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."


July 26: On this day in 1602 "A booke called the Revenge of Hamlett Prince Denmarke" was entered in the Stationers' Register by printer James Robertes.

Crime fiction legends Dennis Lehane and Michael Connelly discuss the new book that unites their beloved sleuths Patrick Kenzie and Harry Bosch.

Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
Paradise and Elsewhere

Canadian short story marvel Kathy Page emerges as the Alice Munro of the supernatural from these heartfelt tales of shapeshifting swimmers, mild-mannered cannibals, and personality-shifting viruses transmitted through kisses.


When a persuasive pastor arrives in a sleepy farm town, his sage influence has otherworldly results (talking sheep, a mayor who walks on water). But can he pull off the miracle of finding kindly local Liz Denny the love of her life?  Small wonder looms large in this charmer from Andre Alexis.

The Hundred-Year House

When a poetry scholar goes digging through the decrepit estate of his wife's family to uncover a bygone arts colony's strange mysteries, he awakens a tenacious monster: his mother-in-law. A wickedly funny take on aging aristocracies from author Rebecca Makkai (The Borrower).