cover image My American Dream: A Life of Love, Family, and Food

My American Dream: A Life of Love, Family, and Food

Lidia Matticchio Bastianich, read by the author. Random House Audio, , unabridged, 10 CDs, 13 hrs., $45 ISBN 978-0-525-58874-0

Noted chef, restaurateur, and public television personality Bastianich brings a natural kindheartedness to the audio edition of her autobiography. The book provides a sprawling account of Bastianich’s life, beginning on the Istrian peninsula, where she was born in February 1947, the same month the region was overtaken by Tito’s Communist regime. At age 11, she moved to a refugee camp in Trieste, Italy, where she lived for two years before relocating permanently to America. In her new country, she was able to turn her love of food into a host of family-run business ventures. Bastianich opts for a straightforward reading and speaks lovingly of farm rituals, including slaughtering livestock, harvesting crops, and­—most importantly—cooking family meals. Bastianich’s tone manages to blend a somber reverence for the challenges of immigrant life with a whimsical, adventuresome spirit. Her serious devotion to food and family is evident throughout this enjoyable audiobook. A Knopf hardcover. (Apr.)