Location: I live in the Heartland of the United States - Western Kentucky
I don't really think I have a "Top 5" list when it comes to my cookbooks. I think I would have to say, if pressed, my top 5 would be the last 5 I used. I'm all over the map when it comes to cooking from my books. Even received more for Christmas this year, which probably expands my collection to near 1,000.
"As a girl I had zero interest in the stove." - Julia Child
This is real inspiration. Look what Julia became!
for regular use rather than reading (for whatever purpose)
Joy of cooking (the unpopular newer edition...love it as basic reference)
Petersen's Essentials of cooking
Child Mastering the art of French Cooking
Beard New York Times Cookbook
Farmer Boston Cooking School Cookbook
btw I have a library of great cookbooks. But these five are always first reaches.
Joy of Cooking (I have 1942, 1965, and a the new edition), Fannie Farmer (I have old and new editions of this one), Better Homes and gardens (3 editions), Cook's Illustrated (3 editions), and my own cookbook.
__________________ We get by with a little help from our friends