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Tasting Home: Coming of Age in the Kitchen Paperback – March 1, 2013

3.8 out of 5 stars 162 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Judith Newton has spent her life searching for home and family while pursuing an academic career. From seeking affection from her mother and time spent in communal living to her involvement in civil rights struggles, her choice to have a child, and the death of her best friend, Newton has marked the many phases of her life with food. Each chapter of this engaging memoir includes a recipe that relates to a corresponding time in Newton's life. Readers will find her story delightful and resonant—especially given the universal relationship between food and family. This is a well-paced coming-of-age story with all the right ingredients: honesty, well-drawn characters, and plenty of insight.  A Publishers Weekly Starred Review

Review

Publisher's Weekly, Starred Review
London Book Festival: First Place Autobiography, December 2013
Independent Publishers: Bronze Award, May 2013
Hollywood Book Festival: Honorable Mention, July 2013
Reader's Favorite: Finalist, July 2013
Southern California Book Festival: Honorable Mention, September 2013
National Indie Excellence Awards: Finalist, May 2014
ForeWord Book of the Year Awards: Finalist, May 2014
San Francisco Book Festival: Honorable Mention, May 2014
Independent Reader "Approved," June 2014
New York Book Festival: Honorable Mention, June 2014


"In this captivating memoir, Newton draws the reader into a world where major events
are brought to life with poignant food memories. . . . Each vignette is pitch-perfect, lively, and engaging, striking a delicate balance between self-disclosure and universal themes of  acceptance, love, community-building, and political engagement." --Janet A. Flammang, author of The Taste for Civilization: Food, Politics, and Civil Society

"Tasting Home is more than a food memoir. Influenced by the civil rights struggle, the women's movement, and the AIDS epidemic, it is an odyssey of emotional, intellectual, and spiritual growth.  Cooking serves as a powerful metaphor for the difficulties and pleasures of relations among mothers and daughters; husbands and wives; gays and heterosexuals; and racial-ethnic groups.  Tasting Home, like a grand meal, is a resounding success."  --Belinda Robnett, author of How Long? How Long? African-American Women in the Struggle for Civil Rights.

"This is a baby-boomer's dream: a book full of anecdotes about coming of age in during the sexual revolution of the sixties -- with recipes! . . . an ingeniously conceived, tightly written, and beautifully packaged memoir, a vibrant portrait of the American feminine cultural experience from the 1950s forward." Independent Publisher

Judith Newton's TASTING HOME Shows Heart, Provides Food for Your Soul . Author Judith Newton has taken two of my favorite loves: food and family and put them together in a way that tells not just her story but that of so many of us. Who could deny that certain dishes that we might consider "comfort food" bring to mind a person or event that still lingers with us.  . . . Definitely a book that will speak to your heart as well as your taste buds, TASTING HOME proves to be real food for your soul.    Cyrus Webb of Cyrus Webb Presents, Blogtalk Radio.


“In this elegantly written work, Newton has completely taken us by surprise. There’s a sense of tension, of expectation, of waiting for the other shoe to drop that creates a subliminal buzz. Through her personal story, Newton manages to weave in the entire course of the culture, a reflection of her skills as an historian and an accomplished writer as well as a born storyteller.”
—Jeanette Ferrary, author of Out of the Kitchen: Adventures of a Food Writer and Between Friends: M.F.K. Fisher and Me

“In this captivating memoir, Newton draws the reader into a world where major events are brought to life with poignant food memories. Each vignette is pitch-perfect, lively, and engaging, striking a delicate balance between self-disclosure and universal themes of acceptance, love, community-building, and political engagement.”
—Janet A. Flammang, author of The Taste for Civilization: Food, Politics, and Civil Society

Tasting Home is more than a food memoir. Influenced by the civil rights struggle, the women’s movement, and the AIDS epidemic, it is an odyssey of emotional, intellectual, and spiritual growth. Like a grand meal, Tasting Home is a resounding success.”
—Belinda Robnett, author of How Long? How Long? African-American Women in the Struggle for Civil Rights

“This evocative memoir creates a tapestry of the personal and the political, weaving together stories of family, friendship, and community, of love, birth, and death. Punctuated by favorite recipes, this vivid narrative celebrates matters of both the kitchen and the heart.”
—Wendy Martin, author of We Are the Stories We Tell and More Stories We Tell
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 328 pages
  • Publisher: She Writes Press (March 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1938314034
  • ISBN-13: 978-1938314032
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.1 x 8.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (162 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,856,489 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I loved this book! As a memoir, I really connected with this book. Judith takes us through the stages of her life and her personal and professional struggles, achievements and setbacks. Much of reading this book for me was like listening to a good friend. I felt that while she clearly discussed difficulties in terms of her relationship (or lack there of) with her mother, she used it as an opportunity to make different choices in her life. Connecting the stages of her life with favorite recipes took the book to a whole new level for me. I clearly have certain foods/recipes that connect me to different places/times of my life and I thought this added a great dimension to the book. Now that I have read and savored the book, I am looking forward to cooking my way through the recipes.

I won this book in a giveaway from Goodreads, but that has not influenced my thoughts on the book or this review. I highly recommend this book. I think it would make a great gift as well.
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Format: Paperback
From the very first chapter of Tasting Home I was hooked.

Author Judith Newton has taken two of my favorite loves: food and family and put them together in a way that tells not just her story but that of so many of us. Who could deny that certain dishes that we might consider "comfort food" brings to mind a person or event that still lingers with us. In her book TASTING HOME Judith shares how early in life her view of cooking was shaped by her mother and what it actually meant to be an adult. It was through food that some of the most powerful conversations and connections were made---and it was also a reminder that no matter how much you might savor something it might not last.

This was true with Judith as she watched the man who was her heart pass away from her, and realizing how helpless she felt in dealing with it and what were perceived as her own shortcomings.

In one powerful scene that shared their story she wrote this: "I'd married a man who thought he might be gay," but I was the one with the sexual problem. Bewildered and anxious about our marriage and myself, I poured my love for Dick into my Italian cooking, the Italian cure redone. Instead of sex and romance, I dished up plates of what Keats had called the "warm" and sensuous "South".

Food became more than just a conversation piece. Throughout Judith's life it was sometimes a conversation starter, opening the door for friendships to be made, trust to be established and even a meeting of the minds.

Through each year you are able to see not only the evolution of the woman she has now become but the role that the kitchen played in the process.

Definitely a book that will speak to your heart as well as your taste buds, TASTING HOME proves to be real food for your soul.
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Format: Paperback
Judith Newton grabbed me on the first page of Tasting Home. She laments the need to give up some of her treasured cookbooks as she moves into a new home. I joined in the mourning, for during my own recent move I did give away many of my own treasures, and now I repent and regret the decision just about every time that I walk by my kitchen bookcase. Fortunately, Newton realized that she must keep the books.

Good for her! For a couple of reasons: she still has those wonderful books and the memories they hold, and she opens up her shelves to us as she shares her turbulent life in this intriguing memoir. Food is home, and most times, home is in the kitchen. "I realized that cookbooks were more to me than a reflection of my past," she writes.

They are indeed, and she uses them, a variety of them, to tell her story. Tasting Home offers a bonus--many of the recipes come directly from familiar books. Some I own (or have owned), like Julia Child and the Moosewood books. Others are totally new-to-me books with recipes that make me start thinking about dinner tonight while I read in the morning.

"A girl who can sew like you, why would you want to go to college?" Newton's aunt's question seemed a natural one in her society of California working folks. Why would she? Fortunately her father and a wise school counselor prevailed. She left her boyfriend and headed for Stanford and an undreamed-of life. She never left school; she simply changed sides of the desk as she built her career in academia. Don't think an ivy-covered, quiet life. While growing and maintaining her career, Newton led a fascinating life marked by love, leaving, and loving again, and yet again.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I love this book! Did not want it to end!!!!! Everything she wrote about, I could look
back on my life, and remember what I was doing and cooking!!! (Some of the same things)
Her book made me feel like I was talking to a old friend! LOVE, LOVE, THIS BOOK!!!!!
The best book, that have read in a long time.I read a lot!!! Will read anything she writes!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Tasting Home: Coming Of Age in the Kitchen is a book that mixes the main character's life with recipes she found in cookbooks. The story is about Judy, whose mother made her feel unwanted, and Judy's many relationships with her co-workers, friends, and men she fell in love with, and how she coped by cooking to try to get the "homey" family type atmosphere and relationship with people she longed for.
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