I read about Blood, Bones and Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton (Amazon) on the Eloquent Woman blog, which discussed a section of the book in which the author writes about a panel she was on, and things she wanted to say, but didn’t. It was a panel about female chefs. Initially she has an attitude of “why are we still talking about this?” but it turns into frustration with the other panelists, as they come out with trite things and she wants to say, but doesn’t, that it is hard to do the second shift, to constantly second guess yourself, make tradeoffs between your work and your family.
I was fascinated, drawing parallels between that and women in tech, and trying to find some broader variety in my reading matter. So I bought it.
That is my favorite chapter in the book, but the book as a whole I also really enjoyed and it gave context for it. This woman has had a fascinating and extremely eventful life. So many stories. They can seem a little disjointed, and the ending a little abrupt, but it’s an autobiography not a novel, so I forgive it.
I think, ultimately, the thing that gripped me most is that this woman is fantastically successful, and it’s clear – and she writes about this – that she never had a plan. She never set out to be a chef. She went off to grad school thinking about becoming a writer. And here she is, apparently both. There are so many people who are all about the plan, say they always knew. It’s refreshing to see this other, honest, perspective, of not knowing what the hell you’re doing but working incredibly hard and figuring it out as you go along.