— 1. "Around My French Table: More Than 300 Recipes From My Home to Yours"
By Dorie Greenspan
Houghton Mifflin, $40
Why it’s Warren’s pick: "Fab gift for the big foodie. Lots of recipes, delish ideas, great pics to gaze at."
2. "Illustrated Cook's Book of Ingredients"
By Publishing staff of Dorling Kindersley
Why it’s Warren’s pick: "Hundreds of excellent pics and facts on different things to cook with. Great resource and source of inspiration. Loads of value, easily schools newbie foodies. A bit heavy, but great to have on hand."
3. "Food Stylist’s Handbook"
By Denise Vivaldo
Gibbs Smith, $50
Why it’s Warren’s pick: "Behind the scenes info and pics showing process of food styled shoots. Some food porn, but not just gawker pics."
4. "The Blue Chair Jam Cookbook"
By Rachel Saunders
Andrews McMeel, $35
Why it’s Warren’s pick: "Great for the group project cooking session that will last for months. Plus a delicious way to add love and excitement to breakfast year round."
5. "I Love Bacon!"
By Jayne Rockmill
Andrews McMeel, $19.99
Why it’s Warren’s pick: "Stops me in my tracks, mouth waters … must read! Too much fun to pass up! Plus, a portion of the proceeds are donated to the Food Bank for New York City and Share Our Strength."
6. "Flour: Spectacular Recipes from Boston’s Flour Bakery + Café"
By Joanne Chang and Christie Matheson
Why it’s Warren’s pick: "A fellow change-of-career entrepreneur from before it became trendy, with great pics and recipes."
7. "Baked Explorations: Classic American Desserts Reinvented"
By Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito
Stewart, Tabori & Chang, $29.95
Why it’s Warren’s pick: "Irresistible."
8. "Rose Elliot’s New Complete Vegetarian"
By Rose Elliot, Kate Whitaker, Vana Haggerty, and Ken Lewis
Why it’s Warren’s pick: "Good to have a large resource dedicated to vegetables. Ideas can be broader and more interesting."
9. "Barefoot Contessa: How Easy Is That? Fabulous Recipes & Easy Tips"
By Ina Garten
Why it’s Warren’s pick: "Reliable author providing recipes that live up to the title."
10. "Quiches, Kugels and Couscous: My Search for Jewish Cooking in France"
By Joan Nathan
Why it’s Warren’s pick: "Packed with info and anecdotes, great recipes, and written by the nicest person."
11. "Essentially Thai: Spirit House"
Helen Brierty and Annette Fear
New Holland, $35
Why it’s Warren’s pick: "Food of the restaurant Spirit House, set in Thailand. Up close and big pics give a tour of Thailand along with great views of the dishes."
1. "An Object of Beauty"
By Steve Martin
Why it's Patricia's pick: “Steve Martin's ‘An Object of Beauty’ shines an intense light on the fascinating world of fine art auctions but also gives us a taste of a newly evolving form of literature that I call mixed media fiction. He intersperses into the text photographs of actual paintings, which is effective in a way I wouldn't have expected. The narrator is sharply witty and edgy in his observations — unmistakably Martin.”
2. "A Reliable Wife"
By Robert Goolrick
Why it's Patricia's pick: “ ‘A Reliable Wife’ is sensuously steamy and chillingly sinister, a period piece that is almost impossible to put down from the very first sentence. Robert Goolrick's writing is so graphic, bold and lyrically gorgeous, I continue to find myself haunted by it and rather shocked by a story that is as ugly as it is lovely.”
By Pete Dexter
Why it's Patricia's pick: “Pete Dexter's ‘Spooner’ is one of the cleverest and outrageously funny novels I've read in a very long time. His scene of a burial at sea that goes insanely wrong had me laughing out loud — and amazed. Dexter's wit and use of metaphor yet again prove his genius.”
4. "Lord of the Flies"
By William Golding
Why it's Patricia's pick: "A monumental work that serves up human nature raw. A must-read."
5. "The Great Gatsby"
By F. Scott Fitzgerald
Why it's Patricia's pick: "One of the most flawless novels ever written. Gorgeous."
6. "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil"
By John Berendt
Why it's Patricia's pick: "An astonishing romp that is marvelously entertaining. Berendt turns a city into a character."
By Ron Chernow
Why it's Patricia's pick: "A warm-blooded look at the man himself. This work shows Washington as fully human."
2. Last Train to Memphis: The Rise of Elvis Presley
By Peter Guralnick
Why it's Patricia's pick: "One of my favorite biographies. Even if you're not an Elvis fan, this book is impossible to put down."
3. Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer
By James L. Swanson
Why it's Patricia's pick: "Thrilling. One of the most remarkable true accounts of anything I have ever read! The assassination of Lincoln has never been shown in such heart-breaking detail."
4. "Cleopatra: A Life"
By Stacy Schiff
Why it's Patricia's pick: "Absolutely remarkable. It reads like a novel — one of the best biographies of all time."
By Keith Richards
Why it's Patricia's pick: "If you've always wondered what it would be like to be backstage and on the road with one of the most famous rock bands in history, you'll love Richards' autobiography. What an exciting story about music and the man."
6. "Three Cups of Tea"
By Greg Mortenson and David Oliver
Why it's Patricia's pick: "An incredible story that proves that a single person with passion can change the world — and not only climb mountains but move them."
1. "American Fashion Designers at Home"
By Rima Suqi
Why it's Jonathan's pick: "Fab look at the inside world of fashion people. I love it cause it includes lots of quirky interiors and a look into the homes of people you've heard of."
2. "Apartment Therapy's Big Book of Small, Cool Spaces"
By Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan
Clarkson Potter (May 11, 2010)
Why it's Jonathan's pick: "Inspiring because it's accessible. Shows how you can make a small space feel big and glamorous and proves that bigger ain't always better."
3. "The Selby Is in Your Place"
By Todd Selby
Abrams (April 1, 2010)
Why it's Jonathan's pick: "Another interiors book which shows how real creative people live. Nice to see homes that aren't too grand but that are incredibly creative and surprising. A real keeper."
By Johnny Rozsa
Glitterati, Inc. (September 1, 2010)
Why it's Jonathan's pick: "Johnny Rozsa is a fab celebrity photographer who has shot everybody you've ever heard of and these are his unretouched photographs. In the plastic world we live in, it's kind of fab to see the way people really look, un-airbrushed."
5. "Beautiful People"
By Simon Doonan (Adler's husband)
Simon & Schuster (April 14, 2009)
Why it's Jonathan's pick: "Hilarious romp of a read. All about Simon's quest for the illusory Beautiful People and his realization that the real Beautiful People aren't celebs, they're his insane family. Poignant and heartwarming for the holidays."
6. "Taschen's Big Butt Book"
Edited by Dian Hansen
Publisher: Taschen (June 8, 2010)
Why it's Jonathan's pick: "It is what it is. Hilarious."