A cooking book recommendation: Esther the Wonder Pig: Changing the World One Heart at a Time by Steve Jenkins

A critic review (source Dear Author) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2D57Q39.
The amazing story of finding the dream farm and reaching for what seemed an impossible goal then getting it made me smile. Esther does live up to her billing as a truly wonderful ambassadress to all things pig.
Book description from Google Books:
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERAMAZON BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR Unlikely pig owners Steve and Derek got a whole lot more than they bargained for when the designer micro piglet they adopted turned out to be a full-sized 600-pound sow! This funny, inspirational story shows how families really do come in all shapes and sizes. In the summer of 2012, Steve Jenkins was contacted by an old friend about adopting a micro piglet. Though he knew his partner Derek wouldn’t be enthusiastic, he agreed to take the adorable little pig anyway, thinking he could care for her himself. Little did he know, that decision would change his and Derek’s lives forever. It turned out there was nothing “micro” about Esther, and Steve and Derek had actually signed on to raise a full-sized commercial pig. Within three years, Tiny Esther grew to a whopping 600 pounds. After some real growing pains and a lot of pig-sized messes, it became clear that Esther needed much more space, so Steve and Derek made another life-changing decision: they bought a farm and opened the Happily Ever Esther Farm Sanctuary, where they could care for Esther and other animals in need. Funny, heartwarming, and utterly charming, ESTHER THE WONDER PIG follows Steve and Derek’s adventure–from reluctant pig parents to farm-owning advocates for animals.
The book is rated 4.19/5 at goodreads.com, from 1373 ratings. See 276 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2BVSAX0.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2BUbIop.

A cooking book recommendation: What She Ate: Six Remarkable Women and the Food That Tells Their Stories by Laura Shapiro

A critic review (source NPR) can be read at: http://n.pr/2D4D22G.
Several times throughout What She Ate, Shapiro repeats what surely is one of her life’s mantras: “Food talks — but somebody has to hear it.” How lucky for us readers that Shapiro has been listening so perceptively for decades to the language of food.
Book description from Google Books:
A Washington Post Notable Nonfiction Book of 2017One of NPR Fresh Air’s “Books to Close Out a Chaotic 2017″NPR’s Book Concierge Guide To 2017’s Great Reads“How lucky for us readers that Shapiro has been listening so perceptively for decades to the language of food.” —Maureen Corrigan, NPR Fresh AirSix  “mouthwatering” (Eater.com) short takes on six famous women through the lens of food and cooking, probing how their attitudes toward food can offer surprising new insights into their lives, and our own.Everyone eats, and food touches on every aspect of our lives—social and cultural, personal and political. Yet most biographers pay little attention to people’s attitudes toward food, as if the great and notable never bothered to think about what was on the plate in front of them. Once we ask how somebody relates to food, we find a whole world of different and provocative ways to understand her. Food stories can be as intimate and revealing as stories of love, work, or coming-of-age. Each of the six women in this entertaining group portrait was famous in her time, and most are still famous in ours; but until now, nobody has told their lives from the point of view of the kitchen and the table.  What She Ate is a lively and unpredictable array of women; what they have in common with one another (and us) is a powerful relationship with food. They include Dorothy Wordsworth, whose food story transforms our picture of the life she shared with her famous poet brother; Rosa Lewis, the Edwardian-era Cockney caterer who cooked her way up the social ladder; Eleanor Roosevelt,  First Lady and rigorous protector of the worst cook in White House history; Eva Braun, Hitler’s mistress, who challenges our warm associations of food, family, and table; Barbara Pym, whose witty books upend a host of stereotypes about postwar British cuisine; and Helen Gurley Brown, the editor of Cosmopolitan, whose commitment to “having it all” meant having almost nothing on the plate except a supersized portion of diet gelatin.
The book is rated 3.35/5 at goodreads.com, from 825 ratings. See 175 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2D3Y8hy.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2D5tnJe.
Google Books preview available in full post.

A cooking book recommendation: What She Ate: Six Remarkable Women and the Food That Tells Their Stories by Laura Shapiro

A critic review (source NPR) can be read at: http://n.pr/2D4D22G.
Several times throughout What She Ate, Shapiro repeats what surely is one of her life’s mantras: “Food talks — but somebody has to hear it.” How lucky for us readers that Shapiro has been listening so perceptively for decades to the language of food.
Book description from Google Books:
“How lucky for us readers that Shapiro has been listening so perceptively for decades to the language of food.” —Maureen Corrigan, NPR Fresh AirSix  “mouthwatering” (Eater.com) short takes on six famous women through the lens of food and cooking, probing how their attitudes toward food can offer surprising new insights into their lives, and our own.Everyone eats, and food touches on every aspect of our lives—social and cultural, personal and political. Yet most biographers pay little attention to people’s attitudes toward food, as if the great and notable never bothered to think about what was on the plate in front of them. Once we ask how somebody relates to food, we find a whole world of different and provocative ways to understand her. Food stories can be as intimate and revealing as stories of love, work, or coming-of-age. Each of the six women in this entertaining group portrait was famous in her time, and most are still famous in ours; but until now, nobody has told their lives from the point of view of the kitchen and the table.  What She Ate is a lively and unpredictable array of women; what they have in common with one another (and us) is a powerful relationship with food. They include Dorothy Wordsworth, whose food story transforms our picture of the life she shared with her famous poet brother; Rosa Lewis, the Edwardian-era Cockney caterer who cooked her way up the social ladder; Eleanor Roosevelt,  First Lady and rigorous protector of the worst cook in White House history; Eva Braun, Hitler’s mistress, who challenges our warm associations of food, family, and table; Barbara Pym, whose witty books upend a host of stereotypes about postwar British cuisine; and Helen Gurley Brown, the editor of Cosmopolitan, whose commitment to “having it all” meant having almost nothing on the plate except a supersized portion of diet gelatin.
The book is rated 3.36/5 at goodreads.com, from 816 ratings. See 173 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2D3Y8hy.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2D5tnJe.
Google Books preview available in full post.

A cooking book recommendation: The Gastronomical Me by M. F. K. Fisher

A critic review (source Guardian) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2h5dKZn.
Reading it again in this handsome new edition I am struck by the fact that it is, above all, a queer book. I mean the term not so much as Fisher used it colloquially and carelessly in the middle of the last century but how we employ it today…
Book description from Google Books:
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 book is rated 4.24/5 at goodreads.com, from 2786 ratings. See 202 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2iwJuGY.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2iyNk2e.

A cooking book recommendation: I Hear She’s a Real Bitch by Jen Agg

A critic review (source Globe and Mail) can be read at: https://tgam.ca/2iARWFd.
If a generation of cooks followed Kitchen Confidential into the industry on the promised glory of good times and hard living, for largely different reasons – because restaurant ownership is so desperately lacking in diversity, and because kitchen culture could sure use a change – with hope, I Hear She ‘s a Real Bitch will do the same.
Book description from Google Books:
A sharp and candid memoir from a star in the restaurant world, and an up-and-coming literary voice. Toronto restaurateur Jen Agg, the woman behind the popular The Black Hoof, Cocktail Bar, Rhum Corner, and Agrikol restaurants, is known for her frank, crystal-sharp and often hilarious observations and ideas on the restaurant industry and the world around her. I Hear She’s a Real Bitch, her first book, is caustic yet intimate, and wryly observant; an unforgettable glimpse into the life of one of the most interesting, smart, trail-blazing voices of this moment.
The book is rated 3.57/5 at goodreads.com, from 237 ratings. See 65 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2h8GqRk.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2izpxzs.

A cooking book recommendation: The Rituals of Dinner by Margaret Visser

A critic review (source Guardian) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2h6ak8Q.
This is a book that, like a great meal, it would be a shame not to share. Read it to a friend who is cooking you dinner. Tell them about Visser on the food fads of her time…
Book description from Google Books:
With an acute eye and an irrepressible wit, Margaret Visser takes a fascinating look at the way we eat our meals. From the ancient Greeks to modern yuppies, from cannibalism and the taking of the Eucharist to formal dinners and picnics, she thoroughly defines the eating ritual. “Read this book. You’ll never look at a table knife the same way again.” The New York Times.”
The book is rated 3.79/5 at goodreads.com, from 389 ratings. See 51 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2h5ICZE.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2iwS3lj.

A cooking book recommendation: The Rituals of Dinner by Margaret Visser

A critic review (source Guardian) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2h6ak8Q.
This is a book that, like a great meal, it would be a shame not to share. Read it to a friend who is cooking you dinner. Tell them about Visser on the food fads of her time…
Book description from Google Books:
With an acute eye and an irrepressible wit, Margaret Visser takes a fascinating look at the way we eat our meals. From the ancient Greeks to modern yuppies, from cannibalism and the taking of the Eucharist to formal dinners and picnics, she thoroughly defines the eating ritual. “Read this book. You’ll never look at a table knife the same way again.” The New York Times.”
The book is rated 3.79/5 at goodreads.com, from 389 ratings. See 51 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2h5ICZE.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2iwS3lj.

A cooking book recommendation: A Really Big Lunch: Meditations on Food and Life from the Roving Gourmand by Jim Harrison

A critic review (source NPR) can be read at: http://n.pr/2y7kzzH.
Reading this book straight through is not advised, unless you have the stamina of those gourmands at the really big lunch. But snacking on classic Harrisonisms like “I’ve never been the man I used to be” is deliciously filling.
Book description from Google Books:
“[A] culinary combo plate of Hunter S. Thompson, Ernest Hemingway, Julian Schnabel, and Sam Peckinpah . . . Harrison writes with enough force to make your knees buckle and with infectious zeal that makes you turn the pages hungry for more . . . Jim Harrison has staked out a distinctive place in the world of food writing.”—Jane and Michael Stern, New York Times Book Review on The Raw and the CookedNew York Times bestselling author Jim Harrison was one of this country’s most beloved writers, a muscular, brilliantly economic stylist with a salty wisdom. He also wrote some of the best essays on food around, earning praise as “the poet laureate of appetite” (Dallas Morning News). A Really Big Lunch, to be published on the one-year anniversary of Harrison’s death, collects many of his food pieces for the first time—and taps into his larger-than-life appetite with wit and verve.Jim Harrison’s legendary gourmandise is on full display in A Really Big Lunch. From the titular New Yorker piece about a French lunch that went to thirty-seven courses, to pieces from Brick, Playboy, Kermit Lynch Newsletter, and more on the relationship between hunter and prey, or the obscure language of wine reviews, A Really Big Lunch is shot through with Harrison’s pointed aperçus and keen delight in the pleasures of the senses. And between the lines the pieces give glimpses of Harrison’s life over the last three decades. A Really Big Lunch is a literary delight that will satisfy every appetite.“Harrison is the American Rabelais, and he is at his irreverent and excessive best in this collection.” —John Skowles, San Diego Union-Tribune on The Raw and the Cooked
The book is rated 4.02/5 at goodreads.com, from 161 ratings. See 40 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2yNEIhK.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2yNRUTD.
Google Books preview available in full post.

A cooking book recommendation: Generation Chef: Risking It All for a New American Dream by Karen Stabiner

A critic review (source Star Tribune) can be read at: http://strib.mn/2eyjaIT.
I might never eat at Huertas — or at Spoon and Stable, for that matter. But “Generation Chef” has given me an appreciation for what has gone into these restaurants and others. This book is as much about dreams and passion as it is about food.
Book description from Google Books:
Inside what life is really like for the new generation of professional cooks–a captivating tale of the make-or-break first year at a young chef’s new restaurant. For many young people, being a chef is as compelling a dream as being a rock star or professional athlete. Skill and creativity in the kitchen are more profitable than ever before, as cooks scramble to reach the top–but talent isn’t enough. Today’s chef needs the business savvy of a high-risk entrepreneur, determination, and big dose of luck. The heart of Generation Chef is the story of Jonah Miller, who at age twenty-four attempts to fulfill a lifelong dream by opening the Basque restaurant Huertas in New York City, still the high-stakes center of the restaurant business for an ambitious young chef. Miller, a rising star who has been named to the 30-Under-30 list of both Forbes and Zagat, quits his job as a sous chef, creates a business plan, lines up investors, leases a space, hires a staff, and gets ready to put his reputation and his future on the line. Journalist and food writer Karen Stabiner takes us inside Huertas’s roller-coaster first year, but also provides insight into the challenging world a young chef faces today–the intense financial pressures, the overcrowded field of aspiring cooks, and the impact of reviews and social media, which can dictate who survives. A fast-paced narrative filled with suspense, Generation Chef is a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at drive and passion in one of today’s hottest professions.
The book is rated 3.67/5 at goodreads.com, from 127 ratings. See 26 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2dErB7P.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2fU0nuc.

A cooking book recommendation: A Really Big Lunch: Meditations on Food and Life from the Roving Gourmand by Jim Harrison

A critic review (source NPR) can be read at: http://n.pr/2y7kzzH.
Reading this book straight through is not advised, unless you have the stamina of those gourmands at the really big lunch. But snacking on classic Harrisonisms like “I’ve never been the man I used to be” is deliciously filling.
Book description from Google Books:
“[A] culinary combo plate of Hunter S. Thompson, Ernest Hemingway, Julian Schnabel, and Sam Peckinpah . . . Harrison writes with enough force to make your knees buckle and with infectious zeal that makes you turn the pages hungry for more . . . Jim Harrison has staked out a distinctive place in the world of food writing.”—Jane and Michael Stern, New York Times Book Review on The Raw and the CookedNew York Times bestselling author Jim Harrison was one of this country’s most beloved writers, a muscular, brilliantly economic stylist with a salty wisdom. He also wrote some of the best essays on food around, earning praise as “the poet laureate of appetite” (Dallas Morning News). A Really Big Lunch, to be published on the one-year anniversary of Harrison’s death, collects many of his food pieces for the first time—and taps into his larger-than-life appetite with wit and verve.Jim Harrison’s legendary gourmandise is on full display in A Really Big Lunch. From the titular New Yorker piece about a French lunch that went to thirty-seven courses, to pieces from Brick, Playboy, Kermit Lynch Newsletter, and more on the relationship between hunter and prey, or the obscure language of wine reviews, A Really Big Lunch is shot through with Harrison’s pointed aperçus and keen delight in the pleasures of the senses. And between the lines the pieces give glimpses of Harrison’s life over the last three decades. A Really Big Lunch is a literary delight that will satisfy every appetite.“Harrison is the American Rabelais, and he is at his irreverent and excessive best in this collection.” —John Skowles, San Diego Union-Tribune on The Raw and the Cooked
The book is rated 4.02/5 at goodreads.com, from 160 ratings. See 40 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2yNEIhK.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2yNRUTD.
Google Books preview available in full post.