Literary Friday: Apron Anxiety

Synopsis according to Goodreads:
"Three months into a relationship with her TV-chef crush, celebrity journalist Alyssa Shelasky left her highly social life in New York City to live with him in D.C. But what followed was no fairy tale: Chef hours are tough on a relationship. Surrounded by foodies yet unable to make a cup of tea, she was displaced and discouraged. Motivated at first by self-preservation rather than culinary passion, Shelasky embarked on a journey to master the kitchen, and she created the blog Apron Anxiety ( to share her stories. 

This is a memoir (with recipes) about learning to cook, the ups and downs of love, and entering the world of food full throttle. Readers will delight in her infectious voice as she dishes on everything from the sexy chef scene to the unexpected inner calm of tying on an apron."

Apron Anxiety: My Messy Affairs In and Out of the Kitchen is exactly what is sets out to be: a memoir from a 30-something blogger who was inspired to cook and bake as a means of empowering herself when her personal relationship went down the tubes.

It's a little awkward for me to read a memoir of someone about my age, both in terms of "why can't I relate to this person who is my peer" and also "I'm 31 and I apparently have done nothing with my life". But once I got past both of those, I found it to be an enjoyable airplane/quick read. Yes, Alyssa is self-absorbed, shallow, and apparently wealthier than I'll ever be, but she doesn't promote the book as anything other than snark and fluff, which it is. 

The book reads quickly and entertainingly, although shifts tense and is definitely in the narcissistic born-of-a-blog style (ala Julie and Julia). Alyssa and I have virtually nothing in common, but she is as honest as, I suppose, she can be given her biased first-person perspective. And I like that she doesn't gloss over the fact that she had learning and growing to do in her twenties and thirties. 

Although Alyssa came to food unconventionally, it's clear that she found comfort and empowerment in preparing it, as so many of us foodies do. Although, now I hesitate to use the word, considering the negative connotation she associates with it (apparently, in New York, snobster gastronomers in the "food scene" who are rude use the term...and here I thought it just meant "someone who enjoys culinary adventures"). It wasn't a deep read, or an eye-opening one, just the casual story of one gal's relationship and food messes and how she became (sort of) her own person.

I recommend this book for fans of blogger success stories, coming-of-age true life stories, young person memoirs, an interesting perspective on East Coast life, and fans of self-aware comedy writing. Also, if you want a quick and easy read.

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