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.
Funny, Engaging, and Honest
Chef Hamilton opened her life and told her story....the good, the bad, and the ugly. I appreciate the honesty that she shows in describing her life.
Her inflections when telling stories make the book more interested and those don't translate to the printed word.
Yes, but I couldn't
I wish other chefs like David Burke, Wiley DuFresne, and Thomas Keller would write similar books.
Lovely, unstrained, facile language
I've just begun to listen and already I'm delighted with this book
Personal intensity and unpretentious vocal touch that turns the smooth prose to rhythmic poetry.
Happiness at first listen.
I doubt that my opinion will change.
Regardless of what Gabrielle Hamilton thinks about distinguishing female chefs from male chefs, it is such a pleasure to hear, specifically, the voice of a women who has become influential and powerful in a male dominated field describe her personal life and her career path.
She tells her story so beautifully and in such a contemporary way, with so many of the important details so honestly portrayed, that it is a huge contribution she is offering and I felt so happy that I chose to over-ride my vegetarian sensibilities to listen to her story. Because while she does talk a lot about meat, her personal tale is so interesting and so well-told that it made it worth covering my ears, so to speak, during the meatier parts.
Well worth a listen. Her speaking voice is a bit flat, but the prose is gorgeous enough to make up for it and it is so nice to be read to by the author that I didn't find it too diminishing to the tale. A must for anyone involved in the food industry, and most especially for students or the newbies. Lovely.
Definitely. It's one of the most engaging books I've listened to for a long time. Normally I listen to books while I exercise, but I found I wanted to listen to this anytime I was in the car or had a little time to hear more of the story.
The realistic nature of the book. She has quite an interesting story to tell, and tell it she does!
She's an excellent narrator. I couldn't remember who the narrator was on the book until I came back to Audible to check and was not surprised to hear it was Gabrielle Hamilton telling her own story. I wondered how the narrator could get so "into" the story...now I know!
Great listen...or great read, I'm sure.