Save Me the Plums

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 03 Jun 2019

Member Reviews

This book was a great delight! I picked it up to see what it was like and just could not put it down. Wonderful stories, fascinating tale, and great recipes. I haven't been this captivated by a memoir in some time. Ruth Reichl is a wonderful writer describing her time in an amazing new world at Gourmet Magazine. I really want to track down some of the articles she talked about. She is so down to earth it was easy to imagine myself in her shoes. It was a joy to make the journey with her. I hope she keeps on writing! I can't wait for her next one.
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Save Me the Plums was a delightful read. I am a fan of all of Ruth Reichl’s writing but this one is my favorite. I loved the descriptions of everything—the food, the clothes, the weather. I really felt I was right there with her at Gourmet magazine.
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Random House and NetGalley provided me with an electronic copy of Save Me the Plums: My Gourmet Memoir.  I was under no obligation to review this book and my opinion is freely given.

Save Me the Plums is a memoir penned by Ruth Reichl and covers her years as the editor in chief for the now defunct Gourmet magazine.  Ruth's love of the magazine was born in her childhood, as she first dreamed of, and then made, many of the recipes that graced its pages.  She touches upon that childhood, but the book is mainly about the time period that spans Ruth's beginning at the magazine and its ending.

Memoirs tend to not be strictly linear and, although this one is not, the author does a good job of bringing the reader along on her journey through a job for which Ruth felt extremely unqualified at times.  Having been a food critic, Ruth knows the culinary world in a way that most people do not.  I know of Ruth Reichl because of her association with the popular food competition conglomerate, Top Chef, so I was excited to see the personal side of this accomplished woman.  Overall, I liked Save Me the Plums.  Ruth brought the magazine back to life with her personal stories, making me wish more than once that Gourmet was still in print.  I am excited to try some of the recipes that are scattered throughout the book, especially because Ruth has a great way of describing said dishes in a way that is very inviting.  I definitely recommend Save Me the Plums to those who like culinary memoirs.
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I've read several of Ruth Reichl's books and she certainly has lead a fun and extraordinary life.   She has written this Memoir/Biography  with an eye always on food.  The book highlights her years with Gourmet magazine and how it changed over the years trying to stay relevant in today's world. She details how many popular publications including Gourmet met their demise.  I used to be in charge of the magazine section at BAM and it amazed me how many old standards disappeared from the shelves.  I received a copy of this ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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In her latest memoir, Reichl shares her journey from hippie foodie in San Francisco where she hung out with Alice Waters and others to New York Times food critic to final editor of Gourmet Magazine in a casual and humorous voice readers have come to know and love. After having had the pleasure of sitting in on a cookbook author panel in Los Angeles recently, I can confirm that the voice is authentically hers. It’s fascinating to read about her battle to stay true to herself, her family and her ideals when taking the helm of an unapologetically high-brow magazine where perks such as a full-time driver were the norm. In the ten years she was editor of Gourmet, she totally remade it into a publication that was more relatable to household cooks without sacrificing quality. Yes, she lost some long-time readers, but with the help of people like revered LA Times food critic Jonathan Gold, she vastly increased readership until the internet spelled its demise. Aren’t we lucky that, as unfortunate as this is, it freed up Reichl’s time to share her story and some delicious recipes as well?
 
I received a complimentary ARC of this book from Random House through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Opinions expressed are completely my own.
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Past Tense: Ruth Reichl’s Save Me The Plums is her Gourmet Memoir

Ruth Reichl was the editor of Gourmet magazine from 1999 to its death in 2009. A restaurant reviewer and editor of the Los Angeles Times food section during that city’s blossoming foodie revolution with stable stars chef Alice Waters and food writer Jonathon Gold, she went on to be infamous–and anonymous–New York Times restaurant reviewer when she was wooed by Gourmet, an upper-crust epicurean magazine whose readership at the time veered more to the rich than the home chef. She changed the game and the game changed her and then the game ended as dwindling advertising dollars stopped filtering into Gourmet (and other niche magazines), instead of staying with big-hitters such as Vogue and Architectural Digest–and moving online. Her stories of epic parties thrown by Conde Nast, hiring friends and foes, and the ways $$ changes her expectations are all interesting, but for me, her memoir cookbook, My Kitchen Year: 136 Recipes That Saved My Life, which she wrote in 2015 after Gourmet folded, is not just a more intimate memoir and far less journalistic, but simply beautiful and it makes you hungry in the way good foodie writing should. (But, my god, this cover is clever.)   

Wendy Ward
http://wendyrward.tumblr.com/
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I enjoy everything that Ruth Reichl writes.  This memoir was so interesting and written with such warmth that I could not put it down.  Her business leadership and her management style are so rare and genuine, it makes one jealous that she  will not be your next boss.  This book is her memoir of her amazing success as the Editor in Chief of Gourmet magazine.  She is always so honest in her doubts and fears that you feel like she is sitting in front of you like a friend recounting a story.  Ruth Reichl is so graceful with her success and honesty.   Everyone can learn a lessen about working hard, being loyal to yourself, keeping family close to your heart and earning a stellar reputation among your peers.
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This was a fascinating peek into the world of magazine publishing. Warm, funny...everything you would expect from Ruth Reichl. Would definitely recommend.
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Wow, I finally got a chance to read this book. Memoirs are usually not my thing but this one is amazing.  I really enjoyed reading this story and learned so much about this industry.   I do recommend this one, especially if you are not usually a memoir reader like myself.
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Ruth Reichl was known for her insightful restaurant reviews. But she wasn't sure she was qualified to run Gourmet magazine. When she was offered the job of editor-in-chief, she overcame her hesitation to lead the publication she had loved for decades. She would work at the magazine for ten years, learning that the things that worked in a review column didn't always work when success was determined by the whims of both staff and readers.

Save Me the Plums is the real-life dishy look inside the day-to-day operations of a magazine that you've always wanted. As you read, you feel like you're tasting a cake in the magazine's kitchen or attending a party with the hottest celebrity chefs. She easily throws off references to Alice Waters and James Beard, but it doesn't come across as braggy; Reichl is just showing you her world from her unconventional childhood to making dinner with her son.

Reichl is a foodie who understands there is more to it than creating a beautiful and delicious plate. She believes that food writing should bring to light the damage we do to our planet in the quest for certain foods and the reality that eating well is not possible for everyone. When she ran Gourmet, she insisted that the magazine feature writing that would inspire and challenge people, instead of continuing to be an old-fashioned magazine for the wealthy. Save Me the Plums is an loving tribute to the heyday of magazine publishing, when fascinating and provocative articles about food were the topics of conversation everywhere.

I can't believe I waited so long to read something by Ruth Reichl. Her love for food is evident on every page, and she has a true gift for telling a great story. I will be happily reading through her backlist this summer.


Save Me the Plums
My Gourmet Memoir
By Ruth Reichl
Random House April 2019
288 pages
Read via Netgalley
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I have read all of the author's previous works '' Tender At The Bone and Comfort  Me With Apples, and my favorite "Garlic and Sapphires." I have shared them with family and friends and had lively discussion about her books and how engrossing they are to the books of food culture. I was  thrilled to receive this for review. Thank you to the publisher and to Net Galley for the opportunity.  My opinions are my own. Even if your not a foodie this book will resonate with you as the story of a strong woman taking on a career change that will change her life forever,. 
Gourmet magazine. was a popular food magazine for its time. They needed a new Editor in Chief and Ruth was hired to transition the magazine back to its popularity. She had never worked for a magazine nor as a Editor in Chief before. She ended up taking the magazine to new heights and and made it highly successful. She  shares her journey here honestly as the Editor in Chief even her mistakes along the way She opens up most heartfelt about the day of 9/11.
Several recipes are  here and her love of good food shines through.. I highly recommend this book for your reading enjoyment for all foodies and fans of the author's previous work. Very well done and fun read.
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Gourmet magazine was one of my favorite mags back in the 1990s, I even still have all the mags among my cookbooks! I confess to never having made any of the dishes, I'm really not much of a cook, but I still enjoy looking through them! This memoir by Ruth Reichl is a great behind the scenes look at her time as editor-in-chief of the magazine and a peek at her life. It was a quick and enjoyable read.  Foodies and cooks will likely enjoy this book.
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I received an Advanced Reader Copy from and Netgalley for my unbiased opinion of the book.  I LOVED THIS BOOK!  I couldn't put it down.  This book is an insider view of the last editor and now defunct magazine.  I remember when I purchased my first issue of Gourmet magazine., It was something to be savored and aspire to.  I loved Ruth's style of writing.  It made you feel like you were right there with everyone.  It will make you laugh and feel sad; Ruth is an empowering woman who did her part in paving the way for women in the food.  For this, I will be forever grateful.  I can't wait to hear more from her.
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Thank you NetGalley and Random House for an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this Book.  I just thoroughly enjoyed reading Reichl’s Memoir about when you she ran Gourmet Magazine.  She has a real genuine way of writing and making the reader engaged.  This memoir is so delightful.  I am looking forward to reading her backlist.
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This is the second book I’ve read by Ruth Reichl and I absolutely loved it! I was swept up in it from the start and felt like I was there watching everything unfold. As a self confessed foodie and bookworm this book was perfect for me and didn’t disappoint.
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As a child, Ruth Reichl discovered her love for food and for writing about food as she pored over a treasure trove of old Gourmet magazines. After years as a food writer, most notably for the Los Angeles Times and The New York Times, she became the editor-in-chief of Gourmet magazine, the opportunity of a lifetime.
Reichl’s lack of magazine experience put her on a sharp learning curve, but she settled successfully into the world of Condé Nast luxury magazines. Better yet, she could sometimes be home for dinner with her husband and son.
The change of position came with a massive lifestyle change. High-powered people living high-powered lives in high-powered wardrobes threw her more Bohemian style into sharp contrast. The expectations and accompanying expense accounts pushed her to lean into the affluence, to become accustomed to luxuries she had never even thought of in previous jobs.
As she traces her time with the magazine, which had its ups and downs, she comes to examine the ways wealth and influence have affected her. In the process, she learns more about who she is—with or without the trappings of success. And while she does not hint at a religious life, she gives food for thought for all of us as we consider the very spiritual question of what defines us.
This book, rich in description of the editorial world, fine food, and travel, is a fun read for both publishing nerds and foodies. Even the least of the cooks (like me) will be inspired to try something new and beautiful. (Random House)
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This book is classic Reichl, with good story telling, honest opinions and some great recipes.  While she rehashes some of the tales from her earlier books, they are told in a different context and help you to understand Reichl and her choices better.  There is also lots of interesting new information in the book as well which made me feel like I got to know Reichl so much better.  This is definitely a worthy read.
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I have greatly enjoyed Reichl's previous memoirs (Comfort Me With Apples, Tender at The Bone, and Garlic and Sapphires) and this book was no exception. Reichl here recounts her time as editor-in-chief of Gourmet magazine. Gourmet had become something of a fusty, old-fashioned cooking magazine, still married to its concept of traditional gourmet (i.e. French/continental) cuisine. She modernized the concept, from photography to recipes, bringing in unexpected authors, like David Foster Wallace, as well as ethnic cuisines which had rarely, if ever, previously appeared between the covers. She recounts hilarious stories about her publisher and more poignant ones about her son's happiness at finally having a mother who would be home for dinner every evening. 

Reading this book was like slipping into conversation with a well-loved friend you haven't seen in forever - comfortable, intriguing, and so worth the wait (and recipes!).
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One of my all-time favorite memoirs! Reichl covers Condé Nast gossip & glamour, Gourmet behind-the-scenes, Parisian adventures, and has you tasting every bite with her brilliant food writing. However, her honest retelling of her hesitance to take the editor job and her struggles as a working mother shows that the perks can only get you so far. This amazing memoir will take you back to the heyday of magazines in NYC & will inspire you to try something new - whether that’s a new career or a new restaurant is up to you.
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Love Ruth. Love her writing. Always have, always will. I loved learning more about the inside of Gourmet magazine and the huge role that Ruth had in making it was it was at the end. Great writing!
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