Poor Borders, the days of big box book stores is on the decline, and I am frightened to think about the state of the book industry as a whole. Our society is so dazzled by Kindles and iPads, I wonder how long it will be before bound books go the way of the Walkman. You may not have noticed, but the New York Times Book Review has even added a top ten of digital books, that is books that have never been published in a traditional manner, and these books are outpacing bound books in popularity. I have to wonder if I would have found some of the books in my collection without the aisles of a bookstore. Oh yes, having studied literature in college I have the classics, but those are easy to find. In recent years, my word lust has bent in the direction of food, even my trash fiction. There are great works that make you think like Animal Vegetable Mineral and In the Defense of Food, and there are books that make you feel like Like Water for Chocolate and true kitchen stories like Heat and there are of course beach books like The Wife of a Chef.
Lately, I am rereading Setting the Table by Danny Meyer, because I am trying to stay focused on refining definition of hospitality. Outside of cookbooks, what are your top ten food books in your library or on your iPod? Who inspires you?