Saturday, April 21, 2007

Book Review: Garlic and Sapphires

I wouldn't have expected that this impulse pick-up tossed in the library basket would have been such a hit around the house, but Ruth Reichl's Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise is the most excitement we've had all week. I wrestled it away from Giles, took my turn, then passed it to Felix's waiting hands.

Ms. Reichl's accounts of her adventures as the New York Times food critic--a job for which she assumes various disguising personas--are fascinating. Her writing is warm and rich, and as she describes the arcane-to-us world of high-end restaurants, we feel like anthropologists exploring a new culture. But even more compelling are the truths she learns about herself and others--petty, generous, pretentious, merciful--as she goes about her business in various disguises.

One unfortunate paragraph contains extremely crude language, but otherwise: engaging and delightful.


Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

That book sounds wonderful, I'll have to see if my library has it.

I've always thought being a food critic would be a great job (although I'd probably way 300 lbs. if I went out to dinner as much as they do).

Anonymous said...

Yes, I enjoyed that book as well. You might enjoy another interesting food book...It Must Have Been Something I Ate by Jeffrey Steingarten.

lissla lissar said...

Oooh, Jeffrey Steingarten is wonderful! Both his books are good.

I think my favourite food writer is still John Thorne, though. He was the first food writer I read. He even beats out Elizabeth David.

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