Friday, May 30, 2008

Garlic and Sapphires

Garlic and Sapphires (Hardcover)
The bad news is I have not been cooking much lately. I have a lot on my proverbial plate. But the good news is it is the perfect opportunity to post about a book I have been meaning to share with you.

Most of you are foodies. I don't know how well-read you are or not. I am a bit behind the times with books because with two small children and a baby business to boot, I don't have much time. But a little over a year ago my sister introduced me to Ruth Reichl's book, Garlic and Sapphires. She said to me, "It is like this woman wrote the book for you!" You may have heard of it already. You may have even read it. It is a few years old. But if you have NOT heard of it or read it by some chance, I urge you to do so. I savored every word, crumb and morsel the author said and could practically taste the dishes she writes about.

The author, Ruth, was the New York Times's restaurant critic through much of the 90's. And obviously as a restaurant critic, her job was to eat at numerous restaurants (FREE I might add) and then write about it. Sounds like a dream job for most of us doesn't it? Well the book not only chronicles her experiences with the food and service at the restaurants but her own life and persona. In order to avoid recognition, Reichl dons some of the most elaborate costumes and assumes the roll of different "characters" that match her look. Sometimes the characters seem to invent themselves and begin to take over. The writing is witty, engaging, fast paced and down right hilarious at times. You just wish you knew someone this fun to be around! As a bonus, Ruth also shares a few recipes for you to try out at home.

Needless to say this book is a MUST for any food lover and a total hoot for anyone who just wants a good read. I love books! I need life to slow down just a smidge so I can start reading more again. Maybe I'll reread this one. I forget a lot at this point. And it looks like she has a couple more out. I should pick one up. The woman has a deft hand with the pen.

Do you have a good book recommendation? Let me know! And please, if you have read this book before or if you do in the near future, let me know what you think. My guess is you'll love it.

21 comments:

Elly said...

I loved this book too. Reichl is a great writer. She's so interesting and warm. I've read her other two books too--Tender at the Bone and Comfort Me with Apples. Both were great, but I think I prefer Comfort. I'm reading The Omnivore's Dilemma right now and it's great. Have you already read Kitchen Confidential? If not, you definitely should!

Half Baked said...

Thanks for the review. Sounds like a great read!

Robin Sue said...

hey thanks! I am always in the market for a good book and will only read ones that have been recommended by folks I know. I like your new art work in your blog title. A funny foodie book I read about 20 years ago was "like water for chocolate" a hoot. Oh and you will get to read soon, the kids grow up so fast...

That Girl said...

I really need to read this book as soon as I have some reading time.

Have you already read Julie and Julia?

Michelle said...

I love books too! And I love Ruth Reichl! She would be so fun to hang out with! I definitely recommend Tender at the Bone, one of my favorites.
Also, Kitchen Confidential, The Soul of a Chef by Michael Ruhlman, and, if you're a fan of literature and writing, you may enjoy "Reckless Appetites: A Culinary Romance by Deval" the reviews weren't that great, but it's a short read and contains famous writers' commentaries on food which I found interesting. Also, can't forget Alice Waters and Chez Panisse by Thomas McNamee, I recently went to work a zombie after staying up half the night finishing that one.

A World in a PAN said...

Whether you love curry or hate it, I'd recommend "Curry: A tale of Cooks and Conquerors", it is fascinating!

Betty C. said...

I have not heard of this book, so I guess I am out of the loop too. Thanks for sharing it!

This has nothing to do with food, but a book that really marked me was "I Know This Much is True." I think the author is Wally Lamb.

I have a book list going at www.and-so-forth.blogspot.com
which is my currently defunct blog. You should leave me some suggestions! I hope to read a lot this summer...

Nicole said...

Elly- I do want to read her other books. I have been so out of the loop in reading. I have heard the other two you mention but haven't read them. I have to get on it.

Half Baked- Read it if you have a chance.

Robin- Do read it. I read "Like Water for Chocolate" a long time ago too. Saw the movie as well. So good.

Kate- No. I have not read Julia and Julia. But it has been coming up lately. I want to try out some of "Julia's" recipes too... I should get a hold of this book. Kill 2 birds...

Michelle- Thanks for all the great recommendations!!! I am making a list!!! As soon as I finish some things up I think I need to go to a bookstore!

Laura- Thanks! And I DO LOVE curry.

Betty- Do read Ruth's book. So funny. And thank you for the link and suggestions. I will check it out. But I am not that well read anymore.

Erin said...

I've heard of this book, but haven't read it yet... too many books, not enough time! I do love foodie reading, though. I'm also reading Omnivore's Dilemma right now, but it's slow going at the beginning. I've heard so many good things, though, so I'm going to try to stick through it.

I loved Kitchen Confidential, Heat, and United States of Arugula.

If you like Julia Childs, read "my life in France". It's amazing, and you will LOVE Julia Childs when your done. I hated "Julie and Julia"... the idea was fun, but the author was waaaay too negative and bitchy for me.

familiabencomo said...

I'm going to pick this one up. I'm always looking for a good read.... I've read a couple of duds lately. If you like I can add you as a "friend" to my Goodreads.com list. Once your kids are older you will be able to go to the beach or pool & read while they play - trust me it seems like it takes forever, but it does happen... eventually!

xoxox Amy

MamaGeek said...

Thanks for the good review, always much appreciate.

Jen said...

Yay, a fellow Reichl fan! I'm about a quarter of the way through this book, and loved her other two as well. Thanks for sharing your review, it's motivating me to finish :)

Nicole said...

Erin- Thanks for the recommendations. I will have to check them out.

Amy- Yes. I know. They will be big before I know it. Just looking at old pics over the weekend and wondering where time went. I will check out your other site. Please add me.

Mamageek- No problem.

Jen- Welcome! Glad you are reading it. I still have to get the other 2.

Abby said...

I've read all of Reichl's books, too. LOVE HER. Your review is right on!

Proud Italian Cook said...

Nicole you got me wanting to read this book now!Thanks for the recommendation!

Emiline said...

I love this book! It's one of my favorites. I kind of want to read it again.

Nicole said...

Abby- Thanks! I need to get my hands on the others.

Proud Italian- DO read it.

Emiline- Welcome. I kind of want to as well... but with so many books I haven't read...

Emily said...

If you are looking for another foodie book I recommend Under the Tuscan Sun. Not the movie but the original book. Reading it makes your mouth water and you just want to abandon everything and move to Tuscany.

Nicole said...

Thanks Emily! I actually read it some time ago... And have it here. I should reread it as I forget a lot.

foodhoe said...

Yes it is a great book, but have you tried to make any of the recipes? Her descriptions were so vivid and enticing, but the final products have so far been disappointing. I love this hysterical post about trying to cook her hash brown recipe on a sadly discontinued site....

Nicole said...

Foodhoe- Welcome! I do have to admit that I have not tried the recipes. I read the book over a year ago and then put it aside. Since then I have been cooking more but didn't think to pick it back up. That review is hilarious!!!