Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking
This is an entertaining and educational book on cooking. It does have recipes, but is not a cookbook per se. Instead, Ruhlman details the ratios of ingredients that make for perfect biscuits and crepes and pasta dough and many other items. He maintains (I think correctly for the most part) that knowing the ratios for basic items frees one of the need for recipes and, in many cases, allows for a more spontaneous and ultimately creative approach to cooking. I like the explanations as to why certain ratios work. There are also a number of decent recipes in the text as examples of the use of various ratios.