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Delicious!: A Novel by Ruth Reichl

Delicious!: A Novel

by Ruth Reichl

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2035057,794 (3.96)9
Recently added bykylerhea, pife43, private library, eigram, mopsa, Coltfan18, BookBabe1019

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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 |
This book about Billie who works at Delicious magazine when it folds is part mystery, cook book, and love story. Billie continues on the job after the magazine ends to honor the guarantee of perfect recipes. She finds a secret room with letters from a young girl to James Beard. The letters were written during World War II. Billie must find this woman so she can get permission to write about these letters. Billie is also dealing with a tragedy in her past, that prevents her from cooking. This is where the book didn't quite work as you can guess part of the tragedy but its still a good book. ( )
  Coltfan18 | Jul 18, 2014 |
I really didn't know how to classify this book because there was a bit of mystery, an awakening romance, and a touch of history all surrounding an old building that is loved by some and seen only as a cash asset for others.

The story centers around Billie Breslin, a former caterer, who gets a job as the assistant to the managing editor of the culinary magazine DELICIOUS! But before Billie can get a handle on her new duties, the owner shuts down the magazine. He retains Billie to be the contact to handle any question regarding the DELICIOUS lifetime guarantee leaving her to work in the huge brownstone mansion alone. While researching in the 4th floor library, Billie makes a startling discovery which carries the story throughout.

The book is well plotted and the characters (though a bit stereotypical) are fun and entertaining. This was a great book for the summer! ( )
  cyderry | Jul 17, 2014 |
OMGoodness, this was wonderful. I picked it out before getting on a plane last week and I've been lolly gagging to slow down the inevitable conclusion. I'll probably read it again. Maybe sooner than later. ( )
  reginacorley | Jul 8, 2014 |
Delicious! is delightful, delectable, as well as delicious! How could reading a novel about people eating, talking and writing about food not be delicious? It's also a nice story. The plot centers around a food magazine, whose headquarters is in a pre-Civil War mansion in New York City. Young Billie Breslin lands a job at Delicious!, but before she really has time to get her bearings, the magazine folds. However, Billie is kept on to respond to reader communications concerning the lifetime guarantee that was made for any recipe published in Delicious! As a result of being in the building alone, she has some time to explore and ends up in the long shuttered library. It turns out to feature a hidden room. While exploring with another former staff member, they find a series of letters to James Beard, who formerly worked at the magazine, from young Lulu Swan, a teenager from Akron, Ohio. Their correspondence continued throughout the war. The fate of the house, the letters, and whatever happened to Lulu Swan shape the bulk of the book. Great fun! Anyone who likes to read and likes food will enjoy this book. ( )
  kblinn | Jul 4, 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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(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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