Ruth Reichl’s Beginnings in the Kitchen

Book review: Tender at the Bone, by Ruth Reichl (Amazon / Book Depository) Food writer, magazine editor, and restaurant critic Ruth Reichl's first memoir, Tender at the Bone, is a significant one in the "foodoir" genre, blending recipes into stories and scenes from a life. It covers the connections she made in her early life... Continue Reading →

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Sweet, Sentimental Stories of Life Beyond Expectations

Review: Life Without a Recipe, by Diana Abu-Jaber (Amazon / Book Depository) If the world is water, the table is a raft; place your hands on it and hold on. In her second memoir, Jordanian-American author Diana Abu-Jaber explores the role that motherhood took in her life during her forties, and the wracking losses of... Continue Reading →

Culinary Biographies of Six Surprising Women

Book review: What She Ate, by Laura Shapiro (Amazon / Book Depository) Culinary historian and longtime Newsweek writer Laura Shapiro examines the lives of six very different women through the lens of their relationships to food, cooking, and culinary culture in this lively, readable group biography. "Tell me what you eat," wrote the philosopher-gourmand Brillat-Savarin, "and I shall tell you... Continue Reading →

Kitchens of Manhattan, Kitchens of Minnesota

Book review: Give a Girl a Knife, by Amy Thielen Amy Thielen, host of the Food Network's Heartland Table, is a girl of two worlds - the ultra-high-end, gourmet restaurant kitchens of New York City, one of the most competitive restaurant environments ever; and her folksy home of rural Minnesota, where she honed her cooking skills and "taste memories" drawing on... Continue Reading →

Food As Love in Any Language

Book review: The Language of Baklava, by Diana Abu-Jaber (Amazon / Book Depository) I'm falling in love with "foodoirs" lately. Those are food-themed memoirs, in case you're late to the genre, like I was. This one moved me more than I unexpected. Novelist Diana Abu-Jaber was born in America to a Jordanian immigrant father and an... Continue Reading →

  Book review: Beginning French, by les Américains (Amazon) This book is adorable. I started reading having given myself permission to bail if it got obnoxious, self-important, or eye-rollingly insufferable (like rich people soul-searching and eating things abroad while gawking at local customs). I’ve started without finishing countless memoirs about the expat experience for these reasons,... Continue Reading →

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