I have some quirky reading habits. Such as, I read almost exclusively books about food. Yes, this includes cookbooks, which I love to read cover to cover. My favorites, however, are nonfiction accounts of other's adventures in food. I'm not really even sure if this genre has a name, but there is definitely a section in most book stores where you can read about someone's food eating or meal preparing experiences. And if you're ever looking for me in a bookstore this is the section I'll be in, probably taking pictures of the covers of books that I can't afford so that later I can check them out at the library.
One of my favorites in this category of book is "A Year in Provence" by Peter Mayle.
If you have never read a book that is about eating food, this is where I would suggest starting. It's such a happy and vivid account of pure and honest cooking and eating. I mean, the kind of eating where you hunt for the mushrooms before toss them in freshly made pasta, where you buy the radishes from your neighbor before you dip them in butter and salt for lunch, and where you raise a pig for a year so that you can have meat for the year following. I am so fascinated by this way of living and eating because it seems like a fantasy, something ideal that is just slightly out of reach.
Some people might like this book because it seems to transport you in time, back to days long past where there were no supermarts or fast food chains. I like this book because it inspires me to be more intentional with my cooking and eating choices. Maybe we can't and shouldn't go back in time to when anything we wanted to eat had to be grown in the backyard (although I'd like to try that someday!), but we can make better choices. We can make choices not based on calorie count or convenience, but instead founded on the feeling of satisfaction and fullness that comes from growing and preparing your own food. I long to know the feeling that comes with eating a meal that I cared for from seed to supper.
If you are into reading about eating like I am, I highly recommend "A Year in Provence" by Peter Mayle, but make sure you have something fresh and homemade to snack on before you get started because you're going to be craving it a few pages in.