2013 Reads: Twenty-Five {The Lost Art of Mixing - Erica Bauermeister}

Saturday, August 10, 2013

I was thrilled when I found out that Erica Bauermeister had written a companion (sequel? follow up?) to The School of Essential Ingredients which I absolutely adored. Revisiting these people and these places made my heart happy.

Bauermeister delivers another delicious and satisfying novel about life, love, and the importance of a good meal.


Every Monday night Lillian hosted a cooking class at her restaurant. People came to her and learned more than just how to make a delicious soup or the best way to cook crabs. She has a way of drawing people together - over food - and tying their lives together in immeasurable ways.

This book traces the lives of a number of characters - some from The School of Essential Ingredients - and some new. Al, Lillian's accountant begins finding meaning in ritual. Isabelle, who is growing old and watching her memories slip away from her faster than her children. Chloe, Lillian's sous chef, hasn't yet learned how to trust in love after a serious heartbreak. Finnegan, Lillian's bus boy, is a silent observer who is steady as a rock and has a gigantic heart. Loiuse, Al's wife, has an immense amount of anger hidden just below the surface. And then there's Lillian herself, who has a life-changing surprise ahead of her.

Erica Bauermeister has agan delivered a novel about the manner in which our lives intersect, mix, and separate with others. The Lost Art of Mixing is a beautifully crafted story on what brings us together and what threatens to tear us apart. 


My reading has been all over the place this year, hasn't it? I guess I just need to keep things interesting.

I first saw that Erica Bauermeister had written a follow-up to The School of Essential Ingredients when I was in Barnes & Nobel one day. I had picked up TSoEI randomly a few years ago and fell in love with its easy style and poignant story.  As someone who loves cooking and people (and cooking for people), this book filled a literary need I didn't know I had. Sadly, at the time I had to talk myself out of purchasing the hard-back copy of this book (as it had just been published).

Fast-forward to a recent trip to the library when I was picking up a new audio-book for the time I spend in the car. I was perusing up and down the aisles just looking (because books just make me happy - weather I'm going to purchase or borrow one) and this book jumped out at me. And I knew, just knew, that I had to take it home with me. You see, I'm an awful, awful library patron. Despite all the books I read (and buy!) I rarely take one out from the library. It's bad, I know. And probably subject for a post on its own. But I digress. I took this one home with me, and I am so glad I did.

Was it as wonderfully perfect as  TSoEI? No, but it was close. It was so refreshing to visit with these characters that I grew to love in the first novel. I had always wanted to know how the next part of their lives played out, what happened to the intersections of their lives that Lillian had orchestrated so beautifully.

Food, friendship, and love go hand-in-hand so often and that's exactly what Bauermeister delivers in this novel. As humans, our lives are messy and crazy and absolutely wonderful. They intersect with others in exciting and intricate ways. And sometimes all it takes is one person to mix together with another person for beautiful or disastrous events to unfold.

Give these books a try. And then cook a delicious meal to share. 


Title: The Lost Art of Mixing
Author: Erica Bauermeister
Genre: Fiction, Chick-Lit 
Medium: Hard Back, 288pp
Publisher: Putnam Adult (24 January 2013)
Date Read: 30 July 2013
Source: Library (!)
Recommended For: High School +, Lovers of Cooking, Fiction Enthusiasts, Chick-Lit Lovers
Challenges: Goodreads

First Line: Lillian stood at the restaurant kitchen counter, considering the empty expanse in front of her.  
Favorite Line: We're all just ingredients. What matters is the grace with which you cook the meal. 

1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed this book. THANKS for your post.

    Stopping by from Carole's Books You Loved August Edition. I am in the list as #36. My book entry is below.

    Silver's Reviews
    My Book Entry


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