Tuesday 17 October 2017

My Top Ten Foodie Books

The Broke and the Bookish host a weekly meme called Top Ten Tuesday.
Each week they nominate a topic to encourage those of us who love a good list to get all listy.
This week it's all about food.

My Top Ten Foodie Books 

I've been on a healthy food journey for most of my life.

Trying to find the balance between eating well and satisfying my sweet tooth has been a lifelong challenge. Combined with my environmental concerns about production, pesticides and waste, I have spent a lot of time researching, reading and trying to put into practice a sustainable way of living my life.

The two books that got me started on my food journey were gardening books purchased in the same year.
I was 24 years of age and had just moved into my own (permanent, non-uni) townhouse and I couldn't wait to start my own little herb garden.
These two books inspired me to move beyond the usual herbs as well as attempt to have a pesticide free garden (Companion Planting by Richard Bird).
What Herb is That? by John & Rosemary Hemphill also gave me recipe suggestions for how to use all those delicious herbs I was now growing.

A decade later I stumbled upon In Praise of Slow by Carl Honore.
Ten years into my professional career, life was hectic and I was feeling a little out of a control.
The title of this book screamed at me to buy it NOW!
In Praise of Slow helped me to get back in touch with seasonal living and helped me to rediscover the joy of growing and preparing fresh, homegrown foods.

A chance find in a second-hand bookshop, took me down the next path to eating well consistently.
Changing Habits, Changing Lives by Cyndi O'Meara really did change my life - slowly but surely - just as O'Meara said it would.

It wouldn't be a foodie book post without a book by Michael Pollan!
When I 'discovered' him in 2012, I was more than ready to hear what he had to say.
I started with Food Rules: An Eater's Manual.
Everything he said made sense and seemed practical.
It was quick and easy to read as well!

In Defence of Food by Michael Pollan was read in preparation for Pollan's visit to Australia in 2012.
Sadly, I don't remember very much about this book (& my post doesn't enlighten me either!)
A reread may be on the cards.

Love and Hunger by Charlotte Wood was recommended to me by good friend & fellow blogger, Girl Booker.
Charlotte Wood (as in the author of the dystopian novel The Natural Way of Things) is also a foodie.
This part memoir/part ode to comfort food/part joy in the sharing of meals together was just what I needed as I settled into my new role as wife and step-mum.

The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan took a while to read as it was my swim-bag book.
Curiously every time I think about this book, I smell chlorine!
The slow read gave me plenty of time to absorb and reflect on all of Pollan's thought-provoking points.

I still feel a little dubious about I Quit Sugar by Sarah Wilson, but it encouraged me (& Mr Books) to cut sugar out of our coffee and it changed my breakfast routine, so for that reason alone it deserves to be mentioned here.
I still make a toasted muesli based loosely on Wilson's granola recipe.
But I refuse to give up fruit or dried fruit completely.

Given my desire to practice a more mindful and slow approach to food, The Fast Diet by Michael Mosley and Mimi Spence may not seem like a logical choice.
But we were a perfect match from page one.
The 5:2 diet is one that suits my lifestyle and the science seemed reasonable too.

To finish up my top ten, I'm heading back into the realm of food fiction.
The best foodie novel I've ever read goes to Like Water For Chocolate by Laura Esquivel.
Recipes that promote love and good will and end with amazing sex...what's not to like?

What's your favourite foodie read?

Previous post - #AusReadingMonth Q&A
How much do you know about Australia?


  1. Anonymous17/10/17

    These books look like they'd be really informative! :-) I am intrigued by Changing Habits, Changing Lives.

    1. It works because O'Meara suggests you just read one chapter at a time, implement the change and don't read the next chapter until the previous one is ensconced as habit in your life. It made each change very do-able.
      The hard part was remembering to read the next chapter 3 mnths later!

  2. I love your take on this topic, and if I ever get committed to changing my eating lifestyle, I'll definitely be looking into some of these books.

    Have a great week. - Katie

  3. Both of the Michael Pollan books I've been meaning to read for a while.

  4. This post is a biography in food books. Food books have had a profound effect on your life. And it has been good.


  5. I love all of Michael Pollan's books. Omnivore's Dilemma is on my list too.
    I run a monthly link up for books about food. You are welcome to link up your post at http://www.spiritblog.net/october-2017-foodies-read. We have a monthly giveaway for books about food awarded by a draw from all the reviews posted.

  6. I agree, Heather. Michael Pollan has written some very thought-provoking books. Omnivore's Dilemma is my favorite one from him so far.

    Here is our Top Ten Tuesday.

    1. I've read all of Pollan's food books except for Cooked. I'm also rather keen to read his gardening book, Second Nature as well.

  7. My eating habits are terrible. I definitely need to look into a healthier, more natural eating style.

    Happy TTT!

  8. These sound like important books. I should pay more attention to what I eat. I read The Omnivore’s Dilemma in college and really liked it.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

  9. My 'hands down favorite cookbook' is
    The Little Paris Kitchen by Rachel Khoo
    ...simple, elegant and bon appétit!

    1. My favourite cookbook is an Australian one full of delicious Asian meals called Bill's Everyday Asian (Bill Granger).
      Khoo's is also on my bookshelf, although I've yet to cook anything from it :-(

    2. I will try Bill Granger's Everyday Asia....the cover even 'looks' delicious!

  10. I'm a huge Pollan fan. That is a great list you have there.

  11. What a thoughtful post. I really enjoyed reading about your health food journey.

  12. What a thoughtful and wonderful post. Thank you for sharing. I've made note of many of your book choices. My husband is the one who does most of the food preparation and cooking in our house, but we are trying to eat better and I like the sound of several of these. I haven't yet read Like Water for Chocolate, but it's on my TBR pile to read. I have a feeling I will like it.


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