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Save Me the Plums: My Gourmet Memoir
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Save Me the Plums: My Gourmet Memoir

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  24,772 ratings  ·  3,245 reviews
Trailblazing food writer and beloved restaurant critic Ruth Reichl took the job (and the risk) of a lifetime when she entered the glamorous, high-stakes world of magazine publishing. Now, for the first time, she chronicles her groundbreaking tenure as editor in chief of Gourmet, during which she spearheaded a revolution in the way we think about food.

When Condé Nast offere
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Hardcover, 266 pages
Published April 2nd 2019 by Random House
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Popular Answered Questions
Ruth Kambar I loved this book. I was pleasantly pleased. I am also a fan of the magazine. I understood what an important role it played in the creation of our tas…moreI loved this book. I was pleasantly pleased. I am also a fan of the magazine. I understood what an important role it played in the creation of our tastes. I loved the synesthesia. I understood the risk-taking. I understood the creativity. I especially cheered Ruth on her journey. I too, am a lover of books. To know that Dandelion Wine was first published in Gourmet, and to see the struggle with the Lobster's lives, and the Goat, is to empathize with the animals and the characters. Absolutely fascinating! I am attending a book discussion, and we are making the recipes. To end with the German pancake also brought forward the passion that holds up this fascinating story. Thank you, Ruth Reichl. I will now browse through my older copies of Gourmet.(less)
Elizabeth Chorney-Booth It's in reference to a poem by William Carlos Wlliams:

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
saving
for breakfast

Forgive…more
It's in reference to a poem by William Carlos Wlliams:

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
saving
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold(less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 4.10  · 
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 ·  24,772 ratings  ·  3,245 reviews


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Anne Bogel
May 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I’ve adored Reichl’s food writing in the past, but if I wasn’t a devoted Gourmet magazine reader, would I be interested in reading the book aptly subtitled “My Gourmet Memoir”?

The answer: YES!! Pure delight from start to finish. (It's also amazing on audio.)
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Diane S ☔
Apr 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lor-2019, 5000-2019
I'm a big foodie, not a baker, but I love to cook. New recipes. Old favorites, comfort food, different ethnic cuisines, I love to experiment with recipes. I've read all of Ruth's books and have enjoyed each and everyone.

As the food critic for the New York times, her meal time was not her own. She regretted not having more time with her husband and son, so when she is approached and asked to become editor of Gourmet Magazine, she accepts. Not that she isn't worried about a job she is not certain
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Jenny (Reading Envy)
If you have followed Ruth Reichl through her memoirs, this takes place between Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise and My Kitchen Year: 136 Recipes That Saved My Life, telling the story of her experience as the editor for Gourmet Magazine up until its shocking closure. I feel this memoir is for foodies first, but will also be of interest for anyone in publishing or the arts. The people working for Gourmet cultivated an environment of creative exploration and perfection ...more
Brandice
Nov 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
This week I read Save Me the Plums by Ruth Reichl, who among many other roles, was the former editor of Gourmet magazine. In this memoir, she details her time in the position and I couldn’t get enough of it!

I love reading about the world of journalism and thought Ruth’s story was really interesting. Naturally, she talks about cooking, along with creativity, photography, advertising, her team, her family, and more. There are also a few recipes included throughout the book. Side note: My own kitc
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PorshaJo
I'm a Ruth Reichl fan. Always have been. I've read a number of her books (loved them), read her blog, watched her on cooking shows....so I knew I had to read this one. I'm a big foodie and will read anything food related so had a feeling this one would fit that bill. I was so happy to buddy read this one too with Dana, who is always willing to jump into foodie books too!

Many probably know of the quick 'demise' of Gourmet magazine. Ruth Reichl was in charge at that time and in this book she detai
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JanB
Apr 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019-reads, audiobook
This is a captivating look into how Ruth Reichl transformed Gourmet magazine from a stuffy, stodgy, dying publication into a slick, relevant magazine that had it’s finger on the pulse of food trends and gave readers recipes that were accessible to home cooks everywhere.

She was hesitant at first to take the job as editor-in-chief of Gourmet but reconsidered when she thought about how profoundly the magazine impacted her life, starting at age 8 when she saw her first copy of the glossy magazine. T
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Laysee
Jul 11, 2021 rated it really liked it
‘Pull up a chair. Take a taste. Come join us. Life is so endlessly delicious.’ - Ruth Reichl

I did just that. I savored Save Me the Plums, reading it slowly so it would last longer. This memoir is a delectable treat on how Gourmet magazine shaped the life of Ruth Reichl, its editor in chief from 1999 to 2009.

It was a privilege to follow Ruth’s passion for food and her gift of cooking, which began in childhood, and how it led to her career development from being a restaurant critic, food edito
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Lisa
May 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
[4+] Mmmm - a delicious and nutritious memoir! Reichl is an excellent storyteller and I found her ten years at Gourmet magazine riveting. I worked at Conde Nast in the late 1980s (before Ruth) and loved the way she brought the publishing empire's cast of characters to life. ...more
Christopher
Mar 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019, netgalley
For ten years Ruth Reichl helmed Gourmet magazine, turning the tired and worn publication back into the cultural achievement it once was. However, she initially balked at the idea of taking control. In 1999 she was the restaurant critic for The New York Times— a writer first and last, she certainly had no interest in managing a staff of sixty. But Gourmet was a magazine that sparked her culinary career when she discovered it at eight years old … How could she resist? The next ten years became a ...more
Diane
Dec 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: food, memoirs
This is another delightful memoir from food writer Ruth Reichl. "Save Me the Plums" focuses on her years as the editor in chief of Gourmet magazine.

This is the third book I've read of Ruth's, and she is a charming storyteller. I enjoyed these stories of her magazine years, and also learned more about the business of Conde Nast. The book also includes a few recipes that relate to events in her life. Recommended to anyone who likes foodie writing or is interested in magazine publishing.
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Julie Ehlers
It's always a pleasure to read a new memoir from an author whose memoirs you've enjoyed in the past—it's like catching up with an old friend. I particularly enjoyed Save Me the Plums because, in addition to the usual draws of a Reichl memoir (the writing and the recipes), this one was about her time as editor of Gourmet magazine. I love any kind of publishing story, really, and in this case it was so fascinating to go behind the scenes of a glamorous magazine, as many Conde Nast publications wer ...more
Dana
Jun 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
I am not huge fan of cooking, although I love to bake and read about food, so when my foodie buddy, PorshaJo, suggested Save Me the Plums for our next foodie read, I was excited to finally be jumping on the Ruth Reichl wagon. I have been wanting to read her books forever.

Save Me the Plums is a memoir of Reichl’s ten years with Gourmet magazine - from transforming the magazine to one that appealed to the average cook, with easily accessible recipes - to its final demise.

We had a great discussion
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Genevieve Padalecki
May 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
I really, really love a good memoir and this one takes the plum (haha!). My biggest regret when I started this book is that I didn’t know Ruth Reichl earlier. If I had, I would have eaten up all the beautifully written and boundary-pushing Gourmet articles. If you’re already a fan of Ruth’s, then you know she’s a force and an insane talent. If you don’t know her writing, this read is a must.

In Save Me the Plums, Ruth shares her drive and passion for food writing from an early age. I loved the r
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Kasa Cotugno
Based on her wonderful memoirs, Ruth Reichl has deservedly garnered a large, affectionate following. Her generous sharing of her moments with her family have provided much enjoyment, and here she is finally able to tell about her years at Gourmet Magazine and her experiences with its mercurial publishing house, Conde Nast. It was definitely a dream of a job. I remember seeing her when she was on a book tour in 2009 for one of her memoirs, during which she enthused about the magazine and the role ...more
Jacqie
Mar 20, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kristin Hackett (Merrily Kristin)
4.5 stars
I picked this book up on a whim and I'm surprised to say that it'll definitely be on my favorite books of 2020 list. Save Me the Plums is a memoir by Ruth Reichl, New York Times food critic turned editor in chief of Gourmet magazine at Conde Nast. This book is a love letter to food, New York City and to magazine journalism. It's the perfect combination of so many of my interests and the rise and fall of Gourmet proved to be a wild ride. The chapter about the spirit of New York City in t
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Tammy
Jun 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: release-2019
“When you attain my age you will understand one of life’s great secrets: Luxury is best appreciated in small portions. When it becomes routine it loses its allure.” As told to Ruth in Paris

5 ☆ I’m totally fangirling!! I truly enjoyed reading Ruth Reichl’s memoir (which read like a novel) of her years as the very last editor-in-chief of Gourmet magazine.
Reading Gourmet magazines beginning at the young age of 8 is what inspired Ruth to cook and later become a food critic & writer.
After being offe
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Jenna | JennaStopReading
Jan 16, 2021 rated it really liked it
This was a fascinating food memoir by someone I've never heard of about a magazine I've never read and I still was hooked! Definitely recommend the audio. ...more
Jeanette
May 09, 2019 rated it it was ok
Ok, I tried this one to shake up the memoir reads. It started out fairly interesting within her leaving her food critic jobs for an unexpected Gourmet editor position.

She seems to be perfect. Especially within her own evaluations. Or if not, very close. And her valued food world is at the same level. Ending abruptly like the magazine and 65 employees, all at once.

This read was tedious to me. Others speak of humor? Ha, ha! Her world and juxtapositions just like the most tortured food of fusion b
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Deanna
Jul 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I’ve never been disappointed in a Reichel memoir. This one flew by. Even though I knew what was coming at the end I enjoyed the ride. I love her writing and story telling and the things she pays attention to.

I don’t know in what decade I will forgive the publishers for killing Gourmet, or stop wondering idly and futilely if it isn’t finally time for it to come back again.
Thomas
Jul 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Just the right amount of gossip and good food. Perfect vacation read.
HBalikov
Jan 02, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"I studied the recipe. I had everything I needed: apples, eggs, lemon, sugar. There’s something soothing about peeling apples, about the way they come whispering out of their skins. Slicing them is another pleasure, and I listened for the juicy crunch of the knife sliding through the flesh. I cut into a lemon, treasuring the scent of the aromatic oils as they flew into the air. Soon the seductive aroma of apples melting into butter drew my family to the kitchen."

Save Me the Plums seems intended
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Alex Givant
Feb 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I like her previous book (Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise), but this one is even better. I tell her story from becoming chief editor of "Gourmet" magazine (until it get closed in 2009). Very interesting insights on live of editor of food magazine targeted to rich audience. ...more
Kate Holmes
Mar 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020-books
A wonderful read that made me realize I have the palate of a Victorian era child laborer who has only ever eaten gruel her whole life. Have I really ever tasted the true delights of life?? Have I????
Lisa Leone-campbell
Mar 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Ruth Reichl was a top food critic when she decided to take a job as the editor-in-chief at Gourmet Magazine, the culinary food magazine of its time. But in her new memoir we see she is so much more than the 10 year editor of Gourmet who sadly was their last as they shockingly closed in 2009.

When she was just 8 years old, coming from humble beginnings with a mother who was bipolar and spent hours and days and months in deep depression, and a father who not only adored Ruth, but adored his wife no
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Robin
My love affair with Ruth Reichl's memoirs began with "Tender At the Bone" which chronicled her tumultuous childhood with her mentally ill mother. The second book that continued her career in the food world was "Comfort Me With Apples and for some reason, I found this book a little flat, but then she wrote "Garlic and Sapphires" and I was entranced. Her stories about being a food critic for the NY Times and how she had to constantly disguise herself was fascinating, and even though I will most li ...more
Candie
Sep 09, 2019 rated it liked it
This book was recommended to me and I wasn't so sure reading the description but overall I actually really enjoyed it. Personally I feel like it was more of an entertainment read for me because I'm not sure much of the content will stay with me, but that is solely because I don't particularly follow much in the food industry. The writing style is very good. The writer really knows how to write in a way to draw you in and keep you reading. I blew through this book super fast.

If you are a foodie o
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Kate Olson
May 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE
Brandie
I loved some parts of this book and other parts were a little boring. Overall I did enjoy it.
Ryan
Jul 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I never read Gourmet magazine. I have never really read many magazines. I assumed it was just a stuffy, snobby food magazine with recipes that were too difficult to make. I remember hearing about the cancellation of Gourmet, but I didn’t know what it meant. Now, years later, I’m listening to the memoir of Ruth Reichl about her ten years as editor-in-chief of the magazine, while it’s favored sister publication, Bon Appétit, implodes. This memoir is about food and an exposé of the pre-recession ma ...more
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Ruth Reichl is an American food writer, the editor-in-chief of Gourmet magazine and culinary editor for the Modern Library.
Born to parents Ernst and Miriam (née Brudno), she was raised in New York City and spent time at a boarding school in Montreal. She attended the University of Michigan, where she met her first husband, the artist Douglas Hollis. She graduated in 1970 with a M.A. in art history
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Your 2019 Goodreads Reading Challenge goal is just within reach, and we're here to help you finish the reading year with some great new...
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“Luxury is best appreciated in small portions. When it becomes routine it loses its allure.” 9 likes
“How young you are. When you attain my age you will understand one of life's great secrets: Luxury is best appreciated in small portions. When it becomes routine it loses its allure.” 5 likes
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