Binge and Sprint: From End­less Cake to Recovery

September 1, 2020

Have you ever stood in the dark kitchen urgent­ly devour­ing insane amounts of frozen chal­lah dipped in hon­ey, lis­ten­ing intent­ly for approach­ing humans? After a life­time of get­ting knocked to the ground by the onslaught of food imbued in Jew­ish life while pray­ing for a way out, Nao­mi Joseph wrote the rules of Binge and Sprint. Use cake as a for­ti­tude to plow ahead, keep achiev­ing, and nev­er let the world see you suf­fer. Nev­er idle, Joseph takes the read­er on her four-decade jour­ney as a Mod­ern Ortho­dox Jew through child­hood, col­lege, mar­riage, com­par­i­son, infer­til­i­ty, busi­ness, keep­ing up with the Schwartz’s, and car­ing for chil­dren and ail­ing par­ents all while chained to her secret bur­den. Read­ers will under­stand their own dark­ness in the midst of the good life” as the shame­ful shroud is blown off of the taboo war with food. Poignant and hilar­i­ous, Joseph’s jour­ney will help the read­er con­nect to their High­er Pow­er, and lean into their great­ness as they incor­po­rate the many lessons that brought her to recov­ery into their own lives.

Discussion Questions

Cour­tesy of Nao­mi Joseph

  1. Why were you drawn to read this book? Did it live up to your expec­ta­tions? Why or why not?

  2. What do you think moti­vat­ed the author to share her story?

  3. Did you find the authors sto­ry compelling?

  4. Dis­cuss the writ­ing style, and fre­quent sto­ry­telling with­in the book. Did it keep you engaged? Did it help you to feel con­nect­ed to the author?

  5. In your opin­ion, what is the most pos­i­tive char­ac­ter­is­tic of the author?

  6. Is a per­son sim­i­lar to the author some­one you would want to have in your own life? Why or why not?

  7. What char­ac­ter­is­tics or habits of the author did you find to be sim­i­lar or dif­fer­ent to your own?

  8. What were your feel­ings toward the actions of the author, (such as frus­tra­tion, com­pas­sion, or pride), or how long it took her to see her true val­ue? Do you find any par­al­lels between your­self and the author in this area?

  9. Would you have tak­en dif­fer­ent actions than the author did in any one of the sto­ries or sit­u­a­tions in the book? If so, how and why?

  10. What points, rela­tion­ships, or sit­u­a­tions in the mem­oir made you reflect upon your own life?

  11. Has this book moti­vat­ed you to make changes in your own life? If so, what are they? How do you expect these changes will improve your life experience?

  12. What mes­sage from this book will stay with you most?