The 10 Best Anthony Bourdain Books

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This wiki has been updated 16 times since it was first published in July of 2018. Inspiring respect for the culinary and cultural traditions of communities around the globe, Anthony Bourdain was a pioneer who showed us how people across all time zones are not so different from each other. His raw, irreverent, familiar style paints a vividly honest picture of food, the restaurant industry, and the world itself, in an often sweet, but sometimes less-than-savory, light. When users buy our independently chosen editorial choices, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.

1. Appetites: A Cookbook

2. Kitchen Confidential

3. No Reservations

Editor's Notes

May 11, 2020:

Anthony Bourdain was just as skillful a writer as he was a chef, and a born storyteller to boot. The result is a collection of work that goes much further than the typical biography or tell-all, as he wrote with flair, honesty, and style in a way that is easy to understand and relate to. If you're interested in more than just cookbooks, picking up something by Bourdain can not only teach you a thing or two about food, but also travel, the restaurant industry, and how not to take yourself too seriously.

To provide a wide-ranging insight into Bourdain's work, we wanted to include his forays into graphic novels, fiction, cookbooks, and true stories culled from his life, as well as a few companion pieces to his hit television shows. So you'll find Bone in the Throat, a fast-paced crime drama and No Reservations, a book that explores what it's like to film a television series all over the world, alongside the likes of the Les Halles Cookbook and Appetites: A Cookbook, two choices that provide instruction and insight without celebrity chef snobbery.

We decided to supplant Get Jiro! with Hungry Ghosts, which came later and built on his previous work with acclaimed novelist Joel Rose to find its feet a bit better. It's also a collection of stories rather than one narrative, giving it a multifaceted appeal, although it's hard to find any overarching thread with this one. That being said, it's still highly entertaining, gorgeously illustrated, and contains original recipes for Japanese fare.

Today's update also saw us bring on Bourdain's soon-to-be-released final project World Travel: An Irreverent Guide, finished by his assistant Laurie Woolever and supplemented with essays from colleagues, friends, and family that go further than simply remembering the late chef in memoriam. They include things like a guide to Chicago’s best cheap eats, or a sardonic account of traveling together from Bourdain's brother. These varied additions combine with Anthony's advice on travel and food, written in his signature brutally honest, insightful style.

Special Honors

Audible Anthony Bourdain was an exceptional storyteller, with conversational prose that reads the way a good friend speaks. This freewheeling, casual style lends his books well to audio versions, making them ideal to listen to on long walks, commutes, and especially while traveling. That's where comes in. It's a popular online portal for purchasing, downloading, and listening to audiobooks. They have a vast library and allow users to listen to novels on their website or the device of their choice.

Books Signed by Anthony Bourdain Fans looking to complete their collections may want a signed edition of their favorite Bourdain book. The vendors at AbeBooks have plenty on offer, including Kitchen Confidential, Medium Raw, Gone Bamboo, The Nasty Bits, and more. You'll find both soft and hardcover options from various printings in a range of conditions, from brand new to used.

4. Medium Raw

5. World Travel: An Irreverent Guide

6. The Nasty Bits

7. Les Halles Cookbook

8. Bone in the Throat

9. A Cook's Tour

10. Hungry Ghosts

Gia Vescovi-Chiordi
Last updated by Gia Vescovi-Chiordi

Born in Arizona, Gia is a writer and autodidact who fled the heat of the desert for California, where she enjoys drinking beer, overanalyzing the minutiae of life, and channeling Rick Steves. After arriving in Los Angeles a decade ago, she quickly nabbed a copywriting job at a major clothing company and derived years of editing and proofreading experience from her tenure there, all while sharpening her skills further with myriad freelance projects. In her spare time, she teaches herself French and Italian, has earned an ESL teaching certificate, traveled extensively throughout Europe and the United States, and unashamedly devours television shows and books. The result of these pursuits is expertise in fashion, travel, beauty, literature, textbooks, and pop culture, in addition to whatever obsession consumes her next.

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