Tiny Hot Dogs

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 09 Apr 2019

Member Reviews

Tiny Hot Dogs was such a pleasure to read. I really enjoyed getting to know more about the author and found her writing to be honest and hilarious. I did not know too much about her, though I did see her speak a few years ago at a publisher event. She seems very down to earth and hard working. I recommend this book for someone who wants to learn more about the history and lifestyle of a successful caterer and business woman.
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I had no idea who Mary Giuliani was. I'm not a wealthy person or a celebrity who would have used her catering services. Nor am I a TV watcher, so I would never have seen her on Rachel Ray or wherever she might have appeared. I had no idea she had written another book. Basically she was not on my radar at all. Well, shoot, I'm so glad I found her and this hilarious, sweet little memoir! I laughed out loud multiple times. I appreciated her simple, yet unique and fun recipes throughout. And mostly, I loved that she referenced one of my favorite movies, Baby Boom. Sold! Highly recommend if you're looking for a book with heart and humor.
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Memoirs are not my norm but I love cookbooks.  Therefore, I thought I would give this one a try.  I absolutely loved it!   Her reminiscent stories were great....those of growing up as a Catholic, learning traditions of the Jewish faith and stories of her family in general.  I especially enjoyed her mothers rules.  Some were rather amusing, but many were honest and heartfelt.  She told her "a man is attracted to the smell of basil, so use it in everything you cook."  But then she also told her to marry for love and nothing else.  The basil one "may" be good advice (I've never tried it) but I know the one about marrying for love is.

I'm so glad I gave this book a try.  It's one I can definitely see myself re-reading.  I know I will refer back to some of the recipes.  It was such a pleasant surprise!

I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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Mary Giuliani’s memoir Tiny Hot Dogs: A Memoir in Small Bites intrigued me because I love talking about food as much as I love reading. Just yesterday I had a friend over for coffee and when she left my husband remarked, “You spoke about food for two hours straight…”

Giuliani owns a catering/events business that has a long list of A-list celebrities as its clients. She grew up nearish to New York in a predominately Jewish neighbourhood which she managed to intertwine with her own strong Italian Catholic background. The opening of the book felt a little lost on me at times and I wonder, in part, if this is due to having a vastly different cultural/geographical upbringing. I didn’t always get the references and whilst they were sometimes explained, I still felt a bit lost. I grew up in a small suburb on the coast in New South Wales, Australia. I largely didn’t watch American shows growing up, in part because there weren’t that many when I was a child, and also because my parents, and father in particular, thought that American culture was ruining Australia. I felt like at times in Giuliani’s novel that I was sure it was funny, I just wasn’t sure how.

Giuliani’s memoir is punctuated with recipes and often times these recipes complement the stories in the chapter. The recipes look great and I am tempted to try a few myself. Although, to be honest, reading some of these Italian recipes with a tomato allergy makes me nervous. But the memoir is not really the story of a woman who always loved cooking and throwing parties. It is more the story of a woman who found her way through life in not the most obvious directions. Giuliani talks about her love of acting and how she tried for many years to be a star. With some inspiration of her once-famous father, Giuliani tries her luck at acting and falls into catering as more of a day job. When she meets chef, Daniel Mattrocce she learns that she could perhaps have something more. As Giuliani puts it:

    “Her call was a wake up call about the dreams you think you need to fulfill and the dreams you don’t realize are swirling around your subconscious.”
    p. 63

The idea of always being focused on a goal or always working towards something specific is something taught to us from a very young age. It is seen as an extremely positive attribute to follow things through till the end. To reach success, always. Yet, the older I get the more I wonder if our tunnel-vision attitudes toward success stop us from being the type of successful we actually want to be. If Giuliani never took on the advice of Mattrocce, would she have written the book she has; experienced the life she has; met Robert De’Nero? Taking a look out the corner of your eye could change your life in the best possible way.

There are little gems all throughout Giuliani’s memoir and it is as much about funny celebrity stories and stripper birthdays as it is about real and raw life experiences that shape you or break you. Giuliani’s discussions of having endometriosis and fertility problems which affected her career, relationships, and mental health are extremely brave at a time when women’s health is still largely treated as hysterics rather than a real problem. She talks about her 18-day and 14-week pregnancies that ended with miscarriages and finally meeting her daughter Gala Lee via a surrogate.

Overall, there are some really giggle-worthy moments like the murder of Tenille the turtle by her lover, Captain juxtaposed with gut wrenching personal stories of sadness and loss. The memoir is very Nora-Ephron-esque, which is never a bad thing in my books. I do sometimes wish that the narrative had a better red-thread because at times I felt things were rushed or jumped around a little. To sum up the success and triumphs of Giuliani’s memoir in her own words:

    “[P]eople will leave, people will hurt you, people will move on, but you’ve done your job well—and by “well” I mean helped them find their wings—then all you can feel is proud when it’s their turn to fly.
    p.84

Are you excited for the April 2019 publication of Mary Giuliani’s memoir “Tiny Hot Dogs”? Do you like memoirs that offer some bite-sized life advice with some killer meatball recipes? As always share the reading love.

NOTE: This memoir was was accessed through Netgalley and Running Press Adult.
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What can you say about a woman whose writing muse was John Goodman? Or a woman who grew up in the 1980s and was gaga about the Monkees? (Yes, that’s hey, hey, we’re the Monkees.)  Well, you can say she wrote a pretty good memoir, except for the crude parts and the drinking.  The crude parts are fortunately limited.  The drinking is not.  You can also say she is often as funny as can be, and offers some excellent advice to those who wanted to become famous, but didn’t end up that way. (At least not as famous as they wanted in the way that they wanted.) Plus, you can say the Jewish part of her childhood was hilarious and her Italian family a delight.  Anything else?  Yes, what can you say about a woman who writes the two men (dead or alive) she’d most want to dance with are Kenny Rogers and Jesus?
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I could relate to the era author referring, but other than that couldn’t get into the book. 

Thanks to author, publisher and Netgalley for the chance to read this book. While I got the book for free, it had no bearing on the rating I gave it.
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Hilarious from the first pages when Mary shares how her family was one of the only Italians in a neighborhood that was Jewish.She went to over a hundred bar& barmitzvahs and fell in love with a staple mini hot dogs in pastry.She went to Hebrew school with her best friend and learned her portion of the haftorah &recited it in her kitchen,Mary is honest open real the caterer to the stars loved this book.#netgalley #tinyhotdogs #perseus books
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