced ingredients.

"With Kachka, Bonnie Morales has done something amazing: thoroughly update and modernize Russian cuisine while steadfastly holding to its traditions and spirit. Thank you comrade!"
-Alton Brown

From bright pickles to pillowy dumplings, ingenious vodka infusions to traditional homestyle dishes, and varied zakuski to satisfying sweets, Kachka the cookbook covers the vivid world of Russian cuisine. More than 100 recipes show how easy it is to eat, drink, and…


Book cover of The Baron's Cloak: A History of the Russian Empire in War and Revolution

Paul W. Werth Author Of 1837: Russia's Quiet Revolution

From my list on Russian history—with an imperial twist.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been studying Russia and its history for over 30 years and find that it continues to intrigue me. Having previously focused my attention on religion and its imperial dimensions (including The Tsar’s Foreign Faiths, with Oxford University Press in 2014), I have more recently sought to understand the importance of Russia’s nineteenth century and I am now exploring the history of Russia’s territory with a view to writing a history of the longest border in the world. I teach at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas.

Paul's book list on Russian history—with an imperial twist

Paul W. Werth Why did Paul love this book?

This is a book of uncommon imagination and historical reconstruction. It focuses on the life of the eccentric Baron von Ungern-Shternberg and uses the Baltic German aristocrat’s adventures to reveal key characteristics of the late Russian Empire and the early Soviet years. Especially striking is the book’s geographical scope, which ranges from Austria to Mongolia and stops at many places in between. Written in engaging and fluid prose, the book is a truly original work of historical imagination that allows one to understand Russia and its place in the wider world—and in Asia, in particular.

By Willard Sunderland,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Baron's Cloak as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Baron Roman Fedorovich von Ungern-Sternberg (1885-1921) was a Baltic German aristocrat and tsarist military officer who fought against the Bolsheviks in Eastern Siberia during the Russian Civil War. From there he established himself as the de facto warlord of Outer Mongolia, the base for a fantastical plan to restore the Russian and Chinese empires, which then ended with his capture and execution by the Red Army as the war drew to a close.

In The Baron's Cloak, Willard Sunderland tells the epic story of the Russian Empire's final decades through the arc of the Baron's life, which spanned the vast…


Book cover of East of the Sun: The Epic Conquest and Tragic History of Siberia

Sharon Hudgins Author Of T-Bone Whacks and Caviar Snacks: Cooking with Two Texans in Siberia and the Russian Far East

From my list on Siberia for those with insatiable wanderlust.

Why am I passionate about this?

Sharon Hudgins is the award-winning author of five books on history, travel, and food; a journalist with more than 1,000 articles published worldwide; and a former professor with the University of Maryland's Global Campus. She has spent two years in Russia, teaching at universities in Siberia and the Russian Far East, and lecturing on tours for National Geographic, Smithsonian, Viking, and other expedition companies. Endowed with an insatiable wanderlust, she has lived in 10 countries on 3 continents, traveled through 55 countries across the globe, and logged more than 45,000 miles on the Trans-Siberian Railroad.

Sharon's book list on Siberia for those with insatiable wanderlust

Sharon Hudgins Why did Sharon love this book?

For readers venturing into the history of Siberia for the first time, East of the Sun is an excellent introduction to this Asian side of Russia, stretching 5,000 miles between the Ural Mountains and the Pacific Ocean. The book's narrative covers four centuries, from the conquest of Siberia by Russians in the late 16th century through the collapse of the Soviet Union in the late 20th century—including early expeditions into the uncharted lands east of the Urals and the Russians' push toward the Pacific Ocean; native people in Siberia; Russian expansion into North America, from Alaska to California; Siberia as a place of prison and exile, but also a land of opportunity for millions of voluntary settlers; the impact of the Trans-Siberian Railroad; and the effects of modernization under the Soviets in the 20th century. If you're an armchair traveler interested in history, or planning a trip to Siberia yourself,…

By Benson Bobrick,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The very word Siberia evokes a history and reputation as awesome as it is enthralling. In this acclaimed book on Russia’s conquest of its eastern realms, Benson Bobrick offers a story that is both rich and subtle, broad and deep.From its conquest by Cossacks and its exploration and settlement in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, through its terrifying Gulag history, to its modern place in a world hungry for natural resources, Siberia –covering a sixth of the world’s surface – has a history unlike any other land. East of the Sun captures all of Siberia’s history with a depth and…


Book cover of The Noise of Time

Caitlin Horrocks Author Of The Vexations

From my list on featuring classical music.

Why am I passionate about this?

I learned to read music at about the same time I learned to read words. I grew up taking piano lessons, studying almost entirely classical pieces that came weighted with history: everything I ever played had been played better by someone else. I still enjoyed my attempts, but realized that the relationship I had with those notes was not the one I wanted to have with words, which I felt drawn to assemble into my own arrangements, my own stories. So, as a weirdo who’s been thinking about interpretation and creation since childhood, I love books that delve into the challenges and emotional complexities of making music.

Caitlin's book list on featuring classical music

Caitlin Horrocks Why did Caitlin love this book?

In 1936, Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich is spending every night in a hallway by the elevator, ready for the secret police he’s sure are coming for him. By the end of the novel, he’s publicly celebrated, but the requirements of government approval weigh as heavily on him as government threats. What, both Barnes and Shostakovich himself ask, might his music have been like under different circumstances? “The last questions of a man’s life do not come with any answers; that is their nature. They merely wail in the head, factory sirens in F sharp.” Barnes’s slim, swift novel offers no easy answers as it examines how moral compromise corrodes a life and deforms that life’s work.

By Julian Barnes,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Noise of Time as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

** The Sunday Times Number One bestseller **

A Daily Telegraph / Financial Times / Guardian / Sunday Times / The Times / New Statesman / Observer Book of the Year

'BARNES'S MASTERPIECE.' - OBSERVER

In May 1937 a man in his early thirties waits by the lift of a Leningrad apartment block. He waits all through the night, expecting to be taken away to the Big House. Any celebrity he has known in the previous decade is no use to him now. And few who are taken to the Big House ever return.

So begins Julian Barnes's first novel…


Book cover of Open Mic Night in Moscow: And Other Stories from My Search for Black Markets, Soviet Architecture, and Emotionally Unavailable Russian Men

Kristen Van Nest Author Of Where to Nest: A Global Search for Love, Cheap Wine and a Place to Belong

From my list on travel books that’ll make you laugh until your side hurts.

Why am I passionate about this?

With my debut comedic travel memoir having come out in April, I read every humorous travel book I could get my hands on both as part of my education for inspiration on how to write my book and before I even knew I was going to write a book because I simply love reading these types of stories. From my own experience, travel has made me grow so much as a person, and all of these authors beautifully capture their own journeys and how travel helped them find their way.

Kristen's book list on travel books that’ll make you laugh until your side hurts

Kristen Van Nest Why did Kristen love this book?

Coming from a standup comedy background, Murray captures her quest across Central Asia, inspired by her love of Russian men.

Through some scary moments, nearly getting kidnapped to more hilarious ones performing standup in front of a crowd that speaks a different language than her own, she is fun to travel with and always has a hilarious anecdote to share.

By Audrey Murray,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Open Mic Night in Moscow as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The raucous and surprisingly poignant story of a young, Russia-obsessed American writer and comedian who embarked on a solo tour of the former Soviet Republics, never imagining that it would involve kidnappers, garbage bags of money, and encounters with the weird and wonderful from Mongolia to Tajikistan.

Kazakhstan, Belarus, and Siberia are not the typical tourist destinations of a twenty-something, nor the places one usually goes to eat, pray, and/or love. But the mix of imperial Russian opulence and Soviet decay, and the allure of emotionally unavailable Russian men proved strangely irresistible to comedian Audrey Murray.

At age twenty-eight, while…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in Siberia, the Soviet Union, and Jewish history?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about Siberia, the Soviet Union, and Jewish history.

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