By far one of my favorite cookbooks, this isn't simply a collection of recipes tacked together, but a guidebook into the basics and methodology of French cooking. Julia Child, Simon Beck, and Louissette Bertholle have created a delightfully personal and thorough cookbook, specifically designed for Americans. It doesn't just tell you how things are made, but why. Each sections begins with a single dish, then follows with many variations of the same dish. The goal is, simply, to teach you how to cook; to free you from the dependence of using a cookbook, so that cooking is natural and fun.