Good Food Books for National Book Month

October is National Book Month sponsored by the National Book Foundation. This annual event encourages readers of all ages to enjoy books, and during the month, the National Book Foundation also announces its National Book Awards.

Because I am very involved with my local library (I am a Library Commissioner), I thought I would combine my interests and provide you with a list of some of my favorite sustainable food and farming books.

First off, I love anything by Michael Pollan, but especially The Omnivore’s Dilemma. In it Pollan outlines the food chains that feed us from industrial food to organic and even foraged food. He talks about “our national eating disorder” and the seeming contradiction of our many diet crazes and the current obesity epidemic. He also points out that all food originates with plants, animals and fungi and now, much of what is eaten isn’t really food and the role that agribusiness plays in our food system.

For a quick read, check out Pollan’s Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual that outlines simple rules for eating wisely, and is less than 150 pages.

Next: More good food books

For those who are thinking of chucking it all, moving to the country and starting your own farm, you first might want to read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, by Barbara Kingsolver. She outlines how she and her family decided to leave their home in Tucson, Arizona and live on her family’s farm in Virginia to eat locally for a year, with much of the food coming from their own garden/farm. They even raised their own poultry and canned their own produce.

Lastly, one of my absolute favorite authors is David Mas Masumoto. He is a second generation Japanese American Farmer, and he writes about the difficulties and the pleasures of continuing with the farming life in Central California, particularly as an organic and sustainable farmer. He is a slow food advocate and his books weave together stories of family and farming. He is a wonderful storyteller and is considered by many to be one of the most important voices of the sustainable food movement. His books include Epitaph for a Peach, Harvest Son: Planting Roots in American Soil, and Wisdom of the Last Farmer: Harvesting Legacies From the Land.


Nerosh Jaichand
Nerosh Jaichand8 years ago

Thanks. My mom we like this info.

gerlinde p.
gerlinde p8 years ago

thanks sounds like an interesting list of books.

NoEmails H.
beba h8 years ago

I wish I had more time to read books---it is one of my favorite things to do in the world---A cuppa tea, a couple of lighted candles in the room, a cozy corner and a good book. Bliss !!

Michelle M.
Michelle M8 years ago

The Gospel of Food is another food book I've heard of. As always, try getting the book from your library before buying your own copy!

Julie F.
Julie F8 years ago

Awesome, I have Kingsolvers book and this is motivating me to read it!

Shawn Prinos
Shawn P8 years ago

My husband and I have read Barbra Kingsolvers' book twice, I read it out loud to him, even the recipes. We've also read everything by Michael Pollan and have watched him on The Daily Show. We recommend books by Jerry Apps, a professor of agriculture at University of Wisconsin. He writes of the "good old" farm days in Wisconsin. And we recommend Mother Earth News, wonderful articles and some recipes.

LongBeachGrows aka LB Gro

Thanks Judi,
Of the books in your photo, I have read and love "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle," "Farm City," and "In Defense of Food." I would have to add "Full Moon Feast," "Nourishing Traditions," and "Good Calories, Bad Calories" to the top of my list. To see the books that I recommend, visit: and

Doris Chetcuti
Doris Chetcuti8 years ago

I love cooking on recipe books there's always something different and tasty.

Barbara Erdman
Barbara Erdman8 years ago


Mary L.
Mary L8 years ago

Thank you.