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Save Me the Plums

My Gourmet Memoir
Narrated by: Ruth Reichl
Length: 7 hrs and 55 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (719 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)]

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 members say

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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.

15 of 15 people found this review 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.

5 of 5 people found this review 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.

3 of 3 people found this review 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

2 of 2 people found this review 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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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‘Loved Every Minute!

“Save Me the Plums: My Gourmet Memoir” is a delightful, generous telling of a very special time in New York — told with warmth and humor from the elite level of the food world. Thank you, Ruth Reichl! Your time at Gourmet was a fun ride for us all — and an education for those of us lucky enough to be on the fringe of your thrilling world.
More, please!! 🍾
Elizabeth/ former VP, Grand Marnier

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A foodie adventure

I absolutely loved this book. I felt as if I was working at Gourmet too and who doesnt love a memoir read by the author. I especially enjoyed Ruth's description of food, and the few recipes were a plus!

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Bring back Gourmet!!!

Before listening to this beautiful book, when I thought of Gourmet magazine it was that stuffy magazine that my mom used to subscribe to. But after riding a most engaging roller-coaster ride of the last 10 years of Gourmet magazine, with the elegant & inspiring Ruth Reichl, I’m scrambling to get my hands on some old issues. I’m a true fan of Ms. Reichl, having read all her past books, fiction & non-fiction, and ‘Save Me The Plums’ was as wonderful, if not more than, what I’ve come to expect when reading one of her books. In fact this books has reminded of Ms Reichl’s mastery of language, especially when describing food, that I’m planning to reread her earlier memoirs. Thank you Ruth Reichl!