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Staff Picks: Books

How to Eat a Lobster : And Other Edible Enigmas Explained

I think this must be one of the smallest books the library owns (4-3/4" x 6"), but there is certainly a lot in it. As implied by the title, it is a book of procedure. How many would know that it takes six tools (skewer, towel or dishcloth, mallet, kitchen knife, butter knife, and paring knife) to open a coconut? Step-by-step instructions are given for this task. Most of the book details how to eat various commodities, such as a papaya, pigs' feet, asparagus, and artichoke. There are pages on how to eat something messy or spicy and even how to recover from a tongue burn. Mealtime etiquette is covered, along with hints such as how to stop yourself from choking. The dedication in the front of this book is priceless: 'TO MY MOM: Thanks for supporting me through the years. I'll never forget the time you were worried I'd mess up cooking dinner for the first time, but then you proceeded to set the taco shells on fire yourself. I love you.'

A Super Upsetting Cookbook About Sandwiches

Despite the title, A Super Upsetting Cookbook About Sandwiches isn't actually all that upsetting. What it is, however, is an insanely great cookbook about- yes- sandwiches from Tyler Kord, owner and head chef at No. 7 Sub in New York. Hilariously written with lots of attitude and great stories surrounding each (delicious) sandwich, along with mouthwatering photography by none other than William Wegman (famous for taking photos of his pet Weimaraner dogs wearing costumes), this is well worth a read if you love sandwiches, or funny writing, or both.

Smoothies Forever

Over the past several years, I've attempted to reduce my sugar and ice cream intake (not an easy endeavor) by experimenting with a variety of smoothies solutions. Smoothies can be a great way to add a tasteful source of protein to your diet as well. Be they green and full of super foods like spinach, kale, mango and pineapple or something a bit more centered around summer berries, our collection has a wealth of recipes that will aid in your finding of the perfect combination.

A Feast for the Eyes

I can't speak to quality or accuracy of the recipes contained in the following books, but the photos in these cookbooks, all published in 2016, will certainly leave your stomach growling!

Samarkand: Recipes & Stories from Central Asia & the Caucasus

Summers Under the Tamarind Tree: Recipes & Memories from Pakistan

Taste of Persia: A Cook's Travels Through Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iran, and Kurdistan

Bowl: Vegetarian Recipes for Ramen, Pho, Bibimbap, Dumplings, and Other One-Dish Meals

The Love and Lemons Cookbook: An Apple-to-Zucchini Celebration of Impromptu Cooking

Koreatown: A Cookbook

Modern Potluck: Beautiful Food to Share

The Saffron Tales: Recipes from the Persian Kitchen

Marbled, Swirled, and Layered: 150 Recipes and Variations for Artful Bars, Cookies, Pies, Cakes, and More

Art of the Pie: A Practical Guide to Homemade Crusts, Fillings, and Life

Dorie's Cookies

Amaro: The Spirited World of Bittersweet, Herbal Liqueurs, with Cocktails, Recipes, and Formulas
*Not exactly a cookbook, but consider it your digestif to this visual meal.


Somethingtofoodabout is a testament to what you can do when you reach the upper echelons of pop cultural cool. By all accounts, Questlove (drummer, producer, musical director, NYT bestselling author and culinary bon vivant) has reached the highest heights of hipness and now is basically tenured in the university of cool and can seemingly do whatever he pleases. Thankfully, Questlove’s celebrity was earned the old-fashioned way, through hard work and talent, as opposed to the "Kardashian" way, and he continuously makes interesting creative choices, including this new book. Instead of creating a celebrity cookbook or turning himself into yet another made-for-tv food impresario, Questlove gives us a book about the creative aspect of high-level cooking, filled with interesting photographs and rich conversations with chefs at the white-hot center of the food world. The book is artistic, unexpected, and casually but totally unapologetically cool. Check it out.



I like weird books and I cannot lie! If you like them too, checkout HOT DOG TASTE TEST by illustrator Lisa Hanawalt. The book is ostensibly about foodie culture and such, but Hanawalt’s charming watercolor illustrations, wacky animal obsessions, and just plain weird and wonderful sense of humor make this so much more.