Amazon's best books of June

Erin Kodicek on June 09, 2020

Amazon's best books of June

A rousing biography from the first woman to be awarded three Michelin stars, the chilling third book in Michael Connelly’s Jack McEvoy series, and a wholly original and fascinating travelogue that explores what’s at stake when we cultivate wild foods. 

Learn more about these and all of our picks for the Best Books of the Month.

Rebel Chef: In Search of What Matters by Dominique Crenn

In Rebel Chef, Dominique Crenn, the Michelin-starred chef/owner of Atelier Crenn, grants readers intimate access into her life and the result is inspiring and energizing. Crenn grew up in France but came to the States to realize her dream, working in various prestigious restaurants, and experiencing highs and lows in her career, before an accident pushed her to take the leap of faith and open her first restaurant, Atelier Crenn. Crenn never went to culinary school, but is inventive and intuitive in her cooking. She is passionate about her craft, family, sustaining the Earth, and providing opportunity to others. In a pattern you see repeated throughout her memoir, once Crenn sets her mind to something she works every angle to make it happen. Her philosophy for life is, “Why focus on things not working out? There is no failure in life, only opportunity.” I highlighted so many lines in this book, soaking up Crenn’s positive attitude about everything from her adoption, to criticism of her style as a chef, to a breast cancer diagnosis. The creativity and care that goes into Crenn’s signature dishes is described in mouth-watering detail, and I want to experience the poetry of her food in person, knowing that the woman behind it cares deeply about not only every ingredient, but everyone who touches it. Like a special meal, reading Rebel Chef is a memorable and gratifying experience. —Seira Wilson

Fair Warning by Michael Connelly

Fair Warning is Michael Connelly’s third book featuring Jack McEvoy, the tireless reporter whom the author views as his alter ego. The story starts out briskly and never slows, as McEvoy is approached by a couple of Los Angeles detectives who inform him that he is a person of interest in a murder investigation. Tina Portrero has been found dead, and McEvoy spent a night with her about a year prior. With that, we are off and running—and anyone who has read the previous McEvoy books (The Poet and The Scarecrow) will know that this reporter’s drive and talent will lead to an investigation of his own. As Jack begins to uncover the details behind Tina’s death, he opens up a much bigger case. There appears to be a serial killer on the loose, and as McEvoy digs further—and eventually employs the aid of others, including former FBI agent Rachel Waller—he is drawn into the business of DNA analysis, and eventually into the dark web. This is dangerous, sometimes creepy stuff, and Connelly manages to make a salient point about the importance of good journalism at the same time that he drives his plot to a satisfying end. —Chris Schluep

Feasting Wild by Gina Rae La Cerva

Feasting Wild is both a complex look at the history of food cultivation and also a personal story of La Cerva’s relationship to wild food. The book opens at NOMA, the restaurant at the heart of Copenhagen’s wild food scene. In this first vignette, La Cerva weaves together a description of visiting a local graveyard with a cadre of hipster chefs in search of ramson flowers and a discussion of flavor and how we acquire tastes for things. The strength of Feasting Wild is its ability to defy genres: it is both travelogue and food history, memoir and meditation. From loving descriptions of feral food in New Mexico and Poland to an incisive look at the bushmeat markets in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the reader can’t help but gain a new perspective on the ethical questions involved. It is this pendulum swing between personal experiences and the science and history of food cultivation that makes La Cerva’s meandering narrative a veritable feast for the hungry reader. —Alison Walker

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