Calling all foodies and wannabes -- here is a great summer food read that you will LOVE: Heat by Bill Buford.
The subtitle reads: Heat: An Amateur's Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta-Maker, and Apprentice to a Dante-Quoting Butcher in Tuscany.
The book is essentially written in two sections: The author's apprenticeship with Mario Batali at Babbo in NYC and then a soul-searching trip (and sort of apprenticeship) through Italy. The first section spoke to me more, but overall, it's really an enthralling read for anyone into food, especially if you've fantasized about your own restaurant someday or just getting your skills to "that level".
If you're a fan of Top Chef, you may recognize one of the line cooks at Babbo, Memmo (Manuel on TC). I have to say, I was really pulling for him on the show, mostly because of the semi-adoration Buford has for his skills in this book, but that's another blog post :)
The book is now available in paperback, which makes it not only an excellent read, but a bargain too! Check it out and let me know what you think.