Mrs Beeton's Best Bits

Isabella Beeton is best known for her classic cooking tome The Book of Household Management but she was more than just a cook; she gave insights into how the Victorians lived and how women were expected to act in the mid 1800s.

Household Management covered everything in the kitchen from almonds to Yorkshire puds - there were no entries under Z - but also offered advice on how to run a house, bring up a child, deal with doctors and servants, manage a dinner party and cope in an emergency. She was also fascinated by the science of nutrition.

David Cohen's book brings much of the character of Mrs Beeton to life by picking out some of the finest moments of her work and revealing her strange passions for poetry, Greece, hunting and her love/hate relationship with the French. It offers a tongue-in-cheek guide to Mrs Beeton's tragic history while demonstrating that much of what she said is relevant today.

The book also includes 40 of Mrs Beeton's top recipes, including a mutton soup that takes 15 hours to prepare and pineapple fritters, which she describes as an extremely elegant dish, in case any chefs want a true taste of Victoriana.

Published by Psychology News Press on 4 January

The Holford Low-GL Diet Made Easy

Writer Patrick Holford provides a step-by-step guide to weight loss using the low-GL (Glycaemic Load) system, which takes into account the amount of carbohydrate in foods.

Piatkus Books

Low-GI Vegetarian Cookbook

The secrets of healthy vegetarian and low-GI living are contained in this colourful cookbook, which has recipes for people looking to lose weight, to feed to their children or to help them look younger and live longer.

BBC Books

Good Eating

This collection of wartime recipes sent in to The Daily Telegraph includes the perfect omelette made with dried egg, mock fish pie (which is made with Jerusalem artichokes) and seven ways to stuff a potato.