Save Me the Plums

My Gourmet Memoir
Narrated by: Ruth Reichl
Length: 7 hrs and 55 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (1,053 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

New York Times Best Seller

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)] 

Named one of the best books of the year by Real Simple, Good Housekeeping, Town & Country.

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. Listeners 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)

©2019 Ruth Reichl (P)2019 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"Like her lively writing, Ruth Reichl's performance is inviting and engaging.... Her fans will be happy to discover that, once again, she narrates her own work, and new listeners are in for a treat. Her clear affection for her co-workers, her passion for food and food writing, and her anger and dismay over the magazine's abrupt closure resonate in her natural-sounding narration.... A must-listen for anyone interested in publishing, writing, and, of course, food." (AudioFile Magazine)

“Reichl dishes up an enthralling account of the intrigue, obsession, and glamour that made Gourmet an institution. Save Me the Plums is a delectable behind-the-scenes journey through the food world and its rise to celebrity status.” (Bianca Bosker, New York Times best-selling author of Cork Dork)  

What listeners say about Save Me the Plums

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Great book, shame there wasn't a recipe PDF

I was disappointed there wasn't an accompanying PDF of the recipes. Sure, she read the recipes, but it would have been so much handier to have a document to download.

25 people found this helpful

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Not Just for Gourmets

I never read an issue of Gourmet Magazine, never cooked a gourmet meal, and I've rarely eaten food that would be of interest to a true gourmet. But I heard Ruth R. Interviewed on the KCRW program Good Food and I loved hearing her talk about food. It was so sensual. Like listening to a great singer sing a love song about someone I've never met. I loved every word of this book. Try it. Just a spoonful. I bet you finish the whole thing.

6 people found this helpful

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Loved it!

Another wonderful book from Ruth Reichl. Loved hearing about her years at Gourmet. Her narration is fantastic. I always love hearing authors read her own work. I wish it hadn’t ended so quickly.

6 people found this helpful

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Wonderful story

Loved everything about this subject I didn't know would be of interest at all. I love how Ruth Reichl creates stories when she describes food and love the connections with all she was involved in. The only thing I hated about this book was listening to it on audio (which was so well done) that I don't have these recipes in writing. No way I can figure them out in audio.

3 people found this helpful

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simply mesmerising

I loved it. made more memorable by the reading by the author herself. I got transported back to an era

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Wonderful , enchanting book

Thank you for this delicious and gripping
Memoir. It made me happy. Gourmet was a large part of my life. My mother gave subscriptions to her family, to her godchildren.
It was a special bond in our affection for each other , and its recipes filled our book shelves .
My husband and I planned trips inspired by the travel articles. I am grateful for Save Me The Plums, look forward to savoring her other books.

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Delicious!

Ruth is a remarkable writer - her descriptions so vivid, colorful you feel as if you're with her, tasting the food in the test kitchen, sitting in the Paris cafes sharing fois gras, meeting with Sy Newhouse, cooking for Michael and Nick. I absolutely loved every second of this book and hated that it ended. I remember her time as restaurant critic for the NYTimes - clearly her writing is exceptional. I've read every one of her books and hope there's another one in the future. Better yet, I want to have dinner with her! Sad Gourmet is no longer, Ruth made it the best magazine of its kind.

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A Plum of a Book

Food memoirs are one of my favorite genres of writing. I love food writing. I love memoirs. What could be better than to mix the two? Ruth Reichl is also a favorite author of mine, so bonus.
This memoir is about Ruth's 10-year tenure as the Editor in Chief at Gourmet Magazine. She had never worked at a magazine before and had come from being a food critic at the NYTimes. It's a wonderful Cinderella story about a regular down-to-earth woman who is swept into the glamorous world of Conde' Nast. She is suddenly provided a driver, a clothes budget, and a make-up and hair person.
I loved hearing the stories about innovations that she made to the magazine--moving with the social currents and shocking some of the long time readers. I loved hearing about her rubbing shoulders with so many NYC big-wigs. And yet, none of this seemed to change her fundamentally. She's always been smart, determined, hard-working, and opinionated.
I always look forward to the recipes that pepper the book. I'm making the Jeweled Chocolate Cake this weekend. I just sent my husband on a quarantine search for Scharffen Berger chocolate for the recipe.
I cried during the section on 9/11. It so reminded me of our valiant health-care workers who are on the front lines and how restaurants have been feeding them. This book is also a wonderful history of 10 years of events in NYC.
My only wish is that the audible version would have a PDF of the recipes. That was a miss.
I loved this book and would recommend it to anyone who loves food or NYC or Gourmet magazine.

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Great book like all the others by Ruth Reichl

I have read or listened to four of Ruth Reichl’s books: Tender at the Bone, Garlic and Sapphires, Comfort Me With Apples and now, Save Me the Plums. Each covers a different phase of her life and all revolve around the food. Even though I’m not a foodie, I found these books interesting and unique. This book covers her time as editor of Gourmet magazine. It was a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at Gourmet, and all that went into its publication. It is a good story, well-written and well-narrated by the author. I highly recommend it.

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As a non-foodie, I loved this.

Great story, wonderfully told. Had no idea of what the back story was so I learned something too.