Burnt Toast Makes You Sing Good

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Burnt Toast PB cover“I’m Swedish, which makes me sexy, and I’m Irish which makes me want to talk about it.” That’s the first line from Burnt Toast Makes You Sing Good, my third book, coming to paperback on August 25th. Same content, just cheaper, so get yours today!

The book was a Michigan Notable Book, and a finalist in the prestigious IACP Awards and the Goodreads Choice Awards. I’m delighted to report the first official review from Kirkus is overwhelmingly positive, summing the book up as “a warm, quiet poignant treat.” You can read the full review here. They also did a bang-up job of summarizing the narrative, too. The book also garnered great comments from early readers over at GoodReads.

Enter to Win2You can listen to me discuss the book with celebrity chefs Tom Douglas and Thierry Rauterau on their popular radio show, Seattle Kitchen.

My paternal grandmother, Della Stark

My paternal grandmother, Della Stark

I consider it a multi-generational memoir of my family’s culinary heritage, replete with recipes. The story begins with my parents decision to drop everything in Lansing, Mich., to go work at the my Irish Uncle’s Italian restaurant in San Francisco, following Route 66 for most of the cross-country trek from Michigan only to move back a few years later to settle in Davison, Michigan. You’ll meet my great-grandmother, Anna, who left her hometown in Sweden at the age 17 to head to America with only one suitcase and my grandfather who couldn’t fight in WWI because he’d been arrested for bootlegging, so the Army put him to work as a cook at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio instead.  Then there’s my paternal grandmother, Della, who raised eight kids alone during The Great Depression.

Chapter 8 - Milt and kids fishing - editedToo few stories focus on the vibrant culinary history of the Midwest, a region that’s often dismissed as the home of three-bean casseroles. I tried my best to capture the rituals of fishing, deer hunting and summer canning that marked the passages of time in my childhood, and the reliance we placed on tending a garden, raising chickens and treasuring the fruit from our orchard. We never had much growing up, but we had each other and good food.

Available wherever books are sold!

You can pick up your copy at your favorite independent bookseller or order online via IndieBound, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books a Million, Powell’s and WalMart.

front matter - dedication photo dad_and_Kat_1969_kissing - edited for manuscript

Me and my Dad

Paperback Launch Party

Sept. 17th, The Book Larder, Seattle, 6:30 p.m.
I believe that book events should be fun! Join me for a “jam session” in which we’ll make the blueberry jam on the cover, plus sing-a-long to some of the music mentioned in the book. There will also be door prizes. $20 admission includes a book, jam, and bites. Get tickets here.



About katflinn

Kathleen Flinn is the author of "The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry," "The Kitchen Counter Cooking School" and "Burnt Toast Makes You Sing Good." All are published by Viking/Penguin.


  1. I am such a big fan!! I cannot wait for this book to come out. So excited! I hope that you will find your way back to Phoenix? Pretty please??

  2. Sounds wonderful, Kathleen! I am from Michigan, too. So thrilled to hear about it. Looking forward to it.

  3. Congrats, Kathleen! I loved your first two books so much. Can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of this one!

  4. Margaret says:

    i’m a fan of your wonderful books. Please come to New Orleans!!

  5. Trixy Dorn says:

    Congratulations! This is the one I’ve been waiting for! I’ll definitely put this on my list for our Book Club.

  6. I have all three of your books and Burnt Toast was my favorite. I was moved that I cried at the end. Your family is a trued pioneer spirited family. Always taking responsibility for themselves and not whining. I recommend your books to anyone who will listen.

  7. Can not wait to read your book.sounds perfect for me.


  1. […] Mike and I for the fabulous book launch party for Burnt Toast Makes You Sing Good! Tickets go on sale Tuesday, June 24th. Each ticket includes a signed first edition hardcover of […]

  2. […] from: Burnt Toast Makes You Sing Good: A Memoir of Love and Food from an American Midwest Family (Viking/Penguin […]

  3. Kathleen Flinn - Me in November: Sarasota & Anna Maria Island says:

    […] I pull in the home stretch of my 2014 autumn book tour for Burnt Toast Makes You Sing Good, I’ll be making only my second appearance ever in Sarasota. (What’s up with that? What […]

  4. […] lived on for more than a decade. I don’t know what possessed me to do such a thing. In my new book, I outline the whole crazy notion and note that one of our neighbors nicknamed me “Candy […]

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