Samantha Lindgren, who co-owns cookbook shop Rabelais in Portland, ME. with her husband Don Lindgren, spoke with Tip Sheet about the hot culinary titles of the holiday season.
What’s selling this season?
The Eleven Madison Park cookbook (Little, Brown), we cannot keep it on the shelf, it’s flying out the door as fast as we can reorder it. The Family Meal: Home Cooking with Farren Adria (Phaidon), that’s doing very well. The Art of Living According to Joe Beef, which comes out of Canada, is a very cool book that’s been selling. And Rustic Italian Food from Marc Vetri, it’s his second book, he’s an Italian chef down in Philadelphia.
What are you looking forward to getting in?
There’s a cocktail book everyone is hotly anticipating, the PDT Cocktail Book (Sterling) by a man named Jim Meehan, who is a very well-respected and very hip mixologist (that’s what we’re calling [bartenders] now), down in New York at a place called Please Don’t Tell. We cannot get it at the moment, it published two weeks ago but even Amazon doesn’t seem to have it. Everyone is looking for that one, but I always feel better when Amazon doesn’t have it, too. Two years ago we couldn’t get this book from the Chez Panisse guy, the only place that had it was Amazon. So frustrating. But [frustration is] the stock and trade for independent bookstores right now, unfortunately. We’re waiting to hear from the rep whether they’ll print more [PDT] before Christmas.
Another book that came out back in August that was really hard to get was Mission Street Food, the first cookbook to come from McSweeneys, they’re now doing a small line of cookbooks. They also did a magazine called Lucky Peach, it’s David Chang and Tony Bourdain and the McSweeneys people, so it’s a really interesting collaboration.
So is there anything special for the holiday season yet to come in?
At this stage of the game, all the important cookbooks are in the store. We’re excited about Extra Virginity [by Tom Mueller], coming out in December from Norton. There’s also some imports: Bocca [by Jacob Kenedy] is a British import that Bloomsbury’s bringing into the country, which doesn’t usually happen. And A Cook’s Year in a Welsh Farmhouse [by Elisabeth Luard], which we were importing and selling well, is now being distributed stateside by Bloomsbury. The Ginger Pig Meat Book [by Tim Wilson and Fran Warde] is another British title we were importing, now Globe Pequot is bringing that into the country, and also a Vietnamese book [by Luke Nguyen] which here will be called My Vietnam. We do very well with imports, the British are publishing some very cool stuff. It’s a whole different world of cookbooks, and they seem to appeal to our customers.
Visit Rabelais online here, or in person at 86 Middle Street, Portland, Me.