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Delicious! by Ruth Reichl


by Ruth Reichl

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3326633,233 (3.89)18

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is it too easy to call a book titled delicious! 'sweet'? probably, but i'm going to do it anyway. this is a sweet debut novel from nonfiction/memoir ace ruth reichl. i get really nervous when people, writers, move from nonfiction over to fiction, but i am such a fan of reichl's that it was hard to resist giving her novel a try. it's a nice book. it has some problems and it's a bit light...some would call it 'chick lit', i guess - but i enjoyed reading this story despite my own misgivings. in the acknowledgments, reichl thanks Ann Patchett !!!woot!!!), so this thrilled me. hey - if you are writing your first novel and you need advice and can call on someone like ann patchett, that's a good call to make. i love patchett and to think she had any part in making this a better book is a good thing.

so, i am not a foodie (stupid word). in fact, my palate is an embarrassment to palates the world over. i am probably a chef's worst nightmare. between being a supertaster (which while an awesome thing to be because the word 'super' is right in it, wreaks havoc with how things taste), and having a few (like, 6 things. that's it) very serious food allergies (anaphylactic in nature. developed in my 30s after my system took a bad hit during a major lupus flare), so it makes me, sad and i totally know what i am missing out on. oh - i'm totally looking at you strawberries and oranges!) - people who love to cook, professionally or otherwise, find me and my 'needs' offensive. (for the record, i am very quiet about all of this. i don't make a big deal about it and i am very used to just eating around whatever's going on. but other people make a big deal and then it turns into a whole embarrassing thing - a thing i was trying to avoid in the first place by not talking about it. haha!! sigh!) meanwhile, i am also a creature of habit in life and with my food. so welcome to boring city, batman!

but the thing is, i love to read about food - cookbooks, memoirs, magazines, stuff online, novels that feature food. i love how much other people love food. (and don't get me wrong. i love food... just in a limited way.) i love how they experiment with food. i love learning about how they came to love food and focus on it so much. it all fascinates me to no end.

so this is a long ramble way of saying that this novel was comfortable for me. the foodie (still a stupid word) parts were interesting and not too far out there - though early on in her new job billie and a coworker go to a friend's new restaurant (called 'nowhere') and it sounded like my idea of a dining nightmare - pig ears, snouts and hooves. the shop where billie had her p/t job - fontanari's - sounded like an awesome place to work and be. and the magazine side of the storyline was fine. but i think reichl tried to do too much with it. there's mention of a snowball cookie in the book. this cookie is basically just a lot of things a 10yo might think makes for a great cookie, jammed into a sugary super-cookie. it's too much for most people. and this story is a bit of a snowball cookie. and they way the novel was edited into 3 books is a bit puzzling, so i don' think that served the story well.

overall, though, if you are just in need of a nice story that isn't terribly taxing on your brain, this could be a good choice for you. i can see it being a fun vacation read for many people. it's easy to be carried away by this novel - it's fun and it's got a bit of a sentimental heart. but don't read it if you are feeling hungry. or, read it with a side of cheese. it will maybe make you hungry for all the cheese. ( )
  DawsonOakes | Jan 14, 2015 |
This is not really a full 4, but it is at least a 3.5. When you read the other reviews, if it is a good review, it is true! If you read a less than good review, it is true too....One of my girlfriends described it as trite. Another reviewer said predictable, true as well. There were so many pieces and parts of different things wrapped up in it, but it was sooo entertaining, and sweet and sad, and built around something I love - food! I cried myself into a headache at the end! ( )
  MaureenCean | Jan 8, 2015 |
(209) ( )
  activelearning | Dec 21, 2014 |
Enjoyable story. You have to suspend disbelief A LOT, because there are many implausible coincidences. But I enjoyed listening to the story unfold - a well read audio book. ( )
  pridel | Oct 30, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I received this book as an ARC and have been looking at it sitting on my shelf...so I could savor the anticipation of experiencing it. I have read most of Ruth Reichl's non-fiction book, I love to cook, I watch Top Chef and other cooking show on TV, I guess I could consider myself a foodie.

How I wanted to like this book! I did enjoy the descriptions of foods and cooking and it did activate my salivary glands, but as far as a novel...it just did not grab me.
Writers are told to write what they know, so the setting of a girl working for a food magazine made sense to me. (Reichl worked for Gourmet magazine.) But so much about the actual characters just didn't ring true for me, felt a bit contrived.
I did enjoy the mystery and especially enjoyed the letters discovered that had been written to James Beard.
I do not regret reading it, but I think I would stick to reading Reichl's food reviews, food memoirs...non-fiction is her genre. ( )
  SignoraEdie | Oct 11, 2014 |
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To the memory of Marion Cunningham. I miss her every day.
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"You should have used fresh ginger!"
History is the story we tell the future about the past, and we have an obligation to get it right.
I thought that when people spoke of someone's face 'lighting up,' it was merely a figure of speech.
The only thing that will make a soufflé fall is s if it knows that you're afraid if it.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Working as a public relations hotline consultant for a once-prestigious culinary magazine, Billie Breslin unexpectedly enters a world of New York restaurateurs and artisanal purveyors while reading World War II letters exchanged between a plucky 12-year-old and James Beard.… (more)

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