It was a culinary journey like no other: Over the course of 195 weeks, food writer and blogger Sasha Martin set out to cook–and eat–a meal from every country in the world. As cooking unlocked the memories of her rough-and-tumble childhood and the loss and heartbreak that came with it, Martin became more determined than ever to find peace and elevate her life through the prism of food and world cultures. From the tiny, makeshift kitchen of her eccentric, creative mother, to a string of foster homes, to the house from which she launches her own cooking adventure, Marin’s heartfelt, brutally honest memoir reveals the power of cooking to bond, to empower, and to heal–and celebrates the simple truth that happiness is created from within. – from publisher
The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion – “Didion really did need some magical thinking at the end of 2003: in quick succession, daughter Quintana Roo went into septic shock, husband John Gregory Dunne died of a heart attack, and Quintana Roo, having recovered, suddenly required brain surgery for a hematoma.” – Library Journal
Love, Nina by Nina Stibbe – “In 1982, 20-year-old Nina Stibbe moved to London to work as a nanny to two opinionated and lively young boys. In frequent letters home to her sister, Nina described her trials and triumphs.” – Summary from catalog
Richard says: “Talking to Girls About Duran Duran: One Young Man’s Quest for True Love and a Cooler Haircut is Rolling Stone contributor Rob Sheffield’s second book. Like his first book, Love is a Mix Tape: Life and Loss, One Song at a Time, Talking To Girls About Duran Duran… is part memoir, part pop culture commentary, and part coming-of-age story. As a fan of Sheffield’s Rolling Stone articles and rock music in general, I love that this book is arranged like a greatest hits compilation. Like that lost art of the perfect mix tape, it’s all about the flow of the narrative. As such, each chapter is structured around one particularly memorable 1980s hit and how it influenced the author as a teenager. Sheffield has a particular affinity for Duran Duran, whose biggest hits had a tremendous impact on him; however, he also gets to demonstrate his encyclopedic knowledge of all things new wave and pop culture as the book progresses.
Anyone with nostalgia–borrowed or otherwise–for a ‘greatest hits’ collection of the ’80s will find something to enjoy in this charming, funny, and incredibly accessible book. Pop fans will also find a lot to love in how Sheffield effortlessly weaves his knowledge of the minutiae of ’80s media. Likewise, anyone looking for a good coming-of-age story will appreciate the author’s candid exploration of his awkward adolescence and how Duran Duran (and pop music in general) taught him to relate to girls. As an added bonus, you couldn’t get a better list of recommendations for your next new wave playlist. Even if you spent all night watching reruns of VH1’s I Love the 80s or John Hughes films, then you’d still only scratch the surface of the popular culture highlights this book explores. It’s like The Wonder Years for Generation X. Highly recommended.”
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Equal parts hilarious anecdotes, thoughtful introspection, and sometimes genuine, sometimes absurd life advice, Yes, Please has something for everyone. The author is a giant in her field and shares both the beautiful and ugly sides of living life as Amy Poehler. SNL fans will rejoice at some behind-the-scenes stories from your favorite sketches; while others will cherish chapter headings such as “Treat Your Career Like a Bad Boyfriend.” Worth checking out if you’re a fan of humor, strong women, or just want to know more about the woman herself.
Blaise says: “I love memoirs because they give me a peek inside the life of someone else. This one was especially fascinating as it also provided a look inside the world of Scientology, which I knew nothing much about other than the whole Tom Cruise connection. In Hill’s memoir she shares how she grew up as part of the inner “clergy” of the church of Scientology. I was prompted to read Going Clear by Lawrence Wright, after finishing this.”
3 Similar Reads
Going Clear by Lawrence Wright – The author draws from research and over 200 interview from those associated with Scientology in order to paint the origin story of Scientology and discuss its challenges.
“This memoir struck a cord with me. Our stories aren’t the same, but I felt connected to the author nonetheless. Her sense of time and place came through clearly as she recounted her family’s experience of losing their father unexpectedly, just months before JFK’s assassination. If you enjoyed Haven Kimmel’s A Girl Named Zippy, Wood’s memoir should also appeal to you.”
That’s That: A Memoirby Colin Broderick – If you want to read a wartime novel, this one’s set overseas during Northern Irelands period of violence known as the Troubles. Here’s the NPR interview about the author.