Garlic and Sapphires:  The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise, by Ruth Reichl
Ruth Reichl was the New York Times Food for a few years and is now the Editor and Chief for Gourmet Magazine.  She writes about her experiences as a food critic and the lengths she goes  in order to avoid detection.  It’s funny and provides an interesting insight into the world of restaurant critics.  I really enjoyed the book.
Omnivores’s Dilemma,By Michael Pollen. 
 If there’s one book that everyone interested in food should read this one is it.  Michael Pollen works his way from production to our table following several different food chains routes.  It sounds a lot drier than it is.  Believe me this is a very interesting, well written book and everyone that I have recommended it to has liked it immensely. 
 Mindless Eating:  Why We Eat More Than We Think, By Brian Wansink, PhD.
Brian Wansink is a professor at Cornell and runs a food psychology lab which studies the hidden cues which determine how much and why people eat.  Written for the layperson he summarizes many experiments where humans were the subject.  This is a revealing and very amusingly written book with some experiments which will become classics.  One involves having people eat soup out of a bowl that is endlessly refilling itself.  It has some useful information to help people be more mindful of how they eat and how much they eat.  This is a very fun and informative read.  Highly recommended! 
It Must’ve Been Something I Ate, by Jeffrey Steingarten  
Jeffrey Steingarten is a real foodie.  He explores a different subject in each chapter and for those of us who are passionate about food, this is a fascinating read.  You'll learn everything you want to know about salt, tuna, caviar, MSG, and chocolate, espresso, parmesan cheese and pizza.  There are a few recipes but mostly you'll learn important things like whether you can really differentiate between different salts and who bakes the best baguette in Paris.  This is a little known, but very interesting book. 
 Uncommon Fruits and Vegetables, a Commonsense Guide:  By Ellizabeth Schneider
Many of the fruits and vegetables (and fungi) discussed in this book are regular fare for many of us.  But I guarantee they'll be information that's totally new and interesting to even the most learned gourmet.  For instance, we were debating what a cherimoya is.  It's also known as a custard apple but at Wegmans it's called cherimoya.  You'll find out everything about this wonderful fruit from its history, to its cultivation, selection, storage, use and nutritional qualities. The trick to picking a good cherimoya is to have it be soft to the touch, a little more give than a ripe mango.  You also need to smell it and if it gives off a wonderful perfume, buy it.  For people, like me, who love to read about foods and try new ones, this is a really interesting book to browse through or use as a reference guide.  There are interesting recipes also so that you can experiment with celeriac. breadfruit, burdock root (or gobo), feijoa or chayote.      
Greetings from the Fingerlakes:  A Food and Winelover's Companion by Michael Turback   
 Michael's restaurant, "Turbacks" was an Ithaca establishment for almost 30 years.  Turbacks was the first restaurant in the area that supported local farmers and local winemakers. He also ran a store for several years that sold locally made produce and goods, so it's no surprise that he was the perfect person to write this book.  He did a lot of research eating and drinking his way through the fingerlake's region restaurants and wineries.   I can't think of a better job, actually.  This book is perfect for visitors to the region as well as for locals who want to get out and explore the area.  Michael includes reviews of many of the Finger Lakes restaurants and gives a little background about many of the wineries.  This book is also packed with information about other food establishments in the area including Cornell Orchards, Earlybird Farm, and Ithaca Beer Company.  There are also some good recipes like Spitzenberg Apple Cake made with locally grown Spitzenberg apples or Killer Shrimp from Chef Samantha Izzo of Simply Red Bistro who has now moved to Sheldrake Point Winery as the head chef.  This wonderful sounding recipe uses dark local Ithaca Ale to cook the shrimp. Reading this book reminds us natives why we decided to stay right here in the heart of the Finger Lakes to put down our roots.    
The New Food Lover's Companion: Barron's Cooking Guide, by Sharon  Tyler Herbst   
This is a must have book for all serious cooks and gourmands.  It's a dictionary of 6000 food, drink and culinary terms.  It's fun to browse through and find terms and foods that you never heard of or that you've heard but never really known what it meant.  It's also a great resource.  For example you can learn all about kudzu, its history, its culinary uses, and its nutritional value. You can learn that pilchard is a fish, trotters are pig's feet and salmi is a ragout.  You can learn what a complete protein is and the difference between pan-broiling and pan-frying.  Did you know that pandanus and screwpine leaves were the same thing?  Or that pandowdy is made with apples?  There's a pasta glossary and a glossary of food additives and what they do.  You can also find out the volume of different pans so that you can interchange pans for instance a 9x5x3 inch loaf pan for a 9×2 inch round cake pan. One section in the appendix tells you how to substitute ingredients. I keep this book close at hand for constant reference.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
HEAT: {An amateur’s adventures as kitchen slave, line cook, pasta-maker, and apprentice to a Dante-quoting butcher in Tuscany}, by Bill Buford
This is another biography about the behind the scenes working of a restaurant. Bill Buford left his job as a writer for the New Yorker and joined the team of cooks at Babbo, the restaurant of Mario Batali.  You really need to love cooking and be very curious about the down and dirty details of working in the kitchen of a famous chef.  This book is amusing, hilarious, outrageous and boring depending on the chapter.  Buford is on a mission to learn how to cook really great, authentic Italian food.  This journey takes him to Panzano Italy in order to apprentice with a butcher.  Buford is a very good writer who artfully captures the daily dramas of being a cook, as well as the great amount of discipline, masochism and training that goes into the job.  For passionate foodies this book is recommended.  You’ll learn a lot about the inner workings of a restaurant and understand some of the more obscure and interesting aspects of Italian cooking.
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle:  A Year of Food Life, by Barbara Kingsolver 
Barbara Kingsolver is branching out with this book about her family’s experiment with living off the land.  The book begins as the family makes the big move from Arizona back to family roots in southern Appalachia.  The family agrees that they will only eat what they grow or what is grown locally.  No more tomatoes mid winter.  Each chapter covers a different aspect of their adventure. Husband Steven Hopp provides some interesting sidebars about some more technical or political aspects of their new lifestyle.  Daughter Camille Kingsolver also contributes a section in every chapter about her viewpoints and recipe advice.  Even the youngest child, Lily gets involved in a meaningful way.  I really enjoyed reading about Lily's commercial venture raising an antique breed of chickens for their eggs.  Anyone interested in the subject of farming and living off the land will enjoy this book.  Barbara with her elegant writing style covers a range of subjects from making mozzarella cheese from scratch, to the slow foods movement, and the seed savers exchange.  
My Life in France, by Julia Child with Alex Pruh’homme
      Many of us older gourmands grew up watching Julia Child teach us about how to cook and enjoy French cuisine. She was a class act: wise and so knowledgeable, cheerful and full of quirky energy that made her such an endearing personality. This is her memoir dictated through a series of interviews with her nephew Alex Prud’homme. Her personality comes through so distinctly that I can really picture her vividly as she recalls her life from the time she first arrived in France in 1948. For Julia it was “love at first sight” when this sheltered, young woman with a WASP background first set her eyes (and her taste buds) on Paris. She loved the people, the culture, and particularly the food and the wine. This is her story, told in her voice and written by Paul after her death August 13th, 2004 two days before her 92nd birthday. 
     I truly feasted on this book. It is a “must read” for anyone who grew up with Julia or who has used her many cookbooks, or even people who never heard of her, but love good food. It was she that introduced us to the first successful television cooking program. Julia Child was the pioneer and inspiration for all those chef TV personalities who followed. Her passion for great food and cooking inspired many of the amateur and professional chefs of today.