Amanda Hesser

The food columnist and author of the The Essential New York Times Cookbook on a trio of her favorite novels.

After Amanda Hesser’s New York Times Magazine columns, chronicling her courtship with her future husband through the medium of the meals she prepared for him, were collected as the wryly charming memoir Cooking for Mr. Latte, the author undertook a project of far vaster scope: cooking and recipe-testing her way through the immense archive of recipes published in the Times over a century and a half.  The result, The Essential New York Times Cookbook, draws upon recipes from the Gilded Age to the 21st century, compiling a tome equally appealing to cooks and readers. To mark the occasion, Amanda Hesser told us about three of her favorite reads.

Books by Amanda Hesser


Watership Down

By Richard Adams

“I became deeply attached to this fugitive group of rabbits and their heroic efforts to establish a new warren.”


The Transit of Venus

By Shirley Hazzard

“Shirley Hazzard’s writing has great economy—with seemingly little effort, she manages to lead you through the complex trajectory of two Australian sisters’ foredoomed love affairs.”


Pig Earth

By John Berger

“I read Pig Earth shortly after college, when I was living in Europe, and its depiction of the life and hardships of French farmers aroused in me a lasting interest in peasant culture and farm life.”

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