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Tender at the Bone: Growing Up at the Table Paperback – May 25 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks (May 25 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812981111
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812981117
  • Product Dimensions: 20.4 x 13.3 x 1.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 249 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (84 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #57,964 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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Format: Paperback
Great book for those who love food and good literature. Ruth Reichl writes about growing up with a mother who is bipolar, and describes an interesting, sometimes chaotic, life, sustained by the love and appreciation of good food. Great read!
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By J. Jacobs on April 11 2004
Format: Paperback
A memoir about a food writers coming of age through her experiences with food. Her descriptions of food are tantalizing and the recipes sprinkled throughout tempting. I enjoyed reading about the variety of her exposures to food and found it a well written and easy to read memoir. However, the parts about her early life were much more interesting and engaging. She seems to back off on detail and engagement as she grows older and her adult wanderings and accidental entry into the world of food writers is less interesting.
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Format: Paperback
Ruth Reichl is one of the most influential figures in American culinary journalism today, as Editor in Chief of 'Gourmet' magazine for the last several years. Her influence may not be as great as that of Craig Claiborne, but that was probably a once and gone opportunity. The American culinary scene is too big for any one or two people to dominate it the way Claiborne and Beard did in the 1960's, 70's and 80's.
This book, 'Tender at the Bone' is the first of two memoirs by Reichl. Their charm will be eagerly anticipated by anyone who reads Reichl's monthly editor's column in 'Gourmet'. These two books are cut from the same primal stuff, with the additional spice of material too personal to warrant the pages of a national magazine.
Reichl grew up with a mother with habits which offer as compelling a motive to land in the food business as the very skillful cook / hospitality businesswoman who bore James Beard. In Reichl's case, her mother was just the opposite. She was quite capable of serving food so poorly preserved as to poison her guests. Reichl, as a little girl, had to become skillful in preparing food just to protect her own life and the lives of visitors to her family's house.
In many other regards, as one reads this tale of Ruth's life as a small girl in the early 1960s through her start in culinary journalism in San Francisco in 1977 just at the time when the zeitgeist was leading people such as Alice Waters and Jeremiah Tower to create California Cuisine at Chez Panisse and other venues.
Two fascinating questions are raised in my mind by this book and its sequel 'Comfort Me with Apples'. The first is what it is about Reichl that compels her to reveal so many intimate details about her life and family.
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Format: Paperback
Overall, TENDER AT THE BONE is a lovely coming-of-age story with hilarious vignettes that could be woven into a heart-warming comedic drama. All the elements are there, eccentric characters, witty dialogue, over-arching mother-daughter tension and a good meal. The author's childhood is more fascinating, more poignant than her adult transitions, but entire films can be made from many of the short stories.
Fantastic characters people this story, including Ruth herself. Her awkwardness and self-esteem issues are painfully obvious, and make her sympathetic and endearing. She smoothly arcs from innocent child to rebel teen to competent woman. Good read!
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Format: Paperback
Funny family innuendos meets pleasant field trips on culinary excursions. A great little story about growing up and discovering the rewarding, sometimes almost sinful, pleasures of cooking and food. I enjoyed every lavishly written page! Ruth Reichl has proven her sympathetic nature towards gourmet. Sensual and elaborate, I recommend this book to anyone who has experienced culinary ecstacy, and if you haven't, try one of the remarkable recipes sporadically placed between chapters, and prepare yourself for take-off!!
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Format: Paperback
i don't eat any animal products, and there are only two or three recipes in this book that i can even relate to, but despite this, i love this book. there is something about people's relationships to food -- how it may enrich their lives or what the food represents to them -- that is fascinating, and in ruth reichl's life, it is no different.
this is a light memoir, and a book that i have read multiple times (i'm probably working on ten). as someone who doesn't read many narratives, it says a lot when i recommend this book so highly.
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By P. Lozar on March 28 2003
Format: Paperback
Why I like this book can be best summed up by the beginning of the second-to-last chapter: After reading Reichl's first restaurant review, her editor remarks that she was born to do this, and she replies softly, "No, but I was very well trained." Although she was gifted with an appreciative palate and a knack for cooking, Reichl acquired her knowledge of foods from a series of good teachers, ranging from the eccentric quilt-maker Mr. Izzy T to exacting French winegrowers and tart-makers. Her ease with a wide variety of people, and her willingness to learn, were as crucial to her success as her way with words. She's a good storyteller, but there's genuine warmth beneath the engaging (and sometimes scary) portraits of her friends, family, and mentors. (I was a graduate student at Berkeley during some of the time she lived there, and her picture of commune living and the restaurant business was dead on -- but, unlike many other writers who came out of the same milieu, she neither romanticizes the hippie lifestyle nor sneers at the political mind-set.) The book is like having lunch with a friend who's knowledgeable about food and wine, but not pretentious or smug, and I found it perfectly delightful.
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