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Living in a Foreign Language: A Memoir of Food, Wine, and Love in Italy
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Living in a Foreign Language: A Memoir of Food, Wine, and Love in Italy

3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  1,217 ratings  ·  169 reviews
The actor Michael Tucker and his wife, the actress Jill Eikenberry, having sent their last child off to college, were vacationing in Italy when they happened upon a small cottage nestled in the Umbrian countryside. The three-hundred-fifty-year-old rustico sat perched on a hill in the verdant Spoleto valley amid an olive grove and fruit trees of every kind. For the Tuckers, ...more
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published July 10th 2007 by Atlantic Monthly Press (first published 2007)
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Reads like diary entries from a very lucky person: "Today we met more fabulous talented fun people who took an instant liking to us as well, and we all got drunk and danced around the kitchen. Today our best friend (did we mention in the last 5 pages that she's Korean?) said we were the most fun people she'd ever met. Today we bought the cutest house (they weren't even going to sell it at all, but of course once they met us they fell in love with us and are now our best friends). Today we almost ...more
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I envisioned the story of a couple wholly immersing themselves in another culture when I first discovered Living in a Foreign Language: A Memoir of Food, Wine, and Love in Italy, but my expectations proved a little off target. This is the story of a complete snob who loves food, an uninspiring self-congratulatory foray into the life of Michael Tucker.

The book rubbed me wrong from the start. “The lobby was empty, too. Of cele
Sep 03, 2007 Tisha.temple rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: EVERYONE!!
I literally didn't have time to list this book as "currently reading." I started it yesterday and finished it today. It is hilarious, touching, motivating, exciting, etc. I started reading it because it talked about the food of Italy, but continued because it was just a great read. It really makes me wish that it was me living in Italy, cooking pizza in my own 400 year old outdoor oven, buying fresh EVERYTHING, living well and slowly not running around trying to get everything done immediately, ...more
A lovely and delightfully written mini-memoir by actor Michael Tucker (remember him from L.A. LAW?) about his impulsive purchase of a 350 year old worker's cottage in Umbria and the year that followed. Fortunately, this is not one of those stories that bog down in the details of construction, coping with ancient plumbing, and finding the perfect iron gate. Instead, it focuses on Tucker's affinity for the place more or less as it is, his appreciation of its history, and his newcomer's delight in ...more
Maybe it was because I just read Doran's "The Reluctant Tuscan," and maybe the book was just not that good, but I never got a sense of Italy - only Hollywood and people who need a LOT of maintenance. Tucker and his wife spend nearly all their time glued to an expat community in Umbria. Sure the other ex-pats have discovered great butchers and the like, but hearing about being introduced to someone - and finding a place on one's own is altogether different. It was as if there was a curtain betwee ...more
This book was fantastic. Having spent time in Italy, I found that Tucker painted a wonderfully fleshed-out picture of living there. I cannot even count how many people I recommended this book to, who also loved it.

I loved Tucker's humor and his take on living in Italy and the way he related to his wife and friends. I want to be their friend!!!!!

Highly recommended--- and I want to read more. I wish he kept a blog. As soon as I closed the book, I started to miss this couple.
Fun book. But don't read it if you are hungry. Best enjoyed with a jug of wine & a loaf of bread. Thou is optional.

If ever a book could make you want to travel somewhere just to eat the food this would be that book.
Elaine Dowling
There is really nothing wrong with this book. It was a fine, easy weekend read. It is squarely in the Californians (in this case, Michael Tucker and Jill Eichenberry of LA Law fame) move to Italy (Umbria instead of Tuscany), buy a house, renovate/add-on to house, travel all over, mention the house keeper and gardener in passing, eat and drink anything and everything and spend the whole time complaining about how broke they are. Anyone who doesn't consider a couple hundred grand a year to be mini ...more
If I could give this book 10 stars I would. I read this book as slow as possible because I didn't want it to end and kept putting it down to make it last longer. When I did finish it, I felt as if I had just had a long enjoyable meal with old friends.

The book is written as if you're having a conversation with Tucker. In the book Tucker talks about Jill (Eikenberry), their kids, ITALY, FOOD and love. Love of each other, of family, of friends and life itself. He talks about their worries after LA
Susan Johnson
I don't think we need any more books about Americans moving to Italy and spending their time eating. I wouldn't have read this one except it was for my book club. It was written by Michael Tucker who with his wife, Jill Eikenberry, acted in LA Law for nine years in the 1980's or 90's.

They had moved to Mill Valley in N. CA. after their TV show ended. Mill Valley is about 10 miles north of the Golden Gate Bridge and is the epitome of Yuppieville. Other movie stars who live or have lived there i
This book was enchanting right from the start. Michael Tucker has a wonderful sense of humor and at times, his quick wit will have you laughing out loud. Reading this book makes you want to take the plunge and buy a home in a foreign land just for the experience of living and loving abroad. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and didn't want it to end.
"A Year in Province" wannabe. Between the name-dropping and the constant whining about suddenly being old washed-up TV actors who had to take taxis (God forbid) instead of limos, this book contained little of the Italian countryside that the blurb on the back promised. I want a refund!!! (Too bad I borrowed this copy from the library.)
Ket Lamb
Oct 07, 2008 Ket Lamb rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone who loves Italy.
"L.A. Law" veterans, Michael Tucker and Jill Eikenberry, buy a rustico in Umbria, where they discover the best kept culinary secrets of the area. Learn what makes one butcher's prosciutto delectable and to sample those mouth-watering sandwiches at a rosdside porchetta. Just don't read this book on a diet!
Michael Tucker's book was a delightful read! His humor, his appreciation for "the good life," and his love of everything Italian, make this so much more than a travel diary. The only thing better than reading this book is BEING THERE. Reading this book makes doing that seem very possible!
If you enjoyed "Under The Tuscan Sun" you will enjoy this read. Your mouth will water at each chapter as he describes the preparation and enjoyment of each meal in Italy. Living in another country is not for everyone but Michael gives you a real taste of how evolved for them. Great vacation read.
Diane Haegele
Average writing (I kept thinking that I could write a book such as this if I had spent a month in another country) Self-congratulatory, self-promotional, self,self,self!!!
Other than names of small villages in Umbria, which might be nice to visit), there was little of value....
Ye Jin
Reading this book makes you want to follow in their footsteps and take it one step further to become expats. What a wonderful description of the Umbria region of Italy as well as a descriptive collection of the regional food they enjoyed.
Barbara Mader
I picked this up at the library just because it was set in Italy, but frankly didn't expect much. I enjoyed it, though, found the writing natural and sometimes funny and I learned some quirky things about Italy. It was a good vacation read.
Apr 20, 2008 Anne rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: yes
I enjoyed living through Michael Tucker while reading this book. I have never been to Italy and it has been high up on my "must do" list, but I felt like I was seeing their home and the dinners they made as if I was a guest.
Susan Johnson
Truly light reading but great fun especially if you have spent time in Italy. Tucker is touching in his descriptions of his life with Jill...Would love to visit their little stone house in Umbria!
Leslie Tucker
I love reading books about travel and food, especially those that include a lengthy immersion into another culture. This fun, readable book by Michael Tucker, the actor, is one of those. He doesn't take himself too seriously as an author but tells an engaging tale of his experience falling in love with Italy and the eventual purchase of a home in Umbria.
I am a lover of Italy and have traveled there numerous (but not nearly enough!) times. There is just something about the culture that resonates
Written by the former LA Law star, he purchased a home with his wife in Umbria. I wanted to eat the food I was reading about and wished I had the money to live there too.
Matt Howard
This memoir by the actor Michael Tucker is a memoir about love - love for his wife, for good food and wine, and for Italy. Definitely worth reading, even if you never cook.
---- kind of sick of the "I bought a house in Italy and gained a new appreciation of life/food/love" genre --- and yet I can't resist it.
This is another memoir about an American moving to Italy. It's written by the actor Michael Tucker. He's good.
This was a fun book to read .. and made me wish I had tons of money to buy a restored farmhouse in Italy
Fun little romp with Michael Tucker in Umbria. Descriptions of food and drink were mouthwatering.
Delightful story of two Americans learning to live and eat in a foreign country!
Cute Book! Anyone who loves to eat and travel will like this book.
Nov 16, 2008 Gloria added it
This book is funny and irreverant and I loved it.
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