Here are restaurant recommendations from some of my favorite destinations as well as lists of favorite and the-opposite-of-favorite books, both cookbooks and bookbooks. Happy reading!
Where to eat in...
What to read
This has been a great year for books. My favorite food books from 2015 (and ok, a ways back in 2014) are Aaron Franklin´s “Franklin Barbecue”, “The Mission Chinese Food Cookbook” by Danny Bowien, Tony Gemignani’s “Pizza Bible”, Kevin Gillespie’s “Pure Pork”, Saveur’s “The New Classics Cookbook”, and I’m looking forward to my copy of Lucky Peach’s first cookbook “101 Easy Asian Recipes”.
There are of course quite a few other great food books that deserve mention but this list should keep you busy for awhile. I want to mention an “old” book I became acquainted with this past year, James Peterson’s “Sauces: Classical and Contemporary Sauce Making”. I’m not a huge sauce fan but I´m a huge fan of this book.
Honorable mention: It was a thrill being involved in the “Passion for Pizza” project. I am extremely proud of the book (released in the US this past spring). If you don’t have it, get it. Unless of course you hate pizza.
Food magazines: I always love Saveur and The Art of Eating, but for the most bang for the buck is without a doubt Lucky Peach.
The worst title for a food book is Dr. Kellyann’s (and by the way, what kind of a name is this?) “Bone Broth Diet”. Jeez … Since we are first on the subject of names I have to applaud the optimistic book title “Low Carb Donuts”. Not receiving my nod are “Game of Scones: All Men Must Dine: A Parody”, “Baking Bad” and “Go Clean, Sexy You: A Seasonal Guide to Detoxing and Staying Healthy”.
Someone once said to me “Get a life!”. Sounds like a good idea, and in order to achieve this higher state I also read books that are not about smoked meats, Mexican food, pasta or other delicious carbohydrates. My holiday reading will be the new James Lee Burke book “House of the Rising Sun”.
Burke is one of my favorite authors and rumor has it this is one of his best.
I have read a lot of great books this year, and when I think of 2015 I think of trilogies. Greg Iles released “The Bone Tree”, the second book in his Southern trilogy. A great follow up to “Natchez Burning”. Another good trilogy came from Canadian Margaret Atwood. The final, and best book in her trio is “MaddAddam”, where a not-too-distant future is definitely not so bright that one needs to wear shades. Another two-thirds done trilogy came from Stephen King. Book number two is “Finders Keepers” (the first was “Mr. Mercedes”). I can’t wait for next year’s wrap “End of Watch”.
Other favorite books this past year or so are “The Killing Lesson” from Saul Black, “World Gone By” from Dennis Lehane (this guy is great), Siri Hustvedt´s “The Blazing World”. I am always thankful for the books of Charlie Huston, John McConnelly and a few others; this year no exception.
I didn´t care at all for the much-hyped “The Girl on the Train”. Shame on all of you reviewers who tried to trick us into thinking this book was as good as “Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn. Not a chance.