The books Southern indie booksellers are recommending to readers everywhere!

Cooking

Justice of the Pies by Maya-Camille Broussard

What a beautiful cookbook! It’s the perfect blend of stunning visuals, original and well-written recipes, dynamite prose in the talky bits, plus a strong social-justice mission. Broussard presents her sweet and savory recipes from the point-of-view of a Black, hearing-impaired, small business owner who has been giving back to her Chicago community through teaching, donating, and empowering others. Between the recipes (and inspiring many) are profiles of people she calls "Stewards": others who strive for equity. If that’s not enough inspiration, how about Salted Caramel Peach Pie, Chicken & Biscuit Pot Pie, Churro Whoopie Pies! Honoring her public defender late father’s memory, this book also makes a great family gift.

Justice of the Pies by Maya-Camille Broussard, (List Price: $30, Clarkson Potter, 9780593234440, October 2022)

Reviewed by Kelly Justice, Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, Virginia

Turkey and the Wolf by Mason Hereford

Mason Hereford’s fun-loving personality is fully on display in this compilation of very accessible recipes from his New Orleans “sandwich joint.” Inspired by his childhood in rural Virginia as well as his new home in New Orleans, Hereford applies his irreverent attitude as frequently as he uses garnishes from the convenience store.

Turkey and the Wolf by Mason Hereford, (List Price: $30, Ten Speed Press, 9781984858993, June 2022)

Reviewed by Anne Peck, Righton Books in St Simons Island, Georgia

The Red Truck Bakery Farmhouse Cookbook by Brian Noyes

I have always been interested in cookbooks, the recipes, the notes, the tips, I enjoy them all.To say I enjoyed The Red Truck Bakery Farmhouse Cookbook would be an understatement. I was captured by the forward and could not wait to explore the heart of the book. I’ll address the recipes, I did not see any that were not intriguing, the attention to the ingredients and why they matter is well explained and designed. The heart of the book is the love and energy for cooking and feeding that shines through in Brian Noyes words about the particular recipe. How it came to be, the historical twist, who it was created for, and happy accidents (like the chili for the neighbors chili cookout). I felt like I was in the room listening to him talk and create, and oh how I wish that were so. Buy this as a gift for someone special, get an extra copy for yourself to ensure the gift actually makes it out of your hands!

The Red Truck Bakery Farmhouse Cookbook by Brian Noyes, (List Price: 28, Clarkson Potter, 9780593234815, August 2022)

Reviewed by Jackie Willey, Fiction Addiction in Greenville, South Carolina

The Anime Chef Cookbook by Nadine Estero

For anyone who has ever watched a Studio Ghibli film, and any genre of Anime, you will know that passion for food is one of the essentials of this art. For many of us, the response to the beautifully drawn dishes and the sense of awe and euphoria that over takes the characters is: HOW DO YOU MAKE THIS AMAZING FOOD?!?!?!? Well, thanks to Nadine Estero that question has finally been answered. The Anime Chef Cookbook is filled with delicious recipes that are easy to follow and created delicious dishes. In addition to the details of how to create these dishes, each recipe gives detailed information regarding which show or movie and episode that the recipe was inspired by. I highly recommend the After Practice Nikuman with its savory filling wrapped in the thin steamed dough, and the Ohagai rice balls with the chewy outer layer of glutinous rice and the rich creamy filling of bean paste.

The Anime Chef Cookbook by Nadine Estero, (List Price: $24.99, Rock Point, 9781631068669, September 2022)

Reviewed by Gretchen Shuler, Fiction Addiction in Greenville, South Carolina

Learning Korean by Peter Serpico

Born in South Korean, Peter Serpico was adopted by an American family when he was two, and only started to discover the cooking of his native country as an adult. Full of practical home cooking for American families, this cookbook is a great introduction to one of the world’s most wonderful cuisines.

Learning Korean by Peter Serpico, (List Price: $35, W. W. Norton & Company, 9781324003229, May 2022)

Reviewed by Anne Peck, Righton Books in St Simons Island, Georgia

My America by Kwame Onwuachi

Kwame Onwuachi went from Top Chef Kwame to Author Kwame for me with Notes from a Young Black Chef, one of my favorite books of 2019. My America: Recipes from a Young Black Chef blends chef and author to create a rich exploration of the food that influenced Onwuachi and he has been inspired to create. Featuring not just recipes but family history, travel stories, and anecdotal tales, My America is a celebration that deserves in place in everyone’s cookbook collection.

My America by Kwame Onwuachi, (List Price: $35, Knopf, 9780525659600, May 2022)

Reviewed by Beth Seufer Buss, Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

The Book of Difficult Fruit by Kate Lebo

Lovers of early Diane Ackerman, Michael Pollan, and possibly Ruth Reichl will enjoy this collection of alphabetically saluted fruits! Essayist, poet, and pie lady Kate Lebo expertly blends the culinary, medical, and personal in a book of essays, accompanied by recipes that you will probably never use but are fascinating to read! Lebo’s chops both literary and gustatory are fully exercised in this fascinating collection. It’s full of surprises! One page you’ll be drooling and the next will make you nauseous, even fearful for our intrepid explorer of all things fruit. Much of the book is personal and shares some common ground with Cheryl Strayed. Great gift for a young chef, plant lover, or poet!

The Book of Difficult Fruit by Kate Lebo (List Price: $18, Picador, 9780374110321, 4/12/2022)

Reviewed by Kelly Justice, Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, Virginia

The Modern Proper by Holly Erickson

A chapter devoted to dips, spreads, and dressings… and a chapter on meatballs? We were instantly smitten! And we continued to return to this collection of unfussy, from-scratch recipes designed for family meals or entertaining (but definitely scalable down: I’m talking about you, Saucy Grilled Cheese with Asparagus.) The Modern Proper will bring fun, imaginative food into your world.

The Modern Proper by Holly Erickson, (List Price: $32, S&S/Simon Element, 9781982177669,  April 2022)

Reviewed by Anne Peck, Righton Books in St Simons Island, Georgia

Cooking at Home by David Chang

This cookbook is excellent if you’re ready to level up by learning to cook without recipes (like my husband) or if you are terrible at cooking and just think it’s interesting to read about (like me). Highly recommend to cooks/eaters of all skill levels.

Cooking at Home by David Chang, (List Price: $35.00, Clarkson Potter, 9781524759247, October 2021)

Reviewed by Kate Storhoff, Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Gastro Obscura by Cecily Wong

For years, Atlas Obscura has been the go-to volume for adventurers who are looking for those off-the beaten-path journeys. Now foodies can join in the fun with Gastro Obscura, a deep dive into the wild and wonderful world of travel food, and with entries like giant Dallah ( Arabic coffee pots) fountains, there’s plenty to keep the curious reading way too late.

Gastro Obscura by Cecily Wong, (List Price: $42.50, Workman Publishing Company, 9781523502196, October 2021)

Reviewed by Angie Tally, The Country Bookshop in Southern Pines, North Carolina

Booze Over Broadway by Tiller Press

Booze Over Broadway combines two of my favorite things: Broadway and fun drinks! Needless to say I was overjoyed to stumble across this book. The names of the drinks are witty, the commentary is deeply amusing, and the content of the recipes are tasty and fun! I can’t wait to buy myself a copy of this book for my cookbook collection.

Booze Over Broadway by Tiller Press, (List Price: $19.99, Tiller Press, 9781982160005, December 2021)

Reviewed by Mary Louise Callaghan, Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Bittman Bread by Mark Bittman

Last winter I decided I wanted to learn to bake bread…then I learned that Mark Bittman was writing a bread cookbook and decided to wait, which was a fantastic decision. Bittman Bread is everything I need in a bread cookbook—clear instructions, plenty of pictures, and a method that seems almost fail-proof. Bittman and co-author Kerri Conan have crafted the perfect recipe for a no-knead loaf that makes whole grains the star of the show and leaves you with a sourdough starter for your next loaf. Going beyond their basic loaf, the pair explore a variety of bread variations as well as recipes to level up the bread-baking game: focaccia, baguettes, desserts, and more. And excellent guide for beginners or more advanced bakers looking for a proven method of quick baking, Bittman Bread is a must-read cookbook that comes just in time for winter baking and holiday gift giving!

Bittman Bread by Mark Bittman, (List Price: $35.00, Mariner Books, 9780358539339, 2021-11-09)

Reviewed by Beth Seufer Buss, Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Girly Drinks by Mallory O’Meara

What an absolute blast of a book! I love these sort of scientific/sociological looks at oft-overlooked parts of everyday life, and Girly Drinks fits the bill perfectly! The author succinctly and hilariously tells the story of how women were originally in charge of the production and distribution of alcohol. She then details how women lost that power and social cache, and ends the book on a hopeful note about modern women who are making big strides towards equality in the new era. I learned about so many interesting, powerful, influential women that I had never heard of before, but I wish I had! I also really appreciated the author’s use of correct terminology – namely, distinguishing biological sex from gender. She takes the time to specifically say that she is referencing cisgender or AFAB (assigned female at birth) women, and even mentions the contributions of trans women! I would highly recommend Girly Drinks to anyone who’s ever been even a little bit interested in the history of alcohol or the gendered constructs surrounding it. Fantastic!

Girly Drinks by Mallory O’Meara, (List Price: $27.99, Hanover Square Press, 9781335282408, October 2021)

Reviewed by Kate Wilder, Story on the Square in McDonough, Georgia


Finding Freedom by Erin French

Foodies rejoice!!! This sophisticated memoir will have your mouth watering to know more about this amazing author. I love the restaurant. The harder it is to get in the more determined people will be to get a reservation. Determination, grit, and talent take this book well into place as my favorite nonfiction book of the year.

Finding Freedom by Erin French (List Price: $28, Celadon Books, 9781250312341, 4/6/2021)

Reviewed by Jean Lewis, Copperfish Books in Punta Gorda, Florida

Scroll to Top