My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Penguin Random House Canada
Published: April 2nd, 2019
Recommended Age: 13+
Genres & Themes: Nonfiction, Memoir, Food, Personal & Work Journey
I have wanted to read Ruth Reichl for YEARS and I was going to start with another of her memoirs – Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise – because it sounded JUICY and very secret indeed. But then this one came out and I was offered a chance to review it so I jumped on the opportunity.
Alright, guys. It’s important for you to know, right from the start, that reading this book on an empty stomach is TORTURE. Torture, I tell you. More torturous than watching Lucas and Peyton from One Tree Hill pretend they aren’t soul mates. I’m currently watching the third season and I am DYING. So yes, please do eat something before diving into this memoir filled with exquisite descriptions of foods and tastes. Ruth Reichl really knows what she’s doing.
What she doesn’t quite know is how to be an editor in chief, even if it’s at the glorious food magazine Gourmet. I say GLORIOUS but really I hadn’t heard of it before. But apparently it made its mark on Food History and it sought Ruth Reichl to be part of its gloriousness. Although I don’t quite like reading about opportunities given to people who don’t appreciate them or want them, I do believe the magazine helped Ruth develop her managing skills and become more assertive and she certainly made many proud so she did end up appreciating the chance she was given to lead regardless of her initial refusal to take the job.
It’s a short but meaningful memoir that spans many MANY years. Ruth talks about the magazine as much as she does about food and her own personal life or past experiences that helped her become who she is today. I especially enjoyed reading about her son who experienced food differently than she did when she was a child. I was also very surprised by all the changes at Gourmet Ruth played a role in, like the rock and roll cover, something never done before, or the publishing of a controversial piece of writing. I do believe though that this book could have been even more interesting if there had been pictures included. Somehow those aren’t so popular anymore in memoirs – were they even before? Still, I am impressed with this author’s writing and career so I cannot wait to explore her previously written memoirs.
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