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Full disclosure: We like to read cookbooks in bed. What can we say? Thumbing through recipes can be flat-out exhilarating. That’s why Lincoln Park’s new bookstore, Read It and Eat, is topping our list of local favorites.

The culinary shop hosts cooking events and book signings. And it even has a book club with a pretty genius formula: Members meet to discuss a new cookbook while sampling its recipes from a potluck-style smorgasbord. But if you ask us, the books themselves are the real draw. Here are five titles the store staff is geeking out over right now.


Mark Bittman’s Kitchen Matrix

If you’re a sucker for variety, snap this up immediately. The more than 700 recipes offer multiple ways to make a single dish. Let’s put it this way: Bittman has written 13 variations on a “tiny pancakes” recipe.


Thug Kitchen Party Grub

First of all, any book with a trailer this hilarious (and--heads up--NSFW) gets props from us. So we’re pretty stoked about this follow-up to the Thug Kitchen Cookbook, which focuses on vegan party snacks. You bet we’re bringing potato-leek cakes with dipping sauce to the season’s first Hanukkah bash.


A Girl and Her Greens: Hearty Meals from the Garden

Chef April Bloomfield gives lots of love to veggies in the pages of this new cookbook. But she doesn’t shy away from a few omnivore’s embellishments. Happily (for us non-vegans), Bloomfield prepares ramps with butter and fried eggs.  


The Silver Spoon Quick and Easy Italian Recipes

This Phaidon book--which is Read It and Eat’s November book-club selection--offers 100 recipes that each can be made in less than 30 minutes. When we prep something that fast, it usually means we’re reheating leftovers. But these recipes run the gamut from Spaghettini with Clams to Milanese Risotto.


The Forest Feast

Food photographer Erin Gleeson recently took up residence in the California woods. Can you imagine the spreads she’s whipping up? Luckily, you don’t have to. Her first, gorgeously illustrated cookbook has vegetarian recipes for what the wood nymphs must eat--think dipped strawberries, apple matchstick salad and cucumber spritzers.  

Read It and Eat, 2142 N. Halsted St.; 773-661-6158 or

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