To have a good chuckle.
There are many- the overall feel of the truth of the story is the most memorable.
Her voice carries her feelings that simply reading the book could not convey.
Excellent book. I first became aware of G. Hamilton while listening to The Splendid Table. She has such a genuine personality, accepts herself as she is and only wants the "real thing" from everyone else in return. This book, and the author, offer a realness that is not usually found because few people have the courage to share it.
More than bargained for...
This is the best chef's memoir I've ever read, and I've read a few. It actually ranks high among memoirs in general for me, not just those related to the culinary world. I found the story of her life and work fascinating. Gabrielle Hamilton's voice took a little getting used to, it's not quite monotone, but a little flat.
The non-plussed attitude of the author bothered me at first, but I fell into a fascinating story. Some memoirs are boring - this one worked for me.
Protagonist rallied repeatedly from difficult situations, always remembering the things that mattered most to her from her childhood and family (mother particularly). The fact that the happiness came full circle over many years gave a satisfying summary.
Her experiences while working in the summer camp, and the misplaced trust in the other counselors. Least interesting - overly detailed description of too many aspects of the journey.
No....because her reaction to almost every event was "that's the way it is" there was no one major "turning point" event, unless it was the divorce of the parents, or the description of the dead rat in the stairway behind the restaurant, that gave the book a suspenseful or extreme character.
Not a genre that I generally read, but it was touching in an indefinable way, and good to see that it finally had a satisfying resolution.
I read BB & B for my book club, & I don't know that I'd recommend it. As narrator I thought she sounded dull at times, and I really could have done without all the "F" words. I don't think I'd want to hang out with Gabrielle, but this is her story, who am I to judge? It was interesting to see how life experiences shaped the girl into the woman, she had to fend for herself from her early teens, and she did, she worked hard, I admire that. She's an independent kind of woman and has done something with her life. Serving food, to hungry people. I admire that too.
Some parts of the book were slow and a bit tedious, but others were entertaining. The story was not compelling to me.
Never listened to one before.
I wouldn't be interested in the movie.
Addicted to books in all forms.
Although at first I felt that the book would have been better with a professional narrator, by the end of the book I was glad that Hamilton had done it herself. She does an adequate job at first and an excellent one by the end. What I particularity loved about this book was that I felt like I was drawn into a person's life - the good, the bad and the ugly. Hamilton can write, and once she has you she does not let you go. Food dominates, but it is tied up with love, work, community and commitment. There is no part of her life that Hamilton shies away from and the result is a book that is brutally honest and just plain wonderful.
Hamilton learned her chef-ing from sources hither and yon. She soaked up her information by osmosis, trial, and error. This book is about those trials and errors, triumphs and...maybe not tragedies, more like mishaps.
Hamilton does a great job reading her own book, too.
I have listened to this book at least 15 times. I love it. Highly recommend it to anyone, interested in cooking or not. Great story, great writing, read by the Author! And great insights into how life unfolds and how you learn from it if you take the time to really look back with new perspective.
If you love good writing, you will love this memoir. Hamilton can make a sentence sound as good as the meals she prepares. You will also love this book if you can bear her sense of self-righteousness about how food is prepared, about how people should behave at a farmer’s market, and if you think it is okay to hate another person because of the way they choose their coffee (double espresso, half decaf latte). I came to abhor her self-centeredness, especially at the very end when she holds her family hostage while she has a blood sugar attack but refuses to eat at an ordinary restaurant. Really? A chef who can’t remember to bring a little food with her when travelling with 2 toddlers to avoid a circumstance just like this?
In the first half of the book, Hamilton is generous with her stories and her love of what is important to her; enough to make me want to try some foods I wouldn’t normally consider or adventures that are far riskier than I am used to. I admired the way she envisioned her restaurant and made it happen. (Of course, calling herself a “reluctant” chef feels like a marketing ploy as she seems anything but.) However, once she is married, she can’t seem to get enough of putting down her husband and even having the poor grace to complain about a month in Italy every year. Maybe it’s because I listened to the audio book - which she narrates herself - that I come away with a sense of her total self-absorption disguised as wanting to feed her guests and love her children. I finished this book only so that I could close this chapter of my reading life.