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I like ice cream, but not nearly as much as the author of this book! She has made it a hobby / passion / quest throughout her life. Steff Deschenes is a young lady with the weirdest tastes in food, and one of two other facets of her life, which will no doubt be covered in greater detail in her forthcoming books. This book encompasses one of her passions, whilst touching on a few of the others.
The chapters of the book each describe an ice cream flavour, and the friend or family member that particular flavour personifies - in the author's opinion. Each chapter is well crafted and compares the traits of the flavour with the traits of the person. The book is well written and describes the author's journey through life using ice cream as her guiding light. At times, she may come across as slightly obsessive, and I am sure she would be the first to agree with me on this, but she explains her thought process for each comparison very clearly and methodically.
As the book progresses, the over-enthusiasm for ice cream is somewhat explained by the personal stories that unfold chapter by chapter. This book is written from the heart, with sincerity and warmth, and these are the qualities that shine through page after page. I was hooked after the first chapter and found that I had many ice cream do's and don'ts in common with Steff, mainly the use of nuts or alcohol as ingredients in ice cream, with the glaring exception of pistachios and rum! I also found myself concurring with some of her assessments of people and life in general, though I have never thought of comparing the people I have known through my life to any particular food group or type, maybe that would be something to ponder on for the future.
On the whole, an enjoyable book, presenting an insight into the author and her environment, family and friends, and which is presented in a forthright and entertaining manner. Highly recommended for all ice cream lovers.
Aug 7, 2010
Interesting but didn?t capture my attention.
The Ice Cream Theory is essentially a parallel of the author?s life relationships and situations compared to ice cream flavors. She is infatuated beyond measure with this delectable dessert, which she has loved from a young age. Slowly throughout her life, relationships and events have brought about a match too her love, ice cream. For each of these relationships she shares about the person, the flavor and how she associates them together, brining her ?theory? into perspective. The theory started with a single event, her first heartache, and her parents? method of helping to ease that heartache, a challenge and a reward. From this point on her book was a life in the making, her theory that ?people are drawn to or repelled by other people much as they are to flavors of ice cream.? Essentially ?people crave certain personalities at different stages in their life in the same way they crave ice cream flavors.?
The Ice Cream Theory offers charming, erratic, and funny heartfelt stories and insights into the authors? life and personality. This helps the reader to understand a little of how she became who she is, and intern she reveals her infatuation for ice cream. While I?m not certain you could really call this a general theory, she makes it work for her. The book starts off a little confusing as the author explains her theory and then admits the theory really has no common base for everyone. In order for the theory to work, you must first love ice cream enough to have had experience with multiple flavors, and second you have to apply this general thought to you own life, settling on decisions and stereotypes for yourself. There is no set flavor for a set type or personality. If you take all this into consideration and read the book for the stories and parallels you will most likely get more out of it.
I found the authors writing interesting and intriguing at times. On the flipside, some of the writing is more erratic, in that she will be mid story and stop every so often to add ramblings. It reminded me of times when I avoid certain people because I don?t have the time for a lengthy conversation and I know the person likes to talk. The reader is left with the impression that the author is a smart, happy, energetic, talkative individual who appreciates the lessons learned in her life and absolutely loves ice cream. I had trouble getting into this book and staying interested. However, it did have many different parallels of the authors? life, love, and friends and of course ice cream flavors that were at points easy to read and see how she arrived at this theory for her life. My least favorite flavor was champagne. A few of my favorites were Banana Split and Chocolate, chocolate Chip. I highly suggest if you decide to read this book, you go into it with an open mind, allowing yourself to create your own theory, even if ice cream isn?t involved.
Aug 1, 2010
The Ice Cream Theory
The ice cream theory is one of those books you read when you are in the mood for something light and humorous but not belly aching hysterical. It takes life and looks at it in a manner that frankly I never would have, as kinds of ice cream. Inside this small book with a tasty looking strawberry (or is that raspberry) cone dripping on the front, is the tale of a woman and how ice cream began to be an obsession for her.
I could really relate to this book on a lot of levels. I remember in my small home town there was this little diner (and when I say little, I men it maybe sat a dozen people) which had the most wonderful butter brickle ice cream cones! And it wasn?t enough that they were cones, they were double dipper cones. Two glorious scoops side by side just begging ?eat me first!? I remember how on a hot summers day I would count the steps it took, trying to keep my cool and walk to Chiz Smith?s for that luscious bite of summer, but how I?d break into a run when I saw the diner. Now, 40 something years later, I found a store that sold butter brickle ice cream and though it was good, it wasn?t like I remember it. It was a little too sweet and didn?t have enough ?brickle? inside to make me happy. A childhood memory came to an end.
As author Steff Deschenes explains it to the reader, as we go through life, our preferences for ice cream change, At first I was thinking ?no way! I just like a little variety now and then.? Then I began to look back on times in my life and how I could really measure it by the ice cream I?d eat until I literally was sick to my stomach.
I remember having a problem with a boyfriend and since I worked at the school cafeteria, we pretty much had free rein of what we wanted, I discovered there was ice cream in the freezer. I still don?t recall why it was there, whether it was the property of the school, or if someone stashed their fave there but I discovered a lot of interesting adventures like Steff there in that icy bit of heaven.
I remember when my heart was breaking, I found myself once again at SAGA (the food service) looking for solace. There I found the perfect salve for my wounds in a half full container of chocolate (deep dark and rich) ice cream. I grabbed the ice cream and headed out the door only to run into the SAGA manager who simply said, ?broke up with him huh?? I nodded and he said, wait here, and in a few moments he returned with a small container of chopped peanuts.
Without another word, he patted me on the shoulder and smiled and I was out the door. That night as I sat on the dark chapel steps I found someone else needing solace so I shared my ice cream, chopped nuts and spoon as we both sat there and talked for hours. By the time the ice cream was gone, so were our heartbreaks and though we never did socialize much after that, when we met, a comment like ?chocolate ice cream? would be said with the other party saying in turn ?peanut sprinkles? bringing a knowing smile to both our faces. It was a connection that this book reminded me of and makes me wonder if my ice cream friend remembers it too, four decades later.
As my life went on, like Steff, times changed and so did my preferences and obsessions for ice cream. I went through many stages, chocolate chip, peppermint, coffee, plain old fashioned vanilla with those lovely crunchy things poured over the top, Italian gelato, and finally my all time favorite of all, which I still adore, but which is close to impossible to find, chocolate ice cream with hunks of peanut butter cup within. Sure, I?ve tried to duplicate it, but it isn?t the same, and now I spend hours staring at rows upon rows of ice cream trying to find the elusive chocolate/peanut cup ice cream I still crave.
This book is one that you will start out taking lightly and find very humorous at times but at times, it will hit you in an all too familiar way like an ice cream headache that ?that?s ME she?s taking about!? and life will change from that moment on.
The town I live in now has a lovely little ice cream store that has some of the most luscious flavors available. Like the life before him, my son stares at those flavors and tries to find the perfect one for him. But for me, the magic is all but gone. My love of ice cream has dimmed into that of which a small dip now and then of plain old vanilla is all I need. Like my life, my ice cream is simple and in fact it is as easy to wait in the car for my son and not imbibe as it is to choose a flavor. Ice cream doesn?t have that hold on me that it once had and somehow that saddens me.
I would recommend this book to anyone who loves ice cream of all sorts or even someone like me who simply wants a scoop now and then on a hot summers day. Whether you are an ice cream freak or not, this book will bring to you memories of days spent with first loves, taking walks with ice cream cones to steal a kiss flavored with a bit of chocolate raspberry ripple or ice cream pity parties where you sat surrounded by pints of different ice creams, dipping into (and sometimes eating them all in one setting) a half dozen decadent flavors, trying to heal a broken heart through not the wonder of modern medicine but through the flavors which burst upon your tongue like bits of snow falling from the sky, trying to help you recapture the mystery and happiness you know is there but have no idea what to do to find it.
A thoroughly enjoyable read, ?The Ice Cream Theory? is the perfect book for anyone from high school graduation age through retirement, for the memories it brings are ones you will most definitely connect to a certain ice cream in your life and you will see for yourself, as I did, that Steff is right?the only bad ice cream is the ice cream not eaten!
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