I have yet to purchase a paleo/primal book. There is so much on the net I have not needed to. I'm ready to purchase my first book and accompanying cookbook for myself and my Mom to read. I finally convinced her to give up wheat for her GERD and IBS. I've been paleo about 6 months and immersing myself in Wolf, Sisson, Nikoley, Coppola, Gedgaudis, Moore, Cordain, Fragoso/Gower, Taubes, Lustig, some Jaminet, some Fallon for the last 10 months. I find them all very interesting and each of them motivate me. Who is your favorite guru on our way of eating and the science behind it? Which author's book would you choose to give to someone important to you?
Nora T. Gedgaudas, author of Primal Body, Primal Mind. While I absolutely loved the books of Wolf, Cordain, DeVany, and Sisson, I think PBPM is the best straight-up evolutionary nutrition book (the others focus on fitness and other stuff as well, where as PBPM is primarily nutrition). I gave it to my mom (who didn't believe in anything I told her about Paleo), and she's now a convert. Gedgaudas also has a great site and does awesome podcasts: http://www.primalbody-primalmind.com/
Hands down, to me, the easiest book to understand and give to someone else to get started is Mark Sisson's PRIMAL BLUEPRINT. It's kind of basic and not as hardcore as a lot of Paleo Hackers like to be, but it is definitely, well written and easy to read and makes important points.
My second choice for giving to newbies is Robb Wolf's THE PALEO SOLUTION, it's a little more in-depth science-y, but still a fun, easy read.
The others all all good back up and further reading material once you know the basics. I would also suggest Taubes, Why We Get Fat as my third choice. Especially if you aren't so much Paleo, but looking at new information on nutrition different than conventional wisdom.
p.s. I probably wouldn't spend money on a Paleo Cookbook, but I'm a picky eater and so is my family, so I can usually only eat about 2 or 3 things from any given cookbook. From what I've seen EVERY DAY PALEO is an awesome cookbook and well put together. It's written by a mom with a family. Cordain and Sisson's cookbooks are okay, but you can find most of those recipes on the net for free too.
even though mark sisson has no medical background, and definitely keeps it lighter than most, he gets my nod. his system is the least dogmatic, broadest & most all-encompassing too, which gets a lot of points in my book. his site has some great material on it. i also love that he includes exercise in the lifestyle he advocates. it feels like more of a complete, albeit loose, system.
and admit it... the grok thing is kinda fun :)
all that being said, i caution everyone on here against looking to ANYONE as a guru. take what you need and you leave the rest. stay free!
I like all the ones you mention. I will heartily second the recommendation for Chris Kresser, as well as Robb Wolf and Mark Sisson (the latter especially for less technically-minded, practically-oriented people, and mostly for the online MDA community than for the book, which is just a starting point). Do not let anything by Chris Masterjohn or Emily Deans go unread, and add Stephan Guyenet, Melissa McEwen (a regular here), Jamie Scott, Anastasia Boulais and Peggy Emch to your reading immersion list too.
Can you tell that my favourite is diversity, rather than any one particular "guru"? :)
To get someone else started, especially for someone practically minded who just wants to know what to do, and get help following it from a good community, I would have to recommend whole9life. Loads of people seem to really get it together with their program.
Everyday Paleo is good - it looks like mostly a cookbook by page-count, but that's because the other sections are practical, concise and not fluffed up by nonsense. This could be the one for you, too, if you already get more detail from online reading.
Nora Gedgaudas is a recent discovery for me, and I am part way through her Primal Body, Primal Mind book. I must say it is very good so far, covering a lot of detail without being inaccessible. It does have moments where it tends to wander into discussion of less nutritional, more conspiratorial "big pharma, big agriculture" territory. Not without justification, but it could be distracting for some readers. I will wait till I finish the book to come to a final judgement on it, but I will definitely recommend her work to others.
Finally, a personal favourite is Lucas Tafur at ketotic.org. Very, very technical, and his last post still has me stumped until I get some quiet time to read it again properly. Mat Lalonde would be too, but he doesn't really have a blogging or similar presence, so we're limited to his guest spots on others' podcasts, etc.
I prefer to point people towards Chris Kresser's blogs because they are scientific yet easily readable, thorough, fair/balanced, and about topics of interest to a fairly large number of people.
His '9 steps to perfect health' series is really fantastic, especially step 1 I've emailed to quite a number of people....
and I like the one about healing the gut...
The Perfect Health Diet is my favorite comprehensive book. One may not think it is the best 'beginners book', but it outlines everything in such detail that it makes the path to proceeding very clear.
For beginners I also think the cookbook is a great choice. The Garden of Eating by Don and Rachel Matuz (they were married when it was written) is a fantastic choice. It actually has several chapters dedicated to the description of the diet, how to set up your kitchen and everything else to get going right away. And the chapters on the diet are thorough and as well written as any paleo beginner book I've read. It's spendy, but it's the full meal deal, and your friend will have all the info they need to jump right in and start cooking right away.
I also love Nourishing Traditions, but this is more full on Western Price and has lots of grains and beans recipes I don't approve of. I wouldn't go into this book until you have a pretty good understanding of what you do and don't want to eat.
I am surprised there is no love for Art DeVany, who actually fits the bill of "guru"
I don't have a 'favourite' Guru as such. But off the top of my head, the people that I respect and follow their work are. Wolf, Lelonde, Kresser, Harris, Jamie Scott a.k.a "that paleo guy", David Csonka, William Davis.
and for the motion side of things: Erwan le Corre and Al Kavadlo.
Big shout out to Angelo too, for his gathering and sharing on latestinpaleo. People whose opinions and views I respect. Katherine a.k.a Cillikat is one that come to mind.
For a book i'd go perfect health diet.