“All great change in America begins at the dinner table.” ~ Ronald Reagan
So quotes Annia Ciezadlo as she begins her fierce testament to the human spirit, in a memoir sure to stay with you for a long time to come. It’s also a perfect read as we consider the varied meanings of Love this month.
Few Americans have the chance to experience the Middle East, let alone come to grips with the profound unrest and too-frequent warring in that area. It’s hard to look at such strife and suffering. But in her memoir Day of Honey, A Memoir of Food, Love, and War, Ciezadlo captures the poignant humanity of her friends and others—through food and books and the will to live—as she navigates her own response to finding herself in the heart darkness.
From The New York Times book review by Dwight Garner: "Her book is among the least political, and most intimate and valuable, to have come out of the Iraq war… There are many good reasons to read Day of Honey. It’s a carefully researched tour through the history of Middle Eastern food. It’s filled with adrenalized scenes from war zones, scenes of narrow escapes and clandestine phone calls and frightening cultural misunderstandings… These things wouldn’t matter much, though, if her sentences didn’t make such a sensual, smart, wired-up sound on the page.... Ms. Ciezadlo is the kind of thinker who listens as well as she writes. Her quotations from other people are often beautiful, or very funny…. Readers will feel lucky to find her.”
As the world grows ever smaller, and war, unrest, and human migrations touch hearts a world away, it is stories such as these that inspire us to know one another more intimately than we thought possible. And to come to see we are all connected by our common desires to love, to be loved; to share food, community, ideas, and knowledge. To find peace at the table, together.
Says the Washington Post Book World: “Her epicurial tour cracks open a different Iraq. She looks into its dusty cookbooks, explores its coffeehouses and savors the foods of its many regions and religious sects. Her book is full of more insight and joy than anything else I have read on Iraq.... Her writing is at times so moving that you want to cry for countries destroyed, but she writes with such wisdom that you don't fret over the future of these 4,000-year-old civilizations."
Ciezadlo’s book is an American Book Award Winner, Winner of Books for a Better Life Award (First Book), and a James Beard Foundation Award Nominee. Please join us to discuss Day of Honey, A Memoir of Food, Love, and War by Annia Ciezadlo (Free Press, February 14 2012) on Sunday, February 28 from 6:00-7:30pm at the Moscow Food Co-op.
Remember to email firstname.lastname@example.org for to receive email reminders about the Good Food Book Club. Day of Honey is available through your local library. If you are interested in buying the book, check out the area’s local used book stores or visit Book People of Moscow where Book Club members receive a discount.
As a reminder, here are the books chosen through June:
March: The Urban Farmer: Growing Food for Profit on Leased and Borrowed Land by Curtis Stone (New Society Publishers, 2015)
April: Life From Scratch: A Memoir of Food, Family, and Forgiveness, by Sasha Martin (National Geographic, 2015)
May: Bread, Wine, and Chocolate: The Slow Loss of Foods We Love, by Simran Sethi (HarperOne, 2015)
June: Eating Animals by Jonathan Safron Faur (Back Bay Books, 2010)]