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Day of Honey: A Memoir of Food, Love, and War Hardcover – Bargain Price, February 1, 2011
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—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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“[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.”
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Had to read this for a class, and it's seriously one of the best books I've read...ever. She has an excellent voice that'll make it a super easy read. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Jared
Fantastic in its composition, and filled with emotion. Very appropriate for current events and very humblingPublished 8 months ago by Bailey Robertson
This is a beautiful book. An insightful look at the complexities of the religious and political tensions of Iraq and Beirut, interwoven with lush details about the food and the... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Angela
An old soldier with all the baggage of regrets and triumphs that an old soldier collects in a misspent life. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Bill Deutermann
I would like to thank Annia for her lovely book “Day of Honey” which I just finished reading. I have to confess that I am one of those Americans whose eyes sort of glaze over when... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Leslie Ann Watson
Well written but can't remember details as read too long ago. However, I do remember each chapter had a recipe and they all sounded good. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Sharon
I was lucky to receive the book, 'Day of Honey' as a gift from a close friend a few years ago. I was just recommending books to a coworker and this was at the top of my list! Read morePublished 18 months ago by Liz H.