This book came to me this semester (Fall 2014) from the new wave of students, the ones who I warned I'd already read amazing books so do NOT give me a book unless it could rival The Fault in Our Stars and anything by Tina Fey or Stephen King.
I can remember the second the student handed this book to me.
I winced. What?
She nodded. It's really good. It REALLY is.
I hugged it.
I can't tell you for sure if I blurted this out or not (my students can attest to the fact that I absolutely can't repeat what I just said because I wasn't listening...) but I didn't want it because it felt like I was cheating on Gordon Ramsey.
Yes, I know Gordon Ramsay doesn't know me, doesn't love me.
Whatever. I don't care.
It is a universal truth - like gravity - that we are all connected and we all love each other, just some of us haven't figured that out yet. He has made me laugh. One day I will make him laugh. It all works out like that.
But for now, it's more one sided.
I love how he sees through things and isn't afraid to bring light where it needs to shine, and I want to be like him. But curvier and Cuban.
And a writer. Not a cook. OMFG not a cook.
Anyway, I digress.
This book HAD me from the beginning.
To be honest (#tbh on instagram, if you need a translator for what your teen is writing on Instagram) I didn't want to like it.
I don't watch Anthony Bourdain guy on TV because he goes weird places and eats crazy things and well I just don't get him because the idea of "Moldova" or whatever is so vague to me I can't follow him there.
I understand when Gordon Ramsay is yelling at someone about bad food.
I don't understand (yet) why anyone would eat the things Anthony Bourdain eats.
But then I read this book.
And I loved it, unabashedly.
When the universe imagined Anthony Bourdain, she gave him many talents.
He is a gifted storyteller, a wisdom gatherer, an entrepreneur and teacher. I would not have known these things about him -- or cared -- if they hadn't have shined through this book like rainbows through a prism.
If I never eat a single thing Anthony Bourdain cooks (or describes eating) I will be ok because his stories are so vividly satisfying. Each one makes sense, and chained together they tell a wisdom tale about how he sobered up, learned to behave, followed his talents and found his character.
Anyone who eats at restaurants, anyone who likes good stories, anyone who just want a new invisible friend named Tony would love this book.
This book is so good I haven't even watched this week's Hell's Kitchen. Don't tell Gordon.