I don't always buy cookbooks to cook from. I enjoy the stories and the photography, and I'm fine with that. My recent purchases:
I found a publisher closeout copy of At Elizabeth David's Table which I can't wait to read through.
I LOVE Yvette Van Boven's Home Made and will surely buy her summer and winter followups as soon as budget allows.
The Lee Bros. Charleston Kitchen - again, the stories are phenomenal.
Tyler Florence's Fresh. The recipes are too advanced for me but there are a lot of sauces, sides, etc, within those recipes that sound quite good.
From My Beverly Hills Kitchen by Alex Hitz. He kind of hits you over the head with stories of his (extremely) privileged life but his recipes are absolutely solid.