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Day of Honey: A Memoir of Food, Love, and War Hardcover – Bargain Price, February 1, 2011


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Free Press (February 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416583939
  • ASIN: B005EP1OHE
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.4 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,038,038 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* “I cook to comprehend the place I’ve landed in,” muses Ciezadlo early in her first book, a vividly written memoir of her adventures in travel and taste in the Middle East. Like any successful travelogue writer, she fills her pages with luminous, funny, and stirring portraits of the places and people she came across in her time abroad. But there is also, always, her passion for food, and through it, she parses the many conundrums she faced in her wanderings, such as the struggle to define identity, ethnic and personal, and the challenge of maintaining social continuity in wartime. The capstone to all her thoughtful ruminations is a mouthwatering final chapter collecting many of the dishes she describes earlier in the book. She does this all in writing that is forthright and evocative, and she reminds us that the best memoirs are kaleidoscopes that blend an author’s life and larger truths to make a sparkling whole. --Taina Lagodzinski

Review

"Among the least political, and most intimate and valuable [books], to have come out of the Iraq war… A carefully researched tour through the history of Middle Eastern food…. filled with adrenalized scenes from war zones, scenes of narrow escapes and clandestine phone calls and frightening cultural misunderstandings. Ciezadlo is completely hilarious on the topic of trying to please her demanding new Lebanese in-laws. These things wouldn’t matter much, though, if her sentences didn’t make such a sensual, smart, wired-up sound on the page. Holding Day of Honey I was reminded of the way that, with a book of poems, you can very often flip through it for five minutes and know if you’re going to like it; you get something akin to a contact high... readers will feel lucky to find her."

—Dwight Garner, The New York Times

“A passionate argument for the idea that whether it’s your mother-in-law or a military enemy, meeting over a meal eases differences, and that knowing the world means dining in it.”

Bookforum

“Capped off with a collection of mouthwatering recipes, many from Ciezadlo’s larger-than-life mother-in-law, Day of Honey turns thoughts on food into provocative food for thought.”

BookPage

“A lucid memoir of life in the war-torn Middle East…. Through immersion in food and cooking, Ciezadlo grounded herself amid widespread instability while gaining special insight into a people forced to endure years of bloody conflict….This ambitious and multilayered book is as much a feast for the mind as for the heart.”

—Kirkus Reviews

“[A] vividly written memoir . . . Like any successful travelogue writer, [Ciezadlo] fills her pages with luminous, funny, and stirring portraits. But there is also, always, her passion for food, and through it, she parses the many conundrums she faced in her wanderings, such as the struggle to define identity, ethnic and personal, and the challenge of maintaining social continuity in wartime. She does this all in writing that is forthright and evocative, and she reminds us that the best memoirs are kaleidoscopes that blend an author’s life and larger truths to make a sparkling whole.”

—Booklist, starred review

“Annia Ciezadlo’s Day of Honey is a gorgeous, mouthwateringly written book that convincingly demonstrates why, even with bombs going off all over the place, you gotta eat.”

—Suketu Mehta, author of Maximum City

“A riveting, insightful and moving story of a spirited people in wartime horror told with affection and humour. Food plays a part in the telling—unraveling layers of culture, history and civilization, revealing codes of behaviour and feelings of identity and making the book a banquet to be savored."

—Claudia Roden, author of The New Book of Middle Eastern Food

“A warm, hilarious, terrifying, thrilling, insanely smart debut book that gets deep inside of you and lets you see the Middle East—and the world—through profoundly humanitarian eyes. And if that weren’t enough, there’s also a phenomenal chapter’s worth of recipes. Buy this important book. Now.”

—James Oseland, editor-in-chief, Saveur

"Annia Ciezadlo combines 'mouthwatering' and the Middle East in this beautifully crafted memoir. She adds a new perspective to the region and leavens the stories of lives caught up in the tragedies of war, including her own, with recipes for understanding. She is a gifted writer and a perceptive analyst. Ciezadlo’s portraits are unforgettable."

—Deborah Amos, author of Eclipse of the Sunnis: Power, Exile, and Upheaval in the Middle East and correspondent for National Public Radio

“It’s been a long time since I have enjoyed any nonfiction as much as I did Annia Ciezadlo’s Day of Honey… Ciezadlo’s determination to know intimately the cuisine of wherever she’s staying lends the book both its organization and richness… Ciezadlo is a splendid narrator, warm and funny… Cooking and eating are everyday comforts, and with any luck, a source of fellowship; Day of Honey was a beautiful reminder that this doesn’t change even in the midst of war.”

—Slate


More About the Author

Annia Ciezadlo was a special correspondent for The Christian Science Monitor in Baghdad and The New Republic in Beirut. She has written about culture, politics, and the Middle East for The Nation, Saveur, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The New York Observer, and Lebanon's Daily Star. Her article about cooking with Iraqi refugees in Beirut was included in Best Food Writing 2009. She lives with her husband in New York.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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I read the great New York Times review of this book and bought it immediately.
Zora O'Neill
To find the answer to this question, you will simply have to read "Day of Honey: A Memoir of Food, Love, and War" By Annia Ciezadlo.
Jennifer Primosch
"Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out."
V. L. Wilson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Utah Mom VINE VOICE on February 22, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Honestly, I didn't expect to be so taken by this book. However, I was completely moved.

Ciezaldo writes so vividly that I couldn't stop dreaming of the food she described. I swear I could taste it. My mouth literally watered. She writes from the heart and she touched mine.

In 2003, Annia, who grew up in the Midwest, and her Lebanese husband, who grew up in New York, move to Beirut to Baghdad and back to Beirut to cover the war as reporters. She covers the events, people, culture and food there with a deep humanity that impressed me. For her it is personal. She makes it personal for the reader.

I was constantly amazed at how apolitical this book is. In spite of all the political factions vying for control in the Middle East, Annia removes herself from the governments, sects and groups and focuses on the people. During war, the people suffer. The people love. The people hate. The people eat.

Don't miss this beautiful, rich, nearly edible book. I devoured it. It will make you rethink everything you thought you knew about the Middle East.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Matthew B. Armendariz on February 16, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
And completely in love with the author's words and view. I suppose I should wait until I'm completely finished with this book but I'm simply having too much of a fantastic time with it. I must admit, similar to what the New York Times mentioned, that the cover made me think of something completely different. Luckily for me, Annia Ciezadlo's funny, engaging and thoughtful writing made me realize this book would not only help me discover a part of the world I've never visited but also keep me entertained and touched. I'll be back to update my review but in the meantime, please read this book. It's making me laugh, cry a bit, and also ravenously hungry.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Primosch on February 18, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
To find the answer to this question, you will simply have to read "Day of Honey: A Memoir of Food, Love, and War" By Annia Ciezadlo. Ciezadlo finds the answer to this and many more questions throughout this heartfelt and intelligent memoir of the important role food plays in the Middle East in times of peace, and especially, war.

The book is a fantastic read, gripping you with Ciezadlo's humor, wit and stark powers of observation. Readers will find themselves falling in love with the characters and places Ciezadlo paints with vivid detail and life, and will find themselves missing those characters and places when the book is finished.

But readers should fret not about filling the void they might feel when the story is over; Ciezadlo generously finds a way for the story to continue on our taste buds and in our own stomachs by including recipes of the food so lovingly celebrated within the book's pages.

Reading Ciezadlo's story will be one of the finest literature and culinary experiences you will have.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A reader on March 26, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Like other reviewers, Annia Ciezaldo had me hooked from the first few pages. This is not a book where you want to skip the introduction. The description she writes there of New York City in the first few days after 9/11, where I lived at the time, is so vivid, so true ... and so telling of what is to come. She finds humor in horror, gives everybody their say (even people who seem odious at first) ... and has such a gift for painting a scene with words. You see the scene, hear the people, and yes, taste the food.

The other remarkable thing about this book is Ciezaldo as a narrator -- this is not an exasperated expert writing from on high, wondering why Americans remain so ignorant about the wars we're fighting. She's one of us. Another American who grew up understanding war in the Middle East as a series of short scary stories on the evening news. But she grew up and went to Baghdad and Beirut as a journalist (and on her honeymoon!) and she "ate the meal," as her journalism prof admonished his students to do, to get a full story. This is the fullest of stories.

Ciezaldo winks at the book Eat, Pray, Love with a chapter titled Eat, Pray, War. If you kinda sorta liked Eat, Pray, Love -- but found yourself annoyed by an author who could afford to drop everything and go to Tuscany -- do yourself a favor and buy Day of Honey. It's a much deeper, broader, more courageous book. And such delicious recipes.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Hilary on March 12, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This is the kind of war story I've always wanted to read. It immediately sucks you into the author's world, into her quest to discover and record the real lives and glorious, glorious food of the civilians who so sometimes don't make it into other stories about strife and conflict.

But it's Ciezadlo's voice and writing skill that makes this a book you need to read. Despite the bubble-gummy cover, the contents are all meat. Her writing is wicked smart but not preachy, impassioned but not self-righteous. She renders her subjects with grace, even making you love -- as she seems to -- her cantankerous mother-in-law. And she seems to have complete command of the national and culinary histories of Lebanon and Iraq, which she folds into the narrative with a subtle touch.

"Day of Honey" strikes all the right balances -- in its writing style, its voice, its reporting, and its rendering of its subjects. It's tender and tough, intelligent and gritty.

Perhaps best of all is Ciezadlo's ability to write about love, women and domestic life without ever making you feel like you're reading chick lit. Instead you will want to eat, cook, fall in love and strike out into the world.
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