Wednesday, April 20, 2016

TMS Book Club April Pick - Life From Scratch: A Memoir of Food, Family, and Forgiveness by Sasha Martin

Title: Glory Over Everything
Author: Sasha Martin
Publisher: National Geographic
Format:  Trade Paperback
Source: From the publisher
On Sale Date: March 1, 2016 (Originally published in hardcover on March 3, 2015

Synopsis from Penguin Random House Canada

Witty, warm, and poignant, food blogger Sasha Martin's memoir about cooking her way to happiness and self-acceptance is 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 launched 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.


A memoir and cookbook rolled into a beautiful package.

Life From Scratch gives readers a sense of how a simple connection with food can mean so much to one person. Sasha and her brother Michael were raised in a single parent home. With only their mother to care for them, they had very little. However, the trio managed to make the best of the moments they had together gathering around central structure in their tiny apartment that acted as their dining table, kitchen island, and sewing table. It was here that Sasha's fascination and relationship with food began. Her mother baked birthday apple pies, crepes and her beloved German Tree Cake. Each one of these items eliciting a memory from her past and has made their way, recipe and all into this book.

I enjoyed Life From Scratch. I had never thought about picking up a memoir/cookbook before, in fact, I didn't even know they existed. This was a nice surprise. It was an engaging read and I loved how the book bounced back and forth between the memoir and the associated recipe. It gave me time to process my thoughts about what I had read and reflect on my own past. I still have to attempt the recipes and have marked a couple of my favourites for future experimentation. IF they turn out, perhaps you'll see an update to this post...

Sasha Martin's story is inspiring. Whether it was having to settle in a in a new country, learn a new language or start a new relationship with her estranged mother, Sasha managed to find it within herself to begin again and move on. I would recommend this book to those who enjoy reading memoirs. I think readers will find the incorporation of the recipes between the pages refreshing and don't take away from the highs and lows that memoirs normally contain. If you still need a bit more convincing, check out the Life From Scratch book trailer below and hear about it from the author herself:

For more information on Sasha Martin and her Global Table Adventure where she has "cooked the world", visit her website here.

TMS Book Club:
I discovered Life From Scratch via The Morning Show Book Club. Each month, Janet Joy Wilson (@jsquaredink) selects a book and is discussed on the air with the Global Morning Show team at the end of the month. Janet Joy has yet to steer me wrong!

Past book club picks include: The Last Policeman by Ben H. Winters, The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondō and Mad Miss Mimic by Sarah Henstra, Learn more about the book club and past/future selections here.

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