5 (Non-Cookbook) Books to Gift the Foodies in Your Life


Foodies adore everything related to eating and drinking: Talking about it. Writing about it. Reading about it. We love looking at photographs, hearing stories, and uncovering delicious new recipes. We plan our vacations around restaurants and vineyards, skipping souvenirs and splurging on our tastebuds – and we use food to celebrate success, grieve loss, and comfort our loved ones. If you need a gift for the food lover in your life but want more than just another kitchen gadget or boring cookbook, try one of these humorous, insightful, and entertaining reads!

Garlic & Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise
by Ruth Reichl

My personal favorite! World famous food critic Ruth Reichl writes for the New York Times and quickly realizes that the meals and service she receives in NYC’s top restaurants are atypical of that of  “common” New Yorkers. In order to see a restaurant’s true colors and offer readers more authentic reviews, she dons elaborate disguises to conceal her identity – which also allows her to eat in diners and noodle shops from which her predecessors steered clear. Funny, well-written, and filled with food, this book also contains some of her favorite simple recipes. Excellent for the foodie who loves hole-in-the-wall takeout as much as Michelin star dining.

Bread & Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table with Recipes
by Shauna Niequest

This best-seller is a collection of autobiographical essays from author and speaker Shauna Niequest. Sharing snippets of motherhood, marriage and friendship, Niequest’s third book feels like a conversation with your best friend – wine in hand. Recipes from her kitchen are woven throughout stories of life and love around the table – perfect for the foodie who values community, friendship and the dishes that bind them together.

Julie & Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously
by Julie Powell

What began as one woman’s desperate foray into blogging and French cuisine ended up a best-selling novel and movie starring Amy Adams and Meryl Streep. This book is Julie Powell’s experience cooking through Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking in one year – failures and all – as told through her original blog. More stream-of-consciousness than literary masterpiece, it’s still funny and honest (though laced with profanity). This is a great choice for wannabe food bloggers and anyone who has ever attempted to make their own mayonnaise.

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life
by Barbara Kinsolver

Another autobiographical food experiment, this time the author’s entire family takes on the task of growing, raising, and preparing what lands on their table (or sourcing it locally if they must). Though challenging at times, Barbara Kinsolver’s clan stays upbeat and dedicated to their task and each other. Eye-opening and engaging without being snobbish and preachy, this a great read for anyone who has joined the “real food” movement or is passionate about sustainable resources and local commerce.

My Life in France
by Julia Child

You know her as the tall, matronly woman who single-handedly changed American kitchens with her book Mastering the Art of French Cooking and popular TV show The French Chef. But there was a time when Julia Child didn’t know one single word of French or even how to scramble eggs properly…that’s where this story begins. Perfect for francophiles, history buffs and anyone who’s a sucker for a true-life underdog story.

books for foodies

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Wichita Mom's Content Director, Erin owns Elite Media Ink, a marketing + PR agency in Wichita. She spends her days helping local businesses and non-profits navigate the ever-changing waters of social media and Marco Polo-ing her BFFs. Married to her college sweetheart and the mother of 2, Erin's hobbies include bribing herself to exercise, traveling with (and without) her family, and trying to remember where she hid the chocolate.