Jul 10, 2014

Soy Sauce for Beginners by Kirstin Chen

 *Grab a book, any book. *Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader  *Find any sentence, (or few, just don't spoil it) that grabs you. *Post it. *Add your (url) post in Linky at Freda's Voice Also Book Beginnings by Rose City Reader.
Soy Sauce for Beginners
Book beginning:
These are some of my favorite smells: toasting bagel, freshly cut figs, the bergamot in good Earl Grey tea, a jar of whole soybeans slowly turning beneath a tropical sun.
You'd expect the latter to smell salty, meaty, flaccid - like what you'd smell if you unscrewed the red cap of the bottle on a table in your neighborhood Chinese restaurant and stuck your nose in as far as it would go. But real, fermenting soybeans smell nothing like earth, these soybeans smell of history, of life, of tiny, patient movements, unseen by the naked eye.  
Everything about soy sauce I learned from my father and my uncle and my late grandfather. 
page 56:
Singlish, Singapore's unofficial national tongue, combines a singular accent with an idiosyncratic syntax .... Frankie said it was as if the entire region conversed in opera libretti in place of regular speech.... 
Book description: 
Gretchen Lin, adrift at the age of thirty, leaves her floundering marriage in San Francisco to move back to her childhood home in Singapore and immediately finds herself face-to-face with the twin headaches she’s avoided her entire adult life: her mother’s drinking problem and the machinations of her father’s artisanal soy sauce business....Soy Sauce for Beginners reveals one woman’s search for a place to call home, and the art and tradition behind the brewing of an unsung condiment. This is a foodie love story, and (a book about) family loyalty and fresh starts. (goodreads)
Soy Sauce for Beginners, a novel by , published January 7, 2014; New Harvest

Based on the information and the excerpts above, is this a book you would add to your reading list?
Singapore has always intrigued me, so I'd be curious about this one.


  1. Another foodie read! Sounds delicious! :)

  2. Although I generally like "foodie" books, I'm not sure if I'd like this one or not! "Tiny, patient movements" in soy sauce sounds kind of creepy to me -- like bugs. But the opening did make me curious, and so did the excerpt from Page 56. I'll watch for your review.
    Here's the link to my Friday post: WHAT MATTERS MOST.

  3. I absolutely love the sound of the beginning, but the F56 really convinced me I might have to add this one to my TBR pile. I don't read a lot of foodie books, but I love how the author uses food to describe the culture around her characters! Thanks for sharing :) Hope you have a great weekend!
    My Friday post
    Juli @ Universe in Words

  4. I love foodie books. But the ones I read come in the form of cozy mysteries. The descriptions in this one are very detailed.

  5. Though the book may not be my cup of tea, I am somewhat obsessed with food so that beginning passage sounded very appealing. I am hungry now :)

  6. I do enjoy foodie books, although I spend the whole time hungry! LOL

    Thanks for sharing...and I must explore this one.

    Here's mine: “SMALL BLESSINGS”

  7. This sounds like it has potential! I love foodie books and the kind of finding yourself that means fighting your demons. I'll have to look for this one!

  8. What wonderful smells.

    I like the sound of this book. Great descriptions too.

    THANKS for sharing.

    Have a great weekend.

    Giveaway of The Paris Architect on my blog if you want to stop by.

    Silver's Reviews
    My Book Beginnings

  9. Sounds like a wonderful novel that really captures the reader!

    Happy weekend!

  10. This sounds terrific. I love food-themed books and when the writing is so smooth you can taste it, you know it's a hit.

    2 Kids and Tired Books

  11. I'm introduced to a new theme today, foodie books. I'm up for it as long as I don't get hungry while reading ;)

    My BB & 56 

  12. Wow, such lucid imagery. The book cover is stunning and I would read anything that has an Asian culture in the mix :) Thanks for sharing!

    Sparrow's BB & Friday 56

  13. I luv the smell of soy sauce and the taste of soy sauce. I use to make Chop Suey for my family. Boy, it was so good. I would like to read this one.

  14. She's a person who lives in the moment. Look how much she took with her from one smell, soybeans.It's amazing.


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