Saturday Shelves: Celebrities Sell Books

The Barnes and Noble new book list is depressing… Not only are TV and movie actresses the only people getting book deals anymore, well, I guess their ghost writer technically also get a book deal, they are now the only authority on cooking and “family”/”togetherness”/”wholesomeness”/”love”/”lovinglivingmyorganiclifestyle”.

Cookbooks used to feature food on the cover.. Just notice the amount of emphasis placed on actual food on the cover of Gwyneth Platrow and Eva Longoria’s books – their trim celebrity bodies take up 60% the cover, whereas the food is demoted to about 10% . Both seem to be specializing in generic carbohydrate dishes (Noodles for Eva, pasta for Gwyneth) with some unused lemons and basil placed beside it. It must be completely disheartening for a struggling writer or chef to see that the quickest way to come successful in their field is to appear in episodes of Glee or Desperate Housewives. I’m not saying these books are terrible – I haven’t read any of them – but can we please stop the ridiculous belief that because someone is famous they are able to do anything.

Friendly serifs are the typeface of choice, presumably to make it look a little more traditional and old-timely.. I’m actually surprised the kitchens are as modern as they are, I thought they’d be playing up the little country kitchen vibe a bit more.

I realise that as chefs like Jamie Oliver and Rachael Ray become celebrities in their own right, they also feature more prominently on their covers. But they were also just chefs at some point and have a large amount of knowledge in their field. Please everyone, buy a cookbook from someone who actual studied culinary arts, not just someone who has been able to afford a nutritionist for most of the movie career.


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