Memoirs, Biographies, Etc.

This page will be used to gather all the memoirs, biographies, and so forth that challenge participants read.

* For this part of the challenge a book qualifies if it is focused around food in the form of a memoir, a biography, an autobiography, or a personal essay or narrative.

In the comment section, tell us the name and author of the book you read. Bloggers please leave a link to your review of the book. Non-bloggers, please leave a brief synopsis and/or your thoughts.

Books Read and The Reader:

  1. The Blueberry Years by Jim Minick / Read by Kathy @ Bermuda Onion
  2. My Life In France by Julia Child / Read by Jane of Australia
  3. Eating For England by Nigel Slater / Read by Cath @ Read-Warbler
  4. A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg / Read by Margot @ Joyfully Retired
  5. Toast by Nigel Slater / Read by Megan @ Working Title
  6. Consuming Passions by Michael Lee West / Read by Nan @ Letters From a Hill Farm
  7. Garlic and Sapphires by Ruth Reichl / Read by Sallie @ Full-Time Life
  8. Garlic and Sapphires by Ruth Reichl / Read by Reno @ Falling Letters
  9. Love in the Time of Cholesterol: A Memoir with Recipes by Cecily Ross / Read by Joy Weese Moll
  10. Untangling My Chopsticks – A Culinary Sojourn in Kyoto by Victoria Abbott Riccardi / Read by Michelle @ Going Going Gourmand
  11. Untangling My Chopsticks by Victoria Abbott Riccardi / Read by Heathwer @ Girlic Chef
  12. Table of Contents by Judy Gelman and Vicky Levy Krupp / Read by Kathy @ Bermuda Onion
  13. The Spice Necklace by Ann Vanderhoof / Read by Laura @ Please Pardon the Interruption
  14. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert / Read by Uniflame
  15. Julia Child: A Life by Laura Shapiro  / Read by Rebecca
  16. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver / Read by Reno
  17. I Never Forget A Meal by Michael Tucker / Read by Sherrie @ Just Books
  18. Chef Walks Seattle by Tom Douglas / Read by Margot @ Joyfully Retired
  19. Julie & Julia by Julie Powell / Read by Her Royal Orangeness
  20. Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes / Read by BJ, a non-blogger. (Read her review in the comments below)
  21. Cherries in Winter by Suzan Colon / Read by Diana @ Diana Loves Books
  22. Insatiable: Tales from a Life of Delicious Excess by Gael Greene / Read by Mainon, a non-blogger (See her review at GoodReads)
  23. Tender at the Bone: Growing up at the Table by Ruth Reichl / Read by Mainon, a non-blogger (See her review at GoodReads)
  24. Joie de Vivre by Robert Arbor & Katherine Whiteside / Read by Nan @ Letters From a Hill Farm
  25. A Trip to the Beach: Living on Island Time in the Caribbean by Melinda and Robert Blanchard / Read by BJ, a non-blogger. (See her review in the comments below.)
  26. Cake Boss by Buddy Valastro / Read by Sherrie at Just Books
  27. Garlic and Sapphires by Ruth Reich / Read by Cath at Book Warbler
  28. The Ramen King and I by Andy Raskin / Read by Amused By Books
  29. Ravenous by Dayna Macy / Read by Uniflame
  30. At Grandmother’s Table edited by Ellen Perry Berkeley / Read by Nan at Letters From a Hill Farm
  31. Cake Boss by Buddy Valastro / Read by Margot at Joyfully Retired
  32. Farm City by Novella Carpenter / Read by Jupiter @ Jupiter Sinclair
  33. Growing a Farmer by Kurt Timmermeister / Read by Jupiter @ Jupiter Sinclair
  34. Life, on the Line by Grant Achatz and Nick Kokonas / Read by BJ (see her review at GoodReads)
  35. The Sharper Your Knife, The Less You Cry by Kathleen Flinn / Read by Jayme @ Beach Reader
  36. The Jamie Oliver Effect / Read by Kate @ What Kate’s Reading
  37. Bella Tuscany / Read by Tina @ Novel Meals
  38. Gumbo Tales: Finding My Place at the New Orleans Table by Sarah Roahen / Read by Jesse @ Elle-Lit
  39.  It Ain’t All About the Cookin’ by Paula Deen / Read by Sherrie @ Just Books
  40. Cake Boss: Stories and Recipes from Mia Famiglia by Buddy Valastro / Read by BJ – See her review at GoodReads
  41. An Embarrassment of Mangoes: A Caribbean Interlude” by Ann Vanderhoof  / Read by BJ, a non-blogger. See her reviews at GoodReads.
  42. Carrots ‘N’ Cake  /  Read by Julie @ Booking Mama
  43. Serve The People by Jen lin-Liu  / Read @ Life On Nanchang Lu
  44. BEATEN, SEARED, AND SAUCED / Read by Julie @ Booking Mama
  45. The Chocolate Diaries by Karen Linamen / Read by Margot @ Joyfully Retired
  46. Rachael Ray: Food Entrepreneur by Dennis Abrams / Read by Sherrie @ Just Books
  47. Season to Taste by Molly Birnbaum / Read by Nari @ The Novel World
  48. Scars of a Chef by Rick Tramonto / Read by Sylva @ A Baked Creation
  49. Lunch in Paris: A Love Story with Recipes by Elizabeth Bard / Read by Nari @ A Novel World
  50. Immoveable Feast: A Paris Christmas by John Baxter / Read by Louise @ A Strong Belief In Wicker
  51. Return to Paris: A Memoir by Colette Rossant / Read by BJ. Her review is on GoodReads
  52. Lunch in Paris: A Love Story, with Recipes by Elizabeth Bard / Read by BJ. See her review @ GoodReads
  53. Blood Bones and Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton /Read by Amused By Books
  54. Maman’s Homesick Pie by Donia Bijan / Read by Nari @ The Novel World
  55. Maman’s Homesick Pie by Donia Bijan / Read by Heather @ GrliChef
  56. Blood, Bones & Butter / Read by Sylvia @ A Bakef Creation
  57. Maman’s Homesick Pie / Read by Croque Camille
  58. Julian Barnes’ A Pedant in the Kitchen / Read by Louise @ A Strong Belief In Wicker
  59. James Beard’s Delights and Prejudices / Read by the Rose City Reader
  60. Feeding the Dragon by Nate and Mary Kate Tate / Read by Margot @ Joyfully Retired
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56 Responses to Memoirs, Biographies, Etc.

  1. bermudaonion says:

    I read The Blueberry Years by Jim Minick and it was wonderful. My review is here.

  2. I read Julia Child’s ‘My Life in France’

    I’ve written my review and why I am doing this challenge
    http://www.janezworld.com/blog/?p=441

    Hope you enjoy it, and Margot thanks for the great opportunity.

  3. Cath says:

    I’ve just finished Eating for England by Nigel Slater. My review is here:
    http://read-warbler.blogspot.com/2011/01/eating-for-england.html

  4. Megan says:

    I’ve just finished Toast by Nigel Slater. Review is here:

    http://leabhran.blogspot.com/2011/01/toast-nigel-slater.html

  5. I read “Garlic and Sapphires” by Ruth Reichl. I posted about the book and her previous one and about joining this great challenge.

  6. Reno says:

    I also just finished Garlic and Sapphires today! I picked it because of the mention in the sidebar 😛 My thoughts: http://fallingletters.blogspot.com/2011/01/ruth-reichl-garlic-and-sapphires.html

  7. I read Love in the Time of Cholesterol: A Memoir with Recipes by Cecily Ross and reviewed it here:
    http://www.joyweesemoll.com/2011/01/29/book-review-love-in-the-time-of-cholesterol/

  8. Michelle says:

    I just fell in LOVE with Untangling My Chopsticks – A Culinary Sojourn in Kyoto by Victoria Abbott Riccardi. The art of a Kaiseki, the culture, people, beauty and seasonal food of Japan I wouldn’t miss reading this book! I made the Year-Crossing Soba last night and I plan to try the rest of the recipes.

    http://bit.ly/fTEDZW

  9. bermudaonion says:

    I’m not quite sure how to classify Table of Contents – it’s author interviews and recipes. My review is here.

  10. Laura says:

    I read “The Spice Necklace” by Ann Vanderhoof. This might be a better fit in category 4, but since it’s a memoir too I thought it would be okay here.

    http://pleasepardontheinterruption.blogspot.com/2011/02/spice-necklace.html

  11. Uniflame says:

    I read Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert 🙂 I just LOVED this book.
    My review is here: http://uniflamecreates.blogspot.com/2011/02/book-review-eat-pray-love-by-elizabeth.html

  12. Reno says:

    Here’s another one: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver

    http://fallingletters.blogspot.com/2011/02/barbara-kingsolver-animal-vegetable.html

  13. Sherrie says:

    Hi Margot,
    Just finished and posted my review of I Never Forget A Meal by Michael Tucker. Really good book. Lots of great recipes too. Have a great day!

    Sherrie

  14. BJ says:

    I read “Under the Tuscan Sun” by Frances Mayes. This was actually a re-read. I read it about 10 years ago but never got around to reading the sequels. So having decided to read the sequels this year, I went back and re-read this one to start. I actually read this for my Italy in Books Challenge, but Ms. Mayes spends so much time describing the food (she also includes some of her recipes) that I thought it was perfect for this challenge also. I am attracted to books about people who buy homes in countries other than their own, particularly Italy and France, and tell the stories of restoration of those homes, the highs and lows of it, their travels about their adopted country, the foods they eat, the people they meet, so I really liked this book! I love words and Frances Mayes truly has a way with them. Her descriptions make you see, feel, taste what she is describing. I’ve never been to Italy, but through her words, I am transported there, seeing the colors and feeling the heat in the summer and the cold in the winter. Like many Americans, I eat way too much fast food and junk food, but through her words, I taste the food, the wine, the olive oil and want to cook and eat more healthfully, using more fresh foods and simple preparation. Through her eyes, I have been to Bramasole and can’t wait to go there again. If you’ve seen the movie but not read the book, the movie is really nothing like the book and the book is so much better. I am now looking forward to reading the other books following this one. I have no way of knowing if Italy and its people are really the way she describes, but she makes me want to go there. She makes me want to cook simple style Tuscan food and drink the wine of Italy.

  15. Diana says:

    Cherries in Winter by Suzan Colon
    A surprisingly wonderful book about family and the meals that brought them through hard times.
    http://dianalovesbooks.blogspot.com/2011/02/cherries-in-winter-by-suzan-colon.html

  16. Mainon says:

    Insatiable: Tales from a Life of Delicious Excess, by Gael Greene

    http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/98708513

  17. Mainon says:

    Tender at the Bone: Growing up at the Table, by Ruth Reichl

    http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/142217162

  18. Nan says:

    For my third book, I read Joie de Vivre by Robert Arbor & Katherine Whiteside.

    http://lettersfromahillfarm.blogspot.com/2011/02/joie-de-vivre-by-robert-arbor-katherine.html

  19. BJ says:

    I found “A Trip to the Beach: Living on Island Time in the Caribbean by Melinda and Robert Blanchard on a list on the Goodreads site. Reviews were mixed, but it sounded good to me, so I checked it out of the library and I’m glad I did. This book tells the story of a couple from Vermont who go to the island of Anguilla on vacation and fall in love with the island and its people. Later, after selling their business, Blanchard and Blanchard, a popular specialty food company, they decide to open a beach bar on their favorite caribbean island, Anguilla. They go to the island to check out the possibilities and somehow instead of a beach bar, they end up with an all out fancy restaurant. This is the story of what it takes for an outsider to open a business on this island and the people there who become the Blanchard’s extended family and friends. It is also the story of the resilience of the human spirit to come back from disaster when a hurricane complelely decimates the island and the restaurant. One of the Goodreads member reviews stated that the reviewer found the authors to have a “condescending attitude toward the locals and their culture.” I certainly DID NOT find this to be so. I found that the authors spoke of the locals and the island culture with great affection. Several reviewers said this book was rather poorly written, that may be so, it certainly was not written with the poetry of “Under the Tuscan Sun” but I loved this book. I found it to be a very easy enjoyable read. It also includes several of the Blanchards recipes which makes it an excellent choice for “foodie readers.” I gave it 4-1/2 stars.

  20. Sherrie says:

    Hi Margot,
    Finished another book. I hope this one counts. It’s actually a review book, Cake Boss by Buddy Valastro. Wonderful book and full of recipes. Have a great day!

    Sherrie
    Just Books

  21. Cath says:

    I’ve just reviewed Garlic and Sapphires by Ruth Reichl. My post is here:

    http://read-warbler.blogspot.com/2011/03/garlic-and-sapphires.html

  22. Uniflame says:

    I have read Ravenous by Dayna Macy. A truly inspirational story about changing a relationship with food 🙂

    http://uniflamecreates.blogspot.com/2011/03/book-review-ravenous-by-dayna-macy.html

  23. Nan says:

    I just wrote about my fourth book for the Challenge:
    At Grandmother’s Table edited by Ellen Perry Berkeley

    http://lettersfromahillfarm.blogspot.com/2011/03/at-grandmothers-table-edited-by-ellen.html

  24. BJ says:

    Just finished “Life, on the Line: A Chef’s Story of Chasing Greatness, Facing Death, and Redefining the Way We Eat” by Grant Achatz and Nick Kokonas. Loved this book! See review on Goodreads here:
    http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/156622073

  25. I know I’m late to this particular party, but I came in through a Dewey’s Read-a-Thon blogger.
    Foodie lit and memoir! That’s one of my favorite genres. Subgenres? Is it too late for me to join? I have read a few good foodie books so far this year… can I update for the first quarter retroactively?

  26. Kate says:

    Hello! I just finished reading The Jamie Oliver Effect, which I think is an unauthorized biography masquerading as a nonfiction look at the social food culture. Regardless, unfortunately, I don’t recommend it.

    http://whatkatesreading.blogspot.com/2011/04/jamie-oliver-effect-gilly-smith.html

    Thanks again for hosting!

  27. Tina says:

    I read Bella Tuscany. My review is here:

    http://www.novelmeals.com/2011/04/bella-tuscany-by-frances-mayes.html

    I liked Under the Tuscan Sun better but this was an enjoyable book. Love the author.

  28. JESSE says:

    http://elle-lit.blogspot.com/2011/04/book-review-gumbo-tales-finding-my.html

    Gumbo Tales: Finding My Place at the New Orleans Table by Sarah Roahen

  29. Sherrie says:

    Hi Margot,
    Finished another book. It Ain’t All About the Cookin’ by Paula Deen. Really good book of her life and recipes too. Have a great day!

    Sherrie
    Just Books

  30. BJ says:

    Read “Cake Boss: Stories and Recipes from Mia Famiglia” by Buddy Valastro. Review posted on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/158119505. Thanks./bj

  31. BJ says:

    Read “An Embarrassment of Mangoes: A Caribbean Interlude” by Ann Vanderhoof. Really enjoyed this. Review posted on Goodreads at: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/170163300. Thanks./bj

  32. nanchanglu says:

    After reading Serve The People by Jen lin-Liu a second time (because I enjoyed it enough the first time to pick it up again and savour it more slowly!) I’ve reviewed it here (http://www.lifeonnanchanglu.com/2011/06/serve-people.html).

    It’s a memoir written by an American-born Chinese journalist getting back to her roots by learning to cook in China, from a lowly noodle stall to a five-star Shanghai restaurant. A great read.

  33. Julie P. says:

    I just read BEATEN, SEARED, AND SAUCED: http://www.bookingmama.net/2011/06/review-beaten-seared-and-sauced.html.

    It’s the story of one man’s journey through the CIA.

  34. Sherrie says:

    Hi Margot,
    Finished my last book for this challenge. Rachael Ray: Food Entrepreneur by Dennis Abrams. I’ve post my wrap up too. Thanks for hosting this great reading challenge. Have a great day!

    Sherrie
    Just Books

  35. Nari says:

    I read Lunch in Paris: A Love Story with Recipes by Elizabeth Bard http://thenovelworld.com/2011/07/20/season-to-taste-molly-birnbaum-review-2/

  36. BJ says:

    Read, Return to Paris: A Memoir by Colette Rossant. This is the middle one of her 3 memoirs and I would like to read the others. This book contained quite a few recipes and was a very easy read. My review is posted on Goodreads. Thanks./bj

  37. BJ says:

    Read Lunch in Paris: A Love Story, with Recipes by Elizabeth Bard. Enjoyable, easy read. Made me want to go into the kitchen and cook. Review located on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/185650915. Thanks./bj

  38. Nari says:

    My latest review is for Donia Bijan’s “Maman’s Homesick Pie” half memoir, half cookbook http://thenovelworld.com/2011/10/01/mamans-homesick-pie-donia-bijan-review/

  39. Just posted my thoughts/review on Maman’s Homesick Pie by Donia Bijan http://www.girlichef.com/2011/10/mamans-homesick-pie-by-donia-bijan.html Thanks! 🙂

  40. Read Maman’s Homesick Pie, a warm and lovely memoir about a girl growing up in Iran, moving to the US and France, and becoming a chef. Great recipes, too!
    http://croquecamille.wordpress.com/2011/10/24/mamans-homesick-pie/

  41. Louise says:

    I finally got to doing another Foodie post ! YAY. I read Julian Barnes’ A Pedant in the Kitchen. A very quick, enjoyable read.

    http://astrongbeliefinwicker.blogspot.com/2011/11/pedant-in-kitchen.html

  42. rosecityreader says:

    Here is my review of James Beard’s Delights and Prejudices: http://www.rosecityreader.com/p/european-reading-challenge.html

    This was my 6th and last book for the challenge. I’ll get a wrap up post up soon.

    And my sign up post for 2012!

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