For entertaining... Jamie Oliver is God. Jamie's 30 Minute Meals has completely changed the way I cater for dinner parties and gatherings. His meals are healthy, impressive, and fast, so you don't spend half the night in the kitchen. Best of all, everything is served on sharing plates so that guests can help themselves to exactly what they want, and there's no shyness about going back for seconds. My friends think I'm a good cook. I'm not. I just have a really good book.
For everyday cooking... The Cook's Book of Everything by Lulu Grimes. Get an urge to bake your own sourdough bread on a Sunday? This book has the recipe. Need to boil beetroot and you've never even touched the stuff before? No problem. This book has everything.
For vegetable gardening... Our beloved Aussie garden guru, Don Burke, has everything you need to know in Organic. Don taught me how to design, build, plant, and harvest my vegie garden. He even told me which breed of chooks to buy and how to take care of them. He's never steered me wrong yet.
And, when I'm feeling a little more adventurous, I turn to...
...Stephanie Alexander's Kitchen Garden Companion. For the slightly braver kitchen gardener, Stephanie will guide you through how to grow, harvest and cook those little wonders that are normally the reserve of french chefs (think tarragon, chervil, quince, etc). This book is the only reason I'm not nervous about the enourmous artichoke plants staging a takeover of my vegie garden.
P.S. I buy all my books online from one of three places - thenile.com.au, bookdepository.co.uk, and fishpond.com.au.