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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good luck, Ruthie
I first heard of Ruth Reichl during her radio interview on "Fresh Air" with Terry Gross. Later, a friend told me that Reichl also has a radio show in New York. Ah, those lucky New Yorkers...
In this book, Ruth Reichl's stories cut across the many planes of her world: food, family, self, cities, friends, and last but definitely not least -- mental...
Published on 16 July 1998

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3.0 out of 5 stars A sometimes moving memory of family and food
This beautifully written account of Ruth Reichl's warm relationship with food, is peppered with moving anectdotes about her mother and the education of one of the most influential food critics in modern times. Unfortunately, the portraits of the most important men in her life( father, husband) is sketchy and guarded. Maybe now that Ms. Reichl doesn't have to hide her...
Published on 30 May 1999


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good luck, Ruthie, 16 July 1998
By A Customer
I first heard of Ruth Reichl during her radio interview on "Fresh Air" with Terry Gross. Later, a friend told me that Reichl also has a radio show in New York. Ah, those lucky New Yorkers...
In this book, Ruth Reichl's stories cut across the many planes of her world: food, family, self, cities, friends, and last but definitely not least -- mental illness.
Though each story in this set of memoirs is nominally "complete" with a starting and ending point that lets it stand on its own, there is nonetheless a sense of skittishness and patchiness that permeates the collection. Characters enter and exit the book with scarce, absent, or post-facto introduction. Episodes end abruptly, and suddenly Ruth is somewhere else -- in a different place and time.
These effects are surely intentional. Because they are a part of how Ruth has lived and continues to live in a life influenced by her mother's manic depression, her own emerging mental crises which! ! are mentioned in the closing chapters, and the places and times within which she lives.
Most of the stories-with-crises that Riechl tells from childhood through adulthood end on hopeful notes, but you often don't find out what happens afterward. The same with the greater story of Riechl's life -- we are hopeful that she will come out of this ok, but we can't be sure.
Readers of this book may also be interested in Ron Suskind's _A Hope in the Unseen_ (also reviewed by a few folks on this website) which ends in a similar way.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Once again ....delicious!, 7 Dec 2006
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Sarah Durston (London) - See all my reviews
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I first read Ruth Reichl's 'Garlic and Sapphires' and loved her writing style and passion for food so much that I bought her earlier books!

I wasn't disappointed. This is another beautiful memoir describing Reichl's early years and experiences with food. It will be a while before I forget Alice's apple dumplings, her mother's totally orange Halloween dinner or her travels through Tunisia. The book also includes a smattering of recipes.

Absolutely delicious, a must for foodies!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book!, 6 Sep 1999
By A Customer
I thought this book was great! I guess I wasn't disappointed with the ending because I then went on to read "DINING OUT" by Andrew Dornenburg -- another great book in which Reichl is featured prominently, both on the cover and in the text as one of America's leading restaurant critics. After reading how she developed her passion for food in "TENDER AT THE BONE", I loved learning what her life as a restaurant reviewer was like in "DINING OUT"!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A portrait of how family and food shaped a life., 8 May 1999
By A Customer
Ruth Reichl is so brave to bare her family's dysfunctional framework and how it shaped her life as a food lover, cook and critic. I kept wondering if the people she so openly writes about are still alive to see what she wrote! Her love of food is poetic, but her open-minded life more than that is a testament to finding balance and optimism. I hope now that she's at Gourmet she can look back and write about what it was like to become restaurant critic of the New York Times.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars YUM!, 26 May 1999
By A Customer
This book is a must for people who share the belief that eating is not a biological necessity but rather one of life's great adventures. Ruth Reichl has enriched the life of many with her superb reviews. Now she has added courage and generosity to her work by sharing some of the experiences that formed her. It was a joy to share her physical and psychological journeys. I will continue to emulate her zest for life and food!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Anyone in a service business should read this book!, 15 July 1998
By A Customer
Worth the price of the book is Ruth Reichl's story about learning how to walk that razor's edge - as a waitress - between restaurant customers and chefs.
An experienced waiter tells her that the chefs are in a constant state of war with the customers. If a customer wants to send back an overdone steak, the waitress must remember that the chefs are not at war with her. If she goes into the kitchen and confesses, humbly, that she should have written "medium," but mistakenly wrote "well done," she will get some grief from the chefs, but at least will get a new steak.
If she goes in and says the customer said the steak was overdone, she will get only ranting, and may not get another steak at all.
I work in the advertising business, and the relationship is identical between clients and creatives. The only way an account executive can succeed as a go-between pretend that he or she was mistaken about the client's desires.
Once in a while, you lea! ! rn something truly insightful. This was such a lesson. Beyond that, this book is delightful, warm, witty - and even has great recipes.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Delicious, 4 July 1998
By A Customer
I loved everything about this book. Reichl knows how to bring color to life and how to make you feel as though you were experiencing life right along side of her. This talent that makes her the best restaurant reviewer writing is the same talent that makes this book one of the best biographies written. For foodies, as well as for anyone that is interested by the pleasure and pain experienced in everyone's life, I can't recommend this book highly enough. PS I just made the Oleron Tart for the second time to rave reviews. The recipes are a good reflection of the passages in the book and shouldn't be ignored as side bar. Cook them to inspire the mood that Ruth was trying to capture in the chapter in which they are found. You won't be disappointed.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The queen of mold bore a princess of a writer, 31 Mar 1998
By A Customer
I picked up this book to read a chapter during lunch and finished it by dinner, laughing all the way. Not only are the meals tender but so are the characters. A grand tale of family life rife with passion, with eccentric behavior taken for granted. The stories are delightful and unusual, flowing easily as if Reichl were sitting in the next chair bending your ear over a tray of iced oysters. From her first souffle to dumpster diving, each meal left me hungry. The progression slowed a bit for me when she came to her early wine education. The rhythm felt out of joint with the rest of the narrative. But, overall, I highly recommend Tender at the Bone to anyone who likes to cook, eat, or read a good book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Page after page of small joys, 22 Jun 1999
By A Customer
I'd never read anything by Ruth Reichl before picking up this book, but you can be assured that I will seek out her work after having put it down! The short vignettes are delightfuly entertaining and the chapter on her travels through Greece made me dance around my living room with my boyfriend in one hand and an ice cream cone in the other in appreciation of all the little things in life that make me happy. If I can live a life half as full as Reichl's, I'll die a very happy woman.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful book., 26 Jan 2004
By A Customer
Okay, first of all I must confess that my favourite books of all time are books sprinkled with recipes - as this book is. Apart from the recipes (which aren't too regular - just an occasional treat) the story is wonderful. A real rollercoaster ride, you can't help but love Ruth as you follow her life, and cry and laugh with her. One of those books that makes you fall totally in love with the author. An absolute joy to read, although heartbreaking in places. Highly recommended.
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Tender at the Bone
Tender at the Bone by Ruth Reichl (Paperback - 1998)
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