When in Doubt, Add Butter
As far as Gemma is concerned, her days of dating are over.In fact, it’s her job to cater other peoples’ dates, and that’s just fine by her.At thirty-seven, she has her own...more
When In Doubt, Add Butter is such a book, and it managed this feat admirably from the very first sentence of the very first page. “When I was twelve, a fortune-teller at the Herbert H...more
If I could, I'd give this book 2.5 stars. It was OK, not terrible, but not great either. Gemma is a 37 year old private chef in DC and the book covers her relationships with her clients (one for every night of the week) as well as her relationships outside of work (her cousin Penny, friend Lynn, and her dating interests.)
This is obviously chick-lit, so I tend to have lower expectations for these kinds of books - nothing heavy, just light and engaging. I did zip r...more
Gemma is a personal chef for five different ho...more
I tend to forget very quickly.
Okay let me think.
It was an enjoyable read. not as good as Shoe Addict. I only read the first book, but it was definitely not bad.
Okay, I did not laugh out loud (If an author manages to make me do that, they will always end up getting a good review ;) )
What I liked is the narrator's job. That was fun. Too bad it ws obvious to me who was her one night crush.
I give it 3.5 stars...more
I found this book refreshing and fun and at the same time it made me think. I liked the fact that the book talked about cooking and the different ways that you can do it... I also was amazed at how much you could make for so little calories. That was a neat trick.
I loved the characters in this book especially the main character and I think that it was a neat trick with her name being seen as a pun for the diet guru while Gemma liked to cook. The fact that there were so...more
The story follows Gemma, a private chef who cooks for a different client every day. Gemma is single and 37, thus she is what Jane Austen would call a spinster without much hope. She doesn't see herself as anything special.
Gemma's clients run the gamut from Snooty McSnootertons to Mr. Tuesday Night (whom she's never met in person) to possible members of the Russian Mafia. When she l...more
I read chick lit only occasionally, but I do enjoy it for quick reads on trips or in hotel rooms.
I wanted to really like this book because of the potential food descriptions and recipes. Alas, there was only miniscule description of food and zero recipes. How can a character boast that she makes the best meatloaf and then not provide a recipe?
The main character Gemma Craig starts off very likable and has an engaging way of describing her clients and t...more
The book focuses on Gemma Craig, personal chef, with all her personal foibles. She is a somewhat stereotypical late 30s single woman, bemoaning her lack of rel...more
- I enjoyed reading abo...more
There’s Lex, the fussy but fabulous department store owner who loves Oysters Rockefeller and 1950s comfort food; Willa, who needs to lose weight under doctor’s orders but still believes butter makes...more
Private Chef Gemma Craig has given up on dating. Instead, she focuses on her steady catering clients: The Russian family, the high-maintenance society wife, the food-allergy obsessed housewife, "Mr. Tuesday" and the asexual businessman. Each client has their own quirks, but each brings Gemma some degree of satisfaction. When that begins to fall apart, Gemma goes out with her friend and ends up with a one-night stand that will change her life.
The characters are engaging and well developed and th...more
I wasn't a fan of this book - at all. It was too saccharine for my tastes. Harbison tries to grit it up by liberally showering the f-bomb throughout the book. So tacky.
And let's talk about how horrifically predictable it was. I had the entire book laid out from start to finish with the first mention of Mr. Tuesday.
So why did I actually finish the thing - in one day, at that? Hmmm ... Despite all the negative crap contained within those pages, there was something about the writing that caught...more
It wasn't all bad. It's definitely "chick lit", but didn't quite follow the usual formula. The main character, Gemma, is a personal chef and the story is told through her eyes as she...more
Gemma Craig, a 38 year old private chef, prepares meals for different people/families every night of the week. Leaving behind not only a tasty meal for that day, but the other nights she works elsewhere. As she deals with the intricacies of dietary, cultural, and social constraints, her life plays out in the background.
A life changing event in her late teens rules her life and controls the emotion...more
When in Doubt, Add Butter by Beth Harbison is the story of Gemma Craig, a personal chef in the Washington, D.C. area. After mustering the courage, Gemma has quit her corporate job for one she loves: cooking. Her job takes her into the homes and lives of several people, each who have preference...more
Gemma Craig is 37 years old and still single. And that’s the way she likes it. She has her own business; she is a personal chef. As we read along, we meet her different clients (different for each day of the week) and sort of get a sense of Gemma’s cooking style and/or philosophy.
A one-night stand, an amorous client, and an unfortunate incident with a...more
I tend to be more of a fan of "intellectual" literature. I like books that really make you think. This book was certainly not one of those books.
That being said, I also occasionally enjoy what I like to call "beach-reads". To me beach-reads are the type of books you can read through quickly without much intellectual involvement or processing. They are the type of books that are...more
I was excited to jump into the world of baking and love. Turns out, main character Gemma Craig is not a baker of cupcakes, but rather a personal chef. I enjoyed meeting all of the crazy families and personalities that she cooks for each week. Many of them seemed so real and interesting. Gemma was a relatable protagonist but at times she could be whiney and come off a little immature. (A 37 year old woman needs to think about savings!) I loved the...more
I won this on Goodreads and I’ll admit the cover is what made me check it out (well played, art department) and when I looked at a couple of reviews, I thought that it would be a mostly light chick-lit type book about a personal chef and her clients. For...more
(note: contains mild spoilers)
America, land of many appetites: Americans do love their food, and when they’re not eating, they love looking at cooking shows or reading about food. I am no exception, and as a chronic dieter, seek vicarious living through scrumptious food writing, so I considered myself fortunate to receive an Advance Reading Copy of Harbison’s book. (After all, who with a pulse doesn’t love butter?) I was anticipating something along the lines of Choc...more
Given my interest in food memoirs, and just about any book that has something, even tangentially, to do with food, I was quite excited when I was notified that I won the book. This being the main reason I entered the giveaway to begin with. My excitement for the book ended once I started reading it.
I read it on an flight between the east and west coast, and honestly, that is the only reason I finished it.
The author's writing style i...more
Cupcakes on the cover is almost a guarantee that I’ll be checking it out. I was actually checking out another book then I saw When in Doubt, Add Butter as one of the recommended books (and since it had a cupcake on it), I read the plot. Finally, I was able read the book, and I am so glad that I did! It’s another one of my new favorites and I am looking forward to reading Beth Harbison’s other works.
I really liked a lot of the main characters in this novel. I...more
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