Sunday, May 10, 2009

I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti by Giulia Melucci (review)

I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti by Giulia Melucci
Copyright 2009
Grand Central Press - Nonfiction/Memoir
276 pages
Author's website

When I started reading I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti and got to the part about the author going to a therapist because she hadn't yet had sex, I thought, "Oh, no. Not another book about someone's sex life!!" I knew the boyfriends were coming and that she was going to tell all about it. Fortunately, there was never any graphic detail about her sex life and the book grabbed me like crazy at page 11. Here's the quote that caught my attention:

As Kit and I talked, we found out we had something even bigger in common: Both our fathers had died, Kit's just before his high school graduation and mine just before my college graduation. When you lose a parent at an early age, you have an instant feeling of kinship with others who've had the same experience. There's no way you can describe that sort of grief to someone who hasn't known it. You can't describe it even to yourself.

So true. I was 27 when I lost my father. I knew absolutely nobody who had lost a parent and still have plenty of friends with living parents and grandparents (I have none of either remaining). The book isn't about her father's death, but it was that paragraph that pulled me in and a touching note from her father that made me sob alligator tears and set the book aside till I could breathe, again. As Giulia mentioned, I felt an instant kinship with the author because she'd lost a father; but, I kept reading because her little witty additions to recipes often made me smile:

Serves 2 but will be eaten alone.

I would add 1 teaspoon of vanilla or a little orange zest, and you should, too, but not if you're dating Mitch Smith.

Serves the 2 of you, plus the 3 other people you wish were there to help keep the conversation going.

I've seen the capsule description "Sex in the City with recipes", here, there and everywhere. That seems fitting in a way. Really, it's just the tale of a woman who loves to cook and desires to be loved. She's successful at cooking, unlucky in love, works in the publishing industry and is a pretty good storyteller. The recipes look really good, so I'm hanging onto my copy and plan to do some cooking (or snooker the husband into it) but I'm having a drawing for 5 copies of I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti. You should definitely enter, especially if you like cooking or you've had a crappy love life and don't want to feel alone or you like memoirs or you remember that miserable dating business and like reading about other folks' experiences.

I am Giulia's polar opposite (don't drink, married young, hate cooking and would have very little to confess if I was a Catholic) but I enjoyed reading her memoir. There is quite a bit of drinking, some drug use, and a lot of talk about sex. Fair warning.

If the storm doesn't hit, next up will be a brief review (I hope -- I'm working on brevity, again) of No Touch Monkey! by Ayun Halliday, but the clouds are building rapidly and Eric of WLBT (who tweets weather updates for our area) has run into work because nearly the entire WLBT viewing area is under a severe thunderstorm warning. So, if I don't get to No Touch Monkey!, next up is a sneak peek into Memory's Gate, a YA time travel by Paul McCusker. I enjoyed it and whipped through the book so fast that it didn't even make it into my sidebar. The review will follow, as soon as I can get to it.

Happy Sunday!

Bookfool, who is really quite tired of storms and humidity, but these are things you get for marrying young and following your husband when he gets a job in the Deep South. Giulia might want to thank her lucky stars. I'm just saying . . .


  1. I'm looking forward to reading the book. I hope you're having a fabulous Mother's Day.

  2. Kathy,

    Thank you! I hope you're having a great Mother's Day, too! It's quiet in our house -- hubby is traveling and the kiddo is supposed to be working on abstracts. I Loved, I Lost is a fun read (even for a prude like me). I think you'll like it. :)

  3. LOL oh Booky that was sooo good...I hate cooking, I was married ONCE, quite enough for me thank you, had live-ins (a few) not at the same time, of course. I'm happiest alone, so is this book for me? It could be, might make me laugh out loud lol
    But of all the books you talk about, I love your posts about them more, so read on sweety lol

  4. Rainy,

    I'm a terribly disinterested cook, myself. Lately, if it requires more than two steps (remove from box, poke plastic), I don't bother eating. I don't think I've ever been alone. I went straight from sharing a dorm room and living at home on holidays to marriage (at 19). I'm happy living with my guys, but there are times I would just like to have control of my environment, if you know what I mean.

    Thanks for your sweet comments on my reviews!!

  5. I snagged an ARC of this a month or so ago and tried to read it, but gave up after a few pages. Sounds like maybe I shouldn't have been so hasty. I think I'll hold off on throwing my name in the hat, though. I just have far too many books to read right now. If it winds up in your Top Ten for the year, maybe I'll reconsider. :)

    Hope you had a good day yesterday. I was thinking about you. Hugs.

  6. Les,

    I almost gave up on the book, but it was page 11 that she made that comment about losing a father and then I held out for more. It makes you feel a little less alone to know others have been through the same kind of loss, as you know.

    I'm not so sure you'd ever warm up to the book. It's cute and I do want to try a few of the recipes (there are ingredients I've never even heard of, much less can imagine acquiring in Vicksburg -- those big-city people don't realize what an amazing variety they have to choose from) but it will not be in my top 10.

    Thanks for thinking of me. :) We had a fairly dull day. Eldest called from Nashville, youngest slept late and then worked on abstracts for his AP Biology course, and hubster headed to the airport around 9am. At some point, kiddo went out and bought me a little pocket angel, mostly because he was going stir crazy, but I like it and I'm glad he bought me something very small!!!

  7. Spaghetti is one of the few things I can cook well! lol

  8. Kailana,

    Me, too! Spaghetti is easy. I haven't cooked it in ages. Need to get back to actually doing something beyond poke and zap cooking.


    It's pretty cute and has its funny moments (sad moments, too, but at least she handles them with humor).

  9. This sounds like a fun book. I lost my dad when I was 22, and all my friends still have both of their parents. It's hard. Anyway, you've convinced me to go enter the giveaway!

    Diary of an Eccentric

  10. Anna,

    I'm sorry you lost your father young, too. It sucks. As of last year, I'm an orphan. The letter from Giulia's father nearly did me in, but the rest of the book is pretty light and the recipes are fun reading. I see you've signed up. I'm not replying to comments in my giveaway post, this time (just to make it easier to do the drawing) but I'm glad you signed up to try to win a copy! :)


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