This Christmas my sister-in-law surprised me with a few books off of an old wish list. One of them, which I don't understand how I didn't have already, was Cookwise by Shirley O. Corriher. I first saw Shirley on Alton Brown's show (if you're a fan of the show then you'll know her as the resident food scientist). I always find her segments to be informative and approachable and in her book, Cookwise, you get just that. With an informal and chatty demeanor, Shirley really wants to help you improve your cooking know how.
Subtitled "The Hows & Whys of Successful Cooking," Cookwise is truly an in-depth look at the science of cooking. You really get the feeling that she wants to help you improve your cooking and not just memorize a handful of recipes. In fact the recipes in the book are presented more like experiments than they are fine meals. Each one explains what you're learning and more importantly why.
Is the book perfect? Not totally, the layout is a little awkward and it could be organized a bit better. However the content is well worth that little gripe, so check it out and let me know what you think.