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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Joy of Cookbooks: Book Swap Edition

Now and again, bloggers extol the virtues of bookswap sites. and Bookmooch are probably the most successful. I have participated in both, but now only do Paperbackswap.(My problems and issues with Bookmooch make a sad story, not to be presented here. It's a good site, but not for me.)

With PBS, you list your books. Eventually, someone will request one. You ship it out and get a credit. See the site for more specifics.

This site has been a godsend for me, enabling me to de-accession much-loved but outgrown books for kids ages 6-17 and get books I want. For me, that is mainly cookbooks. I love reading cookbooks. There is a blog that began with the admission that its writer had over 100 cookbooks. I probably have over 300. And I love them all.

The best part of PBS is the wishlist. You wishlist a book and eventually--maybe--you will get it.

Rather than just talk generally about swap sites, I thought I would present a photo of some actual tomes I received via PBS. It truly restores my faith in humanity when I receive Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian, as I did a few days ago. People are so generous. These are just a few of the more than 400 books I have received over the last few years.

The Seductions of Rice by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid. Part of the wonderful series by the Canadian husband-wife duo, who live a life of adventure, writing, and eating. I got this for Frugal Son, who fantasizes about such a life.

Lost Recipes by Marion Cunningham. All about the home. For me, this has been more a reading book than a cooking book. But I read it all the time.

Outlaw Cook by John Thorne. Thorne is the greatest food writer around, in my opinion. I gave my copy to my father-in-law and he DONATED it. Rather than getting angry, I put it on my wishlist.

The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook by Ina Garten. I am not the greatest fan of Ina, but I like to look at the pictures of her kitchen, which sometimes appear in photos. There's just not that much bang for the buck in her books, but that's me. I like reading books more than picture books. I will be passing this on to one of my children, because they are interested in food presentation.

Vegetarian Suppers from Deborah Madison's Kitchen
. No matter what, you need Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. I have a lot of bookmarks in this one.

Lord Krishna's Cuisine by Yamuna Devi. This is the one I can't believe someone sent me. A friend recommended it years ago. He had "borrowed" one from a friend. I think he "forgot to return it" for many years. Maybe he still has it. By all accounts, this is a masterpiece and I plan to work with it this summer.

1000 Italian Recipes by Michele Scicolone. Mostly I use my Marcella Hazan books. But this is great to have around. It reminds me of the simplicity of authentic Italian cooking.

World Vegetarian by Maddur Jaffrey. I just got this. I love Jaffrey's Indian cookbooks, one of which I have used for almost 30 years (and it's a sad spectacle of a book at this point).

Some of these books were on my wishlist for three years. Thanks to all for your generosity. To me, bookswaps (and cd swaps and media swaps generally) are all aspects of Frugality 101--saving money, saving the environment, and building community all at the same time.

Readers: Any cookbooks I should add to my wishlist? And, have you participated in bookswaps? If so, what treasures have you received?


Duchesse said...

Patricia Well's Bistro Cooking is the one I cook from over and over. I also like The Cook's Canon by Raymond Sokolov.

ALL the Alford/Duguid books are wonderful.

Yeah, John Thorne is de man.

Midlife, menopause, mistakes and random stuff... said...

I'm seduced by the title of the rice book.........I cater with rice alot. There's so very much that you can do with it and it's so versatile.
I have 2 signed editions by Graham Kerr that I love and use frequently. I'm a lil jealous over that cook-book swap. Darn, I'm totally missing out over here. Well, do think of me and my cheap behind when you get your books please. I'll the one over in the corner copying recipes from tatterd books because I'm too tight to buy them, lol.

Steady On
Reggie Girl

Frugal Scholar said...

@Duchesse--Thanks for the recommendations. I think I saw the Sokolov at the library. Glad to hear of another Thorne fan.

@Reggie--The bookswap is online: You can join too! But you might be #150 on a wishlist. I'm going to check out Graham Kerr--oldie but goodies?

Atlantic said...

for Middle Eastern cooking --Claudia Rosen

re Yamuna Devi's book--excellent but I admit that I do add garlic and onion when I feel it would be beneficial. Her religious creed leads her to avoid both

Atlantic said...

and I love "The Breakfast Book" (Marion Cunningham). I am not a huge fan of muffins but the recipes for muffins made with fresh oranges converted me (at least to those). Other very good recipes to boot