Save Me the Plums
My Gourmet Memoir
By Ruth Reichl
Narrated by Ruth Reichl
Duration: 7 Hours and 56 Minutes
Penguin Random House Audio (PRHA) | Imprint: Random House Audio
Genre: Biography & Autobiography – Personal Memoirs
Release Date: April 02, 2019
I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader’s copy of this book. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Trailblazing food writer and beloved restaurant critic Ruth Reichl took the job (and the risk) of a lifetime when she entered the high-stakes world of magazine publishing. Now, for the first time, she chronicles her groundbreaking tenure as editor in chief of Gourmet. “
A must for any food lover . . . Reichl is a warm, intimate writer. She peels back the curtain to a glamorous time of magazine-making. You’ll tear through this memoir.”—Refinery29 (The Best New Books of April 2019)
When Condé 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. Yet Reichl had been reading Gourmet since she was eight; it had inspired her career. How could she say no?
This is the story of a former Berkeley hippie entering the corporate world and worrying about losing her soul. It is the story of the moment restaurants became an important part of popular culture, a time when the rise of the farm-to-table movement changed, forever, the way we eat. Readers will meet legendary chefs like David Chang and Eric Ripert, idiosyncratic writers like David Foster Wallace, and a colorful group of editors and art directors who, under Reichl’s leadership, transformed stately Gourmet into a cutting-edge publication. This was the golden age of print media—the last spendthrift gasp before the Internet turned the magazine world upside down.
Complete with recipes, Save Me the Plums is a personal journey of a woman coming to terms with being in charge and making a mark, following a passion and holding on to her dreams—even when she ends up in a place she never expected to be. https://www.penguinrandomhouseaudio.com/book/210646/save-me-the-plums/
Reichl has always been reliably readable for me, and now I find she is equally listenable!
SAVE ME THE PLUMS starts off with this William Carlos Williams poem — always one of my favorites.
This Is Just To Say
I have eatenthe plumsthat were inthe iceboxand whichyou were probablysavingfor breakfastForgive methey were deliciousso sweetand so col
This Is Just To Say
By William Carlos Williams
I have eaten
that were in
you were probably
they were delicious
and so coldWilliam Carlos Williams,”This Is Just to Say” from The Collected Poems: Volume I, 1909-1939, copyright ©1938 by New Directions Publishing Corp. Reprinted by permission of New Directions Publishing Corp. Source: The Collected Poems: Volume I, 1909-1939 (New Directions Publishing Corporation, 1991) https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/56159/this-is-just-to-say
Reiche went into the operation with a massive pay raise as well as a multitude of perks we would only imagine to be part of a movie plot: clothing allowance and drivers. At first, Reichl, whose mom sought the status and benefits of the wealthy and well-placed and who was sort of an epicurean hippy, was averse to accepting these items until she realized it affected the standing of her magazine.
Reichle and her team members totally reinvented the stuffy, white-gloved magazine and excited readers and professionals alike.
Like Mayes, about whom I posted earlier this week, Reichl’s writing is deeply personal, but she also protects her own image and position. She does her best, and the fall, when it comes is rapid and seems to blindside her. Partly because she jumps through a lot of hoops — getting ad revenue, winning awards, developing cook books, etc. Reichl worked her ass off but eventually, and surprisingly, it fell vistim to the caprices of the Conde Nast machine and the changing times. And, perhaps her prior lack of magazine experience
Reichle also reveals her family life and how hard a career woman has to work to keep balance in her life, raise a child, and have a marriage that endures. She also looks at how wealth and position removes us from genuine experience with its cushy-ness. How can you know a sublime meal if you haven’t experienced the banal? There are a few recipes , but nothing earth-shattering. The story of 9/11 in NYC is very emotional.
As well as a glimpse into the magazine business of the past, food, career and family life, Reichle offers a view at how her career, especially her time at Gourmet, helped her reconcile her life with her parents’ issues and intents. She does a great job narrating her story and the referential issues I note in some other non-fiction books are pretty mild here.
I would recommend this book to pretty much anyone who loves food, and maybe especially those people trying to create balance in their lives.
AUTHOR: http://ruthreichl.com /