suzan abu-jaber

Life without a recipe

Author: Suzan Abu-Jaber

Language: English

Summary: On one side, there is Grace: prize-winning author Diana Abu-Jaber’s tough, independent sugar-fiend of a German grandmother, wielding a suitcase full of holiday cookies. On the other, Bud: a flamboyant, spice-obsessed Arab father, full of passionate argument. The two could not agree on anything: not about food, work, or especially about what Diana should do with her life. Grace warned her away from children. Bud wanted her married above all―even if he had to provide the ring. Caught between cultures and lavished with contradictory “advice” from both sides of her family, Diana spent years learning how to ignore others’ well-intentioned prescriptions. Hilarious, gorgeously written, poignant, and wise, Life Without a Recipe is Diana’s celebration of journeying without a map, of learning to ignore the script and improvise, of escaping family and making family on one’s own terms. As Diana discovers, however, building confidence in one’s own path sometimes takes a mistaken marriage or two―or in her case, three: to a longhaired boy-poet, to a dashing deconstructionist literary scholar, and finally to her steadfast, outdoors-loving Scott. It also takes a good deal of angst (was it possible to have a serious writing career and be a mother?) and, even when she knew what she wanted (the craziest thing, in one’s late forties: a baby!), the nerve to pursue it. Finally, fearlessly independent like the Grace she’s named after, Diana and Scott’s daughter Gracie will heal all the old battles with Bud and, like her writer-mom, learn to cook up a life without a recipe. – Source: Amazon.com

Continue reading “Life without a recipe”

kimchi

Meeting Mr Kim: Or how I went to Korea and learned to love Kimchi

Author: Jennifer Barclay

Language: English

Summary: The world knows more about secret North Korea than the free society of the South. As a peace summit heralded a new era for a country divided for 50 years, Jennifer Barclay searched for the spirit of South Korea, discovering a land full of passion, tradition and spirituality, good humor, and great food. Jen quit her high-pressure job and followed her musician boyfriend to South Korea, where his band had a contract to play funk at a luxury hotel. But life in Seoul was lonely and bewildering. Desperate to connect with Korean life and the people, she said goodbye to the capital and set off alone to explore the country. With patience and determination she found her way to ancient tombs and Buddhist temples, strangers’ homes and forest-covered mountains, where people’s kindness and pride in their culture began to work magic. They were on a mission to ensure she left with happy memories—and perhaps a new set of values. – Source: Amazon.com

Continue reading “Meeting Mr Kim: Or how I went to Korea and learned to love Kimchi”

baklava

The language of Baklava: a memoir

Author: Diana Abu-Jaber

Language: English

Summary: Diana Abu-Jaber’s vibrant, humorous memoir weaves together delicious food memories that illuminate the two cultures of her childhood—American and Jordanian. Here are stories of being raised by a food-obsessed Jordanian father and tales of Lake Ontario shish kabob cookouts and goat stew feasts under Bedouin tents in the desert. These sensuously evoked repasts, complete with recipes, paint a loving and complex portrait of Diana’s impractical, displaced immigrant father who, like many an immigrant before him, cooked to remember the place he came from and to pass that connection on to his children. The Language of Baklava irresistibly invites us to sit down at the table with Diana’s family, sharing unforgettable meals that turn out to be as much about “grace, difference, faith, love” as they are about food.. – Source: Amazon.com

Continue reading “The language of Baklava: a memoir”

bonjour kale

Bonjour Kale: A Memoir of Paris, Love, and Recipes

Author: Kristen Beddard

Language: English

Summary: The story of how one expat woman left her beloved behind when she moved to France-her beloved kale, that is. Unable to find le chou kale anywhere upon moving to the City of Light with her new husband, and despite not really speaking French, Kristen Beddard launched a crusade to single-handedly bring kale to the country of croissants and cheese. Infused with Kristen’s recipes and some from French chefs, big and small (including Michelin star chef Alain Passard) Bonjour Kale is a humorous, heartfelt memoir of how Kristen, kale, and France collide. – Source: Amazon.com

Continue reading “Bonjour Kale: A Memoir of Paris, Love, and Recipes”

camille cusumano

Italy, a love story: Women write about the Italian experience

Author: Camille Cusumano

Language: English

Summary: Legendary for fabulous food, persistent men, and a lyrical language, Italy has inspired many great love affairs–with the country itself. From the notorious occupants and cuisine of Sicily, to the ancient marvels of Rome, to the couture of Milan, women throughout the ages have invented and reinvented adventure in this diverse and voluptuous land. In this thrilling and layered new collection, women explore and describe individual infatuations with a land that is both complicated by and adored for its rich tradition. – Source: Amazon.com

Continue reading “Italy, a love story: Women write about the Italian experience”

Only in Naples: lessons in food and famiglia from my Italian mother-in-law

Author: Katherine Wilson

Language: English

Summary: Full of lighthearted humor, sumptuous food, the wisdom of an Italian mother-in-law, and all the atmosphere of Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan Novels, this warm and witty memoir follows American-born Katherine Wilson on her adventures abroad. Thanks to a surprising romance—and a spirited woman who teaches her to laugh, to seize joy, and to love—a three-month rite of passage in Naples turns into a permanent embrace of this boisterous city on the Mediterranean. Source: Amazon.com

Continue reading “Only in Naples: lessons in food and famiglia from my Italian mother-in-law”