Whether you are entertaining a slew of friends or just your immediate family, we can all use a little inspiration in the kitchen. These cookbooks convey the meaning of a good meal: company is what matters, and nothing can beat tried-and-true recipes with a modern twist. 

Tasting Table: Cooking with Friends

By Geoff Bartakovics and Todd Coleman

Just because you offered to host the dinner party doesn’t mean you have to do all the work. Half the fun of cooking is the socializing that comes with it, and this book, the handheld fruition of Geoff Bartakovics and Todd Coleman’s foodie-focused media brand Tasting Table, specializes in recipes and themes meant to be crafted by many helping hands. 

M. Judson Booksellers. 130 S Main St, Greenville. Mon–Sat, 9am–9pm, Sun, 11am–5pm. (864) 603-2412, mjudsonbooks.com

A Place Here (Vols. I & II)

By Beth Brown Ables

More than just a list of ingredients for a dish, A Place Here (Vols. 1 & 2) is a thoughtfully curated collection of menus and recipes that showcase the types of meals you want to create for the people you love most. Not limiting herself to Instagrammable-only dishes, Ables chooses recipes she’s cooked for her family over the years, proving that a good meal can lead to the best bonding.

Swamp Rabbit Café & Grocery, 205 Cedar Lane Rd, Greenville. Mon–Sun, 7:30am–7pm. (864) 255-3385, swamprabbitcafe.com

Sallie Ann Robinson’s Kitchen

By Sallie Ann Robinson

As a Gullah woman, Sallie Ann Robinson remembers when Pat Conroy taught her class on Daufuskie Island, a time he would commemorate in his eminent work, The Water Is Wide. Throughout her new cookbook, Robinson harkens back to her childhood with the fondest of memories, reflecting her cultural pride with a slew of Lowcountry recipes. Diving into this volume provides a double treat—it reads like a novel but offers a wealth of cooking tips.

Hub City Bookshop, 186 W Main St, Spartanburg. Mon–Sun, times vary. (864) 577-9349, hubcity.org

Joy of Cooking 2019 Edition

By Irma Rombauer, Marion Becker, Ethan Becker, John Becker, and Megan Scott

This beloved kitchen staple just got even bigger, with more than 600 new recipes tested and adapted by authors John Becker and Megan Scott. Classic favorites, like Southern cornbread and chocolate chip cookies, make the list, along with playful new additions like crispy pan-fried tofu and roasted mushroom burgers. There’s something for the whole family, all designed to be shared around the table as more than just a meal. 

Barnes & Noble, 735 Haywood Rd, Greenville. Mon–Sun, times vary. (864) 458-9113, barnesandnoble.com

Honorable Mentions:

Team Blankenship’s Tex Mex Family Cookbook, Swamp Rabbit Café
Seeking the South, M. Judson Booksellers
The Yoga Plate, M. Judson Booksellers