May 12, 2017

Mes Livres de Chevet: A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg


Hey, readers! I'm back with another livre de chevetThis next bedside book was one I found through the What Should I Read Next? podcast. I enjoyed it so much, it often left my nightstand and went with me so I could sneak in a few pages here and there. 

The book: 
A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table by Molly Wizenberg

Within the first few pages, Molly gives you a good sense of herself, and of what food means to her and the unfolding story of her life. 


"Food is never just food. It's also a way of getting at something else: who we are, who we have been, and who we want to be."

Through her heartfelt, emotional, funny, recipe filled, and relatable memoir, Molly gives us a window into her world, all in the context of food, of course! 

What really resonated with me was Molly's relationship with her father, Burg. I remember describing this book to a friend and saying, "I just really wish I could have known him." Over the course of the memoir, you stand by Molly and her family has her father battles and ultimately looses his fight with cancer. But Molly keeps Burg's spirit so alive. I love the way she describes all of his incredibly personable quirks: his polka dot bath robe, his love of croissants, and his belief in his final days that his Ensure tastes of crème brûlée. (Molly mentions joking and laughing with her mom about this. It seems Burg never let go of his zest for life.) She doesn't paint an idealized picture. Burg is perfectly real and perfectly imperfect in his realness. I couldn't help but think of the wonderful way in which Molly honored her father's life through this book. 

I can't talk about this memoir without also mentioning its Paris connection, a connection that cannot be described without circling back to Burg. Molly explains:


"He loved [Paris] so much. And in a sense he gave it to me." 

At one point she describes a memory of a trip to Paris. She and her father walked to a boulangerie each morning and sat side by side enjoying a pain au chocolat and a croissant. I could just visualize young Molly's feet dangling from the stool at the counter and her unyielding admiration for her father, all made even more magical with Paris as the backdrop. 



The other thing I took from Molly's memoir was a big helping of inspiration. She may not have meant to include it, but for me there was a bonus recipe:

A Life of Happiness 
*one part passion
*one part courage
*one part believing that anything is possible 
*lots of love 


"What started as a simple love for food grew to have a life of its own and a life that, in turn, changed mine." 

Molly reveals that initially, she had no real idea of what a blog was. In 2004 she started her blog Orangette and yielded the following results: two books, three restaurants, a podcast, and a James Beard Award. It's a good thing she decided to follow her deepest passions and commence. :)

If you haven't read this memoir, I hope you pick it up and love it as much as I did. Thank you, Molly, for opening up your world to us. I am so grateful that you did.


Warm wishes and happy reading from me to you,


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