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8 Non-Cookbook Food Books to Read This Summer

One of the underrated things about being an adult is that there’s no such thing as required summer reading—no Beowulf, no The Catcher in the Rye, and no Great Gatsby to read and be ready to discuss in September. You can read whatever you want, it’s crazy! Since we all love food here, we combed through this year’s latest book releases and found the non-cookbook but still food-focused reading material for you to dive into on the beach, by the lake, or wherever these long days and warm weather bring you. Whether you skew towards nonfiction deep dives, historical fiction, novels, or memoirs, here are eight food books to read this summer.

paris a table cover

Paris à Table: 1846 by Eugène Briffault

History buffs and Francophiles get to nerd out in Paris à Table by Parisian writer/theater critic Eugène Briffault. The book was published in 1846 and re-released for the first time in English this year. Briffault chronicles 19th century French society through the lens of culinary culture, and translator J. Weintraub does an excellent job of relaying Briffault’s illustrative descriptions for the 21st century reader. Briffault has (very funny) strong opinions about how his countrymen dine, especially those who take part in the “impudent custom” of déjeuner dînatoire, now known as brunch. Even in the 1800s, brunch was dismissed as an excuse for men to start drinking champagne before noon (proper women did not brunch). He would have loved

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