Bedtime reading

Do you guys read cookbooks and food related books in bed? It’s recently become my favourite little thing. There’s just an incredible comfort that comes from reading about other people’s food memories, their family traditions, and unforgettable exotic flavours they encountered in faraway lands.


For me it all began when I felt like re-reading Miss Dahl’s Voluptuous Delights by Sophie Dahl on a rainy Sunday morning. I remembered the beautifully written essays at the beginning of each section and felt like revisiting some of them; I also hoped to find some inspiration before shopping for the week’s meals. I thought I’d read the essay at the start of the winter section and then flip through the seasonal recipes for some ideas. I did just that but then at bedtime I simply continued reading. A week later I had read the whole book, bit by bit every night.

I have now moved on to reading Where shall we go for dinner? by Tamasin Day Lewis which is described as a food romance and it is just that. A book about food, and travel and love; it’s such a joy to read.

Next up, I’ve got my sights on Julie and Julia by Julie Powell; considering how much I love the movie it’s about time I read it. But I’d love to hear what your favourite food memoirs and cookbooks are?


22 thoughts on “Bedtime reading

  1. Laura says:

    Oooh, I love Julie and Julia, so I hope you enjoy that! I really really love reading cookbooks- like, even if I’ve only made one or two things from them, I’ve probably read the whole book from cover to cover.

    I’m trying to think of good food memoirs… Toast by Nigel Slater is amazing, and My Life in France by Julia Child isn’t strictly a food memoir, but it sort of is cause it’s Julia Child.

  2. lindamiller251 says:

    This one is easy–Tender at the Bone by Ruth Reichl, former editor of Gourmet magazine. It’s one of my all-time favorite reads, food related or not. Her stories of her mother’s cooking–and her mother’s fondness of leftovers (the first page will explain it all) are priceless.

  3. Beth F says:

    Oh gosh, not easy at all! I love all kinds of food writing — from memoirs to history. Enjoy your adventure. I haven’t read Day-Lewis, so I’ll add that book to my list.

  4. jama says:

    I’ve been wanting to read Sophie Dahl’s book as well as TD Lewis’s. Also enjoy anything by Ruth Reichel and Laurie Colwin. And it’s always a joy to reread My Life in France and Julie and Julia.

  5. Nan says:

    I want to look into both the books you mentioned. I’m a fan of Tamasin D-L. Oh, and though I LOVED the J&J movie, I hated the book. I couldn’t even finish it.

  6. Trish says:

    I really liked Tender at the Bone and The Kitchen Counter Cooking Club. Seems like there have been more that I’ve read but of course I’m drawing a blank. I loved Julie and Julia the movie and would like to read the book one day. I’ve been meaning to grab a cookbook to bring to bed with me–maybe I’ll grab one tonight.

  7. Janel says:

    I’ve always liked Walking On Walnuts by Nancy Ring. Gives you a glimpse of what it’s like to be a female pastry chef in NYC. Interesting.

  8. joyweesemoll says:

    What a wonderful bedtime ritual. I’ve been on a bit of a Julia Child kick: My Life in France, Julia Child Rules by Karen Karbo, and Provence, 1970 by Luke Barr. And if you don’t mind a children’s book in the mix: Minette’s Feast by Susanna Reich.

  9. A Fresh Tomorrow says:

    Check out Relish by Lucy Knisley. She is a cartoonist and she chronicles her love of food. It includes recipes, too.

  10. Literary Relish says:

    Have you read ‘Like Water for Chocolate (Como agua para chocolate) by Laura Esquival? The film is fab but the original book even better. It’s classic LA magical realism focusing on food, love and relationships. Each chapter starts with a recipe. I’m sure you’d love it.

  11. chowmeyow says:

    I absolutely love food writing! I read a lot of it – many good ones mentioned above – I echo the recommendation of Ruth Reichl’s books, starting with Tender at the Bone. I also love Calvin Trillin’s The Tummy Trilogy – his books are great fun. He still writes for the New Yorker too, I just read a great essay he wrote in a December issue.

    Another great food memoir with great recipes is A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg. (You can also read her on her blog: )

    My absolute favorites though are “Home Cooking” and “More Home Cooking” by Laurie Colwin. These are two of the most comforting books I’ve ever read in my life. Laurie will feel like an old friend immediately, and her enthusiasm for food, cooking, and life is contagious. I really hope you’ll get a chance to check them out – they are so very lovely.

  12. Charlie says:

    I enjoyed Mastering The Art Of Soviet Cooking by Anya von Bremzen, but other than that I’ve not read any memoirs – general foodie non-fiction, yes. My favourite so far is Eat The City by Robin Shulman. There aren’t any recipes but it’s about people growing and making food where you wouldn’t usually expect it so it’s very interesting.

  13. Couscous & Consciousness says:

    I love reading a good cookbook at bedtime, or propping myself up with one on a wet and lazy Sunday morning in bed. I’ve been eager to read Sophie Dahl, so I’ll keep an eye out for that one. For a well written cookbook, Nigella Lawson’s How to Eat is pretty hard to top, and I’ve also heard great things about Toast by Nigel Slater.

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