Garlic & Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise by Ruth Reichl is one of several memoirs by the former New York Times food critic and details her time working for the New York Times, including how she came to move to New York, her personal choices about reviewing, many of her experiences eating out in disguise, some recipes and a number of her columns for the New York Times (as well as the praise and/or backlash she received for her ratings).
Garlic & Sapphires is really quite fascinating. I don't think you have to be a foodie to appreciate reading about a woman whose job carried such surprisingly celebrity status that she had to continue to find new ways to disguise herself to make sure she received food and service in the way any other New Yorker might, for better or worse. It's particularly enjoyable to read about how she felt in disguise, how each new costume made her feel as if she was a completely different person.
Highly recommended to memoir lovers, foodies, and anyone who likes reading a book with recipes scattered throughout. My beloved daughter-in-law, who is a fabulous cook, loaned me her copy of Garlic and Sapphires. Thanks, Sarah!
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I actually have all three of her memoirs, and have only read two of them, but think that I need to read all three very soon. Thanks for the great review and for getting me all excited about these books again!ReplyDelete
I think there are actually four. I've read the one about her mother (didn't like it) and now Garlic & Sapphires. I don't have a copy of Tender at the Bone but have heard raves about it. And, I have a copy of Comfort Me with Apples. Although I didn't like that first one about her mother (it was so negative), I was impressed with Reichl's writing. Sounds like you enjoy her as much as I did! I'm glad I've gotten you excited!
I rated Garlic and Sapphires 8 of 10 and wrote about my thinking, saying "I'm loving the book" in this post: http://bonniesbooks.blogspot.com/2011/06/library-loot-june-8-14.htmlReplyDelete
8 out of 10 sounds about right. I'll have to look up your review, later. Heading out the door in a sec.
I read this when it came out, since I had liked Reichl's other books. I really enjoyed this one -- it was fun to read about her various disguises, and how they influenced how she felt (and how she was treated).ReplyDelete
Time for a re-read!!
Fun book. I loaned it to someone and lost it along the way. :OReplyDelete
That's what I really found most fascinating, too -- not just how she felt but how she was treated. I think I want to be a redhead, now that I've read about "Brenda". LOL
That happens to us all at some point, unfortunately. I'd pass this copy on to you if it didn't belong to my daughter-in-law. It's worth rereading, I think.
This sounds like the perfect book for me!ReplyDelete
I picked up Tender at the Bone years and years ago at a used booksale and let it sit on my shelf for nearly that long. Picked it up for a challenge and loved it! Had never heard of Reichl before. I've been meaning to read more of her work.ReplyDelete
Maybe you were one of the bloggers who told me not to give up on her after that memoir about her mother, then? Several folks mentioned how much they loved Tender at the Bone. Garlic & Sapphires is a really good read if you're looking to read more. I know I will be.
I use one of Reichl's essays in particular, "The Queen of Mold," in my classes at the college. I love her writing, and it's a shame I haven't read any of her books. I have no idea how I keep overlooking them.ReplyDelete
Thanks for the reminder, Nancy!
You're welcome! You really do need to read one of her books, esp. since you already know she's an amazing writer.
I've only read Tender at the Bone and thought the first half was much better than the second. I should send you my copy. If I still have it...ReplyDelete
Well, if you ever come across it, I'll be happy to take it off your hands. LOL I've got one of her other books, here, so there's obviously no hurry. Maybe someday we can exchange.