A laugh-out-loud novel about teenage pretensions and adult delusions from an author whom the New York Times has called “a Balzac of the station wagon set” Chick Swallow and his best friend, Nickie Sherman, are teenage boulevardiers of Decency, Connecticut, devotees of Oscar Wilde who spend their evenings crafting perverse aphorisms in an ice-cream parlor. “There is only one thing worse than not having children,” opines Chick, “and that is having them.” Unrepentant aesthetes, someday soon they will be in Paris or New York, far removed from the mainstream. Then the unthinkable happens. Marriage. Family. Dinner parties. For Chick, a job at the local newspaper writing an advice column punctuated by blandly inspirational Pepigrams: “To turn stumbling blocks into stepping stones—pick up your feet.” For Nickie, an unlikely career in law enforcement. But just when it seems that their lives have settled down before they could even begin, Chick begins an affair with Mrs. Thicknesse, a newspaper music critic of ample girth and means, and a whole brouhaha breaks loose: blackmail, forgery, secret sleuthing, lawsuits. There is drama in suburbia after all, and Chick and Nickie are up to their necks in it. A wild, witty tale of friendship, marriage, and infidelity, Comfort Me with Apples is full of the brilliant wordplay and delicious ironies that made Peter de Vries “one of the best comic novelists that America has ever produced” (Commentary).
In this delightful sequel to her bestseller Tender at the Bone, the beloved food writer Ruth Reichl returns with more tales full of love, life, humour and marvellous meals. Ruth Reichl's pursuit of good food and good company leads her to New York and China, France and Los Angeles. She cooks and dines with world-famous chefs and the three star aristocracy of French cuisine, and her accounts of these meetings range from the madcap to the sublime. Reichl lovingly recreates all her marvellous meals in such succulent detail that readers will yearn from truffles in Provence and shrimp in Beijing. Throughout it all, Reichl is unafraid, even eager, to poke holes in the pretensions of food critics, making each and every course a hilarious and instructive occasion for novices and experts alike. She shares some of her first recipes so readers can make the Dry-Fried Shrimp she first tasted in China, or the Dacquoise served at the end of a magical visit to a Paris bistro. Reichl also shares the intimacies of her personal life in a style so honest and warm that readers will feel they are enjoying a cosy dining-table conversation with a friend. In Comfort Me With Apples, Reichl again demonstrates her inimitable ability to combine food writing, humour and memoir into an art form.
Comfort Me With Apples, the adventures of the Hammond family in the rural south during the great depression of the nineteen thirties, through the eyes of a young girl with the name of Dundee. Each chapter deals with a particular problem facing the family, for instance, the child finds unconditional love for an imperfect father, the family rescues their cousin from a mental hospital, a sister is bitten by a rattlesnake and is saved by Bob, a tramp who came by the Hammond home place for a meal and stayed through two summers, and a woman with the sad name of Rainy Day who walked from Arkansas to meet her fate in Wisteria, Mississippi. There are also other characters whose lives touch the family and compose a pattern of love in its many guises and bigotry, and struggle and joy, related with comedic irony and sympathy for the human experience.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Includes an exclusive conversation between Ruth Reichl and Emily Giffin Ruth Reichl is a born storyteller. Through her restaurant reviews, where she celebrated the pleasures of a well-made meal, and her bestselling memoirs that address our universal feelings of love and loss, Reichl has achieved a special place in the hearts of hundreds of thousands of readers. Now, with this magical debut novel, she has created a sumptuous, wholly realized world that will enchant you. Billie Breslin has traveled far from her home in California to take a job at Delicious!, New York’s most iconic food magazine. Away from her family, particularly her older sister, Genie, Billie feels like a fish out of water—until she is welcomed by the magazine’s colorful staff. She is also seduced by the vibrant downtown food scene, especially by Fontanari’s, the famous Italian food shop where she works on weekends. Then Delicious! is abruptly shut down, but Billie agrees to stay on in the empty office, maintaining the hotline for reader complaints in order to pay her bills. To Billie’s surprise, the lonely job becomes the portal to a miraculous discovery. In a hidden room in the magazine’s library, Billie finds a cache of letters written during World War II by Lulu Swan, a plucky twelve-year-old, to the legendary chef James Beard. Lulu’s letters provide Billie with a richer understanding of history, and a feeling of deep connection to the young writer whose courage in the face of hardship inspires Billie to comes to terms with her fears, her big sister and her ability to open her heart to love. Praise for Delicious! “Compulsively readable . . . a treat for anyone who loves a warm, character-packed tale—a delectable mix of flavor, fantasy, and emotional comfort food.”—O: The Oprah Magazine “[Reichl’s] New York is a fairy-tale town where beautiful food abounds. . . . The novel presents a whole passel of surprises: a puzzle to solve; a secret room; hidden letters; the legacy of James Beard; and a parallel, equally plucky heroine from the past, who also happens to be a culinary prodigy.”—The New York Times Book Review “Fascinating characters . . . There’s romance, intrigue, food history, and the fictional appearance of a very real American culinary icon.”—The Austin Chronicle “Reichl’s vivid descriptions of food will have readers salivating, and an insider’s look at life at a food magazine is fascinating. Her satisfying coming-of-age novel of love and loss vividly demonstrates the power of food to connect people across cultures and generations.”—Library Journal (starred review) “This savory feast of a first novel blends the rich gifts that readers of Reichl’s memoirs and food writing have come to expect. To a tantalizing coming-of-age story about a budding chef and journalist she adds a bittersweet tale of separated sisters.”—More From the Trade Paperback edition.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Trailblazing food writer and beloved restaurant critic Ruth Reichl took the job (and the risk) of a lifetime when she entered the high-stakes world of magazine publishing. Now, for the first time, she chronicles her groundbreaking tenure as editor in chief of Gourmet. “A must for any food lover . . . Reichl is a warm, intimate writer. She peels back the curtain to a glamorous time of magazine-making. You’ll tear through this memoir.”—Refinery29 (The Best New Books of April 2019) When Condé Nast offered Ruth Reichl the top position at America’s oldest epicurean magazine, she declined. She was a writer, not a manager, and had no inclination to be anyone’s boss. Yet Reichl had been reading Gourmet since she was eight; it had inspired her career. How could she say no? This is the story of a former Berkeley hippie entering the corporate world and worrying about losing her soul. It is the story of the moment restaurants became an important part of popular culture, a time when the rise of the farm-to-table movement changed, forever, the way we eat. Readers will meet legendary chefs like David Chang and Eric Ripert, idiosyncratic writers like David Foster Wallace, and a colorful group of editors and art directors who, under Reichl’s leadership, transformed stately Gourmet into a cutting-edge publication. This was the golden age of print media—the last spendthrift gasp before the Internet turned the magazine world upside down. Complete with recipes, Save Me the Plums is a personal journey of a woman coming to terms with being in charge and making a mark, following a passion and holding on to her dreams—even when she ends up in a place she never expected to be. Praise for Save Me the Plums “Poignant and hilarious . . . simply delicious . . . Each serving of magazine folklore is worth savoring. In fact, Reichl’s story is juicier than a Peter Luger porterhouse. Dig in.”—The New York Times Book Review “In this smart, touching, and dishy memoir . . . Ruth Reichl recalls her years at the helm of Gourmet magazine with clear eyes, a sense of humor, and some very appealing recipes.”—Town & Country (The Must-Read Books of Spring 2019) “If you haven’t picked up food writing queen Ruth Reichl’s new book, Save Me the Plums, I highly recommend you fix that problem. . . . Reichl is in top form and ready to dish, with every chapter seeming like a dedicated behind-the-scenes documentary on its own.”—Soleil Ho, San Francisco Chronicle
“Reading Ruth Reichl on food is almost as good as eating it,” The Washington Post Book World once declared. If that’s the case, then this eBook bundle is a nonfiction feast. With a résumé that includes such posts as editor in chief of Gourmet magazine and restaurant critic for The New York Times and Los Angeles Times, Reichl has elevated the food memoir into an art form with stories that overflow with love, life, humor, and—of course—marvelous meals. TENDER AT THE BONE Growing Up at the Table “An absolute delight to read . . . How lucky we are that [Reichl] had the courage to follow her appetite.”—Newsday At an early age, Ruth Reichl discovered that “food could be a way of making sense of the world.” Beginning with her mother, the notorious food-poisoner known as the Queen of Mold, Reichl introduces us to the fascinating characters who shaped her world and tastes, from the gourmand Monsieur du Croix, who served Reichl her first foie gras, to those at her table in Berkeley who championed the organic food revolution in the 1970s. Spiced with Reichl’s infectious humor and sprinkled with her favorite recipes, Tender at the Bone is a witty and compelling chronicle of a culinary sensualist’s coming-of-age. COMFORT ME WITH APPLES More Adventures at the Table “Reichl writes with gusto, and her story has all the ingredients of a modern fairy tale: hard work, weird food, and endless curiosity.”—The New Yorker Comfort Me with Apples picks up Reichl’s story in 1978, when she puts down her chef ’s toque and embarks on a career as a restaurant critic. Her pursuit of good food and good company leads her to New York and China, France and Los Angeles, and her stories of cooking and dining with world-famous chefs range from the madcap to the sublime. Through it all, Reichl makes each and every course a hilarious and instructive occasion for novices and experts alike, told in a style so honest and warm that readers will feel they are enjoying a conversation over a meal with a friend. Praise for Tender at the Bone “While all good food writers are humorous . . . few are so riotously, effortlessly entertaining as Ruth Reichl.”—The New York Times Book Review “A poignant, yet hilarious, collection of stories about people [Reichl] has known and loved, and who, knowingly or unknowingly, steered her on the path to fulfill her destiny as one of the world’s leading food writers.”—Chicago Sun-Times Praise for Comfort Me with Apples “Magnificent . . . an extended, lilting song about lovesickness and the restorative succor of good food. [Grade:] A”—Entertainment Weekly “Compelling . . . The book’s charm emerges from Reichl’s writing, her observations and her amazing ability to capture people in a few memorable sentences. . . . You just have to read it.”—USA Today
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER | NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY Los Angeles Times • NPR • Men’s Journal • BookPage • Booklist • Publishers Weekly In the fall of 2009, the food world was rocked when Gourmet magazine was abruptly shuttered by its parent company. No one was more stunned by this unexpected turn of events than its beloved editor in chief, Ruth Reichl, who suddenly faced an uncertain professional future. As she struggled to process what had seemed unthinkable, Reichl turned to the one place that had always provided sanctuary. “I did what I always do when I’m confused, lonely, or frightened,” she writes. “I disappeared into the kitchen.” My Kitchen Year follows the change of seasons—and Reichl’s emotions—as she slowly heals through the simple pleasures of cooking. While working 24/7, Reichl would “throw quick meals together” for her family and friends. Now she has the time to rediscover what cooking meant to her. Imagine kale, leaves dark and inviting, sautéed with chiles and garlic; summer peaches baked into a simple cobbler; fresh oysters chilling in a box of snow; plump chickens and earthy mushrooms, fricasseed with cream. Over the course of this challenging year, each dish Reichl prepares becomes a kind of stepping stone to finding joy again in ordinary things. The 136 recipes collected here represent a life’s passion for food: a blistering ma po tofu that shakes Reichl out of the blues; a decadent grilled cheese sandwich that accompanies a rare sighting in the woods around her home; a rhubarb sundae that signals the arrival of spring. Here, too, is Reichl’s enlivening dialogue with her Twitter followers, who become her culinary supporters and lively confidants. Part cookbook, part memoir, part paean to the household gods, My Kitchen Year may be Ruth Reichl’s most stirring book yet—one that reveals a refreshingly vulnerable side of the world's most famous food editor as she shares treasured recipes to be returned to again and again and again. Praise for My Kitchen Year “Ruth is one of our greatest storytellers today, which you will feel from the moment you open this book and begin to read: No one writes as warmly and engagingly about the all-important intersection of food, life, love, and loss. This book is a lyrical and deeply intimate journey told through recipes, as only Ruth can do.”—Alice Waters “What will send this book to the top of bestseller lists is the lovely way Reichl describes how dishes come together, like the Greek chicken soup with lemon and egg known as avgolemono, and her talent for assembling a collection of recipes her legions of former Gourmet fans will want to make themselves.”—The Washington Post “The recipes make for lovely reading, full of Reichl’s elemental wisdom. . . . In the best way possible, My Kitchen Year is cozy, the reading equivalent of curling up next to a fire with a glass of red wine and perhaps the scent of bread in the oven wafting over.”—Vogue “If anyone can convince us that a dessert, plus two more fabulous dishes, can turn a crummy day around, it’s culinary writer Ruth Reichl, who knows firsthand just how powerful food can be.”—O: The Oprah Magazine “The voice is pure Reichl in a way that makes the reader yearn for a house in the country with a pantry full of staples. . . . And as she finds solace through cooking, we find comfort too.”—Eater (Fall 2015’s Best Cookbooks) From the Hardcover edition.