I love reading cook books. In Anna Olson's Back to Baking she notes that "some people do not actually read their cook books from cover to cover." Her books are full of great tricks and tips but also much of the science behind why what she does works. Laura Calder's books read like a novel, a French one, but a novel none the less. She is clearly in love with the entire food experience from purchase to preparing to plating and savouring. Nigella Lawson not only has great recipes but she writes her recipes and introductions with a narrative flow that makes you want to curl up and read them in front of a fire with a glass of wine. Tanna Ramsay, wife of the illustrious Gordon Ramsay, wrote a cook book that feels very homey and of course the food looks amazing and cooks up pretty much the same. Although, the lamb recipes will have to wait until the price per pound goes down enough to feed a family on a reasonable budget. Gordon Ramsay's books are straight forward, how to books, not a lot of faffing around but great for culinary learning. I have his Ultimate Cookery Course - worth the purchase for the Soda Bread and Pork Chops with Sweet and Sour Peppers recipes alone. Jamie Oliver's are quirky and written with the same boyish exuberance that he displays on tv. Giada de Laurentis has knack for describing recipes so that you can almost taste the food before you even hit the kitchen which is great because I love Italian food. That covers my top favourites from my shelf. The list goes on and on and on. I am truly relieved that there are others that read their cook books with the same passion as other books. It truly is a great way to gain insight into what you are cooking or baking and an opportunity to learn from the masters. Great question by the way!