Anthony Bourdain



The unconventional chef and author gives us a confidential list of his three favorite books.



The chef, writer, and television star has to take some of the credit—or blame—for a generation of young amateur cooks, proud of their knife skills and their adventurous palates. Yet Kitchen Confidential was steeped in the unglamorous reality of restaurant food, and his recent follow-up, Medium Raw, takes an iconoclastic stance in relation to the ongoing revolution in cooking. Anthony Bourdain's three favorite books are as arresting and thought-provoking as his take on cuisine.


Books by Anthony Bourdain




Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

By Hunter S. Thompson


"This book changed my young life. Its mixture of passion, cynicism, hyperbole, and diatribe—and its take on the failures of the '60s—mirrored my own worldview. Thompson's language, his sentences, his lurid, violent, evocative prose inspired me—and clearly influenced my own work."




The Friends of Eddie Coyle

By George V. Higgins


"The perfect crime novel. Told almost entirely through dialogue—and with spare description—it was the first crime novel where crooks really talked like crooks. . . . Uncompromising, brutally realistic, funny, and frightening—it's the truest of its genre."






By Vladimir Nabokov


"Simply the great American novel, and the most precise use of the English language ever. Beautiful sentences, difficult material, razor-sharp satire—and a romantic tragedy by a master at the peak of his powers."


April 23: " 'A job,' the woman repeated again, smiling, as if I hadn't heard her. 'Would you like one?' "

Kenneth Calhoun (Black Moon) and Lysely Tenorio (Monstress) of the Discover Great New Writers program on B-movies, heritage, and finales.

Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
A Private Venus

Dubbed "the Italian Simenon," Giorgio Scerbanenco (1911-1969) began his crime-writing career with books set in the USA, but quickly shifted scene closer to home, the city of Milan.  In this adventure, appearing in English for the first time, his underdog hero Dr. Duca Lamberti finds himself in the middle of a seedy, scantily clad criminal racket, where the presence of an outsider could result in death.

The Promise of Hope

Killed last year in the infamous terror attack at Nairobi's Westgate mall, Kofi Awoonor was a national treasure in his native Ghana.  His career began in 1964 with Rediscovery, and this magnum opus serves as a tribute to his entire long journey charting his beloved nation's course through his accomplished poetry.

Winter Mythologies and Abbots

A pair of linked stories finds that, as translator Ann Jefferson relates, "[Pierre] Michon's great theme is the precarious balance between belief and imposture, and the way the greatest aspirations can be complicated by physical desire or the equally urgent desire for what he calls glory."