Monday, August 24, 2009

An Honest Account of One Man's Struggle with Food Frank Bruni's "Born Round"

I seem to be having pretty good luck with the review copy gods right now. They are putting some really good/exciting titles in my way and I simply have no choice but to snatch them right up!

This was one ARC that I was super, super excited to get my hands on. I've always enjoyed Bruni's columns in the New York Times, and glad to see that he was offering this book up as a consolation prize since he's leaving the food critic's job. The book was full of Bruni-esq wit while being brutally honest. It's good to know that some famous-ish people have problems just like the rest of us. And now for a review...

Frank Bruni's new memoir Born Round chronicles the longtime New York Times columnist's lifelong struggle with food. Born into a large Italian family where cooking is a contact sport, Bruni begins to struggle with his weight as a child, and continues to struggle with it into adulthood and beyond. He tries all manner of fad diets and even eating disorders and drugs before discovering his holy grail for consumption in his mid-30s--eat food in small portions and exercise constantly. He finally has his weight and his life under control when he embarks on a great food journey--becoming the food reviewer for the Times.

I loved this memoir, and I'm not usually a huge memoir fan. Bruni gives overeating and excess weight a very human face that anyone who has ever struggled to balance a love of food and weight can appreciate. The same wit that made his columns must reads in the weekly Times food section (and I don't even live in NYC!) make this a wonderful read. The book is at times laugh out loud funny, and at other times deeply emotional. It helps that Bruni has led a very interesting life and his tidbits about life as a reporter--particularly while on the campaign trail with President George W. Bush in 1999 and 2000--just lend more color to this already very colorful book.

If you're looking for an enjoyable and fast read, I would recommend this book. However I will warn that the book contains material about eating disorders, so if you are sensitive about this subject, or fad dieting, you might want to avoid. Bruni does not advocate these things, but he is honest about his experiences.

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