One of my favorite things to do is head over to my public library and peruse their fantastic collection of cookbooks. Last time I was there, I picked up Mangoes & Curry Leaves: Culinary Travels Through The Great Subcontinent by Jeffrey Alford & Naomi Duguid. I was drawn to it because of the title (I love the flavors from that part of the world), and decided to check it out because of the way it looks.
The book, which is actually more of a coffee table book than a cookbook (not to the say that the recipes aren't well researched and delicious), reads like a travel essay and is filled with beautiful pictures. Often it's as if you're reading the writing of an old friend who's gone on an amazing vacation. A friend who's gathered recipes from cooks all over that region of the world (India, Sri Lanka and Nepal, just to name a few) and have tailored them to the North American home cook.
And although I enjoyed it thoroughly, I found that I didn't make too many of the recipes inside. This was mostly due to the fact that the book itself is quite large, heavy and cumbersome. It is definitely meant for the coffee table, not the kitchen counter. However, the recipes I did make, such as Zinet's Chicken With Tomato & Greens and Katchhi Village Pototo Curry, were absolutely delicious and I felt that the book exposed me to new cuisine experiences.
Overall, if you're a die-hard foodie, or are really into authentic cuisine from this region of the world, I'd definitely check out this book. However, if you're looking for something to use in your kitchen on a regular basis, I'd save your money and find something that can handle the kitchen abuse.