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The Girl in the Italian Bakery
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The Girl in the Italian Bakery

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3.17  ·  Rating details ·  1,588 Ratings  ·  209 Reviews
Life didnt do Kenny Tingle any favors. In The Girl in the Italian Bakery, follow his journey from childhood in a tough housing project north of Boston, the abduction and disappearance of a childhood friend, to the complete destruction of a family. His introduction to crime and the years he spent in foster homes. The poor choices he made in high school and the startling cli ...more
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Published March 26th 2011 by Kenneth Tingle (first published July 1st 2008)
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Tara
Feb 19, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2009
I found this book kind of boring. I enjoy reading local stories because I think it's fun when I recognize the places that are talked about. That was the best part of the book for me. This book is basically episode after episode of one punk's life in the tough city. As much as I wanted to like Kenny, I had a really hard time doing so.

Oh, and the girl in the bakery isn't introduced until the last maybe 60 pages or so. It's a huge letdown and honestly, if I were Tingle's wife, I think I'd be mad th
...more
Michelle
Jul 16, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Maybe a better title would have been "The bible in the drawer" cause it seemed to be the point of the memoir and definitely got more mention than the girl in the Italian bakery. I really enjoyed the majority of this book. I didn't grow up in the projects but I was a child of the 70's and remember that the ultimate put~down was telling someone they bought something at Goodwill, and the freedom we had to run around the neighborhood. So everything was going along smoothly until the last part of the ...more
Anne
Jan 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow. I purchased this book as a Kindle "deal of the day". I will admit that I was attracted to the title, because one of my great grandparents was the "maestro di panetteria" in the Sicilian village where my grandparents were born.

Kenneth Tingle's memoir of his life growing up in the projects of Lawrence, Massachusetts is beautifully told. At times heartbreaking, and at times hilarious, it held my attention from beginning to end. He has the gift of writing about his childhood experiences with s
...more
Maryjoamani
Amazon has the book at a 5 star rating which is hard to believe. It IS a sweet story about one boy/man's triumph over difficult times but it is so poorly written with no insight--almost like an early reader for older kids who don't read well but even then, do we assume they don't want a minimum standard of quality literature? I feel bad giving it such a low rating and might even give it a 1 except the author does do a good job of communicating an upbeat kind of nature in face of adversity--or it ...more
Andrea (Dre)
I wish that I could give half stars because I would give 3.5 stars. The beginning started off slow for me and I wanted to give up but I picked this out with a book buddy and kept going. I felt overly bombarded with so much detail from the author that I was very overwhelmed. Every few pages I was introduced to other characters and they only lasted for a brief time. This was my only gripe of the story. This story surrounded a boy and his life growing up in the mean streets, put in foster care, dea ...more
Carla Brown
Sep 29, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Carla by: a friend
I thought this book was very interesting. I think it is a book about hope. A kid from the inner city grows up in the projects, has a bunch of bad breaks, but finds his way out. He does something with his life. I grew up a few towns away and reading about the local sites was a great addition for me.
I have recommended this book to many of my friends and they loved it. One of my friends said her library had a long waiting list for the book but she went to the author's website and was able to order
...more
Michelle
I really wish this book had been aptly titled. The girl in the bakery was such a nonevent in the overall scheme of things, and really irrelevant to the overall plot. The amazing survival instinct of a boy from the projects in Lawrence, MA, who was able to see something in himself worthwhile and lovable was a story unto itself. The girl in the bakery was a distraction and unnecessary.

Why would someone who had overcome so much and who had finally created the loving family unit that he pined for g
...more
Cheryl
Aug 29, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting memoir that takes place in Lawrence, MA, and other local communities in my area.
Duveen
Nov 25, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I tried and tried, and read it to the end, but I couldn't shake the feeling that I was reading a very long high school essay.
Joan
Mar 18, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This memoir held my attention till the very end. As I was reading sometimes I felt a story line would end abruptly, but then I would realize that continuing the line of thought probably would not have added more substance to the story & I came to appreciate the lack of "fluff." Though the actual girl in the Italian bakery never becomes the center of the story-line, I think she is one of Kenny's first dreams. A dream "out of his league" that he comes to realize wasn't above him but just beyon ...more
Man401dy
Jul 09, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book should have been titled the trials and tribulations of kenny tingle. It was long and tedious. I keep reading from pure persistence and wanting to know when the title- theme connection kicked in, and that was not until 3/4 of the way through.
This book would make a good lifetime movie or serialized family channel tv show, but as a read, it was over- long with too little substance. Others have written on the theme more effectively and touchingly. It might have bee cathartic for the author
...more
Jeff S.
Jun 21, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this book a lot. I think that anyone who grew up in the city can relate to some of Ken's hijinks. There are some things that are specific to the Boston area that bring back memories like playing muckle, "sledding" on cardboard, and Riley's. Even in the cities without Riley's there were Bill & Bob's or some other late night roast beef joint to find trouble at. The fights were an everyday event for boys growing up in the inner city in the 70's and 80's. We all seem to have a sto ...more
Krystal
Jan 20, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Taymara Jagmohan
This is a simple, yet excellent book. It is wrapped in a simple love story, that is considered true in the eyes of a wonderer, and im sure once you discover the wonders with which this promising young author has to offer, you'll just be loving what you are reading. It made me realise a series of scenarios that i never thought possible. Despite not being in love, i understand what the author really feels, why he feels them and for whom this spark has been ignited for. It is just that simple. :) Y ...more
John Lester
Sep 16, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Started off with good writing and a interesting story line. We follow Tingle's life as he bounces through living in poverty,the projects,institutions, and foster homes. He makes bad choices which lead to criminal escapades. Try as he might, he just can't get his life together. The last chapters read like they were tacked on and use the standard cop out of "reading the bible, joining the Marines, and finding a wife" with little of the detail show in the preceeding chapters.
I'll let you puzzle out
...more
Laura Myers


I was very excited to read this book as I heard many good things about it but I just want to say that I'm glad I did not buy it.
It's a good read but it's not anything special and not really titled the best as I was reading it on my kindle and the girl in the italian bakery was mentioned at 63% and then not again until the end of the book. I kept waiting for it but it never came.

Read it for free.
But it? Nope
Emma
Jul 11, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
I got this book as a freebie on my Kindle. I really enjoyed this memoir of a boy born and raised in difficult circumstances who ultimately rose up and made a success of his life. I thought this was a feel-good story of hope and triumph and that despite your circumstace, life truly is what you ultimately make of it.
Stephanie
I gave it 2 stars only b/c I managed to make it all the way through (thanks mostly to Hurricane Irene). I have no idea how Amazon gives this 5 stars. I get the feeling the guy just wanted to write a book even though he didn't have anything to say!
Anita
Mar 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great account of Kenny Tingle's childhood and life lessons. Inspires me to get up, stop complaining, and make the best of what I've got.
Linda
Nov 07, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this to be a very readable book. I congratulate Mr. Tingle for surviving such a childhood and becoming the person he is today and for his outlook on life.





Michelle Husson
Loved this read....just the story of his life, but could not put it down.
Gina
Apr 09, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I tried. I just couldn't get into it.
Kerry
Jun 06, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I failed to see what this book had to do at all with the title except for the last 60 pages or so. It was very slow going and boring. I wanted to like it since in took place in my home state but it just read like a boring account of life events.

I felt bad for the kid to be in such a broken home and to be discarded in such a way but some of the issues he got himself into were self inflicted.
Ann Oconnell
Sep 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's rare that I read a book cover to cover in one day, but this grabbed me, even though at times it seemed the story was a series of never ending bad experiences in this young man's life. Being so familiar with the area was definitely a plus, as I could picture the places where he was. Anyone who knows the Greater Lawrence area would enjoy reading this disturbing but inspirational book.
Jim Carter
Sep 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great read

So yeah - in the end, Kenneth Tingle's books are of the " feel good / inspirational type". But very well written and worth the read, whether you're into that sort of thing or not.
Rob Swan
Apr 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
More Customer Reviews
Overview - The Girl in the Italian BakeryProduct DetailsPub. Date: March 2011Publisher: Kenneth TingleSold By: Barnes & NobleFormat: NOOK Book (eBook) Sales Rank: 137,573File Size: 186 KBBNID: 2940012319425These items ship to U.S, APO/FPO and U.S. Protectorate addresses only.

Kenny Tingle any favors. In The Girl in the Italian Bakery, follow his journey from childhood in a tough housing project north of Boston, the abduction and disappearance of a childhood friend, to the
...more
Lori
Dec 16, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Our story begins with Kenny Tingle the youngest of three boys in the project in Lawrence, MA. Kenny and his brothers are trying to stay out of trouble but the Stadium project is a tough neighborhood and with a name like Tingle being picked on by the other kids is just part of the territory. Kenny lives with his mother and two older brothers Tommy and Gary. Tommy the oldest had mental illness and constantly tormented by the local hoodlums. Gary spends most of his time caught in the middle trying ...more
Kim
Apr 17, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars. I read this kinda on a whim - because of the title I believed I was going to read something 'foodie' which I needed for a challenge task. I soon figured out that the title had misled me, but I was into the story and wanted to read on.
Kenneth grew up in about the same time period as I had, but in a very different environment. He was growing up poor in the projects out East while I was a midwestern only child with both parents present. I never had opportunities to see kids in any other
...more
Robin
Oct 01, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Memoirs are a funny thing: some tell about an idyllic life where the main person was born with the proverbial silver spoon and grew up to be a wonderful person who appreciated his or her life and status, while others tell of hardships that the person had to escape and crawl out of to become a productive and (preferably) happy member of society. The latter seems to make the better reading . Kenneth Tingle's The Girl In The Italian Bakery falls into this second category.

Tingle was the youngest of
...more
Adrienne
Feb 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: real-life
"It seemed so strange that a place could be full of life one minute, and then desolate and quiet the next." AND "I always felt like the future would just come, didn't require any planning or consideration, would sweep you along with it like a raft flowing down a river. Then one day you would just be married with kids and living in a white house with a picket fence out front. It never crossed my mind that there was a path to getting what you want, a path that required planning and hard work."
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Author of the local bestseller The Girl in the Italian Bakery. Now available on Kindle and Nook.
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