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Extended Audio Sample Tender at the Bone Audiobook, by Ruth Reichl Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (46 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Ruth Reichl Narrator: Ruth Reichl Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: July 2000 ISBN: 9780553752205
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At an early age, Ruth Reichl discovered that “food could be a way of making sense of the world. If you watched people as they ate, you could find out who they were.” Her deliciously crafted memoir, Tender at the Bone, is the story of a life determined, enhanced, and defined in equal measure by a passion for food, unforgettable people, and the love of tales well told. Beginning with Reichl’s mother, the notorious food-poisoner known as the queen of mold, Reichl introduces us to the fascinating characters who shaped her world and her tastes, from the gourmand Monsieur du Croix, who served Reichl her first soufflé, to those at her politically correct table in Berkeley who championed the organic food revolution in the 1970s. Spiced with Reichl’s infectious humor and sprinkled with her favorite recipes, Tender at the Bone is a witty and compelling chronicle of a culinary sensualist’s coming-of-age.

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Quotes & Awards

  • A 1998 New York Times Notable Book for Nonfiction
  • A 2015 NPR Pick for Books to Give as Gifts This Year

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cece | 2/18/2014

    " Fascinating story of the "making of a food critic." The power of food, of cooking for those you love and strangers, and of chance connections. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chrissy | 2/16/2014

    " I love food! I found Ruth to be so relatable, her high schools years reflected my own. I know her from Top Chef Masters, but nothing of the experience and pedigree behind her. Very very enjoyable. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marigold | 2/16/2014

    " This was a really fun and quick read. I have not read any of Reichl's books previously, & I don't really consider myself a foodie, but somehow I always enjoy books that have something to do with food! Reichl has had an interesting life and overcome some challenging circumstances. I imagine that not everyone with a mentally ill mother gets to live in Montreal, New York City, Berkeley, France, and San Francisco - & go on amazing trips to faraway lands - so somebody did something right! Reichl's writing is sharp and funny and her story involving. This makes me want to read her other books. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cara | 2/6/2014

    " I just love Reichl's writing and then you put the amazing life she has had with it. Stellar. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Briana | 1/30/2014

    " As someone who believes in the power of food memories this memoir was such a treat! Reichl's voice is so genuine and earnest in her storytelling that it goes down as magically as the lemon souffle she describes early on. I also like how she includes the recipes for the major meals she discusses in the book. After reading about their meaning and success it definitely makes me want to try a few of them out. Definitely a good time for people who love food. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marie | 1/26/2014

    " Reichl's memoirs are funny and captivating and really just make me want to cook! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Connie | 1/6/2014

    " could relate so well to this book- weird family and cooking was important. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Leslie | 1/6/2014

    " Loved it. This is as great accompaniment to the movie "Bottle Shock". Reichl is a fantastic storyteller and I was hooked in the first paragraph. This is a great living history of San Fran in the 60's. I am looking forward to reading Garlic and Sapphires. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jennifer | 1/3/2014

    " A pleasant, fast moving memoir about a woman's relationships with the important people in her life and with food and how those are constantly intertwining. It was a quick read and I enjoyed it. I will have to try a couple of the recipes. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jessica | 1/3/2014

    " really enjoyed this three book series. If you love to cook, eat, and travel it will be an entertaining story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Julia | 1/3/2014

    " Super interesting memoir of Ruth's food discovery. Fun, personal and inspiring. Highly recommended! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alexis | 1/1/2014

    " This book was okay, but I definitely preferred her other two books. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Burnettkw | 12/22/2013

    " A sort of coming-of-age story with lots of detail on food experiences, dysfunctional family experiences, and more food experiences. I love the way the writer's life experiences come together at the end to come to her aid in pursuing her work. Really fascinating, well written, good recipes! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Caitlin | 12/17/2013

    " Reichl traces her culinary life with a good mixture of humor and reflection. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lorraine | 12/17/2013

    " I really enjoyed this book! It was a fun read! It is a memoir about Ruth Reichl and her journey into food, cooking, life, family. Her mother was manic/bi-polar..just plain interesting! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pamela J | 12/6/2013

    " One of my favorite foodie books of all times. Up there with Hamilton's Blood, Butter, and Bones . Food critic Reichl writes well and with humor. Another great biographical/memoir read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Christa | 10/10/2013

    " Mostly interesting biography about how a woman came to be a food critic and the different people she met in the food world along the way. I got a little bored with it in parts. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anne W | 5/23/2013

    " I just began reading this on the recommendation of a colleague. Funny, interesting, good read! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cinara | 4/15/2013

    " I am not really into memoirs, but I liked this book a lot! Her descriptions of food and meals are inspiring. I'm looking forward to "Comfort me with Apples" now! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jon | 4/7/2013

    " I loved the conversation this stirred with Jill and I. I didn't like the book as much. I was struck by how the author seemed to miss the richness of human relationships, but was swept away with cuisine. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Adrian | 3/26/2013

    " I really like her style and this first volume sets the tone for future books, culminating in "Garlic and Sapphires," my personal fave. Still, this is a great portrait of the foodie as a young gal. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jill | 2/18/2013

    " Ruth is the Editor of Gourmet Magazine and I LOVE Gourmet Magazine. Its interesting to me to learn about how a little Jewish Girl from the Northeast became a famous foodie. This book is just for fun but is chock full of funny ancedotes and great recipes! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sara Elkin | 12/18/2012

    " I really, really want to love these books, but I just don't. Like getting asked out on a date in high school by a random guy - you are happy to be on a date, but is this it? Really? Hm, not sure this was worth it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Paige Johnson | 12/10/2012

    " Pretty much no author makes me happier than Ruth Reichl and her earthy appreciation for all that is good and worth savoring. The audio, read by Ruth, is particularly beautiful. I could have kept driving for days just to hear her voice. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kim | 11/11/2012

    " very enjoyable. I enjoy Reichl's writing this was the first book I read by Reichl other then food reveiws and as editor in gourmet. I local connection for me as well "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Zach | 9/10/2012

    " Really, I love cooking memoirs in general, so I wasn't to surprised that I devoured this book... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Charmaine | 7/26/2012

    " I loved this book for so many reasons. I loved her passion for food and cooking but mostly I was so intrigued by her relationship with her mother. A funny, warm, honest and at time heart-breaking look at growing up, making sense of your family and finding a place in the world. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cheryl Petersen | 4/23/2012

    " Excellent. Better than a good TV show. Comfortable entertainment. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ron | 1/13/2012

    " I enjoyed this book. It's well written but I'm not sure how much I relate to Ruth. Maybe I shouldn't get to know the personal stories behind people I respect professionally. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Debbie | 10/22/2011

    " This is a hilarious book that anyone who has ever eaten food one day past the date on it will enjoy. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Christie | 8/21/2011

    " Wonderful, mostly for anyone who loves food. Warning: you'll want to eat all the time while reading it! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Amy | 5/19/2011

    " This was my first book by Ruth Reichl and I read it because it was chosen as the 2011 TCReads. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ron | 5/17/2011

    " I enjoyed this book. It's well written but I'm not sure how much I relate to Ruth. Maybe I shouldn't get to know the personal stories behind people I respect professionally. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Wendy Darling | 5/9/2011

    " A warm and wonderful memoir interspersed with great recipes. I still love her dad's recipe for dry-fried shrimp with scallions. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sara | 5/5/2011

    " Even better than Garlic and Sapphires, which I adored. This is Reichl at her best, discussing food and her personal life together in such a deft and seamless way that I am simultaneously touched and ravenous in every chapter. I wish she had 20 more books that I could read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Heather | 4/28/2011

    " Great memoir. Quick, fun, exciting. She has had an interesting life. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jennifer | 4/27/2011

    " I'm not really a fan of Reichl's writing style, and I'm surprised that she managed to write so many books about her admittedly dull life, all centered around food. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Doug | 4/26/2011

    " I love Ruth Reichl! She is a gifted storyteller, and the way she lovingly wraps her stories around specific food memories makes for particularly appetizing reading. Interesting personal history and great recipes. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Heather | 4/26/2011

    " This is written by the editor of Gourmet magazine, Ruth Reichl, and it's a really interesting, sweet, funny memoir of her life. I really liked and all I wanted to do was eat while I read it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jeanne | 4/18/2011

    " Ruth Reichl's early years. It was great. Her mom was a stitch. It's hard to believe she became such a foodie with this childhood. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Christina | 4/15/2011

    " Love Ruth Reichl's style of writing -- she concentrates on the food and the descriptions of the food. I love that!! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tanya | 4/12/2011

    " I cannot help it. I am a sucker for foodie memoirs. Also for books that tell true stories about my newfound home (Berkeley). This is delicious. and that's just the book; can't wait to try the recipes. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sandra | 4/8/2011

    " This was a quick read. I forgot that it was a biography. She's a great storyteller and I loved the recipes sprinkled throughout her stories. I hope to get my hands on her other book "Garlic and Sapphires."

    Thanks for the book recommendation, Mom!
    "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Wendy | 4/6/2011

    " preparing to reread this, liked it a lot before "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Linda | 4/5/2011

    " This is one cookbook you really should read! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Melissa | 4/2/2011

    " Great. Made me want to be a chef. Or eat some yummy French food. "

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About the Author
Author Ruth Reichl

Ruth Reichl is the bestselling author of the memoirs Tender at the Bone and Comfort Me with Apples and the novel Delicious! She was editor-in-chief of Gourmet magazine for ten years. She lives in New York City with her husband, son, and two cats.