By Ivan Orkin (Ten Speed Press, $29.99)
I knew I was going to like Ivan Ramen before I opened it. You see, I'm a ramen fanatic, and so I was curious about Ivan Orkin's rise to ramen-legend. The book-part funny, self-deprecating memoir, part culinary anthropology, and part cookbook-did not disappoint. I've added Orkin's signature Shio Ramen-the result of 11 separate recipes, complete with hand-made toasted rye noodles and two types of homemade seasoning salts-to my bucket list of recipes. In the meantime, I may ease my way in by making one or two of the Shio Ramen components and using them in the simpler recipes Orkin helpfully also provides.