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Eating My Words: An Appetite for Life
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Eating My Words: An Appetite for Life

3.16 of 5 stars 3.16  ·  rating details  ·  219 ratings  ·  33 reviews
As one of the country's foremost restaurant reviewers, Mimi Sheraton set the standard for food writing and criticism. In this engrossing memoir, the doyenne of food criticism explains how she developed her passion for writing about food and wine, sharing the secrets of her career, including her years at the New York Times. Witty and honest, she talks openly about the impor ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published March 28th 2006 by Harper Perennial (first published May 1st 2004)
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Niya B
Sheraton's memoir is a pleasant enough read, but it feels like a defense to justify a career of travelling and eating - because those things are so enjoyable that they cannot truly be considered work. I'm not sure if this is informed by a puritanical approach to life (which seems unlikely) or if it's a broader phenomenon that afflicts restaurant reviewers who ate and traveled between 1980-2000. It may ultimately have to do with the fact that Sheraton is a writer who hates to write and claims onl ...more
Celeste Thayer
I love memoirs anyhow, but I really love Mimi's. She's got a great vocabulary and has lived an interesting life. She doesn't follow the "I was born, I did this, and now I'm doing this," timeline, which is interesting and perhaps more inviting. She seems to organize her stories somewhat topically, and of course it's always about her travels and love of food and cooking.

By the way, she's been all over, and eaten everything along the way! I loved her descriptions of food in Sweden and Thailand, an
...more
Danielle McClellan
Mimi Sheraton's memoir is fun to read and really places you in the New York of an earlier time. I enjoyed the book, but would not place it in the top tier of food writer memoirs. Ruth Reichl is just much more fun.
Erin
Loved this book! Aside from biographical tales of a famous food writer, it includes a glimpse into life in 1940's and 50's Manhattan, as well as a surprising chapter on institutional-scale food. My favorite part is her categorization of dining companions: everything from the apologizers ("Oh I didn't have breakfast or lunch today, so I can eat this piece of bread.") to the gluttons ("Would it be all right if I ordered a second entree? The steak didn't fill me up."). Hilarious!
Anita Smith
Got about 3/4 of the way and put it aside. It just got kind of boring. I'm not a gourmet eater by any means so I eventually lost interest in the descriptions and preparation styles of foods I've never heard of and probably will never try, like, I don't know, braised calf tongues prepared with ten spices I've never heard of. It's not her fault I'm uncultured, though, and she's a good writer (very amusing and fun), and so take my opinion with a grain of salt, no pun intended.
Chantal Soeters
Accidentally picked up this book as I found it on a table in a local cafe. As a foodie the title appealed to me and I was quite happy to discover it's a memoir of one of the first female food critics in NY sharing her insider stories of the restaurant business, her love for food, her travels, her criteria for 'rating' food and what's it like to be respected but also despised for her role as a food critic.
Nancy
loved it, and I'm not even a foodie. It's fascinating to hear about how she tried to stay anonymous when she was the NY Times restaurant reviewer... and her insider's perspective on the restaurant business. At the times, she replaced John Canaday, an art critic who wrote some of the best mysteries of the postwar period under the name Matthew Head.
Rosa
Sheraton isn't the most compelling or talented writer, but she manages to hold your attention in this memoir of her interesting life. There's less about her stint as the restaurant critic of the New York Times than expected, but there's more to Sheraton than that one job. Sheraton's memoir of her unique professional life makes for a good read.
xq
Really enjoyed reading this, not just for the food critic parts, but bc Ms Sheraton also touches on the innerworkings of the journalism industry and state of the food critic in NY at that time, as well as highlights some neat projects she worked on (think about food in schools, prisons and on airplanes...).
Abbey
I have the same complaint with the memoir, as I do with most - MORE information, please. Okay, so I did not say that about Bill Clinton's 600+ soliloquy, but you get my drift. But, for those of your interested in food from more than a casual perspective, I would say it is worth a read.
Kim
I love non-fiction books, cookbooks, and New York City. While this wasn't a cookbook, it was really interesting to read about the author's experiences as a food critic in NYC. It made me think that I don't know if I'd really like to BE a food critic - raw octopus? Yikes!
Christine
I hadn't heard of Mimi Sheraton (her NY Times restaurant reviews and food reviews ran in the early 80s) but I enjoyed reading of her approach to food and how she made it her life's work. I also found that I liked her - she's a bit of a ball buster and not apologetic about it!
Emily
May 10, 2010 Emily rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those who like food writing
Recommended to Emily by: Mom
Shelves: memoir
Man, I would LOVE to have been Mimi Sheraton. What a great job: eating all over the world and writing about it. Terrific book: great food, great writing, wry wit, and a few juicy tidbits about The New York Times and some of the personalities who ran it over the years.
Liz
The author has certainly lived a vibrant and interesting life, but I felt like her voice didn't truly shine through in the story. It was like reading one very long Christmas letter from a friend who wants her life to sound impressive (and it does).
Megan
Dec 02, 2007 Megan rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people who are interested in food culture.
I can't say that this book was exceptionally well-written, but it was fairly entertaining, and an ok read. I wouldn't read it again, though. If you really want an excellent food critic memoir, read anything by Ruth Reichl. Amazing!
Sandy
I found this on a remains table for less than $4 for the hardback and didn't have very high expectations, but the writing is done well and the subject matter is entertaining. If you're a foodie you'll appreciate it, most likely.
Katherine
Enjoyed the first half of the book, which reads like a straightforward memoir but would like to have heard more about her years as the NY Times restaurant reviewer during the late 1970s - early '80s.
Eriel
Smart, witty, and oh so pretentious Mimi Sheraton writes about her stint as the restaurant reviewer for the New York Times along with her other copious adventures in foodland.
Ali
Enjoyable memoir, but written almost as an answer to critics of her work. The descriptions of food are enough to make you hungry, even when you've just finished eating!
Lisa
I realize this book was autobiographical, but the author seemed like she was bragging much of the time. Some of the information in the book was interesting though.
Janna
If you enjoyed Tender at the Bone by Ruth Reichl (and her later books when she talks about her work as a NYT Food Critic) you will enjoy this one as well.
Janelle
Mimi Sheraton, longtime NYT food critic, has lead a pretty extraordinary and passionate life. And she has a knack for sharing it in words.
Summer
Loved this book; Mimi is a snobby NY Times food critic and the ultimate foodie and shares her "insider" info about the restaurant industry.
Cece
Heard the author speak and spent time talking to her-I thought the book somewhat off-putting and the author not very gracious.
Kyle McNichols
This book was awesome! It's a chronicle of Mimi Sheraton's time as food critic for the NY Times in the 70's and 80's.
Virginia
I really liked reading this as a juxtaposition to Ruth Reichl's books about being the NYT food critic.
Diane
I enjoyed her descriptions of European travel but other areas of the book did not hold my interest.
Dana
It's about a world-famous food critic. What's not to love? Best part? She hates star ratings.
Lu
Feb 22, 2010 Lu marked it as to-read
Shelves: food, memoir
Restaurant critic tells highs and lows of eating for a living
Marissa
I was bored by the book early but the writing was good.
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Mimi Sheraton was born in New York. In 1975 she became the food critic for the New York Times. She held that position for 8 years after which she became the food critic for Time magazine.

She now freelances for New York Times, Vanity Fair, Food and Wine, and other magazines.
More about Mimi Sheraton...
The German Cookbook: A Complete Guide to Mastering Authentic German Cooking The Bialy Eaters 1,000 Foods To Eat Before You Die: A Food Lover's Life List The Whole World Loves Chicken Soup: Recipes and Lore to Comfort Body and Soul From My Mother's Kitchen: Recipes and Reminiscences

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