Tender at the Bone is a memoir by Ruth Reichl, former editor at Gourmet Magazine and former restaurant critic for the New York Times. It spans the early part of her life, from childhood in New York to the start of her career as a food writer in the San Francisco Bay Area in the 1970's. Not surprisingly, Reichl's focus is on food - the rancid food she eats when her mother cooks to the hippie organic fare she serves up at her commune in Berkeley, with the drunken messes she makes for high school friends and exotic meals in North Africa in between.
There are a few sure things for me to enjoy reading about. I love reading good food descriptions (probably because I really love good food). I love reading books set in a place I know very well, like the town I live or work in. And I love books about travel, because it's so wonderful to be transported someplace new. Tender at the Bone was a great combination of all these things and I really enjoyed reading it.
This is the first of three memoirs Reichl has written, and I've actually already read the third, Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise. (Number two is Comfort Me with Apples.) I have to say, I definitely preferred Garlic and Sapphires to Tender at the Bone. Garlic and Sapphires felt like a more complete story, whereas Tender at the Bone ended abruptly and wasn't as consistent throughout. Generally, though, I very much enjoyed Tender at the Bone and would recommend it to anyone who likes memoirs or food books.
Buy Tender at the Bone: Growing Up at the Table on Amazon.