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Top 5 Cookbooks

(post, Carrie Floyd)

I just finished reading High Fidelity by Nick Hornby, which is full of Top Five Lists. I love the scene near the end when Rob is asked to name his five favorite records. As he says, it's a question he's been waiting for all his life, so why does he choke?

It's not necessarily that "five" is too limiting (after all no one wants to hear your top 100 list), but it shifts each time another title is considered, creating a need to clarify "top five": at the club, home, etc.  

I'm sitting in my office surrounded by  cookbooks (piled on my desk, in stacks beside my desk, crammed into the book shelves) thinking about my top five, and the list changes every time I get to three. Here's my Top Five List of my Top Five Cookbooks:

# Top Five Reference Cookbooks, the books that never get reshelved because I use them so often. 
# Top Five  New Cookbooks, the ones I horde and feign ignorance of when asked about by co-workers.
# Top Five Good-Read (cook)Books (stories, author's voice, photos and/or illustrations trump the recipes).
# Top Five Defining Cookbooks:  childhood to middle-age, a book a decade.
# Top  Five If-I-Really-Only-Get-Five Cookbooks.

Talk about avoiding commitment, I think I just pulled a Rob.