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Most Helpful Favorable Review
1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.
better than a cookbook
posted by Anonymous on February 20, 2008Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Most Helpful Critical Review
5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.
A Writer/Foodie Writes a Memoir...Oh, and She's a Celiac
Unfortunately it is not simply a cookbook with an attached warning sticker: "Written for Foodies", and I'm sure Shuana would argue that's not the point--that the point is we see that food is accessible, and that we should all dine from the world's grand table, with all of it's finest offerings. She's *right*, perhaps we should. But she's delusional, too. Most people who face celiac disease are looking to eat so they don't get sick...not so they spend more $$ to eat "well", which is entirely subjective. Most of us aren't 150 yards from the fresh fish market like she is, and most of us are working families who see a movie out with the kids as a splurge....so um...'no'...we probably don't want to go out and buy pomegranite molasses.
On Shauna's list: "The Top Ten Noble Tastes" there is no reference to the "other grains" considered staples in most kitchens, and a lifeline for many celiacs. Really (and I mean really) expensive vinegars and oils, but no sustenance staples upon which the average celiac would rely, and would have rather seen listed here.
Don't get me wrong--Shauna is an excellent writer....but her book lacks any real substance, and she sends mixed messages....such as using highly negative descriptive words for the foods from her past----foods she admits to having loved and wolfed down with gusto----and highly seductive and beautiful imagery for the "new foods".....and then using those same positive descriptives for a hot dog (when she finally breaks down and starts eating meat again) at a NYC outdoor vendor....even though that kind of food would have fallen into the "bad food" category if it had been from her hometown. She arbitrarily decides for us what food falls into the praiseworthy category, and what foods do not belong, and when she's critical---boy is she ever critical! She purposefully overdramatizes to get her points across and in doing so makes her parents out to sound like unstable people who practically poisoned her, despite the fact that she went willingly. They are just as innocent as she was, in other words. It also seems cruel that she would use this forum to discuss a very personal private hell her mother endured surrounding agoraphobia. That's not what human beings should do do each other, much less family.
The tone of the book is summed up on page 53, wherein Shauna admits "....Two kids raised to believe that they should be different than most people (translation: smarter and more educated)..."
A bit of an alienating read...which is a total shame because if she had taken certain unnecessary personal bits (her ego clearly sat on top of her computer staring at her as she hacked this one out) out of it the book would have been superb.
posted by 887497 on January 24, 2009Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 14, 2007
Love the blog but the book leaves a lot to be desired. I'm not sure how much I really care about the fact that the author was reading at the age of 3. I'm really not sure how the author's romance fits into living gluten free. I did enjoy elements of the book--parts about the junk she ate as a kid, we can all identify with. I didn't enjoy it so much when she talked about it for the 15th time. If you are looking for GF recipes, keep looking--there are only a few and they are time consuming for the most part. Honestly, I'm not sure who this book is for: If you're living gluten free, you already know this stuff. If you're a foodie, it will seem amaturish.
2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 4, 2007
Shauna Ahern is the exuberant woman behind the Gluten Free Girl website, a woman who found herself, upon reaching middle age, with a Celiac disease diagnosis and surprisingly a new start in life. It took a while to figure out what I didn't like about this book, but I think it's very simple: The author's insights and experiences, while interesting in blog form, don't really add up to a book. While it's a very useful piece for someone with Celiac disease, there's nothing here you can't find on her website. Further, when I think of food memior I actually think of someone whose worked many years in the field. Not a blogger who is, at best, a talented home cook. Alice Waters, Julia Child, Ruth Reichl, etc. I kept asking myself 'why is this relevant? who is this woman?' Finally, I found the book extremely redundant. Why didn't her editor take care of this problem? Overall, a nice source for those who must avoid gluten, but check it out of your library. Better yet, settle in for a few hours in front of your computer. Her blog, while a bit sparse in recent months, has lots of great information in her archives.
0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.