Monday, May 4, 2009
Book Review: I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti by Giulia Melucci
Continuing the food theme.....here is another food-related memoir!
I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti by Giulia Melucci
Published by Grand Central Publishing
Rating: 4.5 stars
Giulia Melucci guides readers through her complicated love life, from men who couldn't commit to others who should be committed. Despite all the heartache and the never-ending quest for true love, Giulia has a positive outlook and shows how the joy of cooking changed her life. Throughout the pages, there are also many recipes that tie into the story and relate to Giulia's circumstances.
I read this book into the late hours of the night because every time I tried to stop at a certain chapter, I was too curious to put it down. The stories are fresh and interesting, many of them managing to induce fits of laughter. I also really love how personal the writing style is, almost as if she was a new friend filling me in on her past romances. Every time another man broke her heart, I wanted to shout at her, and tell her she deserves better than him!
While others may find the recipes interspersed throughout the narrative a distraction, I found them really charming and a perfect way to incorporate cooking into the storyline. I don't think including the recipes as an appendix would have had the same effect, especially given how funny some of their titles are, such as "Dinner to Impress an Older Gentleman" and "Spaghetti and Meatballs for Cooking Sluts and Those Who Love Them".
It is not that the recipes are exotic or even particularly unique, rather it’s their home-cooked feel that makes them special, as Giulia credits her own family for some of the recipes and for the inspiration behind many others. What is most important though, is the personality behind the food that stands out. Had the very same book idea been written by anyone other than Giulia, I doubt it would have turned out as engaging and witty as it is.
This memoir is not only enjoyable to read but practical as well, and I look forward to trying out some of the recipes in the future. With so many memoirs out there to choose from, I guarantee this one is not to be missed!
Be sure to check out this really interesting New York Times article about Giulia, which also features great pictures from her Brooklyn apartment.
BIG THANKS to Anna and Hachette Book Group for my review copy.