It struck me as I sheltered from the rain in Waterstones bookshop yesterday, how quietly excited (can you say that?) I felt. To be A. warm and out of the downpour and B. cocooned by thousands of beautifully bound new editions, especially the table display of food and cookery books right in front of the door. How could I miss it? Sorry to say that like a lot of people who love books, I don’t often actually go into bookshops, most of my reads are borrowed from friends or purchased off the internet so I was taken aback at how incredibly beautiful the cookbooks looked. Obviously designed to not only show us how to cook the delicious dishes in the artfully styled photos but to lure us into a fantasy lifestyle, to sell us a dream of what it could be like to stand in that cool, terracotta tiled floor kitchen listening to cicadas, breathing in exotic scented flowers in pots on the doorstep and then to step into the cooks shoes and become her for even a couple of hours. The Peruvian book shown here even has a 3D cover made to look like real kitchen wall tiles which seem slightly padded. Dunno… maybe a step too far but I definitely like the look of “The Bloomsbury cookbook – recipes for love, life and art” It features Charleston Farmhouse, home and retreat for many of the Bloomsbury set and just down the road from me here in Sussex. If I’m completely honest, I don’t read many recipe books, I’m not that kind of cook. I prefer to eat or see something which I think is tasty and recreate it in my own way, it usually works, I’m quite good at improvising, but I can see why the publishers are pulling out all the stops to make their books as alluring as possible – everyone wants to make a food book these days so the competition is incredible.