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Genre Guide: Cookbooks

Welcome to another installment of our Genre Guide series!  Just in time for the holidays, this guide covers cookbooks. 

Cookbooks are a popular non-fiction genre that usually includes a collection of recipes and/ or cooking techniques.  The primary focus of cookbooks is food and cooking, though many chef and food writer memoirs (such as Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain) are often grouped into this category as well.  Most cookbooks include photographs or colorful illustrations of the food, though larger reference guides like Joy of Cooking usually don’t contain illustrations. 

Some cookbooks focus on a particular regional cuisine (i.e. French, Chinese, Southern), while other cookbooks focus on the cooking method or technique (i.e. barbecue, baking, pressure cooking), and yet others focus on one particular type of food (i.e. soup, cookies, pasta).  Another popular type of cookbook is one that focuses on recipes from a particular restaurant or famous chef.   Between the wide range of subjects and cooking styles, there is something to meet every foodie’s palate!