Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Burnt Toast Makes You Sing Good {+ Giveaway}

Burnt Toast coverI have the pleasure today of sharing my thoughts on a book that spoke to me on many levels and was just released this week.

In addition, thanks to the author and the lovely Angela at Viking/Penguin, I have a print copy of the book to giveaway. Please see the end of the post for more details.

Here’s my thoughts ……….

Joy, sadness, laughter, tears, adversity, triumph, family, food and love – these are the words that come to mind (all twisted together) when I think of BURNT TOAST MAKES YOU SING GOOD: A Memoir of Food and Love from an American Midwest Family by Kathleen Flinn.

Family and food are a natural combination and Flinn’s fascinating memoir is a good example of that. This is a candid look at a family’s journey providing a loving environment for their children, while encouraging them to strive for their dreams. It’s an inspiring look at how the author’s family dealt with misfortunes and triumphs, always comforted by family and food.

The story begins with Flinn’s parents packing up their family in Michigan and moving to San Francisco in 1958. There they helped her Irish uncle run an Italian restaurant. When her father’s sister was dying, the family packed up again and moved back to Michigan. There they lived on a farm growing vegetables and fruits. Later they would move again, this time to Florida.

Each leg of the journey is filled with love and the family’s coming together to enjoy good food even if it was just a pot of bean soup. As the author tells of her family’s adventures and misadventures, she includes numerous family recipes that were passed down through generations. In addition, there are old family photos scattered throughout the book showing the family at various stage of their lives.

This book is a combination of cookbook and inspiration. You’ll learn how to make Uncle Clarence’s Oven-Fried Chicken, but you also learn to reach for your own dreams. BURNT TOAST MAKES YOU SING GOOD is a refreshing look at a Midwest family surviving and thriving through several generations.

This is a book the whole family can enjoy. It will make you stop and consider what part food plays in your own family and family history. Flinn’s book explores and highlights how food is a constant and a comfort in our lives. She observes how food is sometimes the conduit through which we express our love and concern for others.

An entertaining book filled with wit, charm, inspiration and good recipes.

Burnt Toast Makes You Sing Good: A Memoir of Food and Love from an American Midwest Family by Kathleen Flinn, Viking Adult, @2014, ISBN: 978-0670015443, Hardcover, 288 Pages 

FTC Full Disclosure – A copy of this book was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review. The thoughts are completely my own and given honestly and freely

Flinn_Grandmother quoteKathleen Flinn and her books have been featured in People, ELLE, Bon Appetit, The Wall Street Journal, and on NPR and CBS Morning News. Her first book, The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry was a New York Times bestseller. Her acclaimed second book, The Kitchen Counter Cooking School was named a 2012 Nonfiction Book of the Year by the American Society of Journalists & Authors. 

For more on Kathleen and her writing, visit her at www.cookfearless.com


This giveaway is for one print copy of BURNT TOAST MAKES YOU SING GOOD. The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and will end Wednesday, Aug. 27. 

To enter, just click on the Rafflecopter widget below and following the instructions. The widget may take a few seconds to load, so please be patient. The winner from this giveaway will have 72 hours to respond after being contacted or another winner will be selected. The email will have ‘Thoughts in Progress BURNT TOAST Giveaway’ in the subject line, just so you know what to watch for (in case it goes into your spam folder).

Thanks so much for stopping by today. Have you ever considered how much food plays a part of your family’s history? If you’ve written any of your family history down, did you include recipes with it?

*This post contains affiliate links.
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. This sounds like a wonderful book....nothing better than family and the food we prepare and eat together!

  2. This sounds great and the vintage station wagon on the cover speaks volumes about an era gone by. I'd love to win a copy of Burnt Toast, thanks for the chance.

  3. I can relate to moving that much.
    Meal were important because families actually ate them together. That doesn't happen often now.

  4. Learn to reach for your own dreams - I love that message.

  5. Mason - This sounds like a story of relationships and family as much as food and recipes. And that's a natural combination! And the historical aspect of the novel - the way times were - sounds interesting too. Thanks for sharing it.

  6. Our toast was cold, not burnt! Looks like one of those book that will warm your heart. Thanks!

  7. I do adore me books with food in it!

  8. This HAS to be good...

    patucker54 at aol dot com

  9. First of all, I LOVE BURNT TOAST. Shh don't tell. People think that's weird. Secondly, I love books like this that show how people come together around food. One of my rules when the kids were growing up was that we ate at least one meal together--at the table. On the weekends it was more than one. The whole books sounds like fun.

  10. Thank you for the review of this book.

  11. Sounds like a completely charming book! Love the quote about the pancakes especially :)

  12. What a captivating book which combines everything that is important and I love. Family, food, and the era is my favorite of all. Many thanks. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  13. My version of homemade noodles and other recipes which were never written down are never as good as what mother used to make.

  14. I love books about food. Looking forward to reading this.

  15. Mason, this sounds delightful! Thank you!

  16. Sounds like an interesting book. Thanks for sharing about it.

  17. I think I would truly enjoy this book about family time!

  18. I like how the stories involve foods and memories associated with foods. I have certain foods that when I make them I remember my grandmother makign them and why. For example, every time my uncle in Geogia would come to visit we always had a cherry cake with marshmallow frosting.

  19. This sounds like a fun book. I'd love to read (and win) it!
    Digicats {at} Sbcglobal {dot} Net


I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.