Tuesday, November 5, 2019

This Week's Read: Save Me the Plums

MAGIC DOOR

I was eight years old when I first found the magazine, sitting on the dusty wooden floor of a used-book store. My father was a book designer who enjoyed the company of ancient volumes, and he often took me on book-hunting expeditions around New York, leaving me with a pile of vintage magazines while he went off to prowl among the dark and crowded shelves. That day I picked up a tattered old issue of Gourmet, enchanted by the cover drawing of a majestic swordfish leaping joyfully from the water. This looked nothing like the ladies' magazines my mother favored, with their recipes for turkey divan made with cans of mushroom soup, or pot roast topped with ketchup, and I opened it to find the pages filled with tales of food in faraway places. A story called "Night of Lobster" caught my eye, and as I began to read, the walls faded, the shop around me vanishing until I was sprawled on the sands of a small island off the coast of Maine. It was deep night, the sky like velvet, spangled with stars.
Save Me the Plums: My Gourmet Memoir
by Ruth Reichl

This week's read is actually an audiobook. Ruth Reichl narrates her own story and I am enthralled! Save Me the Plums  is unlike other food memoirs I've read. The magazine/publishing angle is unusual and so interesting. I started listening on Sunday and am halfway through already.

Here is a portion of the goodreads summary:
Trailblazing food writer and beloved restaurant critic Ruth Reichl took the risk (and the job) of a lifetime when she entered the glamorous, high-stakes world of magazine publishing. Now, for the first time, she chronicles her groundbreaking tenure as editor in chief of Gourmet, during which she spearheaded a revolution in the way we think about food.
When Cond√© Nast offered Ruth Reichl the top position at America's oldest epicurean magazine, she declined. She was a writer, not a manager, and had no inclination to be anyone's boss. And yet . . . Reichl had been reading Gourmet  since she was eight; it had inspired her career. How could she say no?
What do you think? Would you continue reading?


First Chapter/First Paragraph/Tuesday Intro is hosted by Vicki at I'd Rather Be At The Beach.

34 comments:

  1. I have the audio of this one; I need to try it soon. Sounds good.

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    1. Diane - Reichl is an excellent storyteller.

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  2. I did continue reading and really enjoyed this book.

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  3. I like memoirs narrated by the author. I'm adding this title to my list.

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    1. Catherine - It's almost always a plus for me when the author narrates their memoir,

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  4. Would I! That first paragraph slowed my breathing and I found my mouth hanging open. It's beautiful!

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  5. The excerpt really pulled me into the scene....and I felt like I was there with the narrator. Plus, vintage magazines are fun!

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    1. Laurel-Rain Snow - It's like you're right there with her, isn't it? I'm loving this book!

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  6. I may give this a try on audio. I've read Tender at the Bone, which was very entertaining, and Delicious! (her novel), which was only just "ok".

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    1. Les - I read Tender at the Bone with my book club years ago and remember enjoying it. I think audio is definitely the way to go with this one. Reading reviews convinced me not to try Delicious!

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  7. Sounds good to me. I have read Garlic and Sapphires and liked it very well.

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    1. Judy - Unless other library holds come in, I may move right on to Garlic and Sapphires!

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  8. It sounds right up your alley and interesting too!

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  9. I added this to my shelf after many recommended it to me. I have yet to pick it up yet. I do love a good foodie memoir though.

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    1. Ti - This is just as much about the magazine/publishing industry as it is about food... a great listen so far!

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  10. I've had the audio of this book for a while now. You must really love this book to be halfway through it already! Guess I'll start it as soon as I finish my current listen.

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    1. Vicki - I'm sure this will end up with a high rating... think you'd like it, too.

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  11. My wife has read a lot of culinary memoirs. I will point this one out to her. It sounds like a very worthwhile read as the culinary world, and food in general, also interests me.

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    1. Brian - Reichl sure can tell a story! This is just as much about the magazine/publishing industry as it is about food, and I'm loving it.

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  12. It does sound interesting. I'll have to remember it when I next want a memoir.

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    1. Girl Who Reads - If you're interesting in both publishing and food, this is a memoir for you!

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  13. Hope you bring this over to Books You Loved. Cheers from Carole's Chatter

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    1. Carole - Thanks, maybe after I've finished :)

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  14. Oh, this sounds good! The food and publishing industry angles really interest me!

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  15. I must say I'm not really big on food memoirs or memoirs period, for that matter, but this sounds interesting. I can see how it might work best as an audio book. I'm visiting you from Judy Krueger's blog and I'm happy to have been introduced to you.

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    1. Dorothy - Thanks for stopping by! I've read more memoirs than usual this year and they're growing on me. This one is showing me a side of the magazine publishing industry which I know nothing about and it's fascinating. That the magazine is about food/cooking is an added bonus. I'll be around to visit you and the other bloggers Judy has introduced this weekend.

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  16. I’m on the wait list at the library for the audio of this book. My mom subscribed to Gourmet for at least 20 years and I was always pretty intimidated by the magazine, though I love to cook and enjoyed cooking with my Mom. So glad to hear it is as compelling as I was hoping!

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    1. JaneGS - I ended up rating the book 4.5 stars... such an enjoyable listen! I've requested Garlic & Sapphires, the memoir of her NYTimes restaurant critic days, from the library.

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  17. I have this in print AND audio and *still* haven't read it yet. But I know I'd love it.

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