I used to think that it was weird that I liked to read cookbooks, but thanks tro the world of food blogging, I now know that if it is, it's a weirdness shared by many. Here's what I've been browsing (and sometimes drooling over) lately.
Pure Chocolate, by Fran Bigelow. 234 pp. of chocolatey deliciousness. Even the index sounds good enough to eat. I got this to look for recipes for my niece's shower, but I think I'm going to make some things ahead of time, for instance--Gold Bar Brownies (caramel, almonds, dark chocolate) and the classic Chocolate Wafers.
Egyptian Cooking, A Practical Guide, by Samia Abdennour. This and the next one I got from the library sale shelf for 50 cents each. I admit that I'm never going to make Gizzards, Baked with Bechamel, but I enjoyed reading about it. On the other hand, Chicken Stewed with Yogurt and Roasted Chicken with Sumac sound quite possible.
Iron Pots and Wooden Spoons, by Jessica B. Harris. This is devoted to the foods of Africa as they've been interpreted there, and in the newer world. The names are great: Akkra Funfun (bean fritters) and Potato Fou Fou (a kind of stiffer mashed potato dish). I've already made the Funfun, and they were great.
The Bontempi Cookbook, by Fedora Bontempi. This was a birthday present from my cousin J, who knows I love vintage cookbook. The Bontempis, Fedora and her husband Pino, had a weekly cooking show on tv in the '50s and '60s. It's mainly Italian, classic dishes adapted somewhat to American tastes--good, solid recipes.
Mangoes and Curry Leaves, by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid. This is very heavy, intensely illustrated, a very beautiful cookbook, with a lot of stories and context to the recipes--very novelistic. But the recipes seem to be as good as the photos and the reading. I've only tried a potato curry so far, but I like it so much that I'm thinking about buying it (I got it out of the library). You can only renew books so many times; and they don't like it if they come back with mysterious food stains either.