I grabbed Delicious!:A Novel from my bookstore soon after its release and was very eager to read the debut novel of one of my favorite food writers. It was good….but. The concept was interesting, with the main character working in food magazine publishing and then losing her job when the magazine closes(sounds eerily like Ruth Reichl, right?). They say an author should write what she knows, and Reichl has created a pastiche of a mystery with bunches of interesting characters and lots of food references. Even with all that going for it, I wasn’t blown away as I have been with Reichl’s memoirs. The writing felt stiff and the story line involving the hidden letters was convoluted, at best. We know that Reichl can spin a great tale, but she may have bitten off more that she can chew with this first novel. If you are a foodie, it’s still worth reading — just not a five out of five.
For more Ruth Reichl at her best in a memoir rather than a novel, you should try Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise. Exactly what the title says it is, Reichl’s stories of being a food critic for The New York Times are charming and funny.
For a little more salt in your foodie memoir, Anthony Bourdain is as flavorful as they get. I’ve read Kitchen Confidential and Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook, and both are very good. I’ve blogged about Tony B three times over the years, and I’m as much of a fan of his current show on CNN (Parts Unknown) as I was of No Reservations.
I’ve been on a foodie book tear in the last few months — there will be more reviews coming soon!
This post includes affiliate links. Please see my advertising disclosure for details.