Craig suffered a major blow to his life when the economy collapsed in 2008. He lost everything; his job, his house, his ability to truly care for his daughter…gone. He lived in his car for 6 years trying to get some version of his life back. He didn’t move to another state because he wanted to be close to his daughter. He needed to be a phone call and a short drive away.
I thought Craig’s story was a sad one. I can’t imagine not having a place to sleep at night. What I didn’t like was the political rage that was exhibited in this book. I am not saying that I was a supporter of the Obama presidency but I was a bit surprised at the blatant resentment shown. I get that Craig was hurt by the policies and procedures of those terms but I didn’t really want to hear about it. I was also angered about the way he spoke of government assistance programs. They were designed to be used in situations like his. I do not believe that if he accept support that he would become lazy and not continue on his path to a better life. Yes, the system itself is a mess and it allows for people to take advantage of it. However, for those who honestly need it, it is a blessing.
What this book needed was a good editor. There were many parts of this book that were repeated and revisited using the same words. I was wondering if I had flipped back in the book accidentally. I found a lot of grammatical errors and that just made me feel as if this was rushed to publication.
All in all, I understand the therapeutic process of writing about these years. Craig did suffer and his daughter did as well. I just had a hard time relating some of the decisions that were made.
I gave this book 2 crowns.
I received this book in exchange for an honest review.
Description from the Publishers through Netgalley:
A beautifully written food memoir chronicling one woman’s journey from her rural Midwestern hometown to the intoxicating world of New York City fine dining—and back again—in search of her culinary roots
Before Amy Thielen frantically plated rings of truffled potatoes in some of New York City’s finest kitchens—for chefs David Bouley, Daniel Boulud, and Jean-Georges Vongerichten—she grew up in a northern Minnesota town home to the nation’s largest French fry factory, the headwaters of the fast food nation, with a mother whose generous cooking dripped with tenderness, drama, and an overabundance of butter.
Inspired by her grandmother’s tales of cooking in the family farmhouse, Thielen moves north with her artist husband to a rustic, off-the-grid cabin deep in the woods. There, standing at the stove three times a day, she finds the seed of a growing food obsession that leads her to the sensory madhouse of New York’s top haute cuisine brigades. But, like a magnet, the foods of her youth draw her back home, where she comes face to face with her past and a curious truth: that beneath every foie gras sauce lies a rural foundation of potatoes and onions.
Amy Thielen’s coming-of-age story pulses with energy, a cook’s eye for intimate detail, and a dose of dry Midwestern humor. Give a Girl a Knife offers a fresh, vivid view into New York’s high-end restaurants before returning Thielen to her roots, where she realizes that the marrow running through her bones is not demi-glace but gravy—thick with nostalgia and hard to resist.
I completely loved this book. Along the lines of Ruth Reichl and other foodie books, Amy has mastered the art of descriptive writing. I read sentences aloud to my husband because the details were making my mouth water.
This isn’t just a book about cooking and food, it is about her life and the interesting ways in which she lives. Not many people, let alone ones with a passion for cooking, would be able to live off the grid and still be content and thrive.
This was so good and I didn’t want it to end. I gave this book 5 crowns.
I received an E-ARC from the publishers through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
I am still not into graphic novels like a lot of readers are. However, I love Lucy Knisley’s writing and drawing style. This is her latest book and it takes us through the year of prepping for her wedding day.
There is a lot DIY-ing and momzilla of the bride moments from this book and it was hilarious. Her illustrations and coloring are incredible and a pleasure to look at. I have read a majority of her work and have enjoyed it all.
I gave this book 5 crowns.
The only I graphic novel I enjoyed was Seconds by Bryan Lee O’Malley. Does anyone have any suggestions for me?
Have you ever wondered what went on behind the scenes of a “celebrity” chef’s kitchen? In this book, Bill takes us to Babbo, a NYC restaurant owned and operated by Mario Batali. Although, I am not too sure as to how this came about, Bill winds up working in Mario’s kitchen, starting from the bottom and sweating his way through the different stations. Along the way, he has the opportunity to travel to Italy and learn different techniques and butchering methods.
The story itself was good but it was very wordy. This book is huge and each page is filled with smallish font. I did listen to the majority of this book on audio and that kept me from giving up. I think that if I read it from start to finish, I may not have made it. This was part memoir, part gossipy, part travelogue, part foodie fascination.
I gave this book 3 crowns.
I love Frances Mayes writing style. It is no secret that I loved Under the Tuscan Sun and this was just as good. She has such a way with worlds. I was able to visualize what she saw and taste what she ate.
This is a travelogue of her trip with her husband that lasted a year. The visited many countries and were able to learn and experience so much form the native people. I loved that this book had a mix of locations and foods. It brought the book to life.
I gave this book 5 crowns.
Description from the publisher through Netgalley:
Roz Chast meets Allie Brosh in this hilarious, unfiltered, and beautifully illustrated look at the infinite number of reasons the author experiences guilt, shame, regret and self-reproach in her daily life, and that maybe—just maybe—some of us can relate to as well.
In a series of 100 illustrations with accompanying text, Orli Auslander has captured a mood and emotional ambivalence that will be all too familiar for readers: trying to be the best wife, mother, and friend she can be, while simultaneously feeling shitty about virtually everything she does. Confronting her daily experience with dark humor and brilliant and brutal honesty, she shows us how being an overindulgent mother makes her feel as terrible as the times when she can’t stand the sight of her kids; how saying yes to the wrong experiences and no to the right requests is equally bad; how her Jewish heritage complicates her relationships with her overly religious family and irreligious children; and how having a vagina is the ultimate inescapable struggle. With a distinctive, textured ink drawing style which brings to mind a female Robert Crumb and a neurotic Edward Gorey, I Feel Bad is a book that readers will buy for themselves and for a best friend, and where every reader will find the precise moment that Auslander voiced their own deepest anxiety in her poignant and hilarious illustrations.
I feel bad that I wasted precious time in my life to read this book. It was awful. This woman makes me angry. Her artwork is not good. She is offensive and she even used a swastika in her drawings as she thought of herself as Hitler. This was and is disgraceful. It was supposed to be humorous and I have certainly felt bad about things and myself at times but this was too much.
I refuse to rate it.
I received this e-ARC in exchange for an honest review by the publishers through Netgalley.
I love Lauren Graham and I was a faithful watcher of Gilmore Girls when it originally aired. I still love her and all of the shows she has been in. I was very excited to see this memoir come out last year.
Lauren is very humorous and she does tell some interesting stories, but I felt the the subtitle of this book gave me false hope. I really wanted so much more info about her time shooting the show and working with the actors. There really wasn’t much detail there.
Lauren talked a lot about her acting experiences, or lack thereof, before Gilmore Girls came to be, but I wanted some juicy tidbits about working on the show. This was a quick read and the writing was good. I was just a bit disappointed in the lack of detail.
I gave this book 4 crowns.