The Eat Me Daily Fall 2009 Non-Cookbook Preview

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While fall truly belongs to the cookbooks, there's still a large selection on deck for the food lovers who are less than kitchen inclined. Along with anthologies from The New York Times (Eat, Memory) and The New Yorker (Secret Ingredients) finally arriving in paperback form, there are numerous reissues of old greats, doorstopper tomes perfect for that impossible-to-please food snob, and plenty of "the food system is killing us" doom and gloom. Our books editor Helen Rosner picks out the ones most worth paying attention to. On with the show.

Culinary Giants, Repackaged

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Larousse Gastronomique: The World's Greatest Culinary Encyclopedia, Completely Revised and Updated
(Clarkson Potter, October 13; preorder on Amazon)
A complete overhaul of the indispensable 1938 volume, now including such au courant topics like sous vide cooking, molecular gastronomy, and biographic entries on stars like Ferran Adrià, Daniel Boulud, Alice Waters, Thomas Keller, and Julia Child.

The Physiology of Taste: or Meditations on Transcendental Gastronomy, by Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, translated by M.F.K. Fisher
(Everyman's Library, October 6; preorder on Amazon)
The seminal meditation on gastronomy, sensualism, and happiness. Initially written in 1885 and now issued in beautiful edition by the collectible Everyman's Library in a high-quality hardcover.

Far Flung and Well Fed: The Food Writing of R.W. Apple, Jr. by R.W. Apple, Jr.
(St. Martin's Press, September 29; preorder on Amazon)
The late New York Times political writer was at his most effervescent when he wrote about edible concerns. Here his best essays, on meals eaten virtually everywhere in the world, are collected under one cover.

M. F. K. Fisher among the Pots and Pans: Celebrating Her Kitchens by Joan Reardon
(University of California Press, September 14; preorder on Amazon)
A portrait of the late, great Mary Frances, as seen through the lens of the France and California kitchens in which she lived and cooked.

 

Memoir, All Alone In The Moonlight

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Eating: A Memoir by Jason Epstein
(Knopf, October 27; preorder on Amazon)
The former Random House editor pulls the usual "my life as told through the meals I ate" schtick, quirkily narrative recipes and all, but it's elevated by the fact that Epstein's dining companions tended towards the Craig Claiborne, Norman Mailer, and Alice Waters end of the spectrum.

The Bizarre Truth: How I Walked out the Door Mouth First . . . and Came Back Shaking My Head by Andrew Zimmern
(Broadway, September 8; preorder on Amazon)
Andrew Zimmern recounts with tremendous affection his "culinary anthropology" expeditions to the oddest corners (and even odder tables) the world has to offer.

Cleaving: A Story of Marriage, Meat, and Obsession by Julie Powell
(Little, Brown and Company, December 1, 2009; preorder at Amazon)
The Julie half of and Julia apprentices as a butcher, has an affair, ties it all together somehow.

 

Single-Subject Navel-Gazing

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The Widow Clicquot: The Story of a Champagne Empire and the Woman Who Ruled It by Tilar J. Mazzeo
(Harper Perennial, October 6; preorder on Amazon)
The story of Barbe-Nicole Ponsardin, widow to the head of the Cliquot wine brand who turned Champagne into the must-have beverage for victory, celebration, and the cultural elite, all set against the backdrop of the Napoleonic wars.

Waste: Uncovering the Global Food Scandal by Tristram Stuart
(W.W. Norton & Co., October 12; preorder on Amazon)
How is it that in the most abundant age in history, over 1 billion people are still hungry? Same old story, new fancy packaging.

The Search for God and Guinness: A Biography of the Beer that Changed the World by Stephen Mansfield
(Thomas Nelson, October 13; preorder on Amazon)
The two-and-a-half century history of the world's most famous (and divisive) beer.

Republic of Barbecue: Stories Beyond the Brisket by Elizabeth S. D. Engelhardt
(University of Texas Press, October 15; preorder on Amazon)
A portrait (visual and literary) of Texas barbecue culture, taking on pitmasters and smokemasters from across the Lone Star State.

Save the Deli: In Search of Perfect Pastrami, Crusty Rye, and the Heart of Jewish Delicatessen by David Sax
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, October 19, 2009; preorder on Amazon)
From 1931 to today, the number of Jewish delis in New York has shrunk from 2,000 to just a handful. A shande! Sax hopes to restore some of the deli's glory in this book that's equal parts history, examination, and appreciation.

Appetite City: A Culinary History of New York by William Grimes
(North Point Press, October 13, 2009; preorder on Amazon)
A history of New York City told through its restaurants, menus, cooks, and oyster bars — by the erstwhile New York Times restaurant critic, who knows of what he speaks.

 

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2 Comments

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  1. The new Larousse cover is so... modern. I sorta liked the vintage, historical feel of older editions. Now it looks like the cover of a Bittman cookbook or something.

  2. Thanks so much for the shout out! I'm one of the co-authors of Republic of Barbecue, and I know we're all so excited for the book to come out. It's great to be included in a list of such provocative titles.

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