Olives: The Life and Lore of a Noble Fruit
by Mort Rosenblum
Published by North Point Press
316 pages, 1998
ISBN 0865475261

Olives: The Life and Lore of a Noble Fruit is one part travelogue, one part affectionate essay, one part cookbook and all parts fascinating. Author Mort Rosenblum is a noted journalist who bought a small olive farm in Provence in the mid-1980s. It was through this intimate contact with olives that Rosenblum's interest -- and even self-proclaimed obsession -- with the olive began. In this book, he shares this interest in passionate tones that might leave you looking at the olive in a new way.

Tea: Essence of the Leaf
by Sara Slavin and Karl Petzke
Published by Chronicle Books
96 pages, 1998
ISBN 0-8118-1632-X

A book as lovely and delicate as the topic itself, Tea: Essence of the Leaf combines lore, recipes and photographs in one slender little volume. Slavin and Petzke are also the authors of The Art of the Bath, Chocolate, and Espresso and understand very well what goes into creating an excellent book on a single topic worthy of an aficionado's interest. They've done a good job here, as well.