Save Me the Plums

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 03 Jun 2019

Member Reviews

Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC of Save Me The Plums.  I have adored Ruth Reichl's writing for as long as I can remember. I love a behind the scenes look at almost anything but when you are taking a reader behind the scenes of food and writing it becomes the BEST EVER.  The telling of her life from the time that she was the restaurant critic for the NY Times until her tenure at Gourmet ended is a fascinating tale.  I like to call myself a foodie but after reading about everything that Ruth eats and where she goes I can no longer classify myself as that.  If you love knowing more about food and the publishing world this is your book.  I devoured this book like a slice a chocolate cake - all in one sitting!  #savemetheplums
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I felt like Christmas came early when I was approved for an ARC of Save Me The Plums. I really did! I have been a huge fan of Ruth Reichl since I read the first book she wrote.

I had no idea she was writing another one, but wow, what a book this was! It covers her being hired on at Gourmet and the eventual closing of that magazine. The world lost a great magazine when Gourmet closed and in reading Ms. Reichl's memoir, I felt everyone's pain as if I were a Gourmet writer or staffer.

Ms. Reichl has a wonderful talent in describing meals, people, her environment and pretty much anything so that the reader feels they are there. While many of the decadent meals she described had many foods I wouldn't eat, I still felt as if I were there, enjoying the conversation, the wines and the meals.

Not only will someone reading this get to experience world class meals, but they'll experience the running of a magazine, the work that goes into it and the juggling act we all struggle with, life/work balance.

I cannot recommend this book strongly enough, especially if you're a fan of the author, of cooking and/or celebrity chefs. This book has it all.

Thank you goes to the author, the publisher and Netgalley for my ARC. My thoughts and review are my own.
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I devoured this most recent Ruth Reich’s memoir.  Just like the recipes that she writes, this book is simple and yet so rich.  She writes in a way that reads like a compelling novel, in a language and with a voice that makes you almost taste her life. Having read My Kitchen Year, I knew the ending to the story of her life with Gourmet.  My favorite aspect of this memoir is how cyclical her life with Gourmet magazine was.  It was fascinating and I read how her life circle back to the magazine that introduced her to food and throughout her life at The Four Seasons and  how her life changed and came back in Paris.  What I will take away most from this book was just a tiny section, but like Ruth 9/11 changed all of us.  “Chili would be one of the ways I offer thanks.”  I hope to share my thanks and love for and to others through simple gifts, like chili.
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Ruth Reichl delivers another richly descriptive glimpse into her life in the world of food. Made me want to go digging into past issues of Gourmet as well as the ones that were published under her leadership. What I love about her books is what we learn about the people in her life through the lens that food provides.
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I really enjoyed this look at Ruth Reichl’s evolution from food critic to editor of Gourmet magazine. As one would expect from Ruth, the writing is witty, full,of foodie insider knowledge and intelligently honest. It is a personal story 0f how she tried, amd didn’t always succeed, in juggling her work and family obligations. Her trademark humor abounds. I would recommend this for foodies
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https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41644326-save-me-the-plums   see link next to this or below for my review on Goodreads
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Can't wait for our Library cookbook bookgroup to read this next fall! As usual, Ruth Reichl's food writing reads like a novel and keeps us hungry for more!
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I had no clue who Ruth Reichl was before reading her latest memoir. Although the author has a propensity for name dropping (people I've never heard about), it was both entertaining and enlightening to read about the publishing world and all its fickleness. I'd never seen or read a Gourmet magazine, but the name was not unknown to me.  One of the best things about her memoir was the nostalgic look back at how things were twenty years ago, which was just yesterday. I like Reichl's writing style.
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I'm not much of a cook myself, but I love books about food and cooking. This book did not disappoint me. It tells about the author's time at Gormet magazine and the chef's she met. It also has recipes which are a huge plus, I can't wait to at least try to make them, as I said, I'm not much of a cook. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves food and cooking. 

I would like to thank Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book free of charge. This is my honest and unbiased opinion of it.
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This was the first of Ruth Reichl's books that I had read. It's a memoir of her years at Gourmet magazine with some favorite recipes inserted when they appear in the story. Great story-it made me really sad that I did not follow this magazine during the length of her tenure there. It was interesting to get an insider's view of the Conde Nast empire. I got a little lost with her mentions of some of the staff there-there were people moving in and out of some of the jobs there just like with any other corporation. I would forget who was who. It wasn't material to my overall understanding of the memoir though. 
Thanks to Random House and NetGalley for the ARC in return for my honest review.
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I have read the other Ruth Reichl books and found "Save Me the Plums" equally engaging. This book chronicles her life at Gourmet Magazine. There are even recipes included! Bonus!
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Ruth Reichl talks about her time as editor in chief at Gourmet magazine. She talks about the chefs that she encounters and writers that she works with. This is about Ruth taking charge and running aspects of a magazine that she has never dealt with before while trying to stay true to herself. As always, wonderful writing!
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Very interesting story about Ruth's time at Gourmet magazine. The foods she ate were described so well that I could practically taste them myself. The included recipes were a nice bonus- I'll be trying them myself in the future!
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I've always loved Ruth Reichl's writing, but combined with the drama of her time at Gourmet made this book hard to put down. (And oh, do I miss Gourmet.) I felt all the excitement, stress, and ultimately heartbreak she felt during her time there. The writing is sharp and personable, making both the people and the food jump off the page.
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Ruth Reichl writes truthfully about her tenure as editor of Gourmet magazine, and it's sudden downfall. Interesting look at the origins of Gourmet and how it evolved over time. Very sobering to think how quickly an established magazine can fall.
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Loved it! Just as riveting and colorful as Reichl's past memoirs. Foodies will love it, and it's a love letter to Gourmet magazine as well as the publishing industry.
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If they had 1/2 stars this would be 3.5 stars. I had previously read “Tender to the Bone” by Ms. Reichl which I found touching and really enjoyed. As such, I had great hope for “Save me the Plums”.  For me however, this wasn’t as captivating as the prior book.  It was hard for me to reconcile the portrait Ms. Reichl created of herself in “Tender to the Bone” with this book. There she was captured as a reflective, down to earth person steeped in the counter culture of Berkeley, CA. In this more recent book where she lands at Gourmet Magazine, she is now a highly paid executive, flying and traveling the world first class, using a limousine and driver, having a clothing allowance and staff to meet every need. While by the Epilogue it seemed she was trying to convince herself that the job hadn’t changed her and she didn’t need the shiny objects Gourmet trapped her with, she certainly didn’t convince me!
     Additionally, I didn’t find her work at Gourmet Magazine very earth-shaking, that interesting, or really even very meaningful. Her characterization of who Gourmet Magazine readers were and what they demanded made me cringe. She portrayed them as a special class above whose fine sensibilities had to be nurtured and protected. I did cheer her on as she challenged those readers by pulling the curtain back on some of the practices of the food industry. But that was short lived and most of the book to me seemed to me to focus on the interworking of a failed business that would have had little value for the Ruth Reichl seen in her prior book. Accordingly, this book ended up for me being disjointed and conflicted. 
    So who was is the real Ruth Reichl, the Berkeley hippie gal that had been on the edge of a food revolution and didn’t buy into society trappings or the sophisticated New Yorker carefully navigating those trappings who thrived on everything Gourmet threw her way? Actually, like most of us, she is probably both. But she didn’t seem comfortable with that answer nor did the book reconcile this in a way that honored how complicated the issue is.  Rather, her protests that the trappings didn’t matter or her brief examples of such seemed lacking in substance and unconvincing. Thus for me, the book didn’t seem to have the authenticity or courageous honesty that captured me in her prior book.  I was privileged to receive a free advance copy of this book by NetGalley and the Publisher, Random House in exchange for an honest review.
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I had heard of Ruth Riechl and the huge impact she has had in food media, but had never read any of her work. After reading one chapter of  "Save Me the Plums", I became an instant fan. Her writing is so personable and welcoming and it was inspiring to read the story of a woman who got her childhood dream job with all the (many) trials and tribulations that came with the revamping of the iconic Gourmet magazine. I also loved the recipes that were included and how each dish played an important part in her life story.
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I am now a Ruth Reichl fan. I read Garlic and Sapphires a while ago and enjoyed it but I recently read her novel, Delicious! and now I am hooked. Although I have never read Gourmet magazine this memoir of Reichl's pulls you into a world that is like a novel (in fact I can see where much of the inspiration for Delicious! came from). After a number of years as the New York Times restaurant critic, Ruth is offered the job of editor of Gourmet magazine. This is a magazine she discovered in used book stores when she was a child and instantly fell in love with. That magazine however which introduced its audience to foods from around the world had become a staid publication catering to the entrenched affluent audience of Conde Nast magazine readers. This is the story of how she and her co workers changed the publication for the better right up until it went out of business.
  The New York world of Gourmet was as exciting as you would imagine it. Even after years eating at the best restaurants in NYC, Ruth is not a part of the world of Conde Nast where editors are given excellent salaries (6 times her restaurant critic salary) as well as a car and a driver and a clothing allowance. It takes her a while to actually take advantage of that kind of life style but she is quickly drawn into the world of the magazine and creates a more collegial working atmosphere. It becomes the best job of her life. Even better than the descriptions of working at Gourmet are the glimpses into her life with her parents and with her husband and son. Just reading about her life growing up in NYC seems fascinating to an American who grew up in the suburbs. This is a book that will appeal to those who love to eat, love to cook or just love to read about it.
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This is a memoir that covers Ruth Reichl's time as editor of the famed food magazine, Gourmet.
She takes us on the journey of being offered and accepting the position, learning how to be an editor of a magazine which requires much plate spinning (pun intended!), through to the shocking announcement that the magazine would cease production immediately with the final issue printed in November 2009. 
The parts of this memoir that shine are when Ruth describes food. This is no surprise as her background is both as a cook and a restaurant reviewer. Food is, indeed, her passion. Especially fun was the inside look into the Gourmet test kitchen and the working and reworking of recipes to get them just right. As well as a trip she undertakes to Paris in order to spend time and write about the city from a thrifty traveler's perspective.
Additionally, Reichl has a way of weaving threads of her personal life throughout the story. Particularly with regard to the transformation of her son from a finicky eater, due in part to a medical condition, to a full fledged man with a now healthy appetite and zest for inventive eating. 
The memoir gets a little bogged down with characters, including the fact that there is quite a bit of name dropping, but I suppose one can't blame her, as she did spend a fair amount of time wooing highfalutin advertisers to the pages of the magazine. And, the flow of folks entering through the magazines door, at times, became confusing. 
Overall, though, another fun food memoir from one of the masters of the craft!

Also discussed on episode 69 of the Book Cougars Podcast: 
https://www.bookcougars.com/blog-1/2019/episode-69-

And upcoming episode 70 to be aired on 2/19/19. Bookcougars.com

#SaveMeThePlums #NetGalley
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