The sum are more than the parts.

Adam Pober

4 Stars

January 3, 2018

This is an interesting take on the memoir, in that it's peppered with recipes along the narrative. Thinking about it, that actually makes sense. Taste and smell are the senses closest tied to memories. In a way, you can create your own sense memory in line with David Lebovitz's memoir, and what could be more personal than that.

As far as cookbooks go, my biggest gripe is the organization. There's no table of contents, even for the recipes, so it's hard to to use this for cooking. Unlike a regular cookbook, one would have to read through it in its entirety and then mark each recipe. This is actually solved in the ebook. That version has each chapter linked in a table of contents, and each recipe marked within the chapter links.

The recipes are surprisingly simple for French recipes, with usually only a few clear steps. This makes them all the more inviting to attempt. Don't take their simplicity for them being an afterthought. Each recipe is tied to a small story of his life, and is pertinent. The format of this book is so simple and yet brilliant, it's a wonder that it's not more common.

As far as memoirs go, it's good but not great. The writing isn't terribly engaging, but the stories of him attempting to renovate his home are entertaining. The end result, combined with the recipes, is that the final product is more satisfying than the parts. The narrative is okay, and the recipes are a bit hard to navigate, but the gestalt is a book that's a pleasure to have read.