I've considered doing a post on this before, but it came up today in conversation, so now I have an excuse.
I've accumulated a small library on macrobiotics, so I'm going to list the books I have and discuss which ones are helpful for which purposes. *Note: I haven't read all of them in their entirety, but I've read at least part of all of them, so I have a basic idea of what they contain.
If you have read any other books you've found helpful, feel free to post a review as well.
- Confessions of a Kamikaze Cowboy
This is a courtesy mention, because if you're a member here and interested in macrobiotics, chances are you already have this book. A real-life illustration of how a macrobiotic lifestyle can drastically improve your well-being. Plus it's written by Dirk, so it tends to be entertaining.
- The Book of Macrobiotics
This book describes the philosophy of macrobiotics and its accompanying applications to life and health in great detail. Probably too detailed for an introduction to macro, but great for a comprehensive understanding of the principles and ideas. It also goes into not only the ideal proportions of the food you eat and the reasoning behind it, but how diet affects our bodies and our minds and what changes will help your specific conditions. If you want to really dig into macrobiotics for the long haul, you should get this book.
- Modern-Day Macrobiotics
(Simon G. Brown)
If you're looking for recipes in categories and techniques in bullet-point lists, this book is for you. It boils down a lot of the information into a concise, cookbook-style form for easy reading and application. The author is from the UK and writes from his more Western experience of macrobiotics, so there are a few areas in which he differs from traditional practitioners (such as including potatoes in a couple recipes). However, this is a good book for those just starting to understand and apply macrobiotics, especially because each food and recipe is paired with a description of which direction(s) the energy will go.
- Macrobiotic Cooking for Everyone
(Edward & Wendy Esko)
This book has even more recipes, and opens with a slightly more focused description of yin and yang and food. Lots of recipes for every major category of food, and they're all traditional. I've tried several, and have had good results each time. Would recommend this book for anyone who is even slightly committed to macrobiotic cooking to have on hand.
- Your Face Never Lies
As I said in my lengthier review of this book, it's just what it claims to be: "An Introduction to Oriental Diagnosis." If you're curious about how our internal state is reflected in our external appearance, this very short book will give you enough information to partially satisfy your curiosity. But if you're like me, you might still be curious enough to get this next book...
- Your Body Never Lies
This one is subtitled, "The Complete Book of Oriental Diagnosis." It goes through the traditional Eastern methods of analyzing every area of the person - physically and spiritually - to diagnose and treat disease and disorder. This book has everything you ever wanted to know and then some. If "Your Face Never Lies" unnerved you, this book certainly will. Which is where the next book comes in.
- Macrobiotic Home Remedies
(Michio Kushi, with Marc Van Cauwenberghe, MD)
This book features traditional macrobiotic remedies for the majority of ailments common to humanity. It describes the energy of different foods and includes recipes for dishes, drinks, compresses, and other treatments to target specific areas of the body for specific purposes. If you want to start using natural treatments, including foods you eat, for common sicknesses as well as underlying physical conditions, this is the book to get.
EDIT: I was told by our friendly neighborhood webmaster (wow, that pun really wasn't intended ) that the following book was worthy of inclusion on the official list, and I completely agree. It has now been relabeled from honorable mention to rightful listing.
- Sugar Blues
This one isn't technically about macrobiotics in name, but the application is there. This book is essential if you want to understand just how much our current intake of refined sugar is wreaking havoc on our individual and collective health. Seriously. You will freak out, but you will be better for it. I need to reread this book soon.
Well, there you have it. And now I've been reminded I have some reading to catch up on...