Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant: Confessions of Cooking for One and Dining Alone , edited by Jenni Ferrari-Adler, was the August Kitchen Reader selection and was chosen by Anni of anjeme.
I struggled to decide how many stars to give this book. On the one hand, a book full of short food-related essays was just what I needed this month. I especially identified with many of the stories in the first half of the book.
I squealed with delight when I came across a brief description of my beloved Madison Farmers Market in one story. I called Dan into the room to show him the paragraph where Amanda Hesser mentioned the restaurant we ate dinner at on New Year’s Eve. I loved every peek into what the writers eat when they are home alone.
But my enthusiasm waned as I passed the half-way mark and continued until the end of the book. It may just be that short stories have never really been my “thing,” and the novelty of reading them had started to wear off. It may be that the way the stories were arranged and ordered put every essay I really identified with towards the beginning of the book.
I’m not sure what it was, but it certainly made it difficult to give a star rating to the book overall. I really wanted to give it 3.5 stars, but am sticking with whole numbers and didn’t think rounding up to 4 would be accurate… so three out of five stars it is.
Have you read this book, and if so, what did you think? What kind of writing isn’t really your “thing”?
I enjoy some short stories, but really prefer longer essays and stories where I can take more time to get to know the characters and the setting. But I’d definitely take short stories over poetry any day.