10 books like Stories from the Kitchen

By Diana Secker Tesdell,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like Stories from the Kitchen. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Chocolat

By Joanne Harris,

Book cover of Chocolat

I love stories about women who stand up for themselves against manipulative authoritarians, especially women who can do so with a sense of humor. Add to that, a bit of magic, and you’ve got me hooked. Chocolat does both in such a satisfying way that it has become one of my all-time favorite reads.

Chocolat

By Joanne Harris,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Even before it was adapted into the Oscar-nominated film starring Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp, Joanne Harris' New York Times bestselling novel Chocolat entranced readers with its mix of hedonism, whimsy, and, of course, chocolate.

In tiny Lansquenet, where nothing much has changed in a hundred years, beautiful newcomer Vianne Rocher and her exquisite chocolate shop arrive and instantly begin to play havoc with Lenten vows. Each box of luscious bonbons comes with a free gift: Vianne's uncanny perception of its buyer's private discontents and a clever, caring cure for them. Is she a witch? Soon the parish no longer…


The Joy Luck Club

By Amy Tan,

Book cover of The Joy Luck Club

This multigenerational novel took me from San Francisco to China. It's like a collection of short stories with each story connected. It tells about the lives of four Chinese immigrant women who arrived San Francisco in 1949. They met through their church and once a week gather to play mahjong and talk. They call themselves the Joy Luck Club. Each lady tells their story and the circumstances that brought them to America, sometimes their accounts are brutal yet realistic. It’s a heartfelt novel of mothers and daughters, how generations differ and conflict rises and falls like the ebbing tides. The reason I loved it is because the story can apply to any nationality and any epoch. Ultimately it's about mothers and daughters, their ambitions, disappointments, and ultimately their acceptance.   

The Joy Luck Club

By Amy Tan,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Joy Luck Club as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'The Joy Luck Club is an ambitious saga that's impossible to read without wanting to call your Mum' Stylist

Discover Amy Tan's moving and poignant tale of immigrant Chinese mothers and their American-born daughters.

In 1949 four Chinese women, recent immigrants to San Francisco, meet weekly to play mahjong and tell stories of what they left behind in China. United in loss and new hope for their daughters' futures, they call themselves the Joy Luck Club.

Their daughters, who have never heard these stories, think their mothers' advice is irrelevant to their modern American lives - until their own inner…


Heartburn

By Nora Ephron,

Book cover of Heartburn

This semi-autobiographical novel follows the romantic misadventures of food writer Rachel, whose husband has fallen in love with another woman. Lost between wanting him dead and wanting him back, Rachel shares her favourite recipes to heal the heart along with hilarious one-liners. 

Be ready to crave mashed potatoes with this absolute classic in the genre. If you’re still unsure, the audiobook is read by Meryl Streep, who also starred in the movie aside Jack Nicholson.

Heartburn

By Nora Ephron,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

If I had to do it over again, I would have made a different kind of pie. The pie I threw at Mark made a terrific mess, but a blueberry pie would have been even better, since it would have permanently ruined his new blazer, the one he bought with Thelma ... I picked up the pie, thanked God for linoleum floor, and threw it'
Rachel Samstat is smart, successful, married to a high-flying Washington journalist... and devastated. She has discovered that her husband is having an affair with Thelma Rice, 'a fairly tall person with a neck as long…


Like Water for Chocolate

By Laura Esquivel,

Book cover of Like Water for Chocolate

In Like Water for Chocolate, how people feel when they are cooking affects what they are creating, and the people eating that food feel what the cook was feeling. I love that. It shows how truly magical, healing, and transformative cooking can be even though it is an ordinary everyday task that most of us perform. Each chapter has a recipe, and each recipe is tinged with magic. As a bonus, the book taught me to pay attention to how I feel when I cook—I try not to cry or be angry when preparing dishes. Just in case.

Like Water for Chocolate

By Laura Esquivel,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Like Water for Chocolate as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE INTOXICATING INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER ABOUT LOVE, COOKING AND MAGIC. PERFECT FOR FANS OF JOANNE HARRIS AND ISABEL ALLENDE.

'This magical, mythical, moving story of love, sacrifice and summering sensuality is something I will savour for a long time' MAUREEN LIPMAN

Like Water For Chocolate tells the captivating story of the De la Garza family. As the youngest daughter, Tita is forbidden by Mexican tradition to marry. Instead, she pours all of her emotions into her delicious recipes, which she shares with readers along the way.When Tita falls in love with Pedro, he is seduced by the magical food she cooks.…


On Food and Cooking

By Harold McGee,

Book cover of On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen

Truly a remarkable book, this seminal work has been – and continues to be - profoundly influential in shaping our understanding of food. The book’s subtitle – An Encyclopedia of Kitchen Science, History and Culture – expresses its huge breadth Writing with great clarity and concision, McGee shares the history of foods – such as cheese, chocolate, grains, sugar – and explains the science of how humans use, cook and preserve them. If you’re at all interested in understanding food better, then this is the book for you.

On Food and Cooking

By Harold McGee,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

An updated twentieth-anniversary edition of the classic culinary reference features ninety percent new material and provides a wealth of kitchen tips, food-preparation techniques, folklore, literary anecdotes, and health information, in a volume that features particular coverage of trends from the p


Traditional Recipes of the Provinces of France

By Maurice Edmond Sailland,

Book cover of Traditional Recipes of the Provinces of France

Better known by his pen-name Curnonsky, Maurice Edmond Sailland, was called the Prince of Gastronomy and was the most celebrated writer on gastronomy in France in the 20th century. Notice I say writer on gastronomy and not most famous chef or most famous cookbook author. What Curnonsky did was write about the whys and wherefores of the great provincial cuisines of France. If you think you know something about provincial French cuisine, Curnonsky will enlighten you with his explorations into the culture and geography of these various regions. The recipes in some cases will be unfamiliar and archaic, although no less delicious. The book is a gem.

Traditional Recipes of the Provinces of France

By Maurice Edmond Sailland,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Traditional Recipes of the Provinces of France as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Traditional Recipes of The Provinces of France : Selected By Curnonsky Hardcover– January 1, 1961 by Edwin (Trans. And Ed.) Lavin(Author) Translated and edited by Edwin Lavin, c1961


The Gastronomical Me

By M.F.K. Fisher,

Book cover of The Gastronomical Me

To call Fisher merely a food writer is to miss out on one of the most provocative essayists of the 20th century. This exploration of her departure from American life to live in Dijon, France, is a celebration of what it means to be truly engaged in one’s own story. For those with ravenous appetites for not just food, but the stuff of life.

The Gastronomical Me

By M.F.K. Fisher,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In 1929, a newly married M.F.K. Fisher said goodbye to a milquetoast American culinary upbringing and sailed with her husband to Dijon, where she tasted real French cooking for the first time. The Gastronomical Me is a chronicle of her passionate embrace of a whole new way of eating, drinking, and celebrating the senses. As she recounts memorable meals shared with an assortment of eccentric and fascinating characters, set against a backdrop of mounting pre-war tensions, we witness the formation not only of her taste but of her character and her prodigious talent.


The Flavor Bible

By Andrew Dornenburg, Karen Page,

Book cover of The Flavor Bible: The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity, Based on the Wisdom of America's Most Imaginative Chefs

Once you master a good pizza dough recipe, the next step is experimenting with different combinations of toppings. Whenever I need some pairing inspiration for seasonal produce or meats or a special type of cheese, this is the first book I reach for. 

The Flavor Bible

By Andrew Dornenburg, Karen Page,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Great cooking goes beyond following a recipe--it's knowing how to season ingredients to coax the greatest possible flavor from them. Drawing on dozens of leading chefs' combined experience in top restaurants across the country, Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg present the definitive guide to creating "deliciousness" in any dish.

Thousands of ingredient entries, organized alphabetically and cross-referenced, provide a treasure trove of spectacular flavor combinations. Readers will learn to work more intuitively and effectively with ingredients; experiment with temperature and texture; excite the nose and palate with herbs, spices, and other seasonings; and balance the sensual, emotional, and spiritual elements…


The Art of Eating

By M.F.K. Fisher,

Book cover of The Art of Eating

Whenever I feel a stab of nostalgia for my American childhood, I turn to M.F.K. Fisher, one of the most delightful food writers ever. The Art of Eating is a one-volume edition of six of her books, all written before I graduated from high school: it gives a funny and informative account of American (and other) eating habits before the great foodie revolution of the ‘80’s altered everything. It offers mostly food for the mind but the palate is also served by recipes I’d forgotten all about, often given both in their comfort food guise and in fancy dress.

The Art of Eating

By M.F.K. Fisher,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Ruth Reichl - 'Mary Frances [Fisher] has the extraordinary ability to make the ordinary seem rich and wonderful. Her dignity comes from her absolute insistence on appreciating life as it comes to her'. Julia Child - 'How wonderful to have here in my hands the essence of M.F.K. Fisher, whose wit and fulsome opinions on food and those who produce it, comment upon it, and consume it are as apt today as they were several decades ago, when she composed them. Why did she choose food and hunger she was asked, and she replied, 'When I write about hunger, I…


Between Meals

By A.J. Liebling,

Book cover of Between Meals: An Appetite for Paris

Some books are worth reading just because the writing is so wonderful. But combine that with the subject matter - dining out in Paris - and you are in for a treat. Liebling, a longtime staff writer for the New Yorker, shares with us the sublime art of enjoying a good meal. He also wrote some of the best reporting on the Second World War, landing with the Allies in Morocco and accompanying the troops on the front line through Europe (available as WW2 Writings, Library of America).

Between Meals

By A.J. Liebling,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

New Yorker staff writer A.J. Liebling recalls his Parisian apprenticeship in the fine art of eating in this charming memoir, Between Meals: An Appetite for Paris.

“There would come a time when, if I had compared my life to a cake, the sojourns in Paris would have presented the chocolate filling. The intervening layers were plain sponge.”

In his nostalgic review of his Rabelaisian initiation into life’s finer pleasures, Liebling celebrates the richness and variety of French food, fondly recalling great meals and memorable wines. He writes with awe and a touch of envy of his friend and mentor Yves…


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