The Story of the Great British Bake Off by Anita Singh
Published by Head of Zeus
Publication date: October 10, 2017
Genres: Book Clubs, Non-fiction, History, Pop culture
For the last two years, psychological escape has become a vital part of staying sane. There is only so much chaos, uncertainty, and toxicity a single brain can absorb without teetering off its axis. Books are a marvelous option, but sometimes I need to be entertained without any effort on my part at all. To that end, there is one TV option that never fails me. If you haven’t already guessed, it’s The Great British Baking Show. New seasons air on PBS, but past seasons are on Netflix and can be watched practically on a loop to soothe an agitated mind. Now, thanks to The Story of the Great British Bake Off American lovers of the show can learn more about the behind-the-scenes foibles of this quintessentially British icon and those who know nothing about it (are there any of you out there?) can learn why you need to start watching NOW.
The Story of the Great British Bake Off begins with how the show came to be and the process of finding the original judges, Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry, as well as Mel and Sue, the original hosts. From there the book moves through the show’s first seven series (British to American translation: they say series, we say season). There’s a mix of photographs and the same kind of illustrations used on the show to showcase the bakers’ creations on each episode.
The best part for we Yanks is the deep dive into what was happening on the other side of the pond. If you’ve never watched the show, you won’t know what I mean by the following: Ian’s Baked Alaska debacle, Ruby’s tears, all things Selasi, and the many faces of Nadiya (one of my all-time favorite contestants). If you know what I mean you’re probably running out to buy the book right now.
So, twelve amateur bakers give up their weekends to compete for weeks to win a…cake plate. Another reason the show is so fabulous. There’s no cash prize. You couldn’t do something like that in America—you’d never find people willing to participate. There are no divas, tantrums, backstabbing shenanigans. All of this is to say, much like the show itself The Story of the Great British Bake Off is charming, funny, engrossing, nerve-wracking (will that show stopper collapse?!), and offers pure comfort.
If you’re one of the many facing a potential snow cyclone or polar freeze this weekend you need to take a listen to the latest episode of Sarah’s Book Shelves Live. We discuss our 14 favorite backlist books of 2021, which means everything we talk about should be quick and easy to get online at your library. Click on the graphic to link to the episode.
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