A curated bookshelf of Roots & Fire favourites. Books I have devoured, dog eared, and read over and over again…I hope you enjoy them, as I have.
Please note that the links provided are not affiliates and I do not earn a commission from them. Better World Books is an independent online used bookseller that donates profits to support nonprofit literacy campaigns throughout the world. We hope you enjoy a peek into our bookshelf!
Some of my favourite cooking books are not instructional at all, rather they’re fictional novels with intimate kitchen scenes and delicious depictions of culinary life. Others are intended to be manuals to perfect one’s skills, but are so lusciously written that I have curled up with them as you would any other book.
We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
Despite the odd and foreboding premise, this story presents some of the most lush and sunny scenes of kitchen life and tending a garden.
Thornyhold by Mary Stewart
Another fiction favourite. Mary Stewart has a great collection of mysteries but this story is singular in its enigmatic tales of daily life.
Julia’s Kitchen Wisdom by Julia Child
This book is almost thin enough to roll up and stick in your back pocket, but so packed with cooking wisdom you will walk away feeling like a gourmet and itching to cook.
Living Raw Food by Sarma Melngailis
A wonderful book to read regardless of whether or not you desire to eat vegan or raw. I first read this book in the dead of winter, and the glowing smoothie recipes and her infectious joi de vivre kicked me out of my winter blues. The second of her two books, but definitely my favourite.
Japanese Farm Food by Nancy Singleton Hachisu
If ever you have felt like traveling to another country and never returning, this book will speak to you. A collection of recipes highlighting her experience of learning to cook and live in a completely unknown country. Completely authentic and warm with beautiful pictures.
A Kitchen in France by Mimi Thorisson
A vintage kitchen. In a villa. In the french countryside. This hefty collection of seasonal recipes and elegant photography is an heirloom waiting to be devoured and cherished. It will leave you yearning to cook with more wine, and to befriend your local fishmonger.
A collection of philosophical prose, practical advice, and adventures in the garden.
The Market Gardener by Jean Martin Fortier
Fantastic ideas on small scale agriculture. If you aren’t already, his writing will make you a champion of well made garden tools and gardening on a human scale.
The Urban Farmer by Curtis Stone
Like his fellow compatriot above, Curtis Stone offers bountiful information and tips on farming and growing the best possible crop, even in your backyard. Make sure to check out his fantastic video series on youtube.
Heirloom Life Gardener by Jere and Emilee Gettle
This fantastic book by Baker Creek is unique in its journey to find rare indigenous and heirloom seeds. Okay, maybe I lost you there, but there is a great section that dives head first into a wide range of vegetables, you will feel like you finally “get” why they grow and act the way they do in your garden. Be sure to check out their collection of heirloom seeds for your garden, your vegetable patch will feel like a trip to Wonka’s Chocolate Factory.
One Straw Revolution by Masanobu Fukuoka
If you’re already frustrated by monoculture systems and how they degrade our soil, this book will make you…cranky. But not for long. As you read on, Fukuoka will transform his family’s land organically and with less effort. A nice zen thought for this summer when the squash bugs attack. Instead of fighting it with questionable sprays, maybe just let that plant go and look to the future.
Green Thoughts by Eleanor Perenyi
Honestly one of my favourite books, and I’m not sure I can even describe why. Green Thoughts is relaxing, detailed, and pretty funny. Each chapter is organised by different garden topics and perfect to read in the in-between moments of life.