Quickie Review of The Sharper the Knife, The Less You Cry

For many reasons August has been just a hard month to read and write about books. I’m finally getting back into it this week , slowly. And I’m behind on so many things.  I’m behind on the 2016 Read Harder Book Challenge and #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks, and I’ve only written two book reviews so far this month. So today I though I’d a a quickie review of a book that is a part of both of the challenges.

Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:

The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry: Love, Laughter, and Tears at the World's Most Famous Cooking School in Paris

Kathleen Flinn was a thirty-six-year-old middle manager trapped on the corporate ladder – until her boss eliminated her job. Instead of sulking, she took the opportunity to check out of the rat race for good – cashing in her savings, moving to Paris, and landing a spot at the venerable Le Cordon Blue cooking school.

The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry is the funny and inspiring account of her struggle in a stew of hot-tempered, chefs, competitive classmates, her own “wretchedly inadequate” French – and how she mastered the basics of French cuisine. Filled with rich, sensual details of her time in the kitchen – the ingredients, cooking techniques, wine, and more than two dozen recipes – and the vibrant sights and sounds of the markets, shops, and avenues of Paris, it is also a journey of self-discovery, transformation, and, ultimately, love.

I like this book, but I do not love this book. It’s one of those memoirs in which upper middle class woman looses job and goes to exotic location to find self (Think Eat, Pray, Love. Oh, and Elizabeth Gilbert has a blurb on the cover, so you know who the audience is for this book.) I don’t have a fight with this genre, but there is something so off-putting about this genre for me. I only got through the eating portion of Eat, Pray, Love because of the gorgeous descriptions of Italy and food. Which leads me to The Sharper the Knife. The recipes and descriptions of classes at the Cordon Bleu are what I like best about this book. The chef’s and students along with the rivalries are what kept me coming back to this book. And the recipes! The recipes seem like something I can follow successfully.

What I did not love about this book. The trials and tribulations of finding the perfect apartment in the center of Paris. The sadness of living out with the poor folk out on the eastern edge of Paris. The struggles of getting to school on the metro, and the uncomfortable feeling of struggling back to the apartment through the children of the neighborhood begging for money. And she did have a serious issue with her new husband towards the end of the book, but all the other tone deaf “trials”earlier in the book make it hard to feel too sorry or sympathetic for her.

Now, that being said, its not a bad story. I will recommend it to anyone who is interested in what it’s like to attend the Cordon Bleu in Paris. But if you are looking for inspiration…..No. Read something else. I gave it 3 stars on Goodreads.

What do you think? Would you read this book? Do you like memoirs? Do you like novels that include recipes? If you do, let me know in the comments!

WWW Wednesday, June 29th

img_1384-0Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme is hosted by  Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? Just leave a comment. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading? I’m trying to finish S. by J.J. Abrams, Doug Dorst. Its really interesting with a fascinating idea behind it. It’s interactive! There are notes in the margins, stuff tucked between the pages which contribute to the whole story. It sort of reminds of Lost, if that makes sense. I want to finish it before I start a new book.

What did you recently finish reading? Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. Such a good book. 5 Stars! Click here for my review.

What do you think you’ll read next? The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry: Love, The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry: Love, Laughter, and Tears at the World's Most Famous Cooking School in ParisLaughter, and Tears at the World’s Most Famous Cooking School in Paris by Kathleen Flinn. I need to read something for the Read Harder Challenge and this has been in my TBR pile for a while.



Have you read any of this books? What did you think of them? Let me know in the comments. What are you reading?



The Friday 56, #1

The Friday 56 is a weekly blog meme hosted by Freda’s Voice. Join us every Friday and share an excerpt from a book you’ve been reading.

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader
(If you have to improvise, that’s ok.)
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it)
*Post it.
*Add your (URL) post in Linky. (Add the post URL, not your blog URL.)
*It’s that simple.

Here are the first few lines from page 56 of The Sharper the Knife, the Less You Cry by Kathleen Flinn :

This was published around the time there were so many food memoirs in the wake of Eat, Pray, Love and Julie and Julia. And who can’t resist a food memoir that’s set in Paris? Me, that’s who!  Plus there are recipe’s. I love recipes. Sure, I never make the recipe, but I enjoy dreaming of what it tastes like and how much I will enjoy eating it.   This has been on my TBR pile since 2009-ish, and it will work for one of the tasks for the Read Harder Challenge  I’m participating in this year. Posting about it for this book meme will remind me to read the damn book already!

Be sure to visit Freda’s Voice blog to find other bloggers Friday 56,  and don’t forget to leave a comment here telling me what you think about this excerpt. Would you read this book? What do you think about food memoirs?

TGIF, y’all!