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[Book Review] A Life of Spice by Monica Bhide



Title: A Life Of Spice: Stories of food, culture and life
Author: Monica Bhide
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent
Author’s Web: here
Date of Release: April 27, 2015
No. of Pages: 180
Format: Kindle
Category: Non-Fiction
Genre: Food memoir, family, culture
Where to Buy: Amazon, $2.99 link
Opening Line:
Intricate patterns of fish and peacocks are etched deeply into the fine wooden dining table, providing perfect hiding places for tiny marble dice.


In A Life of Spice celebrated writer Monica Bhide explores her romance with food. As in any romance, there are moments of great heartache and unbelievable happiness; betrayals and breakups; and, of course, intimacy. This collection of powerful and thought-provoking vignettes makes us examine our relationship with food deeply–and what food really means to us.


I always appreciate comfort, feel-good book after a long holiday. A Life of Spice has fulfilled my need. I didn’t plan to buy this book. I received a notification from Bookbub, and as a sucker for bargain books, I bought this one. I read the reviews on Goodreads. Mostly gave 4 or 5 stars, so I gave it a go.

The prolog is very interesting. Monica told about how her father landed in the USA. She was an engineer but then she followed her passion in food-writing.

I like learning about cultures. I believe the first gate to experience a culture is through food.

Monica also explained why food eaten or cooked with hands tastes better than the ones using tools. The energy from the cook is transfered through the hands.

So many interesting tidbits about Indian vs Western food culture.

What bothered me the most is the repetition. I understand this book is a compilation of articles, but it would be better if it was edited.

Overall, this book is worth the hype, and I’m looking forward to reading other books by this author.


What we eat and how we eat it gives us identity; it helps us to define who we are.



[Book Review] Mastering the Art of French Eating by Ann Mah @VikingBooks

book_info18302355Title: Mastering the Art of French Eating: Lessons in Food and Love from a Year in Paris

Author: Ann Mah

Publisher: Viking Adults

Published: September 26, 2013

No. of Pages: 288

Format: Ebook

Category: Non Fiction

Genre: Biography, Food Memoir, Travel

But the book at: [Bookdepository]

Opening sentence:

book_blurbThe memoir of a young diplomat’s wife who must reinvent her dream of living in Paris—one dish at a time

When journalist Ann Mah’s diplomat husband is given a three-year assignment in Paris, Ann is overjoyed. A lifelong foodie and Francophile, she immediately begins plotting gastronomic adventures à deux. Then her husband is called away to Iraq on a year-long post—alone. Suddenly, Ann’s vision of a romantic sojourn in the City of Light is turned upside down.

So, not unlike another diplomatic wife, Julia Child, Ann must find a life for herself in a new city.  Journeying through Paris and the surrounding regions of France, Ann combats her loneliness by seeking out the perfect pain au chocolat and learning the way the andouillette sausage is really made. She explores the history and taste of everything from boeuf Bourguignon to soupe au pistou to the crispiest of buckwheat crepes. And somewhere between Paris and the south of France, she uncovers a few of life’s truths.

Like Sarah Turnbull’s Almost French and Julie Powell’s New York Times bestseller Julie and Julia, Mastering the Art of French Eating is interwoven with the lively characters Ann meets and the traditional recipes she samples. Both funny and intelligent, this is a story about love—of food, family, and France.


Reading this book can cause a slow and painful hunger.

I read this book simply because I love Julia Child, I love dining and cooking. And I’ve been obsessed with French culinary.

I received a free copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Yes, I was captured from the first page. This book is so fascinating and everything Ann Mah wrote made me learn more about French food. I’m actually still writing a rough synopsys for my upcoming novel about culinary. Thanks to Ann Mah, I’ll definitely use this book as one of the food bibles that I’m going to use as my resource.

Like people said, before you read a book, you should have an open mind. And I did. Actually, this book is beyond my expectations. I love it to the core.

As a food enthusiast, I find this book very resourceful and also entertaining. I learn a lot about four-course dinner, French signature dish (which is sandwich, that simple), and how French people eat intestines (yuck!), and types of beef cuts. Ann did a thorough research and this book is the proof of her magnificent job.

Just like Julia Child, before going to France, Ann Mah was just a foreign officer wife who wrote about food. But, French food changed her life (and I’m sure this book changed other people’s life too).

I thought only Italians love eating. French does too. For them, dining is meant to be special.

Ann also explained a bit about historical background of each food that she mentioned. I love history and surely it adds it. This book gives insight about French culture through dining. I drooled all the time.

Can’t wait to read Ann’s other work.