SHOP THOUGHTS | The Books For What’s Eating You


 In my family, cooking assignments for Thanksgiving were doled out weeks ago, though I make the same thing every year.  I’m not much of a cook, but I’ve perfected a handful of baked goods over the years, including apple pie and so, in addition to finding and signing the family up for the turkey trot in whichever town we happen to be celebrating in that year, an apple pie or two is my only responsibility.  My recipe comes from Pam Anderson’s The Perfect Recipe, which sadly is no longer in print. But if you’ve been assigned pie this year and you’re looking for a little inspiration, I’d recommend The Book on Pie by Erin Jeanne McDowell and Mark Weinberg.  If you’re looking to bring your pie to the next level, check out Pie Camp by Kate McDermott, which focuses on technique, in addition to having fabulous recipes. But why limit yourself to pie this Thanksgiving?  The great Dorie Greenspan’s latest, Baking with Dorie, is delightful.

For those responsible for more than just pie—a lot more—the new collection from the New York Times, The Essential New York Times Cookbook (10th Anniversary) by Amanda Hesser, of their best recipes from the past 125 years should be a big help with over 1,000 recipes (if you can lift it; it’s nearly 1000 pages).  Boston-based Milk Street also just released its fifth anniversary edition of The Milk Street Cookbook, featuring every recipe from every episode of the TV show—over 400 recipes.  Two new cookbooks by renowned chefs focus on cooking at home and might not be as much help in preparing your November feast, but they’re dang good: Ottolenghi Test Kitchen by Yotam Ottolenghi and Noor Murad and Cooking at Home by David Chang and Priya Krishna.  

But wait, back up, what’s Thanksgiving without a little pregaming?  Tables and Spreads by Shelly Westerhausen Worcel and Wyatt Worcel can help anyone craft the perfect board of cheeses and snacks and The Cocktail Deck of Cards: 50 Sparkling Cocktails for Any Occasion might just take this year’s Thanksgiving to another level.

And for those who would prefer to merely read about cooking, Best American Food Writing 2021 came out last month.  This year’s edition is edited by Gabrielle Hamilton, chef and owner of the restaurant Prune in New York City, and includes essays by Bill Buford, Helen Rosner, Jade Chang, Priya Krishna, and Kelsey Miller.

Inevitably, when you’re regretting your third helping of mashed potatoes, hunker down with the new Gastro Obscura: A Food Adventurer’s Guide to remind yourself just how fun food can be with remarkable food moments from around the world. 

Hannah Harlow is owner of The Book Shop, an independent bookstore in Beverly Farms.  Harlow writes biweekly recommendations for us.  See more of what she recommends reading at

the perfect recipe, the book on pie by erin jeanne mcdowell and mark weinberg, pie camp by kate mcdermott, baking with dorie, dorie greenspan’s, the essential new york times cookbook by amanda hesser, the milk street cookbook, tables and spreads by shelly westerhausen worcel and wyatt worcel, the cocktail deck of cards: 50 sparkling cocktails for any occasion, best american food writing 2021, the book shop,