1. If you love A Game of Thrones: A Feast of Ice and Fire
Born from food blog The Inn at the Crossroads, this book is the result of two brave A Song of Ice and Fire enthusiasts’ attempt to cook through the meals featured in the series. They did it to great success — it’s one of only two literary cookbooks on this list given the “official” stamp by the author, complete with a George R.R. Martin introduction.
MUST-TRY RECIPE: Fig Tart
2. If you love The Hunger Games: The Unofficial Hunger Games Cookbook
This companion cookbook has been well–received for its thoroughness — any dish or food mentioned in the series (even just once!) is included in the cookbook, for over 150 recipes — and the quality of the food itself. Expect a lot of comfort food — stews, breads, breakfast “mush” — presented with scattered “tips from your sponsor.”
MUST-TRY RECIPE: Katniss’ Craved Cheese Buns
3. If you love Harry Potter: The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook
Any Harry Potter fan has drooled over the food, from Honeydukes treats, to Weasley comfort meals, to dining hall feasts. The companion cookbook gives you a chance to have a taste, featuring traditional British dishes with a touch of Harry Potter backstory and charm (but, sadly, no Butterbeer or pictures). And while there’s nothing saying these dishes are only for the holidays, they’re definitely best during the holidays. Bonus: A preview PDF of the book is available here.
MUST-TRY RECIPE: Pumpkin Pasties
4. If you love Jane Austen: Dinner With Mr. Darcy
In Dinner with Mr. Darcy, Pen Vogler collects recipes inspired by Jane Austen’s novels — Mr. Bingley’s white soup in Pride and Prejudice, Mrs. Bates’ baked apples inEmma, Lady Middleton’s apricot marmalade in Sense and Sensibility — as well as those described in letters between Austen and friends. The cookbook successfully captures the essence of domestic life in Austen’s time, and offers an authentic re-creation of the meals (and tea snacks!) she and her contemporaries would have enjoyed themselves.
MUST-TRY RECIPE: Apricot Marmalade & “Cakes”
5. If you love Redwall: The Redwall Cookbook
Yes, The Redwall Cookbook is technically for children, but it is far and away the most delightful on this list. The (many) recipes are couched in background stories — written by Brian Jacques himself — and interspersed with beautiful illustrations. The dishes are divided by season, and are completely vegetarian. Plus, the fact that it’s intended for kids means even the most amateur chef can handle it.
MUST-TRY RECIPE: Mole’s Favorite Deeper’n’Ever Turnip’n’Tater’n’Beetroot Pie
6. If you love Tennessee Williams: Dinner With Tennessee Williams
Food might not be the first thing you think of when you think of plays like A Streetcar Named Desire or Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, but southern chef Greg Picolo and writer Troy Gilbert were more interested in re-creating the culinary landscape of Williams’s New Orleans, pulling references from his plays (think: the tamales sold by street vendors in Streetcar) and researching the meals Williams would have actually enjoyed in all of his favorite haunts.
MUST-TRY RECIPE: Big Daddy’s Braised Double-Cut Pork Chops
7. If you love Virginia Woolf, E.M. Forster, or Lytton Strachey: The Bloomsbury Cookbook
In The Bloomsbury Cookbook, Jans Ondaatje Rolls collects 50 years’ worth of recipes outlining the meals and snacks the Bloomsbury group would have shared over the course of their friendship. Virginia Woolf’s bread, Vanessa Bell’s scones, Lydia Lopokova’s sorrel soup, and over 200 more dishes are presented chronologically, but it’s not as simple as that: More than any other book on this list, this one offers social and cultural history, including photographs, artwork, as well as excerpts (and gossip!) from journals, books, and letters.
MUST-TRY RECIPE: Angelica Garnett’s Cherry Tart
8. If you love Little House on the Prairie: The Little House Cookbook
The Little House Cookbook can be INTENSE, meaning there is a lot of eggs and lard. It was life on the prairie! They needed to bulk up! Again, this is a cookbook aimed at kids, but anyone who grew up with the series will be delighted by it. Nearly every mention of food from the books is reimagined, with excerpts and illustrations scattered throughout.
MUST-TRY RECIPE: Laura’s Wedding Cake
9. If you love Ernest Hemingway: The Hemingway Cookbook
Hemingway loved to drink and eat, and in this part-cookbook, part-biography, Craig Boreth gathers more than 125 recipes from his life, writing, and travels. Unsurprisingly, it’s a worldly collection, with dishes pulled from menus in Spain, France, Italy, Cuba. There’s even a chapter dedicated to his favorite drinks.
MUST-TRY RECIPE: Paella de Langosta (Lobster Paella)
10. If you love Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland: The Alice in Wonderland Cookbook
The Alice in Wonderland Cookbook is a special gem because it’s long been out of print. It includes recipes for treats and cocktails inspired by the classic tale, accompanied by excerpts from the book and the original illustrations by Sir John Tennial. It even includes two short stories by Lewis Carroll!
MUST-TRY RECIPE: A Toast to Alice (alcoholic cider)
11. If you love Dr. Seuss: Green Eggs and Ham Cookbook
Nothing could be more fun or whimsical than creating Seussian dishes, especially for those of us who dreamed of the days we could actually eat green eggs and ham. (Spoiler: Georgeanne Brennan’s version includes guacamole, tomatillo, and cilantro, not just some food dye.) The recipes are aimed at children (the laminated pages are also a giveaway), so it’s a great choice for creating family meals.
MUST-TRY RECIPE: Green Eggs and Ham (duh)
12. If you love the classics in general: Tequila Mockingbird
OK, so it’s less a cookbook than it is a cocktail book, but still it is a gem. Filled with 65 recipes for punny “cocktails with a literary twist” (lol) — along with drinking games, party snacks, beautiful illustrations, and witty commentary — it’s perfect for any book-loving lush.
MUST-TRY RECIPE: Paradise Sauced