I just finished reading Arthur Schwartz's massive "New York City Food" book. This book is a history of New York's food, cultures and how they influenced each other. (Along with original recipes from New York's greatest restaurants.) The book is fascinating and filled with little known details on chefs, restaurants and neighborhoods. Great details on America's original Chowhound: Diamond Jim Brady.
A great read and a great gift to the Chowhound in your life.