She celebrates the art of food and family with her new book "Burnt Toast Makes You Sing"

Kathleen Flinn has found her way into the hearts of readers, cooks, and food lovers everywhere with her New York Times bestselling memoir The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry and her inspiring second book The Kitchen Counter Cooking School. This summer old and new fans alike will devour BURNT TOAST MAKES YOU SING GOOD: A Memoir of Food & Love from an American Midwest Family (Viking; On sale August 18, 2014; ISBN: 9780670015443; $27.95), a book that delves into the origins of Flinn's love of all things culinary. Hearing the touching and hilarious adventures and misadventures of her clan will put readers in mind of their own quirky family history and the flavors of their childhoods.

The food we grow up with often tells our family history, and that's certainly true of the Flinns. Until Flinn began looking into the lives of her ancestors, she hadn't realized how many of them cooked, either for a living or as a hobby. In BURNT TOAST MAKES YOU SING GOOD, Flinn tells the story of her maternal and paternal grandparents, her besotted parents, and her motley group of siblings. Flinn takes readers from San Francisco in 1958 where her parents helped her Uncle Clyde run a pizza place (at that time, a rarity) to a farm in Davison, Michigan in 1964 where the family roots were to Anna Maria Island, Florida in 1976 where they found a second home. Foodie tales of fishing trips (her father's favorite way to relax), canning season, discovering morels in the woods, and finally getting to eat popular processed foods mingle with family stories of a shady grandfather, unsuccessful entrepreneurial ventures, and gaining membership to the German-American club . . . despite having no German ancestry.

Flinn's Grandma Inez inspired the title with a phrase she liked to use when trying to get a picky child to eat—"Burnt toast makes you sing good. Everyone knows that." she'd quip. After reading about Grandma Inez's wisdom, Grandpa Charles's love for chili powder, and Mom Flinn's mishap with the chicken coop, readers will be ready to run into the kitchen to try one of the recipes that ends each chapter. Grandma Inez's Pancakes, Grandpa Charles's "Mich-Mex" Chili, and Chicken and Biscuits are just a few of the mouth-watering dishes that Flinn shares from the family recipe book.

BURNT TOAST MAKES YOU SING GOOD is written with Flinn's signature wit and warmth. Food is truly a common language, and after reading this memoir, everyone will want to learn Flinn's mother tongue.


KATHLEEN 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. Learn more at www.cookfearless.com.

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