I've just finished reading Tender at the Bone: Growing up at the Table, by Ruth Reichl (restaurant critic for the New York Times), and I feel as satisfied as if I'd just had a good meal.
Reichl guides the reader through her early experiences with food, providing recipes for the favorite dishes of her youth. She also tells a good story, detailing her mother's manic entertaining style, the comforting aromas of her grandmother's house, her own initial forays into cooking exotic fare, and the wonderful food she encountered while traveling in Europe and North Africa.
Recipes that I've copied to try later include Milton's Pate (a chicken-liver pate. I've never made pate, but this one looks easy enough to try.), Claritha's Fried Chicken (I can tell from the recipe that it's going to be good.), Coconut Bread (This one just sounds so delicious and unusual that I want to give it a go.), and Alice's Apple Dumplings with Hard Sauce (which looks easy, yummy, and infinitely eatable).
I'll let you know how they come out! In the meantime, I've enjoyed this book so much that I plan to move on to her second book, Comfort Me with Apples, next. Happy eating!