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The Lost Art of Mixing by Erica Bauermeister

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I enjoyed this book filled with quirky characters that revolve around Lillian’s restaurant. The writing is descriptive and the story is character-driven. I liked this one better than her first book, which had way too many similes for my tastes.

Recommended for something light in between heavier reads.
( )
  janb37 | Feb 13, 2017 |
This book follows up on Bauermeister’s earlier novel, The School of Essential Ingredients. I couldn’t remember many details about the first book, but the author fills us in well enough to get the gist of the story. Lillian has a restaurant and cooking school, and most of the other characters in the book were either in her cooking school at one time, or work for her in the restaurant. Although it doesn’t quite come up to the level of the first book, it’s a quick read and entertaining enough book. Some of the characters are quite dislikable; that may have affected my enjoyment compared to the first book.

Some of the writing is lovely though, often employing imagery from food and cooking. For example, Chloe thinks about how easy it is to talk to Finnegan:

“…talking to him felt as natural as moving a wooden spoon through a sauce warming on the stove, the way her words would circle out into the room and then back to him, touching base, set forth again by a nod, or a gesture of his hands.”

Or this, with Chloe comparing Finnegan to her old boyfriend Jake:

“Silence didn’t appear to bother Finnegan, the way it did some people, who seemed to think that airtime should be claimed like property. Jake had been that way, always reaching for the conversation as if it was the last slice of pizza in the box and the next meal was uncertain.”

Evaluation: Not as good as The School of Essential Ingredients, but has some nice aspects. ( )
  nbmars | Jan 16, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I read the first book in this series and liked it so there's no surprise that I liked this one as well. It's an easy read with likable characters, who I was was glad to catch up on (from the first book). ( )
  Sharn | Sep 18, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
After reading The School of Essential Ingredients, I was looking forward to going back to cooking school and mingling with the students at Lillian's restaurant. However, the sequel is more about the lives of the students than the cooking school or the recipes. (The food metaphors made the book extra delightful!) Lost Art of Mixing is written in a style similar to the first book with alternating chapters from the viewpoint of the students. Several characters return from the first story, plus a few new students are introduced. I didn't enjoy it as much as the first book, but it was still an enjoyable read with richly-drawn characters and much descriptive imagery. ( )
  UnderMyAppleTree | Aug 25, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 49 (next | show all)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0399162119, Hardcover)

National bestselling author Erica Bauermeister returns to the enchanting world of The School of Essential Ingredients in this luminous sequel.

Lillian and her restaurant have a way of drawing people together. There’s Al, the accountant who finds meaning in numbers and ritual; Chloe, a budding chef who hasn’t learned to trust after heartbreak; Finnegan, quiet and steady as a tree, who can disappear into the background despite his massive height; Louise, Al’s wife, whose anger simmers just below the boiling point; and Isabelle, whose memories are slowly slipping from her grasp. And there’s Lillian herself, whose life has taken a turn she didn’t expect. . . .

Their lives collide and mix with those around them, sometimes joining in effortless connections, at other times sifting together and separating again, creating a family that is chosen, not given. A beautifully imagined novel about the ties that bind—and links that break—The Lost Art of Mixing is a captivating meditation on the power of love, food, and companionship.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:30 -0400)

Restaurant owner Lillian manages an unexpected challenge while sharing her days with a circle of friends and regulars, including ritual-performing accountant Al, heartbroken chef Chloe, and unobtrusive giant Finnegan.

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