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Nov 1, 2010 06:18 AM

Should I add these three to my overflowing bookcase? AAArrrrgghh!

Have wish-listed:

The Essential New York Times Cookbook by Amanda Hesser
One Big Table by Molly O'Neill
Falling Off The Bone by Jean Anderson

Advice? Reviews? Thanks....

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  1. The NYT Essentials has been intriguing me ever since I read the reviews. I would consider buying this one because of the sheer volume of the recipes going back to the 1900s up to today. I have two old NYT cookbooks that I used in the 70s, like very much and still refer to.

    "One Big Table" doesn't hold the same fascination for me as a few other recent cookbooks. It's another big book and a compendium of American cooking that I think will just take up valuable bookshelf real estate and that I probably won't cook from.

    However, on the strength of the excerpted recipes from the Anderson book I'm definitely interested in this one.. I think it would be a terrific COTM for January for instance. I like Jean Anderson anyway and own her "Jean Anderson Cooks." "Falling off the Bone" sounds like a good homey cookbook.

    Finally, the best way to decide before buying any cookbook, IMO, is to preview the book first at a library and failing that looking in a bricks and mortar book store...Good Luck with your decision

    1 Reply
    1. re: Gio

      Thanks, Gio. Would love to have a city library; ours are small community libraries with low budgets and very few cookbooks are purchased. When I was a librarian there a few years ago, I managed to order about a dozen to upgrade our stock. Since then, cookbooks have been few and far between, mostly tending toward Southern cookbooks (which I love) and celebrity/Food Network cookbooks. I really have to decide on my own (and with great advice from people I trust, like y'all here on Chow) for helpful info. I love Jean Anderson, too - will probably go with the NYTimes one and hers.....

    2. I have The Essential New York Times Cookbook on order, and I am definitely looking forward to making room for that one in my overstuffed bookcases. I, like Gio, have the two older NYT cookbooks, and while they are not as well-used as they once were, there are a few recipes that we refer to. As to your other two, I agree with Gio that the Molly O'Neil, on first glance, does not appeal that much, but that the Anderson may require perusal before a final decision.

      1. If I had to pick one, it would be the new NYT book. For me personally, it's a must-have. The NYT cookbooks are like the big Gourmet books to me, often a starting point or at least a comparison point when I'm considering recipes. Besides, I like Amanda Hesser's writing, and I like the way the recipes were selected.
        I have a few more wants before I'm going to consider the other two although I agree with the other posters that the Jean Anderson looks particularly interesting.

        1. No way. I don't care how good they are-- not having clutter is better!! The middle one comes on Kindle, and they have a download for Mac and PC now if you don't have a kindle or iphone.

          5 Replies
          1. re: jvanderh

            Unfortunately, I enjoy clutter and have plenty of room....and it would make me crazy(ier) to have a recipe book on a kindle - be hard to write on it! hahaha

            1. re: jvanderh

              The written word is not clutter. There's a certain panache to picking up a book and reading. So much satisfaction and imagery. And, as Bayoucook has said... one cannot write one's notes on a screen.

              1. re: Gio

                Thanks, Gio - that's another reason I don't own a kindle (et al) - I read at least two books a week - free from my library - cost at kindle - ouch! Anyway, I'm tactile, I guess - want the book and the pages and the pictures and writing space....

              2. re: jvanderh

                Have you ever actually tried using a cookbook on a Kindle? I have, and it was a disaster: recipes on multiple pages, no way to browse, just awful. If you know something I don't, please enlighten me!

                1. re: pikawicca

                  I haven't had any bad experiences with cookbooks, but I don't think I've read any with pictures. I have read some other books that just weren't converted very well- art was cut off or split between pages or too small to see. It might be less awful on a computer screen than a Kindle. You can write notes, I think. I think they even sync between your devices.

              3. Just got Falling Off the Bone yesterday; found myself drooling as I went through it. It's going to be a favorite for sure. Almost didn't get it b/c I love All About Braising so much and figure the two would be similar....and they are...but FOTB has some different ideas and I'm really glad I got it. I'm a fan of Jean Anderson. Not going to get One Big Table, will probably get the NYTimes one later. I'm happy.