It’s been awhile since I sat down to devour a book in one afternoon. I think the last time was when I finished The Hunger Games trilogy over a holiday weekend. As usual, my husband teased me about not being normal. I can’t help it; when I get a taste of a good book, I can’t stop until the end. But it was my birthday weekend, so I indulged.
Life from Scratch is yet another book by a blogger. Since I myself started this blog as a way to cook through Simply in Season, I can usually relate to books about bloggers. Except the ones where the blogger is rich and famous and flies all over the country hob-nobbing with famous chefs. Luckily this book isn’t like that.
From the Prologue:
This is not the book I meant to write.
This was supposed to be a spirited book about the four years I spent cooking my way around the world from my tiny kitchen in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The pages were going to be filled with sweet stories about overcoming pickiness and teaching my husband and daughter to love the world cuisine I featured on my blog, Global Table Adventure.
Yawn. Did I really sign up to review this book for the TLC Book Tour? But the next sentence made me sit up and pay attention:
It was going to be an easy book to write–one that wouldn’t make me cry, or make my relatives so nervous that I’d be obliged to employ pseudonyms.
But try as I might, I couldn’t stay within the parameters of such a narrative; the easy truth is as much a lie as any. What drove me to obsessively cook a meal from each of the world’s 195 countries cannot be explained by a simple passion for cooking alone.
Indeed, the rest of the book was just as intriguing as I anticipated from reading the Prologue. Soon Sasha Martin opened a window into a glimpse of her childhood, adolescence, and adulthood as she remembered it. Sprinkled throughout are recipes related to what is going on in her life (including, of course, some of the “around the world” recipes from her blog).
I won’t give away the ending, but unlike many books, the ending is very satisfying.
If you’d like to read it for yourself, enter below!
(Sorry, U.S. entries only)
About Life from Scratch
• Hardcover: 336 pages
• Publisher: National Geographic (March 3, 2015)
It was a culinary journey like no other: Over the course of 195 weeks, food writer and blogger Sasha Martin set out to cook—and eat—a meal from every country in the world. As cooking unlocked the memories of her rough-and-tumble childhood and the loss and heartbreak that came with it, Martin became more determined than ever to find peace and elevate her life through the prism of food and world cultures. From the tiny, makeshift kitchen of her eccentric, creative mother to a string of foster homes to the house from which she launches her own cooking adventure, Martin’s heartfelt, brutally honest memoir reveals the power of cooking to bond, to empower, and to heal—and celebrates the simple truth that happiness is created from within.
About Sasha Martin
SASHA MARTIN is an award-winning writer and blogger who spent almost four years cooking her way around the world. Her work has been featured on NPR (Travel with Rick Steves), Whole Living, Bon Appetit, The Smithsonian, The Huffington Post, CNNgo, and Food52. Her website, Global Table Adventure, is a go-to hub for foodies around the world.