My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Confession: I read this book by accident.
Some time ago, I saw Life From Scratch on Amazon and added it to my to-read list. I will not lie. I was initially seduced by the pretty stuff in spoons on the cover:
|Whose life is it, anyway?|
A few weeks ago, I searched some titles from my to-read list in the Brooklyn Public Library's electronic books catalog, and put a few on reserve. Obviously, what came up when I typed in "life from scratch" was My Life from Scratch, and I didn't notice the minor title difference when I downloaded it to my Kindle.
Interestingly, after I realized my mistake, I discovered that this book was published in hardcover in 2009 as Confections of a Closet Master Baker: One Woman's Sweet Journey from Unhappy Hollywood Executive to Contented Country Baker. They changed the title to My Life from Scratch for the 2010 paperback release (which happened about a month before the release of Life from Scratch).
For what it's worth, I think "Confections" as a play on "Confessions" in the original title is clever, but "Closet Master Baker" is a weird phrase that probably should have been avoided in the first place. If I were the publisher, I would have gone with Confections of a Master Baker and left it at that. Unless we think "Master Baker" is something like "Master Debater" and likely to elicit snickers from 12-year-old boys? Relatedly, who else did a spit-take when Jill Biden said, “I’ve heard the urgency in [Joe Biden's] voice when he comes ... and talks about the people he’s met”?
Back to the post. I did learn a few things from reading this book: (1) the original macaroon was coconut-free; (2) the author's name, Gesine, is pronounced Geh-see-neh, with a hard "g" (she really hates when it's mispronounced); and (3) Sandra Bullock is her sister.
I figured out the last point shortly after reading about the clothes that "Sandy" gets free "for being a movie star." Another clue was:
On the right wall next to the large wine cooler sits an imposing sixteenth-century Spanish church pew that my sister had shipped up from an antiques shop in Savannah, Georgia, for my birthday.Funny, that's almost exactly what I got from my sisters for my birthday! But aside from the my-sister-is-a-rich-movie-star tidbits, My Life from Scratch is just a quick and easy read about a woman who gave up the Hollywood rat race to open a bakery in Vermont. If this book were a pastry, it'd be a meringue: airy and sweet, but slightly dull and not terribly filling. Still, if you need a snack, this might hit the spot.