Garlic and Sapphires by Ruth Reichl

I don’t eat at fine restaurants, but that didn’t stop me from throughly enjoying Ruth’s book on being a critic. Being a food write, as with most jobs involving writing, has been one of my passing fantasies. But it takes only a casual listen to this wonderful book for me to realized that I am out of my depth. My favorite foods are pizzas and BBQ, not truffles and foie gras. Also sad to say I had never heard of a sommeil before, which seems to be someone who knows a lot about wine. Of course, I don’t drink wine, so that may have something to do with it.
There are the odd passages about eating a bit of beef and tasting the meadow where it grazed, and yes, there was a bit of a storm and the grass of it’s last mean was still wet. There was also a lot talk about wine tasting like a forest in spring with violets blooming amid the wild ferns in a shadowed woods. It was fun, if a bit silly.
The main part of the book deals with how the author is transformed in her views of the world by the costumes she wears to avoid being detected as the Critic for the New York Times. These alternate personality are fun and seem to have a life all their own. As the book moves forward she becomes skilled in selecting wigs and finding just the right second-hand store to find the clothes that she needs.
Sprinkled through the book are reviews and recipes. Both are wonderful. The reviews were fun and the style was easy and informative. The recipes made me want to stop by a grocery store and pick up some ingredients.
I listened to this book and Bernadette Dunne did a wonderful job of portraying the many characters that come in and out of our hero’s life. She did a great job of shifting from Ruth to her five year old son to her grumpy boss to the countless restaurant staffers that populate the world of a food critic. I was sad to have this one come to an end. Both for the story and the performance.
Garlic and Sapphires-Four Stars.

Jon Herrera

Jon Herrera

Writer, Photographer, Blogger.
Jon Herrera

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Writer, Photographer, Blogger.

Posted in book review, great stuff, I liked it, you should read it

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