top of page

Book 359 - A Year of Magical Learning

Reflection Title: 22 Books!

Book – Taste: My Life Through Food by Stanly Tucci

Book Description:

Stanley Tucci grew up in an Italian American family that spent every night around the kitchen table. He shared the magic of those meals with us in The Tucci Cookbook and The Tucci Table, and now he takes us beyond the savory recipes and into the compelling stories behind them.​

Taste is a reflection on the intersection of food and life, filled with anecdotes about his growing up in Westchester, New York; preparing for and shooting the foodie films Big Night and Julie & Julia; falling in love over dinner; and teaming up with his wife to create meals for a multitude of children. Each morsel of this gastronomic journey through good times and bad, five-star meals and burned dishes, is as heartfelt and delicious as the last.


Taste officially marks the 22cd, and most likely final, book that my wife and I will have finished together over the course of this Year of Magical Learning adventure.

Twenty-Two books…that blows my mind. I know for a fact that in the 13 previous years in which we have been together that we’ve never once read a book together nor even had entertained the slightest thought of even attempting such a dumb idea. But here we are…we’re officially the weird family that takes slow strolls around the park down the street while listening to an audio book together as couples pass by and look at us sideways. Emilia really has changed everything!

I still remember back to the first book we attempted to complete together, Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey, way back in early spring of 2021 (it is 2 years later as of this writing). It had been about a year since our daughter had passed away. By this point in the journey, Emilia and I were voraciously consuming all different kinds of new knowledge and exploring our beautiful questions together in our Living for 2 bubble. We were having a blast, but it was beginning to feel like we were leaving Felicia and Luca out of our little secret world we’d been creating.

One day, as we sat around the table eating our Saturday morning brunch, I asked Felicia if she would ever want to listen to a book together? She said “Sure, let’s give it a try. What should we start with?” I said, “I have no idea, but I just bought this Matthew McConaughey memoir that sounded really interesting, want to give it a try?” She said, “Let’s do it”. So, we spent the next hour or so hanging out and listening while we went about our Saturday and were both really enjoying the wild stories Matthew was laying down. It was fun.

The next weekend, we found ourselves back at the brunch table and agreed to start up the book again. We got about another hour or so in and we were both starting to get really into the book. We kept that trend going over the next few weekends until we finished the book. I then looked at her and asked if she wanted to do again? She said yes. So we picked out or next book and started the next adventure. Slowly over time, we moved from the weekend brunch table to taking this party mobile on our nightly Emilia walks around the park while pushing Luca in his stroller. Eventually, I even purchased a little mobile Bluetooth speaker so we could hear the books better as cars whizzed by. Walking and listening has become our thing since then and 2 years later we find ourselves finishing up our 22cd book in Taste by Stanly Tucci.

I just freaking love this whole journey so much for moments exactly like this.

We picked Taste to do together because we both just love Stanly Tucci for some reason. I don’t know if it is because he is an Italian American like me and the stories about his family remind me of my own. I don’t know if it is because he is a sophisticated foodie in which speaks to Felicia’s soul and her love of fine cuisine. Or it could be that he is just a really cool dude that has his soul in the game who attracts people into his orbit. Whatever it is, when I told my wife that I found this book, it took her less than 2 seconds to respond with a “Duh…yes” when I asked her if she wanted to make this our next adventure. Taste didn’t disappoint.

What I learned most from this book is a reminder that spending time with the people you love, no matter what you are doing, will always be my favorite part of life going forward each and every day I’m blessed to walk this Earth. Whatever brings us together, I’m in. I don’t care if it is exploring a new city, nature, food, sports, restaurant, music, cooking, etc. As long as I’m able spend time with my wife, daughter, son, and any other future addition to our little family than I know I will be a happy man.

Question: What are some of the activities you do that bring you together with the ones you love the most?



What is The Year of Magical Learning? - An Introduction

YOML Podcast Discussion - Coming Soon

9 views0 comments


bottom of page