Monday, July 17, 2017

Sweet Spot

A passionate ice cream lover explores the history, business, science and sheer deliciousness of American ice cream culture.

Journalist Amy Ettinger dishes up ice cream in Sweet Spot, an adventurous, thoroughly researched exploration into the U.S. love affair with frozen sweet treats. Ettinger is a self-proclaimed ice cream connoisseur turned ice cream snob and addict: "Ice cream is more like a drug than any other food... the more ice cream you eat, the more you have to eat it to regain that 'high.' " Ettinger consumes ice cream almost daily and stocks between $15 and $30 worth in her freezer at all times. Her richly entertaining, easy-to-read narrative is infused with history, recipes and the science behind what makes for delicious--and sometimes not-so-delicious--flavors. She also looks at innovators and imitators, and how the ice cream business continues to evolve.

The philosophy and wisdom of past and present ice cream makers--along with segues into soda shops and fountains, sundaes and floats, ice cream sandwiches, cones, frozen yogurt and the gelato craze--are swirled into Ettinger's tasty quest. What rises to the fore, however, are sections devoted to Ettinger working alongside fellow ice cream aficionados and business people--and her enrolling in "the world's most famous ice cream making class" at Penn State. There, she learned the fascinating ins and outs of pasteurization, flavoring, potential hazards, short cuts and tricks of the trade--both good and bad. Ettinger piles on double and triple scoops of fun information that offers literary deliciousness for ice cream lovers everywhere.

Dutton, $26.00 Hardcover, 9781101984192, 320 pages
Publication Date: May 9, 2017
To order this book on INDIEBOUND, link HERE


NOTE: This review is a reprint and is being posted with the permission of Shelf Awareness. To read this review on Shelf Awareness: Reader's Edition (June 27, 2017), link HERE

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

A French Wedding

Close-knit college friends with a long, sordid past reunite in the French countryside to celebrate the 40th birthday of one of their own.
In Hannah Tunnicliffe's A French Wedding, a former Parisian restaurateur serves as private chef for six college friends--and their significant others--who gather in a small French coastal town to eat, drink and be merry. Their celebration marks the 40th birthday of Max Dresner, a party boy and rogue rock star who's reassessing his life.

Juliette is a workaholic French chef who faces the breakup of a meaningful romantic relationship and tries to manage Delphine, her Paris eatery. When Juliette chooses to give up ownership of the cafĂ© and care for her parents, she fears her dreams are forever shattered. Hired by Max as a housekeeper, she tends to his guests. The group includes Nina and Lars, college sweethearts, and their 15-year-old daughter, Sophie; Rosie and her surgeon husband, Hugo, an outsider to the clique; Eddie, who used to date Rosie in college, and his current girlfriend, Beth, an American hairdresser, younger than Eddie and the rest; and Helen, a free spirit and avant-garde art gallery owner, to whom Max finally intends to propose marriage over the weekend. 

While throughout the reunion the guests savor Juliette's gourmet food and the wine flows, spirits ultimately sour. Add percolating secrets, old resentments and an unexpected illness, and it looks like Max's birthday party--and his sincere intent to profess publicly his love for Helen--may fall flat. 

Tunnicliffe's well-drawn characters are forced to reconcile the past and face up to emotional midlife struggles in this bittersweet story with a deeply satisfying conclusion.
Doubleday, $26.95 Hardcover, 9780385541848, 320 pages
Publication Date: June 6, 2017
To order this book on INDIEBOUND, link HERE

NOTE: This review is a reprint and is being posted with the permission of Shelf Awareness. To read this review on Shelf Awareness: Reader's Edition (July 4, 2017), link HERE