You don't have to be a Libra to appreciate balance
The Book: The Modern Ayurvedic Cookbook by Amrita Sondhi (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2006)
Overall feeling: We are seeing a trend right now in ancient healing practices that had fallen out of common use (or were completely unknown to many westerners) getting uncovered and recognized for the profound powers they have. I love that.
Like many of my favourite cookbooks, this is not just a recipe book, but also a resource. I'm not going to launch into an explanation on the main principles of this 5000-year old approach to well-being, except to say that it features three "doshas", labels based on various aspects of your constitution, and Sondhi gives a decent amount of information on each to help the reader understand and make health-supporting choices. That being said, you don't have to get into Ayurvedic medicine to enjoy this book. You can use it in two ways: 1) Just dive into any of the 200 recipes that appeal to you and enjoy them for what they are OR 2) give yourself 30-45 minutes or so to read the front of the book and identify what recipes will be most supportive for you. (I'm rooting for you to go with option 2, but you do what you want.)
At first glance, this book is friendly and inviting - both artistically and as you begin to read the text.
Best bits: I have loved quizzes ever since my first issue of YM, and so excitedly flipping to the Dosha Questionnaire was one of the first things I did when I got a hold of the book (turns out I'm Vata, with Pitta being my secondary dosha, for what it's worth to you). Most of the recipes would be easy for any vegetarian or omnivore to slide into their diet. From my initial flip through the book I could see that the recipes were wholesome and flavourful... we can all use more of that, can't we? There are many dishes that I'm excited to try, but I most love the sound of The Cold Feet Cure, an almond milk-based drink including pistachios, cardamom, and rose water, to help soothe a "bride and groom's pre-wedding jitters!" I plan to try it out despite my lack of nuptial plans for the near future.
Less-wonderful bits: There are no food photos, for those of you who get excited about that kind of thing, and the more I think about it, the more I wish there were as I often find it a good point of inspiration. You're going to need to make special shopping trips if you don't already have black chickpeas, gram flour, tur dal, gur and hing (I'm not even sure yet what those last two are) in your pantry. And if you're vegan, you'll need to be comfortable with making substitutions (coconut oil to replace ghee; coconut, almond or rice milk to replace milk or cream) - though the substituted ingredient may have a different effect on your dosha, so if you're committed to that you'll need to do extra research.
Whole foods focus?: Yes!
Web presence?: Sorta.