Three more books for the ages, according to me. The Essential Cuisines of Mexico by Diana Kennedy I was very excited when this came out. It was supposed to replace The Cuisines of Mexico, Mexican Regional Cooking, and The Tortilla Book, all out of print at the time but it's really a "best of" with some new recipes but many favorites cut. I use it a lot but the original three. Some of the recipes simpler and clearer than the originals but the reality is you need it all. This is a good place to start, though. As of this writing, it's only available new as a paperback. The Pooh Cook Book by Virgina H. Ellison Don't laugh! This was probably my first cookbook and yes, these are simple recipes for children but they're not too silly and they really got me interested in preparing food. I make carrot greens tea with honey, to this day, thanks to this book. Moro by Sam and Sam Clark Moro (and later Casa Moro, Moro East and to a lesser degree, Morito) defines a cuisine that I find insanely good. It's loosely food with a Moorish influence, from Spain to Eastern Europe and it's one of the few books where I'd like to prepare and eat something from almost every page. While the food seems other worldly, the ingredients are easy enough to find, especially in California. If it's not inspiring you to make the exact dish, Moro is a great source of inspiration for your own versions. If I were more clever I would describe this series better, but I would love for you to start with Moro and continue on if you agree with me.