Book Review: Garlic And Sapphires by Ruth Reichl

It’s time once again for the annual Pierce County Reads program– a one community one book program which this year has selected as the book that everyone will read Ruth Reichl’s 2005 memoir  Garlic And Sapphires—  the stories of Reichl’s experiences as the restaurant reviewer for The New York Times.   Ms. Reichl is a wonderful writer and her tales of donning disguises in order to visit restaurants incognito is genuinely entertaining.   I found myself quite enjoying Reichl’s adventures as she transformed herself into a number of much older lady characters and conducted her research visits to restaurants both famed and humble.

I am,  however, a bit uncertain as to the appropriateness of this book for the annual one book program.     While last year’s selection,   Greg Mortenson’s  Three Cups Of Tea seemed to me the sort of universally appealing book that is ideal for a one book program,  Ms. Reichl’s memoir seems quite light by contrast.   It is not at all clear to me what lessons or experiences the people of Pierce County are to learn or draw upon  from reading Ms. Reichl’s book.   That criticism of the program aside,   I am confident that foodies and those with an interest in New York City will find Garlic And Sapphires highly entertaining.    Recommended.

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