100 books like The Tuscan Sun Cookbook

By Frances Mayes, Edward Mayes, Steven Rothfeld (photographer)

Here are 100 books that The Tuscan Sun Cookbook fans have personally recommended if you like The Tuscan Sun Cookbook. 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 A Year in Provence

T.C. Kuhn Author Of The Artist of Aveyron

From my list on the amazing history of the south of France.

Who am I?

While using the city of Albi in southern France as a base for visiting some cave art locations I became fascinated with the history of the early Christians of the region and the brutal Cathar Crusade which happened there. I was also surprised to learn this was the home of Toulouse Lautrec and other later artists. As an archaeologist studying cave art, I became caught up in the long and important history of this one small area. The idea for a story intertwining different religious movements and art over thousands of years quickly emerged. I couldn’t resist this unique opportunity to reveal a piece of the past from a perspective I hadn't considered before.  

T.C.'s book list on the amazing history of the south of France

T.C. Kuhn Why did T.C. love this book?

No book list on any aspect of southern France would be complete without one of Peter Mayle’s many books on his travels and adventures in Provence. 

His initial best seller is a grand introduction to the many small villages, customs, foods, and peoples who maintain the traditional aspects of the unique lifestyle to be found there, which in some places reflects hundreds of years with little change.

I have found in my travels that because this area of France was spared the ravages of the two World Wars, any trip to the region puts the visitor in touch with this remarkable past in a way few other European locales can. I often found myself wrapped up in the incredible history that surrounded me everywhere I went in the region, leading to my own attempt at expressing some of it.

I’ve learned that Peter Mayle, through his books, is like having…

By Peter Mayle,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked A Year in Provence as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A personal description of Provencal life as seen through the eyes of the author and his wife when they move into an old farmhouse at the foot of the Luberon mountains between Avignon and Aix. The bestselling work of non-fiction in paperback of 1991 in the UK.


Book cover of Under the Tuscan Sun

Susan Pohlman Author Of Halfway to Each Other: How a Year in Italy Brought Our Family Home

From my list on travel memoir for women on women (and men) who travel.

Who am I?

I’ve been fascinated by the transformational power of travel ever since my husband and I unexpectedly signed a lease to an apartment on the Italian Riviera instead of divorce papers. The power of that year abroad saved our marriage, united our family of four in a sacred way, and introduced us to the many cultures of Europe. I learned the crucial difference between taking a trip and embarking on a journey. Capturing a travel experience on the page for those who can’t journey to a destination themselves is a joy and a privilege I don’t take lightly. Publishing this memoir allowed me to pivot in my career to a full-time writer and writing coach/editor.

Susan's book list on travel memoir for women on women (and men) who travel

Susan Pohlman Why did Susan love this book?

I remember seeing this book for the first time on my mother’s bedside table.

As a mother of six children (five boys and a girl—me), I strongly suspect she dreamed of escape from time to time. A mother now myself, I understand feelings of overwhelm.

When I read this book back in the late ‘90s I saw a woman brave enough to step into her dreams and create a beautiful and sensuous life. It was bold, and it allowed me to dream of a bigger life. It made me curious if I could ever do such a thing.

Read the story of how she and her husband transformed an old villa as well as their lives!

By Frances Mayes,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked Under the Tuscan Sun as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Discover the New York Times bestseller that inspired the film. The perfect read for anyone seeking an escape to the Italian countryside.

When Frances Mayes - poet, gourmet cook and travel writer - buys an abandoned villa in Tuscany, she has no idea of the scale of the project she is embarking on.

In this enchanting memoir she takes the reader on a journey to restore a crumbling villa and build a new life in the Italian countryside, navigating hilarious cultural misunderstandings, legal frustrations and the challenges of renovating a house that seems determined to remain a ruin.

Filled with…


Book cover of A Good Year

Melody Carlson Author Of Looking for Leroy

From my list on vineyards.

Who am I?

The first time I visited a vineyard was as a child with my mother and grandparents. Driving to San Francisco from Oregon, we stopped to tour a Sonoma vineyard and winery there. Later, as a young adult touring Western Europe, I became intrigued by the vineyards there. Something about the beauty of gently rolling slopes of green vines tugged on me. And I found the science and art of winemaking fascinating. Even the history of wine-making is noteworthy. And I love that Jesus’ first miracle was transforming ordinary water into extraordinary wine. So using the setting of a vineyard for my novel just felt right. And it was a fun adventure!

Melody's book list on vineyards

Melody Carlson Why did Melody love this book?

This story, primarily set in France, is about a guy who loses his job in Great Britain and inherits his uncle’s vineyard in Provence. There are quirky scenes in this book that make you laugh out loud, and scenes that tug at your heartstrings. Years ago, I spent a little time in France and remember looking longingly at French wine country—from the windows of a train, and wishing I could hop off and visit some of those beautiful places. Isn’t that why we love books? We can travel vicariously! 

By Peter Mayle,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Max Skinner is a man at the heart of London's financial universe until his employers embark on a little asset-stripping of their own. Himself. Amid the grey London drizzle, there is one potential ray of sunshine: Max's Uncle Harry has left him his estate in his will - an eighteenth-century chateau and vineyard an hour's drive from Avignon. Out of a job, and encouraged by his friend Charlie about the money in modern wine, he heads for France.

What Max discovers is a beautiful house, wonderful weather and a bustling village. The downside is the quality of the wine in…


Book cover of A Walk in the Clouds

Melody Carlson Author Of Looking for Leroy

From my list on vineyards.

Who am I?

The first time I visited a vineyard was as a child with my mother and grandparents. Driving to San Francisco from Oregon, we stopped to tour a Sonoma vineyard and winery there. Later, as a young adult touring Western Europe, I became intrigued by the vineyards there. Something about the beauty of gently rolling slopes of green vines tugged on me. And I found the science and art of winemaking fascinating. Even the history of wine-making is noteworthy. And I love that Jesus’ first miracle was transforming ordinary water into extraordinary wine. So using the setting of a vineyard for my novel just felt right. And it was a fun adventure!

Melody's book list on vineyards

Melody Carlson Why did Melody love this book?

This is a beautiful story set in Post WW 2 era about a young woman on her way home from college. She is ‘in trouble’ and in need of a good friend. Her family of Spanish/Mexican heritage owns a vineyard in California and is very traditional. She meets up with a young soldier, also on his way home. He offers to help her... and the magic, as well as the trouble, begins. This is a lovely romantic story... a celebration of fate and true love. 

By Deborah Chiel,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Walk in the Clouds as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This is a magical romance about a soldier returning from war in 1945 to a broken marriage, who meets a woman sobbing by the side of the road. She is pregnant, her boyfriend has left her and she doesn't know how she is going to face her parents and family. He accompanies her and becomes involved.


Book cover of How Italian Food Conquered the World

Ian MacAllen Author Of Red Sauce: How Italian Food Became American

From my list on when you’re hungering for history.

Who am I?

My wife and I were at a red sauce joint in the West Village of Manhattan drinking a bit of wine when we posed the question: who invented all this? We knew Italian American food didn’t look all that much like the food we ate in Italy. Later, at home, I started Googling for answers. None were satisfactory. I read a few books before finding myself at the New York Public library sleuthing through JSTOR. After examining my notes, I said to myself, “oh, I guess I’m writing a book.”

Ian's book list on when you’re hungering for history

Ian MacAllen Why did Ian love this book?

Food inspired by the traditions of Italy are well known around the world, and Mariani examines how the nation had an outsized impact on global food culture. Once considered an unsophisticated cuisine better known for macaroni or pizza, Mariani argues Italian food has since displaced French cuisine as the quintessential example of haute dining culture. His discussion of Italian food history largely centers how it disseminated globally. He discusses Italian American foods, but as part of the whole rather than as a distinct cuisine onto itself.    

By John F. Mariani,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked How Italian Food Conquered the World as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Not so long ago, Italian food was regarded as a poor man's gruel - little more than pizza, macaroni with sauce, and red wines in a box. Here, John Mariani shows how the Italian immigrants to America created, through perseverance and sheer necessity, an Italian-American food culture, and how it became a global obsession. The book begins with the Greek, Roman, and Middle Eastern culinary traditions before the boot-shaped peninsula was even called 'Italy,' then takes readers on a journey through Europe and across the ocean to America alongside the poor but hopeful Italian immigrants who slowly but surely won…


Book cover of The Talisman Italian Cookbook

Elisabeth Luard Author Of European Peasant Cookery

From my list on cookbooks published at moments of change.

Who am I?

I’m a home cook, not a restaurant chef. I add a pinch of this and splash of that. As a chronicler of other people's culinary habits, I need to understand why we cook the way we do. At its simplest and most basic, what goes into the ancestral cooking-pot depends on who we are, where we live, and where we come from. Which is why whenever we want to remind ourselves who we are, we look for traditional recipes in culinary bibles produced at moments of change. I was born at a moment of change myself, in bombed-out London in 1941, at the height of the Blitz.  

Elisabeth's book list on cookbooks published at moments of change

Elisabeth Luard Why did Elisabeth love this book?

Ada Boni's culinary bible, Il talismano della felicità, first saw the light of day in 1928, six years after Benito Mussolini had succeeded in uniting Italy's quarrelsome regions under the banner of fascism.

Specifically targeted at the nation's housewives - ordinary folk on whose support El Duce rose to power in 1922 - this collection of nearly a thousand simple, practical traditional recipes for regional dishes became the dictator's favourite cookbook, as it did for generations of Italian women (still does). 

I first came across it on an Italian friend's recommendation while researching European Peasant Cookery and attempting to unravel the complicated traditions of a land that remains as fiercely partisan in the kitchen now as then. 

By Ada Boni, Matilde La Rosa (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Il Talismano is and has been for over 50 years the one great standard Italian cookbook. It is to Italians what Joy of Cooking is to Americans. Containing in simple and clear form the best recipes for all the foods that we associate with Italian cuisine, it covers all the regional variations of Italian cooking: Milanese, Bolognese, Venetian, Neapolitan, Sicilian, Veronese, and Florentine.

Appetizers range from the simply elegant, like Cantaloupe and Prosciutto and Artichoke Hearts in Olive Oil, to the sublime, like Tunnied Veal and Crostini of Mozzarella and Anchovies. Soups include Stracciatella, Fish Brodetto Rimini Style, and Tuscan…


Book cover of The Italian Baker: The Classic Tastes of the Italian Countryside--Its Breads, Pizza, Focaccia, Cakes, Pastries, and Cookies

Rick Rodgers

From my list on baking for at home bakers.

Who am I?

Rick Rodgers is an award-winning culinary teacher and cookbook writer who has made a specialty of books on baked goods. His book Kaffehaus explores the delicious sweets of the Austro-Hungarian coffee culture. With two of America’s most iconic bakeries, he is the co-author of The Model Bakery Cookbook and Sarabeth's Bakery, as well as Coffee And Cake, Tea And Cookies, and Williams-Sonoma Comfort Food.

Rick's book list on baking for at home bakers

Rick Rodgers Why did Rick love this book?

This book literally changed home baking forever by making artisan breads accessible to the amateur cook. It was the first time that many of us saw recipes for the rustic breads with crackling brown crusts and moist, hole-ridden interiors that were before only available at specialty bakeries. All books are a labor of love, but I can’t imagine the determination an American woman must have had to wrestle the original recipes from Italian masters.

By Carol Field, Ed Anderson (photographer),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The only comprehensive book, in English or Italian, to cover the entire range of Italian baking, from breadsticks and cornetti to focaccia, tarts, cakes, and pastries. This latest edition, updated for a new generation of home bakers, has added four-color photography throughout, plus new recipes, ingredients and equipment sections, source guides, and weights. 

Carol Field introduces artisanal doughs and techniques used by generations of Italian bakers. Every city and hill town has its own unique baking traditions, and Field spent more than two years traversing Italy to capture the regional and local specialties, adapting them through rigorous testing in her…


Book cover of These Tangled Vines

Nanette Littlestone Author Of Bella Toscana

From my list on for women on a second chance at love and romance.

Who am I?

I’ve always been a huge believer of love and romance and happily ever after. I also know that real life and happily ever after aren’t always easy. It took me 45 years to find my Prince Charming (after kissing a lot of frogs). I love reading stories of hope, courage, and promise and strong women who pursue their dreams. They inspire me to keep going and to keep writing. Whether I’m creating women’s fiction, historical novels, fantasy, or romance, my books explore relationships and why people do what they do, and every story focuses on love (what we always strive for) and forgiveness (what we always need). 

Nanette's book list on for women on a second chance at love and romance

Nanette Littlestone Why did Nanette love this book?

"I love everything—the food and the wine and the olive groves and the grapevines..." That line from the book was the feeling that enveloped me as I read this story. There is warmth and tenderness, comfort and satisfaction, a place where people work hard and reap the rewards of their efforts.

The universal search for love is prominent in These Tangled Vines. Love of husband and wife, married lovers, mother and daughter, father and daughter, sibling to sibling. Everyone wants love. But how many of us find the perfect match?

I loved exploring the lushness of Tuscany and the delicious food, wine, and passion. Reading this story made me want to be there once again.

By Julianne MacLean,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From the USA Today bestselling author of A Curve in the Road comes a sweeping and captivating tale of one woman's journey to the lush vineyards of Tuscany-and into the mysteries of a tragic family secret.

If Fiona has learned anything in life, it's how to keep a secret-even from the father who raised her. She is the only person who knows about her late mother's affair in Tuscany thirty years earlier, and she intends to keep it that way...until a lawyer calls with shocking news: her biological father has died and left her an incredible inheritance-along with two half…


Book cover of The Sicily Cookbook: Authentic Recipes from a Mediterranean Island

Anika Scott Author Of Sinners of Starlight City

From my list on sparking an obsession with Sicily.

Who am I?

I’ve been a traveler and a dreamer ever since I was a little girl. I used to write to the tourism bureaus of different countries and tape pictures of faraway places onto the walls of my bedroom. It’s no surprise I ended up living in Europe, my home base for excursions all over the world. My historical fiction always features places that mean a lot to me, whether it’s Germany (where I live now), or Sicily – where my mother’s family came from. Digging into my Sicilian heritage and the culture and life of the island for my third novel was like discovering a new home.

Anika's book list on sparking an obsession with Sicily

Anika Scott Why did Anika love this book?

Every time I’m in Sicily, I stuff my face.

The food is as sublime as the island itself. Imagine eating pasta alla norma (noodles with eggplant marinara) with a breathtaking view of Mt. Etna. There’s fried arancini filled with rice, there’s caponata, there’s orange cake... I could go on and on! The Sicily Cookbook has recipes for some of my favorite Sicilian foods plus stunning photos of the island.

It's food and travel combined!

By Cettina Vicenzino,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Get a taste of the unique fusion of flavors that Sicilian food has to offer!

​Packed with more than 70 Sicilian recipes, all accompanied by evocative food photography from the island, this Italian cookbook will bring the Mediterranean sunshine into your kitchen.

Discover authentic Italian cooking at its finest with this Sicilian recipe book. Here’s what’s inside:

   • More than 70 Sicilian sweet and savory recipes, from Pasta Alla Norma, grilled octopus and Sicilian baked sausage to arancini with tuna, Jerusalem artichokes with black lentils and Sicilian orange bread
   • Recipes include appetizers, main courses, individual dishes, side dishes, desserts…


Book cover of Taste: My Life Through Food

Arlene S. Bice Author Of Running with the Horses: A Memoir of Travel, Racetracks, & Foods

From my list on memoirs and personal stories that capture something special.

Who am I?

I firmly believe we each have a unique story to tell, to record in order to help others and to record a history. I love the ordinary person who lives an extraordinary life. So many people don’t realize how wonderful they are. It is also cathartic to write your story, in doing so you forgive others as you forgive yourself for decisions poorly made.

Arlene's book list on memoirs and personal stories that capture something special

Arlene S. Bice Why did Arlene love this book?

Stanley Tucci makes this book personal. He connects to any reader that loves the world of cooking and entertaining friends at his table and who loves to travel, too. He takes the reader into his personal life, not just memories of his good times, but his errors, too. He’s honest. He’s intriguing, letting you know who he truly is. He loves his life, all of it, and he passes that love onto you.

By Stanley Tucci,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

THE NO.1 SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER

A Guardian book of the year
A Times book of the year
A Daily Mail book of the year

From award-winning actor and food obsessive Stanley Tucci comes an intimate and charming memoir of life in and out of the kitchen. For Stanley and foodie fans, this is the perfect, irresistible gift.

'It's impossible to read this without becoming ravenous!' -- Nigella Lawson

'It is as infectious as it is delicious, as funny as it is insightful. The only reason to put this book down, is to go cook and eat from it' -- Heston…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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