“I’m Swedish, which makes me sexy, and I’m Irish which makes me want to talk about it.” That’s the first line from Burnt Toast Makes You Sing Good, my third book, coming to paperback on August 25th. Same content, just cheaper, so get yours today!
The book was a Michigan Notable Book, and a finalist in the prestigious IACP Awards and the Goodreads Choice Awards. I’m delighted to report the first official review from Kirkus is overwhelmingly positive, summing the book up as “a warm, quiet poignant treat.” You can read the full review here. They also did a bang-up job of summarizing the narrative, too. The book also garnered great comments from early readers over at GoodReads.
I consider it a multi-generational memoir of my family’s culinary heritage, replete with recipes. The story begins with my parents decision to drop everything in Lansing, Mich., to go work at the my Irish Uncle’s Italian restaurant in San Francisco, following Route 66 for most of the cross-country trek from Michigan only to move back a few years later to settle in Davison, Michigan. You’ll meet my great-grandmother, Anna, who left her hometown in Sweden at the age 17 to head to America with only one suitcase and my grandfather who couldn’t fight in WWI because he’d been arrested for bootlegging, so the Army put him to work as a cook at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio instead. Then there’s my paternal grandmother, Della, who raised eight kids alone during The Great Depression.
Too few stories focus on the vibrant culinary history of the Midwest, a region that’s often dismissed as the home of three-bean casseroles. I tried my best to capture the rituals of fishing, deer hunting and summer canning that marked the passages of time in my childhood, and the reliance we placed on tending a garden, raising chickens and treasuring the fruit from our orchard. We never had much growing up, but we had each other and good food.
Paperback Launch Party
Sept. 17th, The Book Larder, Seattle, 6:30 p.m.
I believe that book events should be fun! Join me for a “jam session” in which we’ll make the blueberry jam on the cover, plus sing-a-long to some of the music mentioned in the book. There will also be door prizes. $20 admission includes a book, jam, and bites. Get tickets here.