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Richard Olney

The California Cook: Cookbooks that bring comfort

The California Cook: Cookbooks that bring comfort

At first glance, the story in the local paper seemed to have been written for me: "Decorating With Books." My house is swamped with cookbooks, they're stacked on just about every horizontal surface and, yes, some are even arranged on shelves. So I thought it might be a kind of a "When life gives you lemons" thing — maybe this was going to become a trendy new style in home décor?

Sadly, the story turned out to be about businesses that sell impressive-looking books — by the linear foot — to interior decorators to fill their clients' bookshelves. OK, so my stacks of old cookbooks are still not quite ready for Architectural Digest. But that doesn't mean I'm...