Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Don't Sing at the Table: Life Lessons from My Grandmothers” as Want to Read:
Don't Sing at the Table: Life Lessons from My Grandmothers
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Don't Sing at the Table: Life Lessons from My Grandmothers

3.62  ·  Rating Details ·  1,401 Ratings  ·  267 Reviews

As devoted readers of Adriana Trigiani's New York Times bestselling novels know, this "seemingly effortless storyteller" (Boston Globe) frequently draws inspiration from her own family history, in particular from the lives of her two remarkable grandmothers, Lucia Spada Bonicelli (Lucy) and Yolanda Perin Trigiani (Viola). In Don't Sing at the Table, she reveals how her gr

Paperback, 240 pages
Published October 4th 2011 by Harper Paperbacks (first published November 1st 2010)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Don't Sing at the Table, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Don't Sing at the Table

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jan 28, 2011 Marjanne rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to like this more than I did. I was expecting (and hoping for) a nice story about the author's grandmothers and what she learned from them. There is some of that, but as the book goes on it kind of turns from memoir into self-help. The author seems to think that if we all just lived more like her grandmothers that the world would be a perfect place. Even worse, nearer to the end the author starts throwing in her own parenting and life opinions in. I am not familiar with the author outsi ...more
Lucy and Viola were trailblazers of their time. Modern women in a world that was changing faster than most could imagine. In Trigiani’s newest release Don’t Sing at the Table she tells the stories of these two incredible grandmothers that influenced her life. Both from different parts of Italy and transplanted to the United States just in time for the industrial age of factories and US made products. Both Lucy and Viola in their own respects were women of fierce passion and fulfilled lives.

In a
Carol Lander
I felt like I was reading about my own experience with my own Italian grandmother! Same era, same traditions, same deep ties to female ancestors.
Dec 17, 2010 Janel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I heard Adriana speak at two library conferences and enjoyed her stories immensely, but I hadn't read any of her books. Curious to learn more about her and her family, I decided to read this book first.

At first I had a hard time getting into the book and relating to her stories, but as I got further into the book I found a few connections. It turns out her one grandmother grew up & lived 20 minutes north of where I grew up. Both my grandmothers were at one time in their lives seamstresses j
I've loved Trigiana's work since her fictional Big Stone Gap series, the first of which I pre-ordered because I had lived in the area as a child and couldn't wait to read the book. Her novels always focus on family relationships, but in this book the focus is on her wonderful real-life grandmothers.

Both came from Italy to the U.S. with little education and little money, but learned from their experiences and became fountains of wisdom. They shared that wisdom with the author, in words and actio
Oct 21, 2010 Andrea rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Andrea by: a Giveaway win!
I kept thinking, what's the point? Her grandmothers' lives were interesting, but how were they different from all the other young Italian immigrants who struggled to make it here? I think this book would have been a lot more effective if it were written in novel form and from the grandmothers' points of view. From the author's perspective, it was sort of all over the place, moving back and forth between Viola and Lucy, and I feel that the real lessons that Trigiani was trying to get across were ...more
Mary Bruno
I got this book thinking that it would be full of anecdotes of growing up with Italian grandmothers. While this was a good memoir of Trigiani's experience with her grandmothers and an interesting account of the successes of immigrants to the US, it was not the story I expected. I thought at times it was a little preachy and did not have the touching stories of moments spent with relatives that are no longer here.
Dec 01, 2015 Stacy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an interesting book about two fascinating women. Of course, I don't agree with all of their advice, but they certainly had much to share of value. My favorite from Viola is," Keep illusion on the screen in the local movie house; in life, face facts." My favorite from Lucy is," You only have one reputation. When your good reputation is gone, it's gone." I also enjoyed seeing inspiration for her fiction in her family and those around them.
Oct 25, 2010 Vicki rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
I didn't find this book to be very interesting or enlightening. It seemed like a great book for the author to write to share with her family, but I just didn't really care enough to read her thoughts on life. I read it, and although her grandmothers seemed like very great women, I prefer not to read this kind of book. It was well written as are most of Ms. Trigiani's books, but a little preachy. I'm glad I had the opportunity to read this, but I wouldn't recommend it.
Mary Ellen
I won this book from the Goodreads giveaways and can't wait to read it! It was delivered promptly and in good condition. I will let you know what I think when I read it! Thank you Goodreads!

Not one of my favorite books by Trigiani. It was a little slow, but she shows a definite doversity in her writing. I'd like to see another "Big Stone Gap" book.
Aug 14, 2012 Priyanka rated it it was amazing
The word you're looking for is 'rich' -- in detail, in experience, in lesson, in expression. Cooking tips, success formulas, how to be a good hostess, parenting lessons... you name it, you got it... all packaged together in this delightful read which makes you smile as well as makes you well up and leaves you feeling enriched.
Hope I get to meet you some day signora Trigiani!
Oct 29, 2012 Nisha rated it it was amazing
Trigiani, Trigiani, Trigiani. I love her and her grandmothers – Lucia and Viola. Simple and sensible things said in a way that doesn’t make you feel that you are being told this is how you should lead your life. One book that I’ll keep going back to – to revise the life lessons I learnt.
Oct 17, 2010 Linda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009-2010
I went to Adrianas' book signing last night,And had to start reading her new book with my first cup of coffee this morning.I really like her as an author,after meeting can see she love what she does,which makes her so good!!!!!!
Dec 31, 2010 Penny rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's a lovely tribute to the strong people in our lives who make us what we are. After reading the book I felt like I wished I had had the chance to meet Adriana's grandmothers. They were amazing people.
I'll be honest, I skipped the chapters on child rearing and money (I try not to read anything that deals with those issues), but I really liked the rest of the book.
Jan 19, 2011 Sarah rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm not going to finish this. Seemed to me to be uninteresting, condescending, and disjointed. Ordinary. And not worth my time.
Emily Garner
Mar 07, 2017 Emily Garner rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I thought the parts about her grandmothers were interesting enough but then she gets preachy toward the end which I hated. Skimmed through the last 40 pages and rolled my eyes a lot. Would never recommend.
Mar 22, 2017 Carol rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have enjoyed all of Adriana Trigiani's books and this was really a biographical sketch of she and her grandmothers. She also passes on some of her own life lessons that are flavored by her grandmothers. I love the closeness and love and respect, the author has for her grandmothers and her family
A nice tribute to her grandmothers. The second half though became more of a self help book then a memoir.
Mar 22, 2017 Suki rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bookclub
Mar 12, 2017 TRISHA rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyed her stories of her grandmother's. Did not enjoy her own conjecture about child rearing & her lack of religion.
Oct 07, 2016 Fran rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Both my grandmothers originated from Italy. Reading this book reminded me of the values, morals, and traditions I treasure from them both. As with the author's grandmothers they were both very different yet so similar. Thank you Adriana, for bringing my grandmothers back to me and allowing me to relish in their memories once again.
Nov 08, 2011 Alison rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read this book...then read it again!

I've been struggling to find the words for this review for quite some time. Each time I try, I fall into this sappy sweet, personal zone of over sharing. Adriana has that effect on people! To know her is to love her, and to read her writing is to open a door to her family, where you are a welcomed guest.

DON'T SING AT THE TABLE: Life Lessons From My Grandmothers is Adriana Trigiani's first non-fiction book; although those of us who have read her works of ficti
Before she was an acclaimed and popular author, Adriana Trigiani was someone much more basic — much more familiar — to all of us: a granddaughter. In her memoir Don’t Sing At The Table, Trigiani recounts the inspiring and fascinating lives of her two strong-willed, larger-than-life grandmothers. Blessed with not one but two powerful female role models, Trigiani grew up listening to their stories and learning from the trials they endured. And as she grows and matures and experiences life herself, ...more
Chocolate & Croissants
Oct 31, 2011 Chocolate & Croissants rated it really liked it
Grab yourself a cup of tea. Tuck yourself into bed, under a cozy duvet and open up Don't Sing at the Table. For me this book was charming and comforting all in one. It was about the way life should be. It had the lessons I wished we could all live by every day. It made me wish for the relationship she had with her grandmothers. I also come from migrant parents. My difference is that my parents were the only ones who migrated. My grandparents were across the Atlantic. They spoke I language I did ...more
Oct 15, 2010 Carol rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
What a treat arrived in my mailbox yesterday . . . a Goodreads Giveaway book written by Adriana Trigiani, one of my favorite authors! I've enjoyed many of her novels, but this latest book is a nonfiction entitled Don't Sing at the Table: Life Lessons from My Grandmothers. I was expecting a series of funny quotes from her ancestors, but this turns out to be a delightful memoir of history, love, sacrifice, fine examples of work and ethics, and much food for thought, extremely well-written. And yes ...more
What a treasure of a small book this is. I stayed up into the wee hours of the night because I just couldn't tear myself away from the story of Viola and Lucy and how they operated in the world. To say that Adriana Trigiani benefited from having them as grandmothers is an understatement.

I loved that both grandmothers had a strong interest in some area of dressmaking. Viola in the heart and hard work of factory sewing, and then her own blouse-making business; and Lucy in her devotion to clients a
Sep 30, 2010 Louise rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoirs
Life lessons indeed!! Adriana Trigiani’s Grandmothers, Viola and Lucy were bright, intelligent, hard-working, sensible but no nonsense women who taught Adriana lessons about life that will sustain her for many years to come. These two women were entrepreneurs who knew how to take risks and win. Even in the face of tragedy in their own families, the courage and immense strength these women showed is an inspiration to all who will read this book.

The morals and values learned from these two graciou
Hannah M.
We all have people in our lives who leave a mark of some sort. For Adriana Trigiani, her grandmothers Lucy and Viola had a huge impact on her. Don’t Sing at the Table is a moving and even entertaining book full of stories about these two powerhouse women and I enjoyed it immensely.

Lucy and Viola are two women who lived very full lives. They loved with all their hearts and gave everything they had to their jobs and families. From their births and childhood in Italy to their trip across the Atlant
Julie - Book Hooked Blog
This is my first book by Trigiani, even though I think I own almost every single one of her novels. After reading this one, I'm going to need to make reading them a priority. This is more of a biography/memoir of her two Italian grandmothers and the legacy they left her through their lives and the advice they passed down to her. I really enjoyed the differences (and some similarities) between the advice given to Trigiani by her Italian Catholic grandmothers as opposed to what I learned growing u ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Maman's Homesick Pie: A Persian Heart in an American Kitchen
  • The River of Forgetting: A Memoir of Healing from Sexual Abuse
  • There Is No Hope Here
  • The Chicktionary: From A-line to Z-snap, the words every woman should know
  • Veronica's Nap
  • The Manicurist
  • Tracking Shadows (Shadows of Justice, #4)
  • Cross Currents
  • Christmas at Pemberley: A Pride and Prejudice Holiday Sequel
  • A Spark of Death
  • Proof of Heaven
  • Shame the Devil
  • The Killing Storm (Sarah Armstrong, #3)
  • Fortune's Son
  • The Offering
  • Too Many Cooks: 4 Kids, 1 Mom, 102 New Recipes
  • We All Wore Stars: Memories of Anne Frank from Her Classmates
  • What We Eat When We Eat Alone: Stories and 100 Recipes
Adriana Trigiani is the author of sixteen New York Times bestsellers in fiction and nonfiction, including The Shoemaker's Wife; the Big Stone Gap series; Lucia, Lucia; the Valentine series; the Viola series for young adults; the bestselling memoir Don't Sing at the Table; and All the Stars in the Heavens,which has been nominated for the 2016 Library of Virginia People's Choice Award for Fiction No ...more
More about Adriana Trigiani...

Share This Book

“Whever I came into the room, she'd light up, so happy to see me. No one ever in the course of my entire life was ever as happy to see me as she was. Looking back, now, I realize that you only ever need one person who lights up that way when you enter a room. One person is all it takes to give a kid confidence.” 47 likes
“Our faces will become works of art that our grandchildren will treasure.” 15 likes
More quotes…