As the daughter of two English majors (and possibly as a future English major herself), reading has been ingrained upon me from a very young age. Over the years my interests have evolved and matured, but on cold winter nights, the allure of a captivating novel, read under a meager book light while cuddled beneath countless layers of blankets still remains as one of my life's greatest pleasures. I'm convinced that we as humans are wired to crave the beauty of the written word; those who claim they are immune to this biblio-fixation only haven't found their gateway novel yet. Key word: Yet. 

All of that being said, I'm hoping that one of these food focused pieces of literature might just be your entrance into this boundless book-filled world. If not, at least they may offer you a relaxing respite from the craziness past of first semester. 

1. Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

You knew this one was coming, didn't you? Of course I had to include this Elizabeth Gilbert classic in my list, as it was the first food related book I remember picking up, and it was also the catalyst for my food and travel literary obsession. From Gilbert's description of her ethereal pasta plates in Italy, to her retelling of her out of body meditation experience in India, this book will make your stomach growl and encourage you to book the soonest flight abroad. 

2. My Life in France by Julia Child

We all have heard of Julia Child. I own her cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking and I've seen Julie and Julia more times than I'd like to admit. While reading My Life in France, as a self-acclaimed food lover and francophile, I felt as if Julia Child was speaking to me as her soul sister, recounting her kitchen masterpieces and fails alike with a charming sense of humor. I could almost hear her hearty belly laugh as I turned each page. 

3. Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain

Just a week after his tragic death, my dad came home with Kitchen Confidential. That night I tore into the fresh pages, devouring his every word, trying to uncover who this man really was. He was crude. He was funny. He was painstakingly authentic. His true essence is prevalent in this book and I don't think there is any better way to pay homage to Bourdain than to take the time to sit down with his book and savor its brilliance. 

4. Animal Vegetable Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver

I've never been the outdoorsy type in the slightest. I would much prefer the comfort of sitting beside a remote controlled fireplace with a good book than brave the wilderness on a camping trip. However, Barbara Kingsolver's Animal Vegetable Miracle had me considering moving out to the country on a self-sustained vegetable farm by the second chapter. She recounts her family's year of moving out to Appalachia to live on a huge hunk of land, only eating what they grew, raised, or kneaded by hand. Kingsolver even inspired me to bake my own bread from her retelling of her personal experience.

5. Voracious by Cara Nicoletti

As I was pursuing the express isles at the Ann Arbor Public Library in one last attempt to avoid studying for finals earlier in December, I found this little gem. I snatched the book right off the shelf and immediately proceeded to the check out. Nicoletti does a fantastic job of combining her love of literature and her love of food through this accumulation of small essays. In each, she retells a personal anecdote associated with a piece of literature and ends with a recipe inspired by that very work. I've never read anything like Voracious before, and it certainly did not disappoint! 

There's an enrapturing leather lazy-boy chair by the fire that's calling your name. So go on and get reading (but be sure to bring a snack with you for when your stomach begins to beckon).