A tempting and helpful guide to delectable food.

A warm invitation to the French table.

Copper pots hanging over a stove, thyme and rosemary growing in the garden, a boulangerie open every day of the week: these are a few of the reasons Loomis (Nuts in the Kitchen, 2010, etc.) loves the French way with food. Her latest culinary offering is partly a charming account of daily life in Louviers, a small town northwest of Paris where Loomis has lived for 20 years; and partly advice for buying, preparing, and serving the fresh and bountiful food that she and her friends eat every day. Although Loomis buys some supplies at a supermarket, most of her shopping occurs at the butcher’s, baker’s, and farmers market in her neighborhood. “There is a charming intimacy about the interactions in these food shops,” she writes. “I never tire of it. For a minute, at least, while you’re discussing a cut of meat, a type of cheese, the very best clementine, you are part of the social fabric of the entire country.” Families connect over the meals they share three times per day, and there is no such thing as eating on the run; even breakfast is “a quick but rich moment to gently emerge into the day.” While most adults partake of coffee and toast, many families serve breakfast cereals for their children, all sweetened. The French have a sweet tooth, including desserts with each meal and “an emergency chocolate bar” for a pick-me-up during the day. The author provides a list of essential kitchen tools, a glossary of breads and cheeses, a chapter on cooking techniques (e.g., making mayonnaise, buerre blanc, confit, and pastry), and even a list of online sources for special French ingredients. Loomis also shares scores of recipes from her own repertoire and those of her friends, including a 12-month meal plan based on fresh, seasonal ingredients.

A tempting and helpful guide to delectable food.

Pub Date: June 15, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-59240-886-3

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Gotham Books

Review Posted Online: March 1, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2015


The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006



Well-told and admonitory.

Young-rags-to-mature-riches memoir by broker and motivational speaker Gardner.

Born and raised in the Milwaukee ghetto, the author pulled himself up from considerable disadvantage. He was fatherless, and his adored mother wasn’t always around; once, as a child, he spied her at a family funeral accompanied by a prison guard. When beautiful, evanescent Moms was there, Chris also had to deal with Freddie “I ain’t your goddamn daddy!” Triplett, one of the meanest stepfathers in recent literature. Chris did “the dozens” with the homies, boosted a bit and in the course of youthful adventure was raped. His heroes were Miles Davis, James Brown and Muhammad Ali. Meanwhile, at the behest of Moms, he developed a fondness for reading. He joined the Navy and became a medic (preparing badass Marines for proctology), and a proficient lab technician. Moving up in San Francisco, married and then divorced, he sold medical supplies. He was recruited as a trainee at Dean Witter just around the time he became a homeless single father. All his belongings in a shopping cart, Gardner sometimes slept with his young son at the office (apparently undiscovered by the night cleaning crew). The two also frequently bedded down in a public restroom. After Gardner’s talents were finally appreciated by the firm of Bear Stearns, his American Dream became real. He got the cool duds, hot car and fine ladies so coveted from afar back in the day. He even had a meeting with Nelson Mandela. Through it all, he remained a prideful parent. His own no-daddy blues are gone now.

Well-told and admonitory.

Pub Date: June 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-06-074486-3

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Amistad/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2006

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