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The Lost Art of Mixing Hardcover – January 24, 2013

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

In the relative hush of the predinner rush, Lillian quietly assesses her surroundings. She needs to prepare for the evening’s specials, and she needs to take inventory for the week’s orders. Ever since she opened her own restaurant, her brain seems to be constantly buzzing, always planning for the busy hours ahead. Even the most careful preparations, however, couldn’t have allowed Lillian to anticipate the twist her life is about to take. Using Lillian’s restaurant as the hub for a cast of widely varied characters, Bauermeister explores the intersections of community, food, belonging, and memory. With Isabelle, the elderly matriarch whose faculties are rapidly fading; Chloe, the feisty sous-chef who’s positive she’ll never be able to trust a man; and other friends and acquaintances, an interconnected and heartfelt story unwinds. In her third novel, Bauermeister displays her admirable talent for ensemble fiction, allowing various characters to share narration duties. Fans of Deborah Copaken Kogan and Meg Waite Clayton will enjoy the novel’s intertwined narratives and shared experiences. Warm, funny, and deeply comforting, The Lost Art of Mixing is a delight. --Stephanie Turza

Review

Praise for THE LOST ART OF MIXING
 
"Erica Bauermeister's characters are alive and savory as the food she describes so well . . . Most chapters in The Lost Art of Mixing could stand independently, but blended together, they make a memorable novel.  The Seattle author reminds us how the rituals surrounding food sustain us emotionally and spiritually by giving us opportunities to gather as family and community, sharing more fully in one another's lives by taking the time to break bread together."—Portland Oregonian

“The individual stories are so compelling and woven together so seamlessly that I fell in love with every one of them.  Beyond that, I think the author must have strung the words together with magic because they left me mesmerized.”—First for Women
 
"Harrowing and graceful at once, this is some of Bauermeister's strongest writing."—The Seattle Times

“Erica Bauermeister writes prose delicious enough to devour. Like a fine meal, The Lost Art of Mixing will leave you warm in your belly, full in your heart, and very, very pleased. Like all the best writers and cooks, Bauermeister comforts with the familiar—in this case, a return to a cast of beloved characters—even as she sprinkles in the unexpected and new. The results are lip-smackingly good. You might even find yourself going back for seconds.”—Tiffany Baker, New York Times-bestselling author of The Little Giant of Aberdeen County
 
Erica Bauermeister mixes gorgeous prose, luscious detail, and heartfelt characters -- new friends and old -- to reveal just how colorful and warm life in the rainy Pacific Northwest can be.”—Laurie Frankel, author of Goodbye for Now
 
Using Lillian’s restaurant as the hub for a cast of widely varied characters, Bauermeister explores the intersections of community, food, belonging, and memory. With Isabelle, the elderly matriarch whose faculties are rapidly fading; Chloe, the feisty sous-chef who’s positive she’ll never be able to trust a man; and other friends and acquaintances, an interconnected and heartfelt story unwinds. In her third novel, Bauermeister displays her admirable talent for ensemble fiction, allowing various characters to share narration duties. Fans of Deborah Copaken Kogan and Meg Waite Clayton will enjoy the novel’s intertwined narratives and shared experiences. Warm, funny, and deeply comforting, The Lost Art of Mixing is a delight.”—Booklist
 
“Bauermeister’s prose is strong, particularly when it comes to food, and her novel brings to life the adage ‘be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.’”Publishers Weekly

Praise for Erica Bauermeister

The School of Essential Ingredients is a delicate, meltingly lovely hymn to food and friendship.  Lillian's kitchen, full of buttery light and gorgeous smells, is a place where the world works the way it should.  You'll want to tuck yourself into one warm corner of it and stay all day.”—Marisa de los Santos, author of Love Walked In and Belong to Me
 
“The perfect recipe for escaping from life’s stresses, from savoring the delicious ingredients of Lillian’s recipes to the calm and thoughtful rhythm of Erica Bauermeister’s luminous prose.”—Kate Jacobs, author of The Friday Night Knitting Club
 
“Fans of Maeve Binchy and Laura Esquirel are going to fall in love with Erica Bauermeister's beautiful story.  I know I have. The School of Essential Ingredients is exquisitely written and heartbreakingly delicious.  It's a luscious slice of life...and you will enjoy every bite.”—Sarah Addison Allen, New York Times bestselling author of Garden Spells and The Sugar Queen
 
School is a tale where strangers unite over food, each rediscovering their own essence via cooking’s wonders and pleasures…. Bauermeister manages to keep them fresh and their stories enticing though a series of achingly real vignettes and devastating flashbacks. And her cooking descriptions (fresh crab, handmade tortillas, luscious fondue, pasta sauce simmered for hours, a to-die-for tiramisu) will compel readers to hit the farmers market and run for the kitchen.”—The Seattle Times
 
“Food Network fans will devour this first novel about a whimsical cooking school run by a gentle chef with a fierce passion for food.”People
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Putnam Adult (January 24, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399162119
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399162114
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (122 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #318,658 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Erica Bauermeister is the bestselling author of the three novels. The School of Essential Ingredients (Putnam, 2009) follows the lives of eight students and their teacher in a cooking class held in a restaurant kitchen. Joy for Beginners (Putnam, June 2011) explores what happens to seven women who challenge one another to do one thing in the next year that is new or difficult or scary. The twist? - they don't get to choose their own challenges. The Lost Art of Mixing picks up four of the characters from the beloved School of Essential Ingredients, one year later, and brings four new ones into the mix, becoming a series of interconnected stories about food and ritual and family, in all the ways we find it. Erica Bauermeister is also the co-author of two nonfiction books: 500 Great Books by Women: A Reader's Guide and Let's Hear It For the Girls: 375 Great Books for Readers 2-14. She lives in Seattle and loves to talk with book groups. For more personal insights, you can visit her at www.ericabauermeister.com or at www.facebook.com/EricaBauermeisterAuthor.

"Erica Bauermeister writes prose delicious enough to devour." Tiffany Baker, NYT bestselling author




Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Silver's Reviews on January 31, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Food, family, relationships, recipes....a wonderful combination, and a marvelously wonderful book.

THE LOST ART OF MIXING makes you feel cozy inside and out. After being with Lillian, you are relaxed and happy...she is just someone who makes you want to be where she is and where you want to stay.

In fact, most of the characters mixed well with each other just like a perfect recipe. Each character blended together to make an unforgettable book about family memories, misunderstandings that turned sour or proved to be a good thing, the heartache of aging parents, and also everyday situations we mostly likely are dealing with or will deal with one day.

The book also had so many wonderful hints at recipes that it made me want to put the book down and get out my pots and pans and start immediately on a variation of Lillian's recipes. The characters in the story did the same thing. They made you want to stop what you were doing, they made you want to join in the conversation, and they made you want to become long-time friends with everyone involved. I enjoyed every character no matter whether they were causing trouble or dealing with trouble.

If you need a comfy, relaxing read don't miss THE LOST ART OF MIXING. Ms. Bauermeister has such a soothing way with her words that you will feel as though you just had the most wonderful massage ever when you are done reading the book. Your body and your brain will not be on overload after reading this book but will be in a splendid slow motion mode.

ENJOY!!! 5/5

I won this book from LibraryThing and received it from Putnam Books without compensation in exchange for an honest review.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Busy Mom VINE VOICE on January 29, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I love her book, "The School of Essential Ingredients" and was delighted to see this one among the Amazon Vine picks. I just found out that she has a third book out there so I am going to look for it as soon as I finish this review.

This book is a follow-up to "The School of Essential Ingredients" but can be read as a stand-alone. Lillian is still a character in this book but other characters have a bigger say about their lives in this book, which I find delightful. The back stories of each of the characters drew me in for the best evening of quiet reading time. It is a perfect way to spend the night ... my only recommendation is, be sure to eat something before you read this book because Bauermeister's description of food will have you haunting the fridge in the middle of the night.

Lillian is with Tom, a widower unsure of moving on with his life without his wife; Al, Lillian's accountant is unsure of his wife and grappling with his own personal issues; there's Chloe still stung from all the rejection she has experienced in her life and Finnegan, a tall gangly youth always willing to stand in the background and there's Isabelle, my favorite character in this book. Isabelle is an elderly woman starting to lose the grips on her mind and finding joy in the smallest memory. Another surprising character is Al's wife, Louise. Her story comes to the forefront as well, and it is an interesting tale as well.

This book is full of quirky stories that make everyone human and their humanity is the last thing that keeps everyone connected in this world. It really is a perfect book to read on a rainy night.

1/29/13
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Marjorieo on January 31, 2013
Format: Hardcover
If you've read The School of Essential Ingredients, don't miss this sequel. But even if you haven't read "School," this sequel stands alone.

"The Lost Art of Mixing" is a quick read because it's so darned hard to put down. The central character, Lillian, runs a restaurant more smoothly than she runs her own life. With the other characters humming around her restaurant like bees to a flower, a series of stories unfolds that left me genuinely caring (and even worrying) about the people. Just as striking were the questions I was left with. In fact, I plan to recommend this book to my book club for the great conversation it will surely spark. How *do* you care for an aging parent who needs more help than you can give? What happens when you find yourself - surprise! - pregnant? What routines and rituals do each of us find comfort in every day?

As always, Erica Bauermeister's writing is gorgeously lyrical, and her stories and characters lingered long after I'd finished the book. I highly recommend it!
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By J. Shortridge on February 1, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Erica Bauermeister's characters are whizzes in the kitchen, or great with numbers, but like all of us, they flail about at relationships. Unlike the rest of us, their stories are written in such beautiful imagery and with such love and care that they are joyous to read. I loved the awkward poignancy of Finnegan and Chloe, the slow quiet unravelling of Isabelle, the noisy echoes of Louise. And of course, like so many other Bauermeister fans, I loved the return of Lillian to the kitchen. Kudos to Bauermeister for not succumbing to a typical "sequel." While I loved The School of Essential Ingredients, The Lost Art of Mixing stands gorgeously alone.
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Format: Hardcover
Erica Bauermeister's debut novel, THE SCHOOL OF ESSENTIAL INGREDIENTS, introduced readers to young restaurant owner Lillian and her restaurant/cooking school. Just as importantly, it introduced readers to the diverse group of individuals who were brought together through Lillian's cooking classes, whose varied circumstances brought them to the place where they were ready for the kind of transformation cooking can bring about.
In the follow-up, THE LOST ART OF MIXING, Lillian has come to recognize the important role her restaurant plays in the little community she has built and become part of: "she had taken over a wreck of a building and turned it into a place where people ate or took classes and remembered, or learned, why they loved each other." Lillian herself has grown especially close to a grieving widower who nevertheless keeps her at arm's length. But when she discovers that she's unexpectedly pregnant, she must wrestle with whether or how to tell the baby's father…not to mention how to cope with her food aversions when she still has a restaurant to run.
Meanwhile, Bauermeister crafts separate chapters to focus on the circumstances and relationships of a small group of Lillian's friends and neighbors. Some of them will be familiar to readers of the earlier novel, while others are new. For example, Lillian's accountant, Al, forms one of the focal points of the book. Trapped in a restrictive, loveless marriage, Al finds comfort, if not joy, in the idea of ritual, in making meaning out of time.
Time is becoming more and more confusing and unpredictable for Isabelle, an elderly woman whose grasp on reality is growing increasingly tenuous.
Read more ›
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