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This Month’s Best New Cookbooks: May 2012

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Every month PBS Food highlights five food and cookbooks that will be released during the month. In May we begin the countdown to Julia Child’s 100th birthday with a biography of her life. James Beard is set to release his latest collection of food essays with a foreward from former New York Times columnist Mark Bittman, and Michelle Obama releases her own first-ever book that reflects on the growth of the White House Kitchen Garden. When you go shopping for a new book this month, consider one of these options from our bookshelf.

Check Out the Cookbooks and Others on Our List

Appetite for Life: The Biography of Julia Child Appetite for Life: The Biography of Julia Child by Noel Riley Fitch

Available: May 1st

Julia Child entered the lives of millions of Americans with her bestselling cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking; her popular and long-running cooking show, The French Chef; and her beloved memoir, My Life in France. In this intimate biography, based on exclusive interviews and scores of private letters and diaries, Noel Riley Fitch leads us through her incredible life.

Buy “Appetite for Life” from ShopPBS

Culinary Intelligence Culinary Intelligence: The Art of Eating Healthy (and Really Well) by Peter Kaminsky

Available: May 1st

For many of us the idea of healthy eating equals bland food and calorie counting. Some see the task of great cooking for ourselves as a complicated and expensive luxury. Now Peter Kaminsky—who has written cookbooks with four-star chefs (such as Daniel Boulud) and no-star chefs (such as football legend John Madden)—shows us that anyone can learn to eat food that is absolutely delicious and doesn’t give you a permanently creeping waistline.

Buy “Culinary Intelligence” from ShopPBS

The Good Food Revolution The Good Food Revolution by Will Allen

Available: May 10th

A pioneering urban farmer and MacArthur “Genius Award” winner is building a new food system that can feed—and heal—broken communities. Will Allen spent years in professional basketball and as an executive for KFC and Procter & Gamble. However, Allen cashed in his retirement fund for a two-acre plot a half mile away from Milwaukee’s largest public housing project. Read Will’s personal journey, and a grassroots movement that is changing the way our nation eats.

Buy “The Good Food Revolution” from ShopPBS

Beard on Food Beard on Food by James Beard

Available: May 22nd

The return of a classic food book: James Beard’s own selection of his favorite columns and recipes, distilling a lifetime of kitchen wisdom into one volume. One of America’s great culinary thinkers collects his best essays, ranging from the perfect hamburger to the pleasures of oxtails. The result is not just a compendium of fabulous recipes and delicious bites of writing, but a philosophy of food that is propelled by Beard’s exuberance and sense of fun.

Buy “Beard on Food” from ShopPBS

American Grown American Grown by First Lady Michelle Obama

Available: May 29th

In her first-ever book, American Grown, Mrs. Obama invites you inside the White House Kitchen Garden and shares its inspiring story from the first planting to the latest harvest. Get an unprecedented behind-the-scenes look at the garden’s growth with striking photographs that bring its story to life.

Buy “American Grown” from ShopPBS