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updated 08/18/1997 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/18/1997 01:00AM

>A LITERARY APPETITE

MOST COOKBOOKS ARE BORING because they don't contain any good quotes," says food author Sharon Tyler Herbst of Greenbrae, Calif. But no longer. Herbst, who has written 12 books on food and wine, has filled that void with Never Eat More Than You Can Lift (Broadway, $20), a compendium of 1,500 observations—with a title borrowed from Miss Piggy—including these:

"I never worry about diets. The only carrots that interest me are the number you get in a diamond."—Mae West

"In general my children refused to eat anything that hadn't danced on TV"—Erma Bombeck

"There are three reasons for breast-feeding: The milk is always at the right temperature; it comes in attractive containers; and the cat can't get it."—Irena Chalmers

"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea. If this is tea, please bring me some coffee."—Abraham Lincoln

"Civilized adults do not take apple juice with dinner."—Fran Lebowitz

"Men and melons are hard to know."—Benjamin Franklin

"My idea of heaven is a great big baked potato and someone to share it with."—Oprah Winfrey

"I will not eat oysters. I want my food dead—not sick, not wounded—dead."—Woody Allen

"I never see any home cooking. All I get is fancy stuff."—Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

"Everything you see I owe to spaghetti."—Sophia Loren

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