When I was younger I read much more serious works, including many of the great novels. I was also particularly interested in the Bloomsbury group, and I loved reading biographies of the individuals in that circle.
At this point I enjoy books that delve into a specific topic. I want to feel that the author is deeply, seriously, and passionately involved with whatever subject he or she has chosen. This is particularly true with cookbooks. I find I can identify with the author when she has done an enormous amount of research and is really committed.
For me, a book is a very comforting thing to have and to hold, especially when an author has spilled his guts out on the page. The following books will show you what I mean.