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These books don't need recipes to whet your appetite
Tasting Table

It hardly bears repeating that cookbooks can be incredible vehicles for armchair travel and cultural education.

But two recent food-studded memoirs have even more to offer in the way of thought-provoking global studies. Stack these titles on your nightstand for fall:

Day of Honey ($10) This compelling read is from Annia Ciezadlo, whose marriage to a wartime journalist takes her to the frontlines of Iraq. To wrestle with the trauma of that experience, she examines the small things that help individuals survive, a path that leads to an articulate and emotional examination of Middle Eastern food.

A Tiger in the Kitchen ($11) We're all for time-consuming culinary projects and will happily forfeit a weekend to cook the perfect cassoulet or practice baking bread. But Cheryl Lu-Tien Tan took dedication one step further when she traveled back and forth from her home in New York to Singapore for a year in order to learn her family's cuisine. The contrasting narratives of her life as a fashion journalist and her foray into the unpredictable and instinctual styles of cooking in Singapore (not to mention the hunger-inducing descriptions of the dishes she tackled) kept us sated through the final page.

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