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 18: "[W]ould it be too bold to imagine that all warm-blooded animals have arisen from one living filament…?"

Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch is the winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. James Parker calls this Dickensian coming-of-age novel "an enveloping…

Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
Poems That Make Grown Men Cry

And women too.  Luminaries from Colin Firth to Nick Cave and Jonathan Franzen chose the poems that bring them to tears, and the result is a stunning collection of poignant verse from writers like Auden, Whitman, Bishop, Larkin, Neruda and many others.  Warning: choking-up hazard.

The King of Pain

Trapped beneath his entertainment system, reality TV mastermind Rick Salter reflects on his life and tries to piece together the events of the previous evening. Seth Kaufman’s romp is an outrageous meditation on pain and entertainment in a deranged world in which the two are often interchangeable.

The Good Inn

Frank Black, frontman for the Pixies, has written a transgressive historical fiction with shades of Thomas Pynchon (focused as it is on the history of explosives and cinematic pornography), all set in a hallucinatory Edwardian Europe.