Book Review

SAVE ME THE PLUMS by Ruth Reichl

Rating: 4 / 5

I have a fondness and a weakness for food, so when I spotted this foodie memoir at Book Outlet I immediately added it to my cart, especially knowing that there was a book about food reading challenge prompt in my future!

SAVE ME THE PLUMS is a memoir by Ruth Reichl, documenting her life with Gourmet magazine. Having grown up with a love of cooking and food and Gourmet, she had hoped to work with the magazine in her career as a food writer and restaurant critic, but was turned down for her pitch. She is therefore even more shocked when Condé Nast offers her the editor in chief position, something entirely out of her comfort zone.

Not knowing anything about the publishing world, Ruth takes on the job, but recognizes she has a lot to learn. Ruth lays out her story as she learns the magazine’s ways and makes waves by threatening the status quo to freshen up the magazine in a world that was slowly heading toward a digital medium.

Though I didn’t often pick up Gourmet, I have subscribed to many a food magazine over the years, so I really enjoyed this memoir and getting a behind the scenes look at a food magazine. The descriptions of food were amazing and I love that the book includes several of the recipes discussed. I will absolutely be revisiting the book for those recipes.

I thought this book balanced well Ruth’s own story and the story of the magazine, from her days of reading it growing up to its sudden, unanticipated closure. Moments that stood out included description of 9/11 and the impact on the magazine and the ways they worked to help feed the first responders. On a less serious note, the discussion of a chef dancing with a fish to get a perfect cover shot stuck with me too.

I would recommend this memoir, though I think I’d suggest you not read it when you’re already hungry!

Reading Challenges:

#ReadingWomenChallenge – a book about food

1 thought on “SAVE ME THE PLUMS by Ruth Reichl”

  1. This was a good review! Totally agree that you shouldn’t read this when hungry 😆I really wanted to like the book overall, and her writing was generally clear and interesting, but I was unfortunately really put off by her recipes, which had shockingly vague names…I remember one of them was just called “Chinese Noodles” and thinking, ‘Out of the thousands of types of Chinese noodles, you can’t be more specific? As a food editor?’


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