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Delicious! by Ruth Reichl


by Ruth Reichl

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Love books about food and this was particularly good. Great story, nice characters and the letters were fantastic. ( )
  shazjhb | Aug 24, 2014 |
Absolutely loved this book! I personally love food and reading about it in a practical sense and also in a fictional sense. Having went to Culinary school and have been working around food, I love reading books that depict food the way that I see it, and I know many people who love and obsess over it do as well. I could taste gingerbread cake while reading this and I wanted to try everything. Lulus story drew me in, I wanted to know how everything. I wanted to be the one writing to James Beard. I also liked the background of the war and seeing how Italian were treated. Billies experiences through the book make her grow as a person and she is such a related character. I couldn't get enough.

Love food? a little bit of mystery? then you need to pick up Ruth Delicious tale.

I recieved an ARC of this book from the Good Reads giveaway ( )
  Hbeck | Aug 19, 2014 |
Enchanting. That's the best word I can think of to describe this book. I listened to the audio book and it was fantastic. History, mystery, food, cooking, New York City, romance. Wonderful characters I fell in love with. Definitely did not want this to end. ( )
  sroot | Aug 9, 2014 |
I have been a big fan of Ruth Reichl's non-fiction books so I eagerly picked up this, her first attempt at a novel. SAnd as much as I wanted to like it, I have to say that it was a big disappointment. Ms. Reichl spins the tale of a shy & unconfident twenty-something, Billie Breslin, who travels from California to New York after an unspecified trauma (not revealed until half-way through the book) to become the assistant to the editor of Delicious!, a food magazine not-so loosely based on the late, great Gourmet, which Reichl was the editor-in-chief. Billie has an amazing pallet and is able to identify by taste ingredients and spices that most people have never heard of. She also, despite being terribly gauche and not terribly attractive, seems to be able to charm the pants off just about everybody. When the magazine is suddenly shut down by its publisher (not unlike what happened to Gourmet in real life, Billie is asked to stay behind and honor the magazine's guarantee: anyone not satisfied with a published recipe will have the cot of the ingredients refunded to them.

This job hardly fills her days, so when one of the editors shows up to clean up his office, they start poking around in the old magazine library - unused for years - and discover a secret room and a cache of letters written during World War II by a young girls to James Beard. It is through these letters that Billie comes to terms with her own life and sees a new path for her future growth.

All of this would be charming in the hands of a skilled writer of fictions, but unfortunately Ms. Reichl is not that writer. Character development is sorely lacking, and the "family trauma" plot device just does not work. Reichl is a prime example of how talent in expository writing does not necessarily transfer over into fiction. Please give us more of the former in the future and less of the latter. ( )
1 vote etxgardener | Jul 25, 2014 |
When Billie Breslin abandons college to work as assistant to the editor of Delicious! magazine, she’s immediately known for her superhuman palate: she can taste any dish and list its ingredients and suggest the flavors it needs. She’s known for another trait, too: Billie does not cook. When Delicious! is unceremoniously folded by its parent publisher, Billie is the sole employee kept on to honor the magazine’s guarantee: “Your money back if the recipe doesn’t work.” Between phone calls from wacky subscribers, alone in the yawning old mansion headquarters, Billie discovers a hidden room and a cache of quirkily cataloged letters from a young girl to Delicious! writer James Beard during WWII. In the search for each letter and the young letter writer herself, Billie finds a purpose and a heroine, and gathers the courage to face the past she’s running from. There is indeed a secret readers may quickly guess behind Billie’s fear of the kitchen, but Reichl fills her plump novel with plenty—rich characterization, a bright New York setting, transcendent discussions of taste and food—to distract from predictability. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Famed food critic Reichl, the author of the best-selling memoirs Tender at the Bone (1998) and Comfort Me with Apples (2011), turns to fiction, and her debut will receive a robust marketing campaign, including specialized targeting of librarians and foodies. -- Bostrom, Annie (Reviewed 02-15-2014) (Booklist, vol 110, number 12, p23) ( )
  Autumnalwood | Jul 21, 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!"
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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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