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Bon Appetempt: A Coming-Of-Age Story (with Recipes!) Hardcover – 3 Feb 2015
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"Amelia Morris uses her trademark humor and fierce honesty to tell a wry and touching coming-of-age story. It made me laugh, wrenched my heart and gave me an instant craving for beans and rice in coconut milk." "Luisa Weiss, founder of The Wednesday Chef and author of My Berlin Kitchen""
""Bon Appetempt" is a charming, thoughtful, and touching memoir about growing up and becoming the person and artist you've always wanted to be--both inside and outside the kitchen. It made me laugh, it made me cry, and I could not put it down. It also made me very, very hungry for crepes!" "Edan Lepucki, author of "California"""
"Amelia Morris's debut, Bon Appetempt, is one of the most compulsively readable books I've picked up in years. It's spirited, funny, smartly nostalgic, wistful, real. I've never seen another author break a reader's heart, make them laugh, and offer up a recipe for broccolini in the span of two pages. It's all here: big love, big sadness, superb self-aware writing, and cake. Indulge in all of it as fast as you can, and enjoy the rewarding fullness of this incredible book." "Megan Mayhew Bergman, author of Birds of a Lesser Paradise and Almost Famous Women""
"If you like Laurie Colwin and MFK Fisher, you'll love Amelia Morris and "Bon Appetempt." It's a charming, thoughtful, and touching memoir about growing up and becoming the person and artist you've always wanted to be--both inside and outside the kitchen." "Edan Lepucki, author of "California"""
"Morris adopts an interest in cooking as an adult, grabbing food glossies at grocery checkouts and trying to re-create the meals they picture. The impetus for the blog she starts, with which this book shares its name, was a growing realization that if words failed her, food wouldn't: cooking, as opposed to writing, became a place to lightheartedly attempt great things, and not feel personally hurt if she failed. . . Some recipes are described in the text, too, like the toasted cheerios Morris makes, immediately summoning childhood memories. Sure to appeal to fans of her personable blog, and to round up new ones."
"I picked up "Bon Appetempt" on a flight, planning to read for maybe five minutes before taking a nap, and when I finally came up for air, three hours had passed. (Readers: consider yourselves warned!) Smart, funny, and most of all human, Amelia Morris is a winning storyteller, even when she's losing at everything. I love this book." "Molly Wizenberg, author of "Delancey" and "A Homemade Life"""
"There is a moment I call the 'exchange', a tipping point, where the events of a book start to interest me more than the events of my own waking life. It's the reader's dream and the reason to read. I felt this so deeply and and pleasurably while reading this book. It is full of delight, both intellectual and earthy. It's a book about food, and about family, and about becoming oneself, finally, absurdly, wonderfully. It's just a joy to live inside this book for a while. It's etched in my mind permanently." "Rebecca Lee, author of "Bobcat"""
"A refreshing take on growing up and coming to terms with the joys and travails of family, career and navigating the kitchen. . . Whether Morris is deconstructing her failed attempts at finding satisfying work, struggling with rocky family relationships or experiencing a culinary failure, she adroitly blends the ingredients of humor and self-reflection." ""Kirkus Reviews"""
"A winning memoir about youthful befuddlement and finding yourself." ""People"""
"A delicious portrait of love, loss and what I ate . . . I read this book the way I eat a pizza that's really good. I ate the whole thing in one sitting. . . Morris is masterful and funny in stirring the pot . . . Whether Morris is winning or failing in her relationships or mastery of the dishes, she is always human." ""The News and Observer "(Raleigh)""
"A moving, smart, and often hilarious coming-of-age story." "Largehearted Boy""
About the Author
Amelia Morris is the creator of Bon Appetempt, which "Time" magazine named as one of the twenty-five best blogs of 2012. Her work has also been featured in the "Los Angeles Times, " The Splendid Table, Saveur.com, BonAppetit.com, and McSweeney's. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, where she was the recipient of the Margaret Shannon Morton Fellowship. She currently lives on the east side of Los Angeles with her husband, baby son, and small dog.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The memoir Bon Appetempt is an ode to hard, quiet creative work; a gentle testament to writing as an exercise rather than a direct path to success.
In the memoir, we watch the life of a modern creative person unfold in the foreground, as food sits as its undeniable backbone. Food comforts and empowers Amelia through her parents’ divorce, her weight obsession, her international travels, her cross-country move to Los Angeles, her retail jobs, her MFA application, and her longtime romance.
Amelia fails often, and her struggle is pervasive. The book is peppered with a generous amount of self-doubt. Amelia worries about the kinds of things many people worry about in their twenties - making rent, building a career, creating a family, and expressing herself creatively.
The richest sections in the book are the ones about cooking. Morris obviously takes great joy in describing food. The sense of anxiety in the earlier chapters seems to melt away later on, once she starts the blog. Through experimenting with recipes, she allows herself to become comfortable with failure and loosens up her own creative process.
In one chapter, when she’s in a long-distance relationship and is unhappy, she makes a brie pasta that I’m still daydreaming about (and I can make it, if I want - because Morris provides recipes following every chapter, as promised in the title). In another chapter, Amelia travels to Seattle to spend a weekend preparing, cooking, and eating an elaborate meal with her best friend. Her description of scouring markets for ingredients all morning then pouring wine and simmering away the afternoon completely sold me - sign me up, I want to cook all day with my friends, too!
Amelia does come of age in this story, and I was glad to get to experience her life through her writing. Morris describes her family in gritty detail, but, like the real people in our own lives, we end up loving them anyway. Morris writes with honesty, and Bon Appetempt is an admirable first work.