Life from Scratch
Sasha Martin

Book cover image

Narrated By: Andi Arndt

Duration: 8 hours and 26 minutes

What to expect

Sasha Martin set herself a rather ambitious goal: to cook—and eat—her way around the world with 196 recipes from 196 countries in 196 weeks. Enter Global Table Adventure, a project that proves to be more than just a culinary challenge as Sasha attempts to navigate the vicissitudes of marriage, motherhood, and life’s failures and successes, all inextricably linked to her troubled past.

For Sasha, food and cooking unlock the memories of a difficult childhood and the loss and heartbreak that came with it. She and her brother lived with their mother in Boston before being placed in foster care with a family in Europe. Among the hard moments of her young life, the most difficult occurred when Sasha was just twelve years old—she witnessed her brother’s suicide.

As she mines her past to make sense of her childhood, food allows Sasha to find her own place in the world—and create the home she has been craving her whole life. This is a story about food from around the globe but also about how food can transform us, about being a mother and a wife, about loving the world, and about learning to love ourselves.


Biography: general, Cookery / food and drink, Cookery / food and drink, Cookery / food and drink, Memoirs, Cookery dishes and courses

Listen to a sample

“An amazing family tale. Poignant and uplifting, not to mention delicious.”

A. J. Jacobs, New York Times bestselling author of The Year of Living Biblically

“A poignant memoir. The author, a popular food blogger, reaches into her past to figure out why she began cooking in the first place. As she untangles her deeply emotional relationship with food, what she finds out about herself will make you cry and laugh—and feel very hungry.”

Woman's Day magazine

“Martin, a food writer and blogger, spent 195 weeks cooking meals from every country of the world. But the most memorable moments in this spirited narrative take place in the many weeks before those 195, and they have surprisingly little to do with food…There is plenty here to engross memoir lovers.”

Publishers Weekly

“Noted for her creative blog on world cooking, Martin had an extraordinary youth…Martin learned how to cope with ever-changing circumstances and to cook, even while her brother succumbed to tragically self-destructive behaviors. Martin peppers this memoir with recipes reflective of her life’s circumstances of the moment, from stuffed artichokes to apple pie. Her assured prose endows this narrative of an atypical upbringing with both immediacy and poignancy.”


“Poignant, heartwarming, and generously filled with delicious recipes.”