For the Reader

The list of phenomenal cookbooks published this year was long. Shorter, but just as sweet, are these picks for 2015's great non-cookbook books. Must reads include Matt Goulding’s Rice, Noodle, Fish and the second edition of The Wine Bible, a perfect entry into the world of wine and an indispensable resource over time.

Rice, Noodle, Fish

Matt Goulding’s debut book about the food of Japan is part travel diary, part travel guide. The book traverses Japan through the eyes of shokuinin, masters of their craft, and the experience of eating in Japan somehow jumps off the page both visually and through Goulding’s lush prose.

Seriously, You Have to Eat

Following his hilarious Go the F**k to Sleep and You Have to F**king Eat, Adam Mansbach’s newest book Seriously, You Have to Eat is the version of the story you can actually read to your children. It’s among the new wave of children’s books that’s as amusing for parents as it is for the kid.

Tacopedia

The English-language translation of Tacopedia, first published in Spanish in 2013, does not disappoint. It’s a deep dive into the world of tacos and taquerias — there are recipes, but the point of this book is to be a resource into a foodstuff that is largely misunderstood in the U.S. Here, finally, is a guide worth its salt that’s also fun to read.

Bitterman's Field Guide to Bitters and Amari

Spritzes, sours, and solvents: Mark Bitterman’s primer is what U.S. drinkers need to better understand the bitter substances that make cocktails memorable and worth drinking. The glossary of bittering agents reads like a witch’s cupboard of potions and tinctures. Though the book contains recipes, the curious reader will find it more useful as a reference and guide.

Inside Chefs' Fridges

Inside Chefs’ Fridges, Europe is the coffee table book/stealth cookbook that goes inside the refrigerators of Inaki Aizpitarte (Le Chateaubriand), Massimo Bottura (Osteria Francescana), Joan Roca (El Celler de Can Roca), and Marco Pierre White — whose fridge you absolutely must to see. No spoilers.

The Wine Bible

When it was first published in 2000, Karen MacNeil’s The Wine Bible was heralded as “the most complete wine book ever.” No book could be completely comprehensive, but MacNeil’s is the rare 995-page manual to hit all the high notes, offer a balanced view on the history, creation, and current state of wine — and keep it lively. A reference and resource, this second edition is also perfectly readable on the train.

Driving Hungry: a Memoir

Blog-turned-memoir Driving Hungry focuses on author Layne Mosler's search for local-approved good food. She seeks out the favorite restaurants of taxi drivers in major cities — from Buenos Aires to New York to Berlin — and in the course of her adventures even becomes a taxi driver herself.

The Omnivore's Dilemma: Young Readers Edition

Out this year is a new young readers edition of the classic bestseller that revolutionized the way America eats. With graphs and plenty of other visuals, the book from "supermarket detective" Michael Pollan will encourage kids and teens to think smarter about everything from fast food to organic farming.

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