Stock the Stacks with Flavor | Cookbook Preview 2023

The pleasures of reading and eating combine in cookbooks focused on baked goods, vegetables, and getting better, and faster, in the kitchen.

Cookbooks fill library collections with high-turnover, in-demand titles. In our second preview of the perennially popular subject, LJ explored the online culinary world and queried publishers to identify trends and highlight the culinary interests that are shaping the fall season. Here is a complete listing of the 100+ titles included in our fall preview, presented as a downloadable spreadsheet with each title linked to a trend. For even more cookbook reading, do not miss our interview with Toni Tipton-Martin, author of Juke Joints, Jazz Clubs, and Juice: Cocktails from Two Centuries of African American Cookbooks.

Flour and Sugar

Baking has been on trend for years and shows no sign of waning. Look for a wide range of baking titles covering a variety of topics from snacking bakes to bread. This year, more titles represent specific international flavors, such as Tara Nguyen’s Sweet Vietnamese Bakes: A Dessert Lover’s Tour of Southeast Asia (Page Street), adding fresh perspectives and new recipes for home bakers. Cookbook readers will also see a shift from beautiful photos and precise directions to a stronger focus on compelling narratives. Armchair bakers will find rich text in Bread and Roses: 100+ Grain-Forward Recipes Featuring Global Ingredients and Botanicals (Countryman) by Rose Wilde and The Cookie That Changed My Life: And More Than 100 Other Classic Cakes, Cookies, Muffins, and Pies That Will Change Yours (Knopf) from Nancy Silverton with Carolynn Carreño.


Vegan and vegetarian books also remain on trend, supported by the growth of meatless Mondays and the emphasis on healthier diets. Sara Zatopek, editor at The Experiment, says, “We’re seeing that readers are hungry for cookbooks that stand out from the crowd by going beyond veg-ified [dishes]…. They want globally inspired cookbooks…from authors with fresh and earnest perspectives on what plant-based food can be. Our titles, whether single-topic deep dives like Oodles and Oodles of Vegan Noodles [by Cheynese Khachame] or lovingly personal explorations of underrepresented cuisines like Polish’d [by Michal Korkosz], are responding to this desire for bold new flavors and authentic international representation.” More examples include Yang Liu and Katharina Pinczolits’s Vegan Chinese Food (Hardie Grant) and Joe Woodhouse’s More Daily Veg: No Fuss or Frills, Just Great Vegetarian Food (Kyle).

Global Foodways

International cuisine is consistently a staple of cookbook offerings, and this fall is no exception. After years of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern flavors dominating global cookbooks, the upcoming season showcases food from the Americas and Asia. 

Cookbooks focused on Mexican and Latin American cuisine look to be especially popular, with multiple titles coming out: Ariana Monika Ruiz’s My Mexican Kitchen: Easy Recipes for My Favorite Tacos, Enchiladas, Flautas and More (Page Street), Claudia Regalado’s Cooking con Claudia: 100 Authentic, Family-Style Mexican Recipes (DK), Rosa Cienfuegos’s CDMX: The Food of Mexico City (Smith Street), Marcela Valladolid’s Familia: 125 Foolproof Mexican Recipes To Feed Your People (Voracious), and Sandra A. Gutierrez’s Latinísimo: Home Recipes from the Twenty-One Countries of Latin America (Knopf).

Several cookbooks offer a range of Asian flavors Ăn ChưaSimple Vietnamese Recipes That Taste Like Home (Page Street) by Julie Mai Trần, The Korean Cookbook (Phaidon) by Junghyun Park and Jungyoon Choi, and Make It Japanese: Simple Recipes for Everyone (Clarkson Potter) by Rie McClenny with Sanaë Lemoine. Four others focus on Chinese cooking: Verna Gao’s Have You Eaten?: Deliciously Simple Asian Cooking for Every Mood (DK), Suzie Lee’s Simply Chinese Feasts: Tasty Recipes for Friends and Family (Hardie Grant), Kevin Pang and Jeffrey Pang’s A Very Chinese Cookbook: 100 Recipes from China and Not China (But Still Really Chinese) (America’s Test Kitchen), and Jon Kung’s Kung Food: Chinese American Recipes from a Third-Culture Kitchen (Clarkson Potter).

There are also a handful of great U.S. regional cookbooks, highlighting Southern, Midwestern, and Californian cooking, from Carolyn Quick Tillery’s updated new edition of African-American Heritage Cookbook: Traditional Recipes and Fond Remembrances from Alabama’s Renowned Tuskegee Institute (Dafina) to The Ranch Table: Recipes from a Year of Harvests, Celebrations, and Family Dinners on a Historic California Ranch (Morrow) by Elizabeth Poett with Georgia Freedman.

Influencers in the Kitchen

Social media continues to shape cookbook publishing. Many debut cookbook authors have been discovered through blogs, Instagram, and TikTok, with followers and fans helping to create a cookbook’s success with likes, shares, and buzzy postings. Look for Jenny Hurley’s Effortlessly Elevated Eats: Unique, Flavorful Recipes for Everyday Cooking (Page Street) and Sam’s Eats: Let’s Do Some Cooking (Voracious) from Sam Way as just two examples. Rhina Garcia, publicist of Countryman Press, highlights the role of social media in cookbook production, saying that it “really affects cookbooks in the community that it grows. A lot of authors in the cookbook sphere share each other’s content, rave about each other’s books, and showcase their inspirations. It really is a digital embodiment of what food does, and that brings people together.”

The connection between print and online is becoming more fluid as well, as many cookbooks now include digital content. For example, in Molly Baz’s More Is More: Get Loose in the Kitchen (Clarkson Potter), QR codes embedded in recipes take readers to the author’s online space for deep-dive videos.

Fast Good Food

Last year’s burgeoning trend, cookbooks for entertaining, showcased a new interest in hosting friends and family. This season reflects that busier pace of life, with cookbooks focused on offering quick and easy weeknight meals, but with elevated flavors and quality ingredients. Author Ali Rosen says, “There are so many people who want to make dinner from scratch every night—and that’s clearly evident from the demand for weeknight cooking recipes and cookbooks. But sometimes what chefs and writers call ‘quick’ doesn’t meet the standard of busy people who have high flavor standards but are increasingly short on time…. In my new cookbook, 15 Minute Meals: Truly Quick Recipes That Don’t Taste Like Shortcuts (Mango), I aim to find the shortcuts, ingredients, and techniques that give flavor without any compromise.” In a similar mode, expect demand for The Pioneer Woman Cooks—Dinner’s Ready: 112 Fast and Fabulous Recipes for Slightly Impatient Cooks (Morrow) by Ree Drummond, Milk Street Simple (Voracious) by Christopher Kimball, and 5 Ingredients Mediterranean: Simple Incredible Food (Flatiron) by Jamie Oliver.

Timed To Eat

Seasonality remains on trend too. Chris Viaud, a James Beard Award nominee and Top Chef contestant, encourages people to connect over food with Gather: 100 Seasonal Recipes That Bring People Together (Cider Mill). Blanche Vaughan, food editor at UK lifestyle magazine House & Garden has selected elegantly simple and seasonal recipes from an array of well-known chefs for A Year in the Kitchen: Seasonal Recipes for Everyday Pleasure (Mitchell Beazley). There’s also a revised and refreshed edition of Diana Henry’s Roast Figs, Sugar Snow: Food To Warm the Soul (Aster), which features an irresistible collection of cold-weather recipes. 


Often overlooked when purchasing cookbooks, drinks add complexity to a meal and enhance culinary collections. Trending away from low-alcohol drinks and mocktails, and stressing a strong narrative voice, new mixology titles include Toni Tipton-Martin’s Juke Joints, Jazz Clubs, and Juice: Cocktails from Two Centuries of African American Cookbooks (Clarkson Potter) and Robert Simonson’s The Encyclopedia of Cocktails: The People, Bars & Drinks, with More Than 100 Recipes (Ten Speed). Both are chock-full of the people, places, and history that formed cocktail culture. Aspiring baristas will enjoy the coffee-centered titles also in store this fall that will bring the java arts to the home kitchen. Coffee aficionados can elevate their brewing and tasting skills with But First, Coffee: A Guide to Brewing from the Kitchen to the Bar (Union Square) by Jordan Michelman and Zachary Carlsen, How To Drink Coffee (Skittledog) by Sarah Ford, and How To Taste Coffee: Develop Your Sensory Skills and Get the Most Out of Every Cup (Agate Surrey) by Jessica Easto.

Training Guides

Learning to cook is an evergreen segment of food publishing. For those just getting interested in cooking, or home cooks hoping to up their game, several titles offer plenty of instruction along with recipes. Michelin-starred chef Eric Ripert makes Seafood Simple (Random House), while The Big Brunch judge and chef Sohla El-Waylly offers an epic cooking primer with Start Here: Instructions for Becoming a Better Cook (Knopf). Combining two trends, social media stars provide step-by-step cooking guidance in Jeremy Scheck’s ScheckEats: Cooking Smarter (Harvest) and Andrew Rea’s Basics with Babish: Recipes for Screwing Up, Trying Again, and Hitting It Out of the Park (S. & S.).

The Pleasures of Reading & Eating

While not everyone is still making bread or artisanal cheese in their home kitchen, the passion that has been sparked in home cooks over the past few years is continuing and is reflected in the deep and wide culinary offerings this season. When developing cookbook collections, the trick is often to accommodate both cookbook readers and home chefs. The good news of the fall season is that many titles serve both kinds of readers equally well, with a focus on context, story, and wonderful food. With so many emerging voices and interesting approaches to cuisine, library staff should relish cookbook selection. ■

Sarah Tansley, Branch Manager, Chicago Public Library, leads a cookbook book club at her library, is an avid home cook, is LJ’s cookbook columnist, and served as a founding member of the RUSA CODES Essential Cookbooks Committee.  

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