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Nigella Lawson: A Biography

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This is the first-ever biography of the irresistible domestic goddess, Nigella Lawson. Born in 1960 into a family of privelege, this book covers her childhood, her early career at the Sunday Times and Spectator, her secret marriage to John Diamond, the loss of her sister and husband to cancer-both at early ages, and her tremendous success as the author of How to be a Domes This is the first-ever biography of the irresistible domestic goddess, Nigella Lawson. Born in 1960 into a family of privelege, this book covers her childhood, her early career at the Sunday Times and Spectator, her secret marriage to John Diamond, the loss of her sister and husband to cancer-both at early ages, and her tremendous success as the author of How to be a Domestic Goddess and host of Nigella Bites. This is a story of personal tragedy and public success, studded with a cast of celebrity friends and family. With her unashamed enjoyment for food and her curvy beauty, Nigella continues to fascinate and beguile.


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This is the first-ever biography of the irresistible domestic goddess, Nigella Lawson. Born in 1960 into a family of privelege, this book covers her childhood, her early career at the Sunday Times and Spectator, her secret marriage to John Diamond, the loss of her sister and husband to cancer-both at early ages, and her tremendous success as the author of How to be a Domes This is the first-ever biography of the irresistible domestic goddess, Nigella Lawson. Born in 1960 into a family of privelege, this book covers her childhood, her early career at the Sunday Times and Spectator, her secret marriage to John Diamond, the loss of her sister and husband to cancer-both at early ages, and her tremendous success as the author of How to be a Domestic Goddess and host of Nigella Bites. This is a story of personal tragedy and public success, studded with a cast of celebrity friends and family. With her unashamed enjoyment for food and her curvy beauty, Nigella continues to fascinate and beguile.

30 review for Nigella Lawson: A Biography

  1. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    An interesting read, though poorly written. The pacing and exposition of the title character -- Nigella Lawson -- was random, stop and go, and often chronologically confusing. Long tangents were devoted to discussing Jewish England and the details of literary big wigs, which could have been enlightening, but often only served to be confusing, inaccurate (particularly some of the explanations about Jewish culture), or just plain alienating. Additionally, if you choose to read this book, for the l An interesting read, though poorly written. The pacing and exposition of the title character -- Nigella Lawson -- was random, stop and go, and often chronologically confusing. Long tangents were devoted to discussing Jewish England and the details of literary big wigs, which could have been enlightening, but often only served to be confusing, inaccurate (particularly some of the explanations about Jewish culture), or just plain alienating. Additionally, if you choose to read this book, for the love of god, don't read it on the kindle. The publishing house did a horrendous job of making sure punctuation translated to the electronic version, and the reader is often left having to guess where the author's commentary ends and quotes begin -- which happened often when suddenly end quotes appeared out of nowhere. In sum, there was a lot of potential here for a much better book. Ultimately it was an interesting glimpse into Nigella Lawson's life, but due to the random structure and poor editorial quality for the electronic version, I was only mildly pleased to have read the book.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    Disappointed in this one, which is bad, because I really like Nigella Lawson. Read like a high school senior research paper.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    I've been intrigued by Nigella for a while, so this seemed like a good book to pick up. She's certainly led an interesting life - while I knew that she grew up priveleged, I didn't realize that her father was Chequer of the Exchange under Margaret Thatcher. While she can be kind of annoying - she's super posh, and doesn't really make an effort to relate to the average person, the fact that she's had so much tragedy in her life (her mother died when she was in her early 20's; her sister died when I've been intrigued by Nigella for a while, so this seemed like a good book to pick up. She's certainly led an interesting life - while I knew that she grew up priveleged, I didn't realize that her father was Chequer of the Exchange under Margaret Thatcher. While she can be kind of annoying - she's super posh, and doesn't really make an effort to relate to the average person, the fact that she's had so much tragedy in her life (her mother died when she was in her early 20's; her sister died when she was 33; her first husband died when their son was six months old) does make her more sympathetic. This book was written a few years ago, and the Nigella-phenom has died a bit since then. Her food writing is great and I love to watch her show (right before 'Two Fat Ladies' reruns!), but her cookbooks have always fallen flat with me. Even I can tell that most of her recipes aren't original, and in 'How to Be a Domestic Goddess' the tone really made the book fall flat (the 5-6 recipes I made from that book all did turn out well - though most of them were from other people). The biographer has done a good job digging up pics and history. While her analysis is thorough and she does raise some questions (like will Saatchi tire of Nigella like he did his first two wives? How much botox has she had?) she leaves us to imagine the answers, rather than leading us to possibly incorrect conclusions. She touches on the wave of Brit chefs - Gordon Ramsey, Jamie Oliver, Marco Pierre White - and their influence, though even she doesn't fully include Nigella in a category with people of that talent. Worth picking up if you're a serious foodie, or curious to learn more about Nigella and how she's perceived in the UK.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jenna Vidal

    I have to agree with the other readers here I was not particularly taken with this book. I almost stopped reading it halfway because I was so bored (and I never stop a book half way) but I persisted and I was glad I did as the latter part was far better. The first half talked about her privileged upbringing and about a lot of political stuff. I found it quite alienating and really struggled to keep going with it. It was very historic and boring. It seems obvious to me that anyone that is interes I have to agree with the other readers here I was not particularly taken with this book. I almost stopped reading it halfway because I was so bored (and I never stop a book half way) but I persisted and I was glad I did as the latter part was far better. The first half talked about her privileged upbringing and about a lot of political stuff. I found it quite alienating and really struggled to keep going with it. It was very historic and boring. It seems obvious to me that anyone that is interested in Nigella is not going to want to read 100 pages about political history and the Jewish, English upper class in the 70s. It also seemed to jump back and forth between decades, quite baffling and the writing was not altogether clear on where it was going. I would actually recommend skipping the first quarter at least and reading from there. In the end I did enjoy it somewhat but it was hard to squeeze out that small morsel of joy.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Graham Harvey

    An interesting exploration of Nigella’s life & why & how she came to be who she is from the influence of her successful ambitious parents & partner. Looks with detail at her Jewish influence and the secular way she has embraced her Jewishness without the religion and of course where food has fitted into all of that and other aspects of her life. Some tragedies of recent years with loss of her mother & sister in close time proximity then the loss of her husband. She remarried the wealthy Saachi a An interesting exploration of Nigella’s life & why & how she came to be who she is from the influence of her successful ambitious parents & partner. Looks with detail at her Jewish influence and the secular way she has embraced her Jewishness without the religion and of course where food has fitted into all of that and other aspects of her life. Some tragedies of recent years with loss of her mother & sister in close time proximity then the loss of her husband. She remarried the wealthy Saachi and the book was published in 2005 when it looked like her tv food career may be coming to an end.. which it hasn’t! :-) Nigella is an attractive inspiring personality, so to know more about her is enjoyable.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

    interesting to get some back story; I find her compelling because she is beautiful and busty and I like the casual nature of her books. In general I seem to enjoy cookbooks written by folks who aren't from the U.S. We have a very weird way with food and celebs. Reading through, so many of the folks interviewed about her commented on her beauty and larger size, in a way that I found quite refreshing, and in a way that I think would NEVER happen in a book here (US). I loved that part. Though I hav interesting to get some back story; I find her compelling because she is beautiful and busty and I like the casual nature of her books. In general I seem to enjoy cookbooks written by folks who aren't from the U.S. We have a very weird way with food and celebs. Reading through, so many of the folks interviewed about her commented on her beauty and larger size, in a way that I found quite refreshing, and in a way that I think would NEVER happen in a book here (US). I loved that part. Though I haven't read any bios of American tv cooks, so what do I know? Glad I read it. Quick, light reading in general, though she's experienced quite a few losses.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    Not terribly insightful, as Nigella herself is only quoted through previously published interviews and excerpts from her books, and all her friends and acquaintances seem to disagree on just about every aspect of her personality. The author also spends a disproportionate amount of time and effort writing about Nigella's late husband. Despite, rather than because of, this book I still am totally seduced by Nigella's writing and image, and inspired by her tenacity at building her brand

  8. 4 out of 5

    Shell

    Thinking that this book would educate me more about Nigella I was rather let down. This book appears to have taken snippets here and there from various sources and put together in a mish mash form to create a book. It starts off with all the right intensions but by the time I got through it even the spine started to fray and some of my pages fell out. I wanted to like it but it lacked something, maybe the authors input rather than other sources which lead to me giving it a somewhat low grade.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kira

    I dont think Gilly Smith did the best job here. I found that often the story of Nigella's life went off on other tangents, stories of her friends and ex boyfriends, which I found myself skimming over, which I feel are really only there to pad the book out. If you took those parts out and kept in the parts about Nigella herself, the book would only he half the size.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Judith

    Struggled with this book, didnt enjoy it like I had hoped. It is more a chronological list of events of nigellas life & her fathers political life rather than a biography about her true life. Have been trying to finish it for ages & have decided not too Struggled with this book, didnt enjoy it like I had hoped. It is more a chronological list of events of nigellas life & her fathers political life rather than a biography about her true life. Have been trying to finish it for ages & have decided not too

  11. 4 out of 5

    Celeste

    Summer trash read! Love Nigella, getting absolutely no insight about her from this book, which I paid 50 cents for at a library sale, and debatable whether it was worth even that. But I do adore slapdash books like this - they inspire me to thinking, hey I could write better than this.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Elaine

    Felt this book was typical female...in that it seemed caddy and silly in alot of spots. Finished it only because I have a bad habit of not finishing books that I'm not particularly into and I made a pact with myself to try to overcome that.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Anna

    Interesting read, though I prefer autobiographies to biographies. It made me order How to Eat from amazon, as I don't have this or the domestic goddess book (though as I can't eat wheat, buying a book about baking is probably not such a good idea)

  14. 5 out of 5

    Rhonda

    I don't know that Nigella's life was interesting enough to warrant a biography being written about her, or maybe the author just did a poor job of making it interesting.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Emma

    my sister in law gave me this which is not terrible well written but her life is fascinating plus I want to cook more!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    I think this book would of been a lot better if it was an Autobiography!!!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jenn

    I love her.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Michael Goodwin

  19. 5 out of 5

    Ron

  20. 4 out of 5

    Chez

  21. 4 out of 5

    DiMarie

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kultur-alnie

  23. 4 out of 5

    jayna

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jane Kelly

  25. 5 out of 5

    Tina

  26. 5 out of 5

    Marcia

  27. 4 out of 5

    Melaney5kan

  28. 5 out of 5

    Carmen

  29. 4 out of 5

    Emma Fleming

  30. 4 out of 5

    Vicky

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