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Spotlight Books: July: Culinary Arts Month

A place to spotlight relevant books

July is National Culinary Arts Month

Cooking with Kids

The Cookbook for Kids

The Cookbook for Kids: Great recipes for kids who love to cook by Lisa Atwood. Includes more than sixty recipes that children can prepare on their own, with detailed instruction for preparing dishes for breakfast, lunch, or snacks and information on equipment and cooking techniques.

Cook It Together

Cook It Together by Annabel Karmel. This innovative book takes 10 ingredients that kids love-tomatoes, corn, rice, potatoes, bananas, strawberries, apples, honey, chocolate, and yogurt-and presents them in a whole new way. 

Story Times Good Enough to Eat!

Story Times Good Enough to Eat!: thematic programs with edible story crafts by Melissa Rossetti Folini. Both a manual and a recipe book, Story Times Good Enough to Eat! offers thematic programs for major holidays and seasons and includes programs on popular animals and other themes as well. It is designed to educate children by having them listen to the story, then reinforcing the lessons of the story by creating an edible craft to go along with it.

Food History

The Omnivore's Dilemma

The Omnivore's Dilemma: a natural history of four meals by Michael Pollan. Bringing wide attention to the little-known but vitally important dimensions of food and agriculture in America, Pollan has launched a national conversation about what we eat and the profound consequences that even the simplest everyday food choices have on both ourselves and the natural world.


Birdseye: the adventures of a curious man by Mark Kurlansky. From the author who gave us Cod, Salt, and other informative bestsellers, the first biography of Clarence Birdseye, the eccentric genius inventor whose fast-freezing process revolutionized the food industry and American agriculture.


Salt: a world history by Mark Kurlansky. The only rock we eat, salt has shaped civilization from the very beginning, and its story is a glittering, often surprising part of the history of humankind.


Swindled: the dark history of food fraud, from poisoned candy to counterfeit coffee by Bee Wilson. Bad food has a history. Swindled tells it. Through a fascinating mixture of cultural and scientific history, food politics, and culinary detective work, Bee Wilson uncovers the many ways swindlers have cheapened, falsified, and even poisoned our food throughout history.

Fruits from the Sands

Fruits from the Sands: the Silk Road origins of the foods we eat by Robert N. Spengler. Balancing a broad array of archaeological, botanical, and historical evidence, Fruit from the Sands presents the fascinating story of the origins and spread of agriculture across Inner Asia and into Europe and East Asia.

I'll Drink to That

I'll Drink to That: Beaujolais and the French peasant who made it the world's most popular wine by Rudolph Chelminski. The remarkable saga of the wine and people of Beaujolais and Georges Duboeuf, the peasant lad who brought both world recognition.

A Thousand Years Over a Hot Stove

A Thousand Years Over a Hot Stove: a history of American women told through food, recipes, and remembrances by Laura Schenone. A stunningly illustrated book that celebrates the power of food throughout American history and in women's lives.

A History of Food in 100 Recipes

A History of Food in 100 Recipes by William Sitwell. Culinary expert and BBC television personality William Sitwell explores the fascinating history of cuisine from the first cookbook to the first cupcake, from the invention of the sandwich to the rise of food television.

A Square Meal

A Square Meal: a culinary history of the Great Depression by Jane Ziegelman and Andrew Coe. An in-depth exploration of the greatest food crisis the nation has ever faced—the Great Depression—and how it transformed America’s culinary culture.

Chow Chop Suey

Chow Chop Suey: food and the Chinese American journey by Anne Mendelson. Chinese food first became popular in America under the shadow of violence against Chinese aliens, a despised racial minority ineligible for United States citizenship. Chow Chop Suey uses cooking to trace different stages of the Chinese community's footing in the larger white society.

The Culinary Crescent

The Culinary Crescent: a history of Middle Eastern cuisine by Peter Heine. Peter Heine combines years of scholarship with a personal passion: his knowledge of the cookery traditions of the Umayyad, Abbasid, Ottoman, Safavid, and Mughal courts is matched only by his love for the tastes and smells produced by the contemporary cooking of these areas today.

The Seven Culinary Wonders of the World

The Seven Culinary Wonders of the World: a history of honey, salt, chile, pork, rice, cacao, and tomato by Jenny Linford. Featuring 63 international recipes.


Honey: a global history by Lucy M. Long. This book explores the fascinating history of honey, tracing its use and meanings through numerous cultures and demonstrating how this seemingly simple substance is connected to politics, religion, economics, popular culture, and beliefs about the natural and supernatural world.


Milk: a local and global history by Deborah Valenze. Covering the long span of human history, Milk reveals how developments in technology, public health, and nutritional science made this once-rare elixir a modern-day staple.

Do you really want to know?

Fast Food Nation

Fast Food Nation: the dark side of the all-American meal by Eric Schlosser. Eric Schlosser visits the lab that re-creates the smell of strawberries; examines the safety records of abattoirs; reveals why the fries really taste so good and what lurks between the sesame buns - and shows how fast food is transforming not only our diets but our world.

The Case Against Sugar

The Case Against Sugar by Gary Taubes. A groundbreaking, eye-opening expose that makes the convincing case that sugar is the tobacco of the new millenium: backed by powerful lobbies, entrenched in our lives, and making us very sick.

Eating Animals

Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer. Faced with the prospect of being unable to explain why we eat some animals and not others, Foer set out to explore the origins of many eating traditions and the fictions involved with creating them. Traveling to the darkest corners of our dining habits, Foer raises the unspoken question behind every fish we eat, every chicken we fry, and every burger we grill.

Salt Sugar Fat

Salt Sugar Fat: how the food giants hooked us by Michael Moss. From a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter at The New York Times comes the troubling story of the rise of the processed food industry -- and how it used salt, sugar, and fat to addict us. 

Food Videos


Make It Easy

Make It Easy: 120 mix-and-match recipes to cook from scratch with smart store-bought shortcuts when you need them by Stacie Billis.

The Book Club Cookbook

The Book Club Cookbook: recipes and food from your book club's favorite books and authors by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp. 

The Immigrant Cookbook

The Immigrant Cookbook: recipes that make America great, edited by Leyla Moushabeck. Imagine an America without pizza or pad Thai, hummus or hot dogs, sushi or strudel—for most people, it wouldn’t taste much like America at all. The Immigrant Cookbook offers a culinary celebration of the many ethnic groups that have contributed to America’s vibrant food culture.

Feel Good Food

Southern Living Feel Good Food: simple and satisfying recipes with a fresh twist. This book of recipes and reminiscences is a delicious journey of home-cooked flavors and the cozy feelings they carry with them. Over 200 classic southern dishes, arranged according tot he sentiments they spark, conjure up the wonderful associations we have with the foods we love.

The I Hate to Cook Book

The I Hate to Cook Book by Peg Bracken. A classic, humorous cookbook that includes more than 180 easy recipes for those who fear the kitchen.

Queen of the Kitchen Cookbook

Mary Engelbreit's Queen of the Kitchen Cookbook. Cooks ready to gain charge of their "queendoms" will revel in Mary's art and more than 100 recipes in this simple yet sophisticated collection. This cookbook is packed with practical tips and tactics for entertaining with style, grace, and-most of all-a sense of ease.


Heartland: the cookbook by Judith Fertig. This cookbook presents more than 100 recipes that focus on using fresh, locally-grown produce and meats, with traditional farmhouse-style dishes from the Midwest.

Barefoot Contessa, How Easy Is That?

Barefoot Contessa, How Easy Is That?: fabulous recipes and easy tips by Ina Garten. Food Network star Ina Garten offers simple yet appetizing dishes that save time and minimize stress in the kitchen. Featuring over 200 recipes.

The Good Neighbor Cookbook

The Good Neighbor Cookbook: 125 easy and delicious recipes to surprise and satisfy new moms, new neighbors, recuperating friends, community-meeting members, book club cohorts, and block party pals in your life! by Sara Quessenberry and Suzanne Schlosberg. 

The Little Library Cookbook

The Little Library Cookbook: 100 recipes from your favorite books by Kate Young. This book has over 100 recipes inspired by beloved works of fiction--classics and contemporary bestsellers alike. You'll learn how to prepare the afternoon tea served at Manderley and decadent tarts the Queen of Hearts would love--all while reading food-related excerpts from your favorite books.

Food Science

Culinary Reactions

Culinary Reactions: the everyday chemistry of cooking by Simon Quellen Field. This book turns measuring cups, stovetop burners, and mixing bowls into graduated cylinders, Bunsen burners, and beakers. How does altering the ratio of flour, sugar, yeast, salt, butter, and water affect how high bread rises? Why is whipped cream made with nitrous oxide rather than the more common carbon dioxide? And why does Hollandaise sauce call for “clarified” butter? This easy-to-follow primer even includes recipes to demonstrate the concepts being discussed,

On Food and Cooking

On Food and Cooking: the science and lore of the kitchen by Harold McGee. Hailed by Time magazine as "a minor masterpiece" when it first appeared in 1984, On Food and Cooking is the bible to which food lovers and professional chefs worldwide turn for an understanding of where our foods come from, what exactly they're made of, and how cooking transforms them into something new and delicious.

Science and Cooking

Science and Cooking: physics meets food, from homemade to haute cuisine by Michael Brenner, Pia Sorensen and David Weitz. The spectacular culinary creations of modern cuisine are the stuff of countless articles and social media feeds. But to a scientist they are also perfect pedagogical explorations into the basic scientific principles of cooking. In Science and Cooking, Harvard professors Michael Brenner, Pia Sörensen, and David Weitz bring the classroom to your kitchen to teach the physics and chemistry underlying every recipe.

Eat More Better

Eat More Better: how to make every bite more delicious by Dan Pushman. Told with an infectious blend of humor and smarts, Eat More Better is a tongue-in-cheek textbook that teaches listeners to eat for maximum pleasure. It delivers entertaining, fascinating, and practical insights that will satisfy your mind and stomach, and change the way you look at food forever.

Cooking in the Past

Cooking with Shakespeare

Cooking with Shakespeare by Mark Morton and Andrew Coppolino. This book features more than 180 recipes from Elizabethan times. 

The Philosopher's Kitchen

The Philosopher's Kitchen: recipes from Ancient Greece and Rome for the modern cook by Francine Segan. Here is a rich array of culinary delights, ab ovo usque ab malum, or “from eggs to fruit,” as the Romans said. The Philosopher's Kitchen offers modern interpretations of these dishes using a variety of sources, from writings by Plato, Aristotle, Homer, and Cicero to the oldest known surviving cookbook.

Colonial Cooking

Colonial Cooking: a treasury of colonial recipes by Rebecca Caruba. 

A Taste of History Cookbook

A Taste of History Cookbook: the flavors, places, and people that shaped American cuisine by Walter Staib. This book provides a fascinating look into 18th and 19th century American history. Featuring over 150 elegant and approachable recipes featured in the Taste of History television series, readers will want to recreate these dishes in their modern-day kitchens.

History of Alcohol


Drink: a cultural history of alcohol by Iain Gately. This book traces the course of humanity's 10,000 year old love affair with the substance which has been dubbed the cause of - and solution to - all of life's problems.

Brewing Battles

Brewing Battles: a history of American beer by Amy Mittelman. This is a comprehensive story of American beer and the American brewing industry, from its colonial beginnings to the present.


Alcohol: a history by Rod Phillips. Whether as wine, beer, or spirits, alcohol has had a constant and often controversial role in social life. In his innovative book on the attitudes toward and consumption of alcohol, Rod Phillips surveys a 9,000-year history, uncovering the tensions between alcoholic drinks as healthy staples of daily diets and as objects of social, political, and religious anxiety.

A History of Wine in America

A History of Wine in America by Thomas Pinney. This book is a comprehensive account of winemaking in the United States, from the Norse discovery of native grapes in 1001 A.D., through Prohibition, and up to the present expansion of winemaking in every state.

Let's try something new...

The Sioux Chef's Indigenous Kitchen

The Sioux Chef's Indigenous Kitchen by Sean Sherman. This book is a rich education and a delectable introduction to modern indigenous cuisine of the Dakota and Minnesota territories, with a vision and approach to food that travels well beyond those borders.

The Hadassah Jewish Holiday Cookbook

The Hadassah Jewish Holiday Cookbook: traditional recipes from contemporary Kosher kitchens by Joan Schwartz and Louis Wallach. Over 250 Jewish holiday recipes are offered and include varieties of nostalgic must-haves - from chicken soup to borscht, kreplach to kishka, Grandma's honey cake to Israel's sufganiyot - and twists on the basics - challahs (seeds or honey), latkes (carrot or potato), and harosets (from Surinam to Africa).

Gran Cocina Latina

Gran Cocina Latina: the food of Latin America by Maricel Presilla. Gran Cocina Latina unifies the vast culinary landscape of the Latin world, from Mexico to Argentina and all the Spanish-speaking countries of the Caribbean.

The Africa Cookbook

The Africa Cookbook: taste of a continent by Jessica B. Harris. Culinary historian and cookbook author Jessica B. Harris takes you on a tour of the Motherland, exploring the extraordinary diversity of the cuisines of the continent.

The Soul of a New Cuisine

The Soul of a New Cuisine: a discovery of the foods and flavors of Africa by Marcus Samuelsson. Marcus shares more than 200 enticing recipes, including his own African-inspired creations and traditional dishes from all parts of Africa. Using ingredients that are readily available in American markets, the recipes are doable as well as delicious.

The Rise

The Rise: Black cooks and the soul of American food by Marcus Samuelsson. This book gathers together an unforgettable feast of food, culture, and history to highlight the diverse deliciousness of Black cooking today. Driven by a desire to fight against bias, reclaim Black culinary traditions, and energize a new generation of cooks, Marcus shares his own journey alongside 150 recipes in honor of dozens of top chefs, writers, and activists--with stories exploring their creativity and influence.

Eating Healthy

Food Rules

Food Rules: an eater's manual by Michael Pollan. A perfect guide for anyone who would like to become more mindful of the food they eat.

Superfood Smoothies

Superfood Smoothies: 100 delicious, energizing & nutrient-dense recipes by Julie Morris.  Superfood Smoothies offers 100 nutrient-dense recipes plus innovative culinary methods to get the most health benefits and pack in the maximum amount of nutrition into every incredible drop of these satisfying drinks.

The 3-Day Reset

The 3-Day Reset: restore your cravings for healthy foods in three easy, empowering days by Pooja Mottl. Pooja Mottl outlines 10 simple ways you can change your cravings and start eating whole, healthy, delicious foods—three days at a time. Each reset takes only 72 hours to complete, which means you'll be able to stay focused on healthy eating from start to finish.

Special Diets

Cooking for Your Gluten-Free Teen

Cooking for Your Gluten-Free Teen: Everyday foods the whole family will love by Carlyn Berghoff and Sarah Berghoff McClure. With 100 recipes for teen and family favorites such as Pizza, Mac 'n' Cheese, Grilled Cheese, Sweet Potato Fries, Almond Streusel Coffee Cake, and more, this cookbook proves that teens and their families don’t have to sacrifice on foods, flavor, or convenience to eat gluten-free.

Food Intolerance Bible

Food Intolerance Bible: a nutritionist's plan to beat food cravings, fatigue, mood swings, celiac disease, headaches, IBS, and deal with food allergies by Antony J. Haynes and Antoinette Savill. 

Vegan with a Vengeance

Vegan with a Vengeance: over 150 delicious, cheap, animal-free, logo-free recipes that rock by Isa Chandra Moskowitz.

The Blood Sugar Solution Cookbook

The Blood Sugar Solution Cookbook by Mark Hyman. Following Dr. Hyman's scientifically based program for rebalancing insulin and blood sugar levels, this cookbook presents 175 delectable recipes that are free of allergens and harmful inflammatory ingredients.

Low-Fat, Low-Cholesterol Cookbook

American Heart Association Low-Fat, Low-Cholesterol Cookbook: heart-healthy, easy-to-make recipes that taste great.

Good Food--Fast!

Good Food--Fast!: deliciously healthy gluten-free meals for people on the go by Jason Roberts and Stacey Colino. Chef Roberts knows that if you plan better, you eat better, and he shares the healthy cooking techniques that preserve the inherent nutrients that are present in foods that come directly from nature.

I'll Drink To That!


Quench: handcrafted beverages to satisfy every taste and occasion by Ashley English. This book shares recipes for a mix of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, that range from blueberry lemonade and citrus nectar to blackberry brandy and triple berry bitters.

Wine for Every Day and Every Occasion

Wine for Every Day and Every Occasion: red, white, and bubbly to celebrate the joy of living by Dorothy J. Gaiter and John Brecher. Choosing a bottle of wine should be fun, not frightening. This book gives you simple, straightforward advice to help you choose the best wines for life's best moments.