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Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

Elizabeth Gilbert (Riverhead)

Gilbert draws an unexpected lesson from the experience of writing Eat Pray Love in this self-help manual: realistic self-expectations are important. Stymied by the prospect of attempting to top her blockbuster success, she eventually learned to reject perfectionism and embrace being good enough (and went on to write another bestseller.)


Vegetarian India: A Journey Through the Best of Indian Home Cooking

Madhur Jaffrey (Knopf)

Jaffrey, a seven-time James Beard Award winner for her stellar cookbooks, explores vegetarian home cooking in this exceptional new collection of traditional dishes.


The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science

J. Kenji López-Alt (Norton)

López-Alt, the managing culinary director of Serious Eats and author of its Food Lab column, embarks on a massive investigation into the best methods for preparing a litany of foods and takes a deep dive into classic recipes and their best preparation methods.


Hummelo: A Journey Through a Plantsman's Life

Piet Oudolf and Noel Kingsbury (Monacelli)

This beautiful book follows the work of Dutch landscape designer Oudolf, the man behind the plantings at New York City's High Line park, beginning with the creation of Hummelo, the garden he began 30 years ago with his wife, Anja, to supply the plants required for his designs.


My Kitchen Year: 136 Recipes That Saved My Life

Ruth Reichl (Random)

When the doors closed at Gourmet magazine in 2009, editor-in-chief Reichl came to terms with her professional upheaval by plunging into her greatest pleasure—cooking. Reichl proves that getting lost in a recipe can be excellent therapy.


How to Raise a Wild Child: The Art and Science of Falling in Love with Nature

Scott D. Sampson (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

Paleontologist Sampson sounds a resonant, timely call for parents to help their kids connect to nature. Observing that recent generations have undergone a "progressive alienation" from nature, he proposes that his own generation—the boomers—were the last to be raised with a strong connection to the outdoors.


Zahav: A World of Israeli Cooking

Michael Solomonov and Steven Cook (HMH/Rux Martin)

When Solomonov developed a passion for Israeli cooking and wanted to show the full breadth of the cuisine, he started his own restaurant, Zahav, in Philadelphia in 2008. He shares his story as well as his wide-ranging approach to Israeli cuisine in this impressive collection of recipes that will challenge any preconceptions.


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