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Thursday, Nov 20, 2014
Food & Dining

Celeb cookbooks offer things to admire, regret

The Washington Post
Published:   |   Updated: March 20, 2013 at 12:55 PM

Among the recent glut of cookbooks by women who have found fame in fields other than cooking, one or two appear to have a genuine reason to exist, outside the desire to capitalize on celebrity before it fades to black.

Rocker Sheryl Crow certainly has a passion to help fellow cancer survivors in "If It Makes You Healthy," while actress Alicia Silverstone pushes for a vegan lifestyle in "The Kind Diet" to save the planet. "Real New Jersey Housewife" Teresa Giudice inadvertently makes the case for better cookbook editing in "Fabulicious!"

The celebrity cookbook — as opposed to the celebrity-chef cookbook — fares well in the marketplace. As of Friday, Gwyneth Paltrow's "My Father's Daughter" was sitting atop Amazon's best-selling cookbook list. Eva Longoria's "Eva's Kitchen" hovered in the No. 29 spot, while Crow's book checked in at No. 56, outselling some chef-driven cookbooks such as those by Jamie Oliver, Mario Batali and many others.

There are things to admire in these books, and things to regret: Easy recipes. Healthful recipes. Not particularly original recipes. Downright comical recipes. Vanity, warmth, generosity and an obsessive devotion to offspring.

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