I recently rediscovered this old friend: The Fannie Farmer Cookbook, 13th edition (100th anniversary edition). To my knowledge, there hasn't been an edition since this 1996 one, so my review should be applicable to what you will find in the stores!
I do not know why I put this one up for a while--what an error! I've been trying to go back to more "from scratch" cooking, and just wasn't finding the simple, homey recipes I wanted in Joy or even in Better Homes. But, Fannie Farmer has what I need!
This book is a true all-purpose cookbook, like Joy is, with detailed information on all kinds of food and preparation techniques. Its recipes, though, are more "down home" like Better Homes and Gardens tends to be (but without the "cream soup" and other ready made ingredients). So, it's a nice cross between the two. The baking section has a wonderful variety of simple, easy to make breads, cornbreads, muffins, scones, etc. There is a great "outdoor" section as well with lots of great marinades and other grilling favorites. There are also microwave notes, indicating when a recipe can be cooked successfully in the microwave.
Books published since the 1990's tend to have more comprehensive vegetable/bean/grain sections, but this cookbook still has a nice variety (and even has an entire section on vegetarian cuisine). I turn to my more contemporary cookbooks for stir fries and the like, but for the reliable, basic, tasty recipes, this is now back on my kitchen counter with the few, the proud, ....