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THE FARNSWORTH ROOM, Lamont Library’s leisure reading collection, was originally located on the main level of Widener. It moved to its present location in the west corner of the third floor of Lamont, shortly after Lamont opened in January 1949. The Room had been a gift from the family of Henry Weston Farnsworth (’12)—newspaper correspondent, world traveller, adventure-seeker, avid reader, and member of the French Foreign Legion—who was killed in action at Bois Sabot in France in September 1915. It was dedicated on December 5, 1916, four full months before the United States officially entered the Great War, making it quite possibly the country’s first memorial to an American who lost his life in WWI.

It has the distinction of housing the very first extracurricular reading collection at an American college or university. The books on its shelves were designed to be those “such as any undergraduate might have bought” for himself or would be “apt to read” if he happened upon them. The Farnsworth Room never pretended to offer the “‘best’ reading”—just “a good collection in which to browse, where an hour may be passed with pleasure and a chance of profit.” “All that is hoped,” Professor A. C. Coolidge remarked in his dedication speech, “is that this room will add year by year to the pleasure with which some men look back upon their undergraduate days, because they, like Henry Farnsworth, learned to fill in their leisure with reading, in or out of the trenches.”

Our ongoing research into the Farnsworth Room is helping us reconstruct a great deal about what “recreational” reading has meant to Harvard students at various times. It has also helped us understand why and how the Farnsworth collection has evolved. There are interesting reasons for the abundance of travel books, mysteries, biographies, literary bestsellers and science fiction we keep in the Farnsworth Room. We hope that this exhibit will whet your appetite for the best writing about food, and will entice you to recommend other books on food, culinary history and biography, and the flavors of the world. What titles or authors should we add to the Farnsworth mix?

E-mail suggestions to, or drop them off in the suggestion boxes in the Farnsworth Room and at the Circulation Desk.


ADVENTURE Bowles, Tom Parker

The Year of Eating Dangerously: A Global Adventure in Search of

Culinary Extremes (FARNS TX355.P25 2007) Gollner, Adam Leith

The Fruit Hunters: A Story of Nature, Adventure, Commerce and

Obsession (FARNS SB354.8.G65 2008) Lee, Jennifer 8

The Fortune Cookie Chronicles: Adventures in the World of Chinese

Food (FARNS TX945.4.L44 2008) AMERICANA Denker, Joel

The World on a Plate: A Tour through the History of America’s

Ethnic Cuisine (FARNS TX353.D433 2007)

Edge, John T. Apple Pie: An American Story (FARNS TX773.E334 2004) Fried Chicken: An American Story (FARNS TX750.5.C45 E35 2004) Hamburgers & Fries: An American Story (FARNS TX749.5.B43 E335 2005)

Gdula, Steven

The Warmest Room in the House: How the Kitchen Became the Heart

of the Twentieth-Century American Home (FARNS TX653.G38


Kaufman, Frederick A Short History of the American Stomach (FARNS GT498.S76 K48


Kerr, Jean and Spencer Smith

Union Oyster House Cookbook: Recipes and History from America’s

Oldest Restaurant (FARNS TX747.K47 2008x)

Kurlansky, Mark The Big Oyster: History on the Half Shell (FARNS TX754.O98 K87


Levine, Ed Pizza: A Slice of Heaven (FARNS TX770.P58 L48 2005x)

Mullins, Paul R. Glazed America: A History of the Doughnut (FARNS TX770.D67 M85 2008)


Ozersky, Josh The Hamburger: A History (FARNS TX749.5.B43 O94 2008)

Smith, Andrew F. Peanuts: The Illustrious History of the Goober Pea (FARNS TX803.P35 S65 2002) The Turkey: An American Story (FARNS SF507.S49 2006)

Stavely, Steve and Kathleen Fitzgerald

America’s Founding Food: The Story of New England Cooking

(FARNS TX715.2.N48 S743 2004)

Wyman, Carolyn

Better Than Homemade: Amazing Foods that Changed the Way We

Eat (FARNS TX370 .W96 2004x) Jell-O: A Biography (FARNS TX814.5.G4 W96 2001) Spam: A Biography (FARNS TX749.W96 1999)


Bourette, Susan Meat: A Love Story (FARNS TS1955.B68 2008)

Child, Julia, with Alex Prud’homme My Life in France (FARNS TX649.C47 A3 2006)

Dunlop, Fuchsia

Shark’s Fin and Sichuan Pepper : A Sweet-sour Memoir of Eating in

China (FARNS TX724.5.C5 D868 2008)

Fisher, M.F.K. (Mary Francis Kennedy) Serve it Forth (FARNS TX631.F53 1989)

Kingsolver, Barbara, with Steven L. Hopp and Camille Kingsolver Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life (FARNS S521.5.A67 K56 2007)

McNamee, Thomas

Alice Waters and Chez Panisse: The Romantic, Impractical, Often

Eccentric, Ultimately Brilliant Making of a Food Revolution

(FARNS TX910.5.W38 M36 2007)

Riccardi, Victoria Abbott Untangling My Chopsticks: A Culinary Sojourn in Kyoto (FARNS TX724.5.J3 R49 2003)



Almond, Steve Candyfreak: A Journey Through the Underbelly of America (FARNS HD9330.C653 U513 2004)

Millstone, Erik and Tim Lang The Food Atlas: Who Eats What, Where, and Why (FARNS TX353.M55 2008x)


Heiss, Mary Lou and Robert J. Heiss The Story of Tea: A Cultural History and Drinking Guide (FARNS TX415.H44 2007)

Jones, Martin Feast: Why Humans Share Food (FARNS GT2850.J66 2007x)

GASTRONOMY Page, Karen and Andrew Dornenburg

The Flavor Bible: The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity, Based on

the Wisdom of American’s Most Imaginative Chefs (FARNS TX651.P34 2008)

This, Hervé (translated by Jody Gladding) Kitchen Mysteries: Revealing the Science of Cooking (= Les Secrets de la Casserole) (FARNS TX651.T3713 2007)


Albala, Ken Beans: A History (FARNS QK495.L52 A567 2007) Food in Early Modern Europe (FARNS GT2853.E85 A43 2003)

Broomfield, Andrea Food and Cooking in Victorian England: A History (FARNS TX717.B754 2007)

Faas, Patrick (translated by Shaun Whiteside)

Around the Roman Table: Food and Feasting in Ancient Rome

(FARNS DG101.F33 2003x)

Freedman, Paul Out of the East: Spices and the Medieval Imagination (FARNS TX406.F75 2008)

Helstosky, Carol Pizza: A Global History (FARNS TX770.P58 H45 2008x)


Koeppel, Dan Banana: The Fate of the Fruit That Changed the World (FARNS SB379.B2 K66 2008)

Laszlo, Pierre Citrus: A History (FARNS SB369.L37 2007)

Off, Carol

Bitter Chocolate: The Dark Side of the World’s Most Seductive Sweet

(FARNS HD9200.A2 O34 2008)

Salza Prina Ricotti, Eugenia (translated by Ruth Anne Lotero) Meals and Recipes from Ancient Greece (FARNS TX723.5.G8 S3386


Smith, Andrew F. Hamburger: A Global History (FARNS TX749.5.B43.S63 2008x)

Turner, Jack Spice: The History of a Temptation (FARNS TX406.T87 2004)

Wilkins, John and Shaun Hill Food in the Ancient World (FARNS TX353.W535 2006)

INTERNATIONAL CUISINE Kaplan, Steven L. (translated by Catherine Porter)

Good Bread is Back: A Contemporary History of French Bread, the

Way it is Made, and the People who Make it (FARNS TX769.K28713 2006)

Loomis, Susan Herrmann On Rue Tatin: Living and Cooking in a French Town (FARNS TX719.2.N67 L66 2001)

Montagné, Prosper (translated by Nina Froud and others) The Encyclopedia of Food, Wine and Cookery (=Larousse Gastronomique) (FARNS TX349.M613)

Nenes, Michael F. International Cuisine (FARNS TX725.A1 N46 2009)

Reichl, Ruth (editor)

The Gourmet Cookbook: More than 1000 Recipes, Over 60 Years in the

Making (FARNS TX651.G68 2004)

Rozin, Elisabeth Ethnic Cuisine: The Flavor-Principle Cookbook (FARNS TX725.A1 R69 1983x)


Williams, Sean (editor)

The Ethnomusicologists’ Cookbook: Complete Meals from Around the

World (FARNS TX725.A1 E86 2006) MYSTERY

Davidson, Diane Mott Catering to Nobody (FARNS PS3554.A925 C37 2002x) Tough Cookie (FARNS PS3554.A925 T68 2001x)

Fluke, Joanne Hannah Swensen mysteries – Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder (FARNS PS3556.L685 C56 2008x) Strawberry Shortcake Murder (FARNS PS3556.L685 S87 2002x)


Chaskey, Scott This Common Ground: Seasons on an Organic Farm (FARNS S605.5.C456 2005)

Waters, Alice

The Art of Simple Food: Notes, Lessons, and Recipes from a Delicious

Revolution (FARNS TX714.W38 2007x)


Andrews, Geoff The Slow Food Story: Politics and Pleasure (FARNS TX631.A53



Nabhan, Gary Paul Why Some Like It Hot: Food, Genes, and Culture Diversity (FARNS QH431.N28 2004)

Pollan, Michael In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto (FARNS RA784.P643 2008)


Bourdain, Anthony A Cook’s Tour: In Search of the Perfect Meal (FARNS TX652.9.B68


No Reservations: Around the World on an Empty Stomach (FARNS TX652.9.B69 2007x)


Hathaway, Margaret

The Year of the Goat: 40,000 Miles and the Quest for the Perfect

Cheese (FARNS E169.Z83 H38 2007)

Trillin, Calvin Alice, Let’s Eat: Further Adventures of a Happy Eater (FARNS TX737.T74 2007x)

Feeding a Yen: Savoring Local Specialties from Kansas City to Cuzco

(FARNS TX715.T775 2003) Travels with Alice (FARNS TX737.T75 1999)

Hathaway, Margaret The Year of the Goat: 40,000 Miles and the Quest for the Perfect Cheese

And remember, you can suggest titles for purchase in the Farnsworth Room.

E-mail, or use one of our suggestion boxes. They’re located conveniently just inside the Farnsworth Room and at the Circulation Desk.

Hathaway, Margaret The Year of the Goat: 40,000 Miles and the Quest for the Perfect Cheese


Food for Thought in the Farnsworth Room
Food for
in the
Farnsworth Room

a delectable selection of books for your reading pleasure