It is not only extremely hard, but practically impossible to choose three! What´s more, there are many Mexican cookbooks in Spanish that have been essential for my personal growth in Mexican cookery: those authored by Diana Kennedy, Patricia Quintana, Ricardo Muñoz Zurita and Alicia Gironella, just to name some.
Outside of the Mexican cooking realm, in English, the following have been fundamental for my survival in the kitchen in my former life as a political analyst, in my early years of marriage and as a mom of young kids, and they remain eternally open on my kitchen desk.
Maida Heatters "The Book fo Great Desserts": As I am more of a savory than a sweets kind of cook, I have leaned on Maida´s immeasurable knowledge, friendly and patient tone in the otherwise meticulous pastry world, with one after another infallible recipe.
Mario Batali Molto Italiano: After Mexican my favorite food is Italian and the same goes for my boys. Thus when they can't have another taco, I turn to Mario for an endless amount of family friendly recipes, spelled out in his witty, smart and accessible way that make cooking so much fun. His joy for the food he is sharing is contagious, from the moment you pull the ingredients to the moment you finish the meal, he seems to be there with you.
Jaques Pepin's Kitchen "Cooking with Claudine": I am particularly nostalgic about this book, as I used it time and again in my very early years of marriage. It opened up for me a cuisine that seemed inaccesible and fussy, to an easy and simple one. As in this book, Jaques is talking to his daughter (I come from a family of four sisters), and his paternal and patient tone suited beautifully with me in those early years in the U.S. when I was rather homesick.