Book Seven: Tender at the Bone

Tender at the Bone: Growing Up at the Table, Ruth Reichl

Ruth Reichl is one of those people that I just want to totally eat up. Literally. I mean, like, bake her into one of those apple dumplings she talks about in the first chapter of this book and just devour her. Okay, obviously I don't want to literally eat her up, but I'm happy to do it in the more figurative sense. She is all good things to me: a good writer, a good cook, and most importantly, a good story teller. Reading all these books this year I'm discovering that, to me, the most important thing in writing is simply to be able to tell a story and tell it well. I think the charm of Ruth Reichl is her ability to make you feel like you're right there next to her. We all know she knows far more about food than any of us ever will, but she doesn't rub it in our faces. In fact, she tells us all the time how much she doesn't know. So, of course, we can identify and feel like she's our pal, like we can say to her, "You know, I don't really don't anything about wine, either!"

I found it interesting to read this food book so soon after reading Corks & Forks. (Okay, I swear after this I'll stop harping about how much I disliked that book.) But there's a good example here. Both Ruth Reichl and Robert Finigan have chapters where they talk about Kermit Lynch. Whereas Finigan's was some pompous description of something or other having to do with Kermit Lynch that was essentially written for the purpose of name dropping (I honestly have forgotten what his point was), Reichl's chapter told a wonderful story about going to France with Kermit and knowing nothing about wine and learning how he picked the wines he did, all the while telling funny stories that helped me learn something about the wine world and about Kermit Lynch.

And, not to mention, what an interesting life Ruth Reichl has had! What a crazy mother and strange upbringing and circuitous path she took into the foodie world! What great stories! What sweet recipes she includes in the book! What a book!


Blogger Kyla said...

One of my favourite books!

February 22, 2007 at 11:23 AM  
Blogger tommyp said...

Might I recommend an even-handed bio of one of this country's most polarizing figures, written by one of the nation's foremost (and retired) media critics:

The Man Who Would Not Shut Up: The Rise of Bill O'Reilly, by Marvin Kitman.

March 1, 2007 at 5:59 PM  
Blogger bellcurves said...

ooh this sounds like a good book. have you read "garlic & sapphires" (same author)? i've been wanting to read that.

March 3, 2007 at 6:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh! i forgot to sign out of g-mail/blogspot before leaving that comment. that was me. sorry. :-)~emeraldtiger

March 3, 2007 at 6:37 AM  

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