Cooking up a storm – what books do you want read about?

Looking through the top non-fiction books of 2010, I can see that many of them are in areas that I never really get into – cookery, food, gardening, home-making and crafts.

Look, there is a reason for this. My skills don’t lie in these areas, even if I often enjoy their output. I love to eat but my cookery can best be described as spontaneous, where spontaneous is a euphemistic way of saying, “too lazy to follow recipes”. I don’t have all the necessary blenders, creamers and accoutrements that many books assume you have clogging up the kitchen. I live in a small flat, I have limited space, and most of that goes to books.

I also never remember to buy all the ingredients, so end up substituting and feeding my guests improvisations that ranges from the sublimes to the “screw this, let’s order some takeaway from the Thai place up the road”. Seeking to rectify this, a friend has just kindly sent me some Nigella’s as a gift. I’m picking up some new recipes, but also a far larger waistline. Nigella must have a metabolism that runs like a badly-serviced Hummer. Mine, sadly, is more economical, getting several gallons of flab from one cupcake.

Reading about food makes me want to eat it – I’m getting peckish just writing this. I’m going to avoid baking and dessert books on the general principle that prevention is far better than needing to spend an extra five hours a weeks on the treadmill. But the cookbooks that I avert my eyes from are incredibly popular with many of Boomerang readers – cooking, wine and food guides take up 60 places in the top 1,000, with most of those in the top 300.

As for my gardening? I’ve blogged already about my black thumbs (the Venus Fly-Trap ate about 10 flies and then sadly passed away over winter for those of you wondering). I do enjoy growing veggies and the odd flower, but I’m missing the bits of brains that makes a morning spent gardening anything but a chore.  (Also, I am very bad at identifying the difference between weeds and, say, strawberry plants. So I avoid areas where this might be an issue. Especially when they are someone else’s strawberries.)

Can’t cook, can’t garden, been known to injure myself with knitting needles and glue my own fingers together while crafting. It’s safe to say that, while I might be able to provide a reasonable beginner’s guides to home and craft things (especially for those of you who enjoy reading about disasters), I’m not the right person to claim to be an authority on these popular fields.

What do you think? Does Boomerang need a cookery or gardening or crafting blogger, or perhaps one crafty person who could combine all those things into one blog? What would you like to see non-fiction blogs about?

What would you write about?

One of 2010's biggest hits, books from the "4 Ingredients" appeared 4 times in our top 100.

Top 10 books on Food (Boomerang sales in 2010)

  1. Our Family Table
  2. MasterChef Australia: The Cookbook (Volume 2)
  3. 4 Ingredients: Fast, Fresh and Healthy
  4. Fast Fresh Simple
  5. MasterChef Australia: The Cookbook (Volume 1)
  6. Dukan Diet, The
  7. AWW Slow Cooking
  8. Jamie’s 30-minute Meals
  9. Crunch Time Cookbook: 100 Knockout Recipes for Rapid Weight Loss
  10. Margaret Fulton’s Encyclopedia of Food and Cookery

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Sadhbh Warren

Sadhbh Warren is a freelance writer and proud booklover. Her name is pronounced Sive - like five – an Irish name, easier to say than spell! She lives in Sydney, writing travel and humour articles, and is always on the lookout for a great new book.

3 thoughts on “Cooking up a storm – what books do you want read about?”

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  2. I’m a cookbook fiend. Total and utter. That said, there are a hell of a lot of really crappy cookbooks doing the rounds at the moment as part of the foodie tidal wave. Some of them look like the author collected those supermarket recipe cards and stapled them together before submitting their “manuscript” and that can be infuriating when you’ve just forked out a nice chunk of cash for one.

    Amazon used to be awesome for reviews, but it’s not as reliable anymore due to the huge amount of shilling that seems to be going on. A review blog would be awesome to help us wade through all the latest cooking/gardening/saving the planet/basejumping books that we’re supposed to be filling our waking (and non-working) hours with…

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