Charlie Lee-Potter is a writer, broadcaster and academic who lives in Oxfordshire. She has written and presented documentaries for BBC television and has presented many Radio 4 programmes including PM, The World at One, The World this Weekend and Open Book. She also writes for magazines and newspapers. Charlie has a PhD in contemporary fiction and is a visiting lecturer in English literature at London and Oxford Universities. Her book on terrorism and the evolution of the contemporary novel will be published at the end of 2016. Charlie created her blog Eggs on the Roof to combine her interests in food, art, photography and literature. Her posts about books, philosophy and language are often inspired by dishes she’s created in her kitchen.
Too many cookery books boast overblown, lavish photographs and underwhelming, derivative recipes. This is the opposite - you'll want to cook everything in it and the beautiful but restrained pen and ink drawings will soothe your overstrained eyes.
I'm a slightly cavalier cook - throw it in, taste a little, add a touch more. But that method doesn't work so well - or so safely - with preserving and curing. Diana Henry's book is as comforting as it's edifying, with perfectly balanced recipes and precise instructions. Diana Henry is the kind of person - and cook - that everyone wants to have as a friend
I don't get the hang of people who complain about cookery books that are so complicated that the recipes are impossible to make at home. Isn't that the point? To teach us something we didn't know and might not be able to achieve, even if we do.
This is an idiosyncratic book that has been constructed as a sculpture might be - by hand, over time and with hard labour. Jake Tilson is the cook, writer, photographer, graphic designer and, literally for once, bottle washer. It's a hand-made work of art.
First published as a manifesto in the 1930s, these recipes are completely barmy. Eat an olive, kumquat and slice of raw fennel, while being sprayed with cologne, stroking sandpaper, silk and velvet with your left hand, and listening to Bach and aircraft noise. The Italian Futurists had objectionable political views, but I do admire their eccentricity.
The co-founder of Le Villandry, Rose Carrarini, took English baking to Paris and won. The fact that the French now adore 'le apple crum-bell' must surely be down to Rose. It's a charming book with a startlingly green cover that's a cross between a 1930s sideboard and a Granny Smith
There will be people who'll tell you to buy this book for the roast chicken and bread salad. But what you really need it for are the pickled red onions. As pink as Calpol, as piquant as anything you'll ever taste.
This is the book you need when you're feeling glum. Skye Gyngell cooks as though she's trying to make herself and everyone else feel better. The food is exquisite, and Skye's insistence on seasonal cooking brings a slightly mournful impermanence to every recipe. Taste it today because it will be gone tomorrow.