A few interesting notes: even though Teresa Giudice was on a TV show, she did not get a book deal handed to her. We had to fight for it. Hard. In 2009, four “Housewives” had released books that all bombed. The word in publishing was: “No more Housewives books. Period.” The only exception was Bethenny’s book “Naturally Thin.” And you’ll see that our book was originally pitched as “Skinny Jeans & Spaghetti” since there were no new “skinny” titles in the market (Bethenny hadn’t yet launched “Skinnygirl;” she was still “Bethenny Bakes”).

The Competition
Skinny Jeans & Spaghetti is a brilliant blend of the successful French Women Don’t Get Fat and Giada De Laurentiis’ best-selling Everyday Italian that promises to also enchant the same audience of who devoured Bethenney Frankel’s Naturally Thin.

French Women Don’t Get Fat by by Mireille Guiliano
Judging by their covers, Skinny Jeans & Spaghetti most resembles the New York Times #1 ranked cultural memoir French Women Don’t Get Fat: The Secret of Eating for Pleasure by Mireille Guiliano (Knopf, 2004). But while Guiliano and Giudice do share the same philosophy of eating for pleasure, French food – complicated, expensive, and not kid-friendly — is not as easily accessible or pleasurable as Italian food is to most Americans. Nor is French-born-and-raised Guiliano, the CEO of luxury champagne company Veuve Clicquot who eats 300 meals a year in restaurants.

Giudice, an American mom with deep Italian roots, takes the idea of living the lifestyle of another culture and makes it more amenable, enjoyable and practical. Giudice’s food stories are engaging and familiar; her recipes simple, delicious and family-oriented. Giudice encourages readers to see the best in themselves, to count their blessings, and reminds them life should be savored, not suffered.

Everyday Italian by Giada De Laurentiis
Everyday Italian: 125 Simple and Delicious Recipes by Giada De Laurentiis (Clarkson Potter, 2005) shares Giudice’s goal of helping readers prepare simple, but beautiful Italian food, highlighting fresh ingredients and non-fussy preparation.

Like De Laurentiis, Giudice is an authentic Italian beauty with great cooking skills, but she is easier for a regular girl to relate to than a classically trained celebrity chef who cooks in a flawless studio setting. Giudice immediately welcomes readers, stating, “I want you to feel truly at home here, together in our little Italian book;” and then promptly confesses that during her first “married” meal, she “reached for the phone, called my own ma, and cried like a baby (in Italian, of course).” Even though Giudice grew up in her mom’s kitchen, like most American women, she didn’t really learn to cook by herself until she got married. Her tutelage occurred mostly during frantic dinner-time-is-almost-a-disaster phone calls.

Skinny Jeans & Spaghetti appeals to both the first-time home cook and the cultivated culinarian. It is a true Italian primer plus, stuffed with cooking basics, food fundamentals, historical facts, little-known methods from the motherland, and authentic Italian recipes even the most persnickety food critic will applaud.

Naturally Thin by Bethenney Frankel
A competitive comparison would not be complete without fellow Housewife Bethenney Frankel’s best-selling Naturally Thin (Fireside, 2009). Like Giudice, Frankel is one of the favorite personalities on her season (“The Real Housewives of New York”), but since the New York and New Jersey seasons air at different times of year, fans of the entire franchise can happily embrace both books.

Frankel’s most practical and delicious advice in Naturally Thin comes on page 56, under the heading “Think like an Italian.” For just a precious few paragraphs, Frankel talks about how the Europeans approach, cook and eat food leads to a healthier lifestyle and skinnier figure. Giudice couldn’t agree more! With Skinny Jeans & Spaghetti, full-blooded Italian Giudice picks up where Frankel just hinted, giving readers an entire book on how to mimic the Mediterraneans.

Giudice brings the same broad food appeal and easy health advice to follow as Frankel, as well as a larger following. Besides delivering double the television audience of Frankel, Giudice also brings new fans to the table. While both authors are adored by single young women and men, Giudice, married for a decade with a real-life brood of four, also appeals to the married and parent demographics.

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