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Review: Delicious!

July 15, 2014


Billie Breslin’s perfect palate (she can identify every taste in a dish) lands her a job with Delicious!, the most prestigious food magazine out there.  She moves across the country to New York for the job and, just as she’s getting settled in the food scene there, the magazine folds.  Billie is kept on, though, to take care of the correspondence and archives.

Billie finds letters from a young girl to James Beard in the archives and they fascinate her.  She feels like she knows young Lulu and begins to wonder what happened to her.  Her search for Lulu helps her learn more about herself.

Delicious! by Ruth Reichl has gotten some terrific buzz so I really wanted to love it.  I think it may have suffered because my expectations were way too high because, while I liked it a great deal, I didn’t love it.

I thought Billie was a great character.  She feels guilt because of something that happened in her past.  She seems to have found the perfect job and then the magazine goes under.  Being in the office by herself is pretty lonely until she finds those letters and gets lost in Lulu’s world.

I liked the storyline as well but I thought it had some loose threads that really weren’t necessary.  I also thought there were a few issues with the pacing.  Neither of those things were enough to ruin the book for me, they just kept me from loving it the way I wanted to.

Julia Whelan does a terrific job narrating the audio version of Delicious!  The audio book is on 11 CDs and lasts approximately 13 hours.

weekend cookingI will be linking this up to Weekend Cooking which is hosted by Beth Fish Reads and is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend.

Review copy provided by Random House.  I am an Indiebound Affliate.
30 Comments leave one →
  1. July 15, 2014 7:26 am

    I’ve heard a lot of mixed things about this one. Sorry it didn’t grab you (but the one you are reading now, Tell the Wolves, can’t miss!)

  2. July 15, 2014 7:36 am

    SO many mixed reviews of this one… think I may stick to Reichl’s nonfiction.

  3. July 15, 2014 9:35 am

    despite the issues with pacing…this sounds like a good one

  4. July 15, 2014 9:52 am

    I’m always a weeee bit nervous when my fave non-fiction writers take on fiction. I have this one waiting for me and I’ll go in with managed expectations.

  5. Patty permalink
    July 15, 2014 10:23 am

    I totally am with you on this one!

  6. July 15, 2014 1:30 pm

    I always get a bit uneasy when there’s so much buzz about a book – I’ll keep your review in mind about this one.

  7. July 15, 2014 1:31 pm

    This one sounds like it will be great on audio! It does sound fun and quirky. I can see how I’ll probably go in with a lot of expectations too.

  8. July 15, 2014 1:52 pm

    I won a print copy of this one although it does sound like it might be better on audio.

  9. July 15, 2014 2:18 pm

    I haven’t heard much about this book at all but I like foodie books and Julia Whelan so I might give it a shot.

  10. July 15, 2014 2:31 pm

    I thoroughly enjoyed the narrator on this one but like you found issue with the pacing and some of the loose ends. While it was good it wasn’t great.

  11. July 15, 2014 2:51 pm

    I’m thinking along the lines of what Andi said. I like Anne Lamott’s non-fiction, but dislike her fiction. I think Ruth Reichl would be the same–she has that same wonderful tone, that talent for creating herself as a character in her non-fiction. From her, I think, fiction would pale by comparison.

  12. July 15, 2014 3:42 pm

    I adored this one. Absolutely devoured it. I hadn’t heard any buzz about it beforehand, which might account for it, but I completely and totally loved Delicious! I thought the characters were fantastic and I loved her writing.

    2 Kids and Tired Books

  13. July 15, 2014 6:35 pm

    I really enjoyed this one Kathy. When Ruth Reichl spoke at the Author Tea she mentioned that the book is loosely based on her life… she did work for a food magazine that went under. I dont know what beyond that is true… but it would be cool if that included the mansion and the letters 🙂

  14. July 15, 2014 7:12 pm

    I just started this on audio today – so far I like it, but I’m only about 35 minutes in. I’m training for a half marathon and just started listening to audiobooks on my training runs – this is my first one! Maybe a dumb decision to choose a foodie book for half marathon training – ha!

  15. July 15, 2014 10:43 pm

    It’s fiction? I’ve only read her memoirs, which I’ve enjoyed, but I actually haven’t heard anything about this one. To be honest, the comments have me curious!

  16. Jennifer permalink
    July 16, 2014 2:16 pm

    I love the idea of this book. The story line is intriguing and I love anything even remotely tied to food! I wish I had a perfect palate. I wonder if that would actually make me enjoy food more.

  17. July 16, 2014 4:31 pm

    I’m sorry Delicious! didn’t work right for you. I’m in the “I Loved it” category. I must say, however, that Garlic and Sapphires (memoir) will always be my favorite Ruth Reichl book.

  18. July 17, 2014 11:09 am

    I love Reichl’s nonfiction so I may give this one a try. Luckily, my expectations aren’t really high. I hope your next read is awesome.

  19. July 18, 2014 8:57 am

    I dont know how true this is, but I remember a comment on another review of this one. The person who commented said that all the non glowing reviews that they have read are from the audio version, and that all the glowing reviews are from those that read the print version.

  20. July 18, 2014 11:25 pm

    I’ve seen this one around and thought it looked interesting. Sorry it didn’t quite work for you. Sometimes those expectations can get in the way!

  21. July 19, 2014 9:18 am

    I really liked this one — but, I agree, it’s not going to make any top-ten lists.

  22. July 19, 2014 9:45 am

    So many people have enjoyed this one, I have it on my Kindle but haven’t yet read it.

  23. joyweesemoll permalink
    July 19, 2014 1:49 pm

    I haven’t read this one yet, but have it on the list.

  24. July 19, 2014 2:02 pm

    I liked it, but if didn’t love it, so I know what you mean.

  25. July 19, 2014 4:01 pm

    that is a great concept for a story. one summer, as a student, my job was to go through archives regarding submarine cable locations and I did find an error on a chart which i had to report. I couldn’t stop wondering about what might have happened had an anchor snagged that mischarted cable, and who made that error in the first place and why. Thanks for sharing this book.

  26. July 19, 2014 4:51 pm

    I’m definitely going to read this one to form my own view – cheers

  27. July 21, 2014 8:30 pm

    I really enjoyed this one (in print) but can see the criticisms about the loose ends.

  28. bookingmama permalink
    July 22, 2014 7:57 pm

    Bummer! I really wanted to like this one too.

  29. August 1, 2014 12:20 pm

    I have this book on my list of must-reads. Maybe I might go the route of audiobook since the narration was great.

  30. talesofwhimsy permalink
    August 7, 2014 2:57 pm

    Thanks for your honesty. I’ve been debattng this one.

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