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The New York Times restaurant critic's heartbreaking and hilarious account of how he learned to love food just enough after decades of wrestling with his weight Frank Bruni was born round. Round as in stout, chubby, and hungry, always and endlessly hungry. He grew up in a big, loud Italian family in White Plains, New York, where meals were epic, outsize affairs. At those me The New York Times restaurant critic's heartbreaking and hilarious account of how he learned to love food just enough after decades of wrestling with his weight Frank Bruni was born round. Round as in stout, chubby, and hungry, always and endlessly hungry. He grew up in a big, loud Italian family in White Plains, New York, where meals were epic, outsize affairs. At those meals, he demonstrated one of his foremost qualifications for his future career: an epic, outsize appetite for food. But his relationship with eating was tricky, and his difficulties with managing it began early. When he was named the restaurant critic for the New York Times in 2004, he knew enough to be nervous. He would be performing one of the most closely watched tasks in the epicurean universe; a bumpy ride was inevitable, especially for someone whose writing beforehand had focused on politics, presidential campaigns, and the Pope. But as he tackled his new role as one of the most loved and hated tastemakers in the New York restaurant world, he also had to make sense of a decades-long love-hate affair with food, which had been his enemy as well as his friend. Now he’d have to face down this enemy at meal after indulgent meal. His Italian grandmother had often said, "Born round, you don’t die square." Would he fall back into his worst old habits? Or had he established a truce with the food on his plate? In tracing the highly unusual path Bruni traveled to become a restaurant critic, Born Round tells the captivating story of an unpredictable journalistic odyssey and provides an unflinching account of one person’s tumultuous, often painful lifelong struggle with his weight. How does a committed eater embrace food without being undone by it? Born Round will speak to every hungry hedonist who has ever had to rein in an appetite to avoid letting out a waistband, and it will delight anyone interested in matters of family, matters of the heart, and the big role food plays in both.


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The New York Times restaurant critic's heartbreaking and hilarious account of how he learned to love food just enough after decades of wrestling with his weight Frank Bruni was born round. Round as in stout, chubby, and hungry, always and endlessly hungry. He grew up in a big, loud Italian family in White Plains, New York, where meals were epic, outsize affairs. At those me The New York Times restaurant critic's heartbreaking and hilarious account of how he learned to love food just enough after decades of wrestling with his weight Frank Bruni was born round. Round as in stout, chubby, and hungry, always and endlessly hungry. He grew up in a big, loud Italian family in White Plains, New York, where meals were epic, outsize affairs. At those meals, he demonstrated one of his foremost qualifications for his future career: an epic, outsize appetite for food. But his relationship with eating was tricky, and his difficulties with managing it began early. When he was named the restaurant critic for the New York Times in 2004, he knew enough to be nervous. He would be performing one of the most closely watched tasks in the epicurean universe; a bumpy ride was inevitable, especially for someone whose writing beforehand had focused on politics, presidential campaigns, and the Pope. But as he tackled his new role as one of the most loved and hated tastemakers in the New York restaurant world, he also had to make sense of a decades-long love-hate affair with food, which had been his enemy as well as his friend. Now he’d have to face down this enemy at meal after indulgent meal. His Italian grandmother had often said, "Born round, you don’t die square." Would he fall back into his worst old habits? Or had he established a truce with the food on his plate? In tracing the highly unusual path Bruni traveled to become a restaurant critic, Born Round tells the captivating story of an unpredictable journalistic odyssey and provides an unflinching account of one person’s tumultuous, often painful lifelong struggle with his weight. How does a committed eater embrace food without being undone by it? Born Round will speak to every hungry hedonist who has ever had to rein in an appetite to avoid letting out a waistband, and it will delight anyone interested in matters of family, matters of the heart, and the big role food plays in both.

30 review for Born Round: The Secret History of a Full-time Eater

  1. 4 out of 5

    Heidi The Reader

    A satisfying memoir about a life-long struggle with food, a loving family and a journalist's journey to find the beat he was born to eat... I mean, write. I enjoyed all of Frank Bruni's wandering memories. Like him, I grew up in a family where most of our gatherings center around food, eating, drinking and holidays. They still do. Unlike Frank, I never tried "Mexican speed" or bulimia to try to manage my weight. Learning about some of the behaviors he used to maintain a weight he found acceptable A satisfying memoir about a life-long struggle with food, a loving family and a journalist's journey to find the beat he was born to eat... I mean, write. I enjoyed all of Frank Bruni's wandering memories. Like him, I grew up in a family where most of our gatherings center around food, eating, drinking and holidays. They still do. Unlike Frank, I never tried "Mexican speed" or bulimia to try to manage my weight. Learning about some of the behaviors he used to maintain a weight he found acceptable was scary. I can't help but think that if we didn't expect so much of each other, what a happier world this would be. Idolizing impossible body standards in the mass media does no one any favors. When Frank goes on to become the food critic for the New York Times, I loved hearing about the subterfuges he used to hide his identity. I didn't even know he was a food critic when I picked this book out of the digital audiobook pile. But, of course, that is what the boy, who loved to eat, became. Isn't it funny how our life's paths find us? There are some extraordinarily vulnerable moments in Born Round. Frank is honest and doesn't sugarcoat some of his tougher times, especially with his mother. This memoir could potentially be a trigger for someone who suffers from an eating disorder, but, it is mainly a story about overcoming all that and adopting healthier behaviors. Recommended for people who enjoy honest and open memoirs about families, food and how one man became the food critic he was literally born to be.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

    I first saw this book and was interested because of a desire to find a fellow childhood-chubster with whom I might have shared some embarrassingly painful life experiences growing up. I was sold on the glowing reviews by the New York Times, David Sedaris, Washington Post, etc. extolling the honesty and profundity of Frank Bruni's memoir on his struggle with his weight and being a New York Times food critic. I was looking for a companion to commiserate with and instead found a foppish food critic I first saw this book and was interested because of a desire to find a fellow childhood-chubster with whom I might have shared some embarrassingly painful life experiences growing up. I was sold on the glowing reviews by the New York Times, David Sedaris, Washington Post, etc. extolling the honesty and profundity of Frank Bruni's memoir on his struggle with his weight and being a New York Times food critic. I was looking for a companion to commiserate with and instead found a foppish food critic who freaks about gaining 10 pounds because his $300 chinos are a little tight. What can I say? It's a memoir so it's hard to critique without seeming cruel. First off, he never really explores the feeling of being chunky. I mean, every time he talks about "the emotional pain" he experienced when he was overweight he attributes it to some trivial event...not being able to have a one-night stand, having a lover uncomfortably suggest he buy bigger pants, having his drunk brother call him fat. Come on! Frankly I just wanted to bitch slap him and tell him to grow a pair. I wanted to see some blood on those pages, damnit! I wanted to hear him reconcile, truly reconcile (in a non-superficial non-OMG-I-have-love-handles-way) what it was to be the size he was. The awkwardness, the shame, the self-deprecation, all the great ones. That's what would have made it a great story, to be shown a path amid all these looming psychological phantoms that haunt most people living in these hypercritical overly exposed modern times. Instead he lists off the usual list of desperate weight-loss measures too many teenage girls have experienced; bulimia, anorexia, laxatives, amphetamines. But yet again he falls short of explaining why and how this all affected him besides "weirding him out". In addition to the lack of intellectual and emotional depth, the story isn't really that funny/witty/quirky (again, I feel like an asshole because this is a memoir). His stories about his Italian-American upbringing are romanticized in a campy sort of way...almost like he's pitching a sitcom. Although as a reader I do appreciate him delving into his uniquely strong relationship with his mother. Das sum real shit right der. The tales about being a New York Times food critic are interesting. But really, that's the highlight of the book. Otherwise I was incredibly dissatisfied. Fuck, now I'm pissed and HUNGRY.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Glenn Sumi

    This poignant, funny and brutally honest memoir about the author’s love/hate relationship with food really spoke to me. Like Bruni, a New York Times op-ed writer and its former restaurant critic, I grew up one of three boys in an ethnic family that loves food. I’m also a journalist, single and gay. My weight’s fluctuated over my lifetime, and I often eat for emotional reasons. Unlike Bruni, however, I didn’t embark on a series of unhealthy diets when I was a teenager. Nor did I take up bulimia – This poignant, funny and brutally honest memoir about the author’s love/hate relationship with food really spoke to me. Like Bruni, a New York Times op-ed writer and its former restaurant critic, I grew up one of three boys in an ethnic family that loves food. I’m also a journalist, single and gay. My weight’s fluctuated over my lifetime, and I often eat for emotional reasons. Unlike Bruni, however, I didn’t embark on a series of unhealthy diets when I was a teenager. Nor did I take up bulimia – binging and purging – in college. But reading about these things, especially recounted in such vivid detail, I get them. I’ve mainlined junk food before, finishing a bag of chips or cookies or a carton of ice cream in one sitting – and frequently felt that my weight (or my perception of my weight) made me unattractive. I’ve talked myself out of dates because of it. I’ve avoided buying new clothes because I thought I would eventually lose weight. The heart of Born Round is Bruni’s family and their relationship with food. He lovingly describes the big holiday dinners, how each of his aunts specialized in a couple of dishes, how whoever was cooking a dinner would try to outdo the person who put on the most recent spread. One of the funniest chapters recounts his mother’s checklist leading up to a massive Bruni Thanksgiving feast. It’s a great stand-alone bit. There are other, sadder sections, such as his detailing of his mother’s battle with cancer, evident even in the midst of happy occasions – a wedding, the birth of a grandchild. The way he chronicles her end is simple, truthful but not sentimental. He’s a first-rate writer. A section on dieting while backpacking through Europe – home of some of the best cuisines in the world – is amusing and a little sad. And Bruni’s depiction of his life covering the Bush presidential campaign seems like culinary, and corporeal, hell. Most readers will be drawn to this book because of Bruni’s time as a food critic, and that chapter – it’s near the end – doesn’t disappoint. A Times review could make or break a restaurant or chef. So there are naturally lots of entertaining stories and more than a little intrigue. The fake names! The disguises! The hissy fits! The plates and plates of scrumptuous meals, described in mouth-watering detail! Still, it's the stuff before – about family, competition, loneliness – that provides the meat in this brave, beautiful book.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Aaron

    Former New York Times food critic Frank Bruni just published this book on his lifelong destructive and complex relationship towards food. Given my lifelong destructive and complex relationship towards The New York Times, I thought I'd check it out. Perhaps I might not be the best source to comment here, as I have limited exposure to eating or addiction memoirs, so I can't begin to properly weigh Born Round's merits to similar memoirs. However, what really works strongest in this book isn't its m Former New York Times food critic Frank Bruni just published this book on his lifelong destructive and complex relationship towards food. Given my lifelong destructive and complex relationship towards The New York Times, I thought I'd check it out. Perhaps I might not be the best source to comment here, as I have limited exposure to eating or addiction memoirs, so I can't begin to properly weigh Born Round's merits to similar memoirs. However, what really works strongest in this book isn't its marketing hook of food-critic-with-an-eating-disorder confessional. What Bruni manages to masterfully do is to use something as quotidian as eating to anchor a story with the scope of decades, one that begins with simplistic joy and is gradually tinged with loss and sadness. He evokes his happiness in a secure, middle-class childhood and its loving familial rituals, and then lets us feel with him the deaths, growing distances, and the ultimate loneliness that comes when someone steps out of the home and into the world. I read a complaint on a blog review of this book that, "if you are going to write a book about yourself, you should have an interesting life worth writing a book about." While I can understand this sentiment, it does not hold for this book. Bruni transcends gimmicks and easy packaging and gives us something well observed and well felt. During its opening 150 pages, Born Round isn't a book like Million Little Pieces, instead it evokes the languid beauty of James Salter's Light Years.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Carol

    The Hook - When Frank Bruni, a man who clearly has a love/hate relationship with food, is recruited by the New York Times for the job of restaurant critic, I had to pull my chair up to the table. The Line – Bruni talks about his spirited 8 month old niece in regards to his mother’s death… Whenever I stepped back from the side of Mom’s bed, I found myself plucking little Leslie, eight months old and unaware of what was happening, from Harry’s or Sylvia’s arms. I pressed her lips against my forehe The Hook - When Frank Bruni, a man who clearly has a love/hate relationship with food, is recruited by the New York Times for the job of restaurant critic, I had to pull my chair up to the table. The Line – Bruni talks about his spirited 8 month old niece in regards to his mother’s death… Whenever I stepped back from the side of Mom’s bed, I found myself plucking little Leslie, eight months old and unaware of what was happening, from Harry’s or Sylvia’s arms. I pressed her lips against my forehead, her nose, her cheeks. Over and over again, I couldn’t let go of her. Years later, when her personality came into sharper focus and it was the personality of a competitive, stubborn and sometimes bossy spitfire, we all joked that it wasn’t death that took place in that hospital room. It was just the transfer of an indomitable spirit from an older vessel to a newer one.” The Sinker – In the audio edition of his memoir, Frank Bruni narrates, bearing his soul candidly, with honesty and without excuse. What stood out to me is how his voice never wavers; he just tells it like it is. Frank Bruni is brought up in an Italian home where food is delicious, where food is plentiful, where food is love. From his earliest memories to his adult years, he struggles with his passion for eating and its consequence on his weight. Anyone who has been there can empathize with his pain. I cried, I cheered, I admired Bruni’s sharing of his story and hope it was a cathartic experience for him. Heartbreaking and heartwarming, both funny and poignant, Born Round: A Story of Family, Food and a Ferocious Appetite is worth the listen.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Nette

    I couldn't decide between three stars for the sincerity and good writing, or two stars for the irritation I felt while reading a 400 page book about one man's obsession with his friggin' belt size. (Spoiler alert: he ends up at a 34.) For most of the book he's completely freaked out about being five or ten pounds overweight; at one point he does balloon up into unhealthy territory, but easily works it off (with his $70 an hour trainer). I've never read an autobiography with so many pictures of t I couldn't decide between three stars for the sincerity and good writing, or two stars for the irritation I felt while reading a 400 page book about one man's obsession with his friggin' belt size. (Spoiler alert: he ends up at a 34.) For most of the book he's completely freaked out about being five or ten pounds overweight; at one point he does balloon up into unhealthy territory, but easily works it off (with his $70 an hour trainer). I've never read an autobiography with so many pictures of the author as an adult, most with captions like, "Here I am looking thin" and "Fit again!" Talk about vanity projects!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Christy

    I strongly disliked this book, and later its author, starting about a quarter of the way in. About halfway through, I found myself asking whether there was an app that would allow me to listen to the audiobook in double-time because it was so tiresome. I stuck with (an accelerated version of) it because I'd read other reviews saying that the second half (about Bruni's work as a food critic) was more interesting than the first half (long descriptions of food, seemingly endless angst about the flu I strongly disliked this book, and later its author, starting about a quarter of the way in. About halfway through, I found myself asking whether there was an app that would allow me to listen to the audiobook in double-time because it was so tiresome. I stuck with (an accelerated version of) it because I'd read other reviews saying that the second half (about Bruni's work as a food critic) was more interesting than the first half (long descriptions of food, seemingly endless angst about the fluctuating size of the author's waistline). I also finished this book because I wanted to allow myself the cathartic pleasure of writing this review. I found this book very triggering/upsetting regarding my own (sub-clinical) body image issues. I can't imagine that I would have been able to finish it, with my sanity intact, if I'd ever had an actual eating disorder. Speaking of eating disorders, Bruni definitely has one. I know that I should have approached this memoir with more compassion (which is how I generally feel towards people who suffer from eating disorders) but I couldn't muster any compassion for Bruni. The endless whining about ten or twenty pounds, two or three inches gained or lost around his waist... I couldn't handle it. I couldn't handle when Bridget Jones whined about her vanity pounds and failed romances in her Diary, and I couldn't handle the same coming from Bruni. Instead of getting down on myself (because I felt so triggered/angry), I took my irritation out on the narrator. I found myself overcome by schadenfreude, rooting against the narrator, feeling like an asshole for mocking him each time he whined about his weight and cheering each time he gained weight, each time a romance turned out to be a non-starter. I couldn't dredge up any pity for this privileged kid who seemed to completely lack self-awareness. Now, I, myself, am a bona fide Fat Person. I have been a Fat Person all my life. I wore half-sizes (the pre-pubescent girls' equivalent to the Husky sizes Bruni was forced to wear), I went on my first diet at nine years old, have been teased about my weight starting in kindergarten, and am still a Fat Person (albeit an active and generally happy one) today. I love discussing body image issues, and I love reading about others' struggles with body image. I think that Bruni would have been much better off if he'd spent his money and time on therapy rather than sessions with that asshole personal trainer – but what do I know? I certainly don't have that all-important 31” waist. As a Fat Person with years of experience, and more than a little bit of self-respect, I'd love to tell this author a few things: 1. It's your attitude of self-hate and desperation, not your fat, that repels people, especially people you're sexually attracted to. If you're a good person with a likeable personality – not a vain, shallow asshole – people will generally like you. 2. Wearing clothing that is ill-fitting or meant to conceal isn't attractive - if you're actually fat, people will notice it regardless of what you wear. It's best to dress in clothes that fit (that are the right size) and accentuate your good points, rather than hiding in tent-like coats or oversized shirts. 3. I can guarantee that no one cares about your fat, notices it, or thinks about it, as much as you do. 4. If a guy is making out with you and wants you to take your clothes off, he's got a good idea of what your body looks like. No fat roll, real or imagined, is going to make him run for the hills. The second half of the book (or, more precisely, the last third) was more interesting than the first part – but not by much. I don't think listening to people talk about food (even good food) is significantly more entertaining than listening to them talk about their weight, so I didn't think the second part was awesome either. The parts about Bruni's work as a political reporter were interesting, but not enough to redeem the rest of the book. I thought that 10% of this book was relatable and/or funny, and the other 90% whiny and/or boring. I want my ~seven hours back.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    This book was not at all what I thought it was going to be. Frank Bruni became the restaurant critic for The New York Times in 2004 and I expected something more along the lines of a food memoir. And while the book jacket description calls Bruni's relationship with eating "tricky," what it did not prepare me for was that this is really the story of Bruni's lifelong eating disorders, complete with graphic descriptions of what happens when you take four times the recommended dosage of Ex-Lax in or This book was not at all what I thought it was going to be. Frank Bruni became the restaurant critic for The New York Times in 2004 and I expected something more along the lines of a food memoir. And while the book jacket description calls Bruni's relationship with eating "tricky," what it did not prepare me for was that this is really the story of Bruni's lifelong eating disorders, complete with graphic descriptions of what happens when you take four times the recommended dosage of Ex-Lax in order to purge your system of an overly large meal. Bruni in fact seems to be something of a natural bulimic, having learned at the age of 18 months that if his mother wouldn't make him a third hamburger (thus pushing his consumption to more than a pound of ground beef at one sitting), she would feed him more if he vomited up what he'd already eaten. Clearly this isn't a Ruth Reichl book. What is most striking to me about Bruni's story is that he is completely oblivious to how he's presenting himself and his family. It seems clear that almost everyone in his family has a peculiar relationship with food. His grandmother and great-aunts were perpetually in competition with each other to see who could cook the most food for the extended family and lay claim to the being the best at preparing the largest number of their favorite dishes. This pattern was repeated with Bruni's mother and her sisters-in-law, one of them even copying Bruni's grandmother's bizarre acquisition of a second "secret" kitchen in the house so that she could cook gigantic meals while leaving guests with the impression that no mess has been made in the process. At the same time that Bruni's mother was shoving mammoth portions at her children, she would also encourage him to go on one or another fad diet with her. As an adult, Bruni continued his pattern of bulimia, periods of extremely restrictive dieting, methamphetamine use, strange eating rituals, and eventually, complete surrender to binge eating his way up to nearly 300 pounds. Meanwhile, his brother Mark learned to cut his food up into the tiniest of morsels and chew them into dust, and his sister Adele used her pregnancies as an excuse to eat less. Although Bruni got his weight under control by 2004, the year he was appointed the Times food critic, it seems that whatever psychological issues he had remain unresolved. He continues to have occasional food binges that he seems unable to control, as well as an exaggerated fear that if he goes up even one pants size, he will become completely undesirable as a romantic partner and thus die alone surrounded by empty Nutter Butter packages. There's a dopey couple of pages at the end, which I would guess came at the behest of an editor who thought they better shoehorn an inspirational message into an otherwise sadly unaware memoir, wherein Bruni opines that the difference between himself as a fat person and a fit one is that he's finally realized he has to eat less and exercise more and that food is not love, leaving me to conclude that it's a good thing that Bruni writes features for the Times and not news.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Julie Christine

    Here is a minor "personality," an accomplished journalist and a foodie celebrity, who has chosen to reveal some of his most vulnerable and intimate moments in what feels like a very, very long Facebook post. The forced barfing, the familial food orgies, the runs through Central Park and run-ins with NYC's most celebrated chefs, the battle of the bands (waistbands, that is- 34, 36, 38...40+): much of it seems to fall into the category of navel-gazing TMI (too much information). And yet. And yet. Here is a minor "personality," an accomplished journalist and a foodie celebrity, who has chosen to reveal some of his most vulnerable and intimate moments in what feels like a very, very long Facebook post. The forced barfing, the familial food orgies, the runs through Central Park and run-ins with NYC's most celebrated chefs, the battle of the bands (waistbands, that is- 34, 36, 38...40+): much of it seems to fall into the category of navel-gazing TMI (too much information). And yet. And yet. Most of what I knew of Bruni before this memoir was due to his fantabulously written restaurant reviews during the five years he spent at the New York Times. I imagined him as an elegant, cuttingly clever, snob of a "certain age". But Holy Cow, Bruni is adorable. He's funny, down to earth- and he would have been a high school senior to my freshman- he's my people, an 80s guy. I'd love to hang out with Bruni, take a Pilates class together and introduce him to some cute guy friends so we could double date. I found myself cheering him along every step and stumble. It takes some combination of courage (if one writes honestly) and vanity (to assume your life is of interest to anyone else) to publish a memoir. Bruni focuses on his relationship with food- which is twisted up with the relationships with his family. He adores and is devoted to both and blames neither for his personal struggles. Struggles which are no more and mostly far, far less than what most of the world faces. But it's an interesting story of an immensely likable guy who knows a thing or two about stringing together sentences. So I applaud Bruni's bravery, thank him for motivating me to face darkness, rain and cold to get through a run this morning, hope that he finds the man of his dreams, and look forward to reading his future journalistic endeavors. And super sorry that I missed him earlier in the fall when he was in Seattle as part of his book tour. I was in France. Eating. __________________________________________________________________ I love Bruni's reviews- I'll miss his wit and palate, through which I tasted vicariously so many NY restaurants I'll never vist! But I'm not entirely convinced I want to read this after Orlean's review in yesterday's NY Times- sounds like an awful lot of regurgitation- literal, not figurative! Still, I'm intrigued by his story...

  10. 5 out of 5

    christa

    Frank Bruni was a looming presence in a book published in 2007 chronicling the Manhattan restaurant Per Se's hopes for a four-star review from the New York Times tough-ass food critic. The writer, Phoebe Damrosch, was a hostess-turned-server, and one of her story's central conflicts and obsessions was spotting Bruni when he came into the restaurant, and making sure he had the best possible experience. That crumbs were swept up correctly; plates were pretty; the check presented to the correct din Frank Bruni was a looming presence in a book published in 2007 chronicling the Manhattan restaurant Per Se's hopes for a four-star review from the New York Times tough-ass food critic. The writer, Phoebe Damrosch, was a hostess-turned-server, and one of her story's central conflicts and obsessions was spotting Bruni when he came into the restaurant, and making sure he had the best possible experience. That crumbs were swept up correctly; plates were pretty; the check presented to the correct diner. Now, two years later, Bruni has written just the sort of book that Damrosch and her coworkers -- and not to mention anyone associated with any upscale dining in New York City -- probably would have loved to snag a glimpse of during the five years in which he traveled the city fork load by fork load. Bruni's memoir "Born Round," reveals him as human. His my-life-til-right-now story starts with his Grandmother coming to the United States from Italy, and her food-is-love approach to family. Little Frank Bruni's plate is always piled high. He struggles with his weight, masters the bulimia-laxative combo meal, his pant size creeping to numbers he can only commit to wearing if they are from Gap or TJMaxx. It's temporary. He'll run further, stop gorging on Chinese food and Ben & Jerry's. He won't buy a nice pair of pants in that size. When that nice guy from that cool party asks him out, he tries to make a date at least four days away so he has time to drop three to five pounds. Once Bruni finds the right work-out to plate-load ratio, his story becomes more about what it is like to be the New York Times food critic. First disguises, then not. Trying to remember the fake name on the reservation. Dining partners who don't have the same level of suave when it comes to maintaining a low profile. Damn. If Frank Bruni isn't charming. His stories are funny, but not oh stop, oh stop, oh stop gut busters. He does things like losing sleep over whether or not he misspelled a name or got a fact wrong. He breaks diets and skips runs. He's hardly Casanova. He's just likable. Admittedly, stories about eating disorders are all pretty much the same, whether you are Tracy Gold or Marya Hornbacher. While the male Mexican speed freak bucks the trend a bit, Bruni's still splashing cold water on his face in a public restroom and hoping no one notices his red eyes. And stories by food critics seem to follow a similar template. This book is not going to change anyone's life, the way a no-star rating would. But it is a nice read about the man behind those stars.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Larry H

    When I make a list of dream jobs, restaurant critic is always near the top. For a foodie like me, to be able to eat at some of the best restaurants in a city (and not have to take out a second mortgage to afford the meals) would be a pretty amazing opportunity. But since no one is beating down my door offering me that chance, it was fun to live vicariously through Frank Bruni, former New York Times restaurant critic. Interestingly enough, this book hit home for me in more ways than I imagined. Wh When I make a list of dream jobs, restaurant critic is always near the top. For a foodie like me, to be able to eat at some of the best restaurants in a city (and not have to take out a second mortgage to afford the meals) would be a pretty amazing opportunity. But since no one is beating down my door offering me that chance, it was fun to live vicariously through Frank Bruni, former New York Times restaurant critic. Interestingly enough, this book hit home for me in more ways than I imagined. While it was fascinating to read about how he went about surreptitiously visiting NYC restaurants and disguising himself from curious servers and owners, and hearing about some of his most memorable meals, that information was included only in the very last part of the book. The majority of the book recounted Bruni's constant struggle with food, his weight and his self-esteem. Growing up Italian, he was always bombarded by food, and it controlled him for many, many years. He'd yo-yo between heavy and thin, tried every major diet (and some minor ones) as well as some very unhealthy habits, and his food-related issues truly affected his mental and emotional well-being probably more than his weight did. Throughout the book, I kept thinking about how similar Bruni's story is to my own. While I never went to the extremes he did, food has always been one of my biggest vices, and my weight remains one of my biggest challenges even now. I thought this book was terrific, not only for the fat and formerly-fat among us, but for anyone who's ever struggled with controlling an obsession that is controlling the rest of your life. Bruni is self-deprecating, funny, intelligent and insightful. I really enjoyed this book.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    As someone who has struggled with her weight since before birth (over 9 pounds at birth with no hope of ever being tall), the title of this book drew me in. The first part of the book was quite funny, especially when Bruni describes his Outward Bound experience (reminiscent of Bill Bryson's books). Yet once the story shifts to his college years, the entire tone of the book changes and becomes a disturbing tale of an individual with a serious eating disorder. To Bruni, his "ideal" physique was a As someone who has struggled with her weight since before birth (over 9 pounds at birth with no hope of ever being tall), the title of this book drew me in. The first part of the book was quite funny, especially when Bruni describes his Outward Bound experience (reminiscent of Bill Bryson's books). Yet once the story shifts to his college years, the entire tone of the book changes and becomes a disturbing tale of an individual with a serious eating disorder. To Bruni, his "ideal" physique was a V-shaped, sculpted man with a 31" waistline. Yet in his size 32" pants, he saw himself as fat and undesirable. Over time, he strayed further and further from his goal. As a reporter, his hectic schedule was at odds with a regular diet and exercise routine. Eventually, in his thirties,he topped out at 268 pounds. His weight started down when he began to see a personal trainer, and he managed to keep the weight off while living in Rome and then as a restaurant critic for the NYTimes. Ultimately, he became comfortable with a more realistic "ideal" physique. As memoirs go, Bruni does a good job of regaling the reader with his stories of excess, but there is little personal introspection. Given his eventual adult height (5'11"), it would seem that his 31" ideal bordered on scary thin and was not reasonably attainable. That is what I found to be the most difficult part of his memoir: I could never quite understand why a 31" waistline became his gold standard.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jacqie

    I must be strangely drawn to books by New York Times food critics. I've enjoyed all of Ruth Reichl's book, and I enjoyed this one immensely too. Frank Bruni talks candidly about his battles with food and his weight. I've thought the same thoughts that he describes, and his book made me feel that I wasn't the only one who has rationalized eating more than I should, or the only one who has backslid once and then given up. Bruni's honesty is refreshing, and his vignettes about his big Italian-Ameri I must be strangely drawn to books by New York Times food critics. I've enjoyed all of Ruth Reichl's book, and I enjoyed this one immensely too. Frank Bruni talks candidly about his battles with food and his weight. I've thought the same thoughts that he describes, and his book made me feel that I wasn't the only one who has rationalized eating more than I should, or the only one who has backslid once and then given up. Bruni's honesty is refreshing, and his vignettes about his big Italian-American family, in which food is love, are hilarious and touching. The pages about what his mom went through at Thanksgiving are side-splitting and by themselves justify the purchase of the book. I hear that Bruni is quitting his critic job to tour when his new book comes out. I hope that he decides to go further in his writing career- he's got a great voice.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jordana Horn Gordon

    I loved this book. It's rare (no pun intended) to have a memoir that combines the most essential elements of such a work: being well-written, interesting and compelling. My one complaint was that the ending was a little flat compared to the rest of the book, but the rest of the book -- particularly, actually, the parts about Bruni's family and his learning to equate food with love and vice versa -- were riveting. Bruni has the gift of being able to write so that you never 'see him there' - his p I loved this book. It's rare (no pun intended) to have a memoir that combines the most essential elements of such a work: being well-written, interesting and compelling. My one complaint was that the ending was a little flat compared to the rest of the book, but the rest of the book -- particularly, actually, the parts about Bruni's family and his learning to equate food with love and vice versa -- were riveting. Bruni has the gift of being able to write so that you never 'see him there' - his prose is easy and affable, never obtrusive or off-putting. So sorry it's over! One caveat: be prepared to make many trips to your refrigerator/pantry/freezer while reading this book, as the descriptions of food are so fantastic that you really think that you need to eat that second, even if you already had almost a whole bag of chocolate-covered peanut butter-filled pretzels. Hypothetically.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Terzah

    I sometimes forget that I don't really like memoirs, unless they're written by someone like Mother Teresa. So I try to read example after example of the genre, because they're so popular and sometimes their premises do grab me. But I almost always stop reading them after the first chapter, and this one, about a successful food critic's struggles with his weight, was no exception. Bruni is a good writer, much less self-absorbed than a lot of modern memoirists (Eat Pray Love, I'm talkin' about you I sometimes forget that I don't really like memoirs, unless they're written by someone like Mother Teresa. So I try to read example after example of the genre, because they're so popular and sometimes their premises do grab me. But I almost always stop reading them after the first chapter, and this one, about a successful food critic's struggles with his weight, was no exception. Bruni is a good writer, much less self-absorbed than a lot of modern memoirists (Eat Pray Love, I'm talkin' about you), and some of his descriptions of his Italian family cracked me up. In the end, though, looking at the number of pages left to go, I tossed it aside. Too much else to read, I guess.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Christina

    I found this book completely fascinating. It was a remarkable glimpse into Frank Bruni's lifelong struggle with his weight which made his acceptance of the position as the NY Times food critic absolutely shocking - esp since I, like so many others, had no idea! Interesting, totally heartbreaking, and very funny. Plus, I got to meet him at Strand books and he signed my copy which was awesome. The more I read about him, the more in awe of him I became. I was already a fan of his, but now, moreso! I I found this book completely fascinating. It was a remarkable glimpse into Frank Bruni's lifelong struggle with his weight which made his acceptance of the position as the NY Times food critic absolutely shocking - esp since I, like so many others, had no idea! Interesting, totally heartbreaking, and very funny. Plus, I got to meet him at Strand books and he signed my copy which was awesome. The more I read about him, the more in awe of him I became. I was already a fan of his, but now, moreso! I laughed, I cried, I was inspired to write a review.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Ciara

    i enjoyed this book a lot because i thought it was witty & well-written. but it's not quite what i expected. i was anticipating a memoir about a person actually struggling to control or come to terms with serious & significant weight issues. what i got instead was a memoir about a person struggling with some pretty extreme body dysmorphia. bruni claims that he was extra-chubby from infanthood, & he details the extremes he would go to even as a toddler beyond the reaches of logic to scam one more i enjoyed this book a lot because i thought it was witty & well-written. but it's not quite what i expected. i was anticipating a memoir about a person actually struggling to control or come to terms with serious & significant weight issues. what i got instead was a memoir about a person struggling with some pretty extreme body dysmorphia. bruni claims that he was extra-chubby from infanthood, & he details the extremes he would go to even as a toddler beyond the reaches of logic to scam one more treat out of his mother. i don't doubt any of that. but as happens with many chubby children, it seems that bruni found a more or less healthy weight as an adolescent, thanks in large part to becoming a competitive swimmer. this is where the book started to lose me. rather than exploring why he continued to feel cripplingly self-conscious about his body even as a star athlete with the physique to match (there are photos in the book, you can judge for yourself), he stuck to his storyline of a chubby dude trying to get by in a chub-hating world. he repeats again & again that he was chronically ten pounds over his goal weight--his goal weight having been set by those infamously flawed insurance charts from the 1940s or whenever. at nearly 6 feet & broad-shouldered, bruni was tipping the scales at 190 & he would have preferred to be at 180, maybe 175. seriously? it's ten pounds. it's a difference that can be accounted for just by the fact that people have different frames. he was wearing 32" waist jeans & wanted to be in 30" waist. & to try to accomplish this feat, he routinely starved himself, exercised compulsively, developed bulimia, took laxatives, & indulged in speed. he broke off dates because he felt so self-conscious about his body. he starved himself to the point that he started sleep-eating. if this was intended to be a story about the way a dysfunctional & psychologically dishonest self-image can seriously fuck up a person's life--mission accomplished. but if it's a story about a dude's serious battle against the bulge...it missed the mark. i am withholding judgment to some degree because i really don't know what bruni was going far. he definitely takes pains to acknowledge that his behavior was really unhealthy, & he also concedes that feeling self-conscious over ten extra pounds sounded like a quaint daydream while he was following george w. bush on the campaign trail as a journalist & ballooned to nearly 270 pounds. but even 270 pounds on a 6-foot man really doesn't seem like that big of a deal. i don't know. eventually bruni hired a personal trainer & accepted a new assignment in rome. living in italy, he began to observe that italians have a different relationship with food (the book got a little bit eat pray love here). bruni began to emulate the italians, indulging within reason & enjoying his meals rather than depriving himself & then binging. gradualy he began to control his weight in a way that was healthy & made him feel comfortable. then he was offered the job of "new york times" restaurant critic. althoug he feared that having to eat rich, expensive dinners for a living would cause the weight to return, he accepted & tried to find a way to balance work & work-outs that kept him in good health (again with the assumption that some extra chub means unhealthiness). he did this in part by paying for expensive personal trainers & spending at least five hours a week working out vigorously. i don't doubt for a second that i could get pretty svelte if i had several hundred dollars a week to drop on a personal trainer, & several hours a week to work out & nothing else. but this isn't terribly realistic for most people's lives. while people, including myself, could probably stand up add more physical activity to their routines, bruni acknowledges that he is able to maintain his physique because he mostly works from home with a flexible, not terrible demanding schedule. he gets to structure his time in his own way. & he also acknowledges that even while he has been able to keep the weight off, it's been more challenging to address the psychological realities of living with self-loathing for twenty years. he doesn't state it as baldly as that, but that's what it is. i can only assume that this book would be pretty triggering to recovering disordered eaters. & it was frustrating at times to read about someone making himself so miserable over something that is such a non-issue. but i guess that's the point of a memoir. if he'd had his shit together from the word go, it wouldn't be much a journey.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Scott

    No surprise, my favorite part of Frank Bruni's memoir was the final, as my Kindle told me, 26% of the books, when he begins his seven-year stint as the restaurant critic for the New York Times. Totally my never-to-be-obtained dream job, and he let me live it, mostly through stories of the crazy logistics of the whole thing: basically, how to eat around ten dinners a week, in restaurants all over town, sampling the entire menu at each place, trying to remain anonymous even on his third and fourth No surprise, my favorite part of Frank Bruni's memoir was the final, as my Kindle told me, 26% of the books, when he begins his seven-year stint as the restaurant critic for the New York Times. Totally my never-to-be-obtained dream job, and he let me live it, mostly through stories of the crazy logistics of the whole thing: basically, how to eat around ten dinners a week, in restaurants all over town, sampling the entire menu at each place, trying to remain anonymous even on his third and fourth visit. So great. So envious. I had GOOSEBUMPS through most of this. What did surprise me was how much I loved the first 74% of the book, which is mostly about his lifelong love/hate relationship with food: the influence of his insanely food-passionate (and here wonderfully drawn) family, his bulimia, his horrible body image, his gorging of crap until he ballooned to about 270 pounds (he's down to around 180 now), and the peace he finally found with it all when he discovered in, of all places, Rome, how eating small portions of excellent food can be so much more satisfying than mindlessly shoveling garbage into your mouth. Told with tons of charm, intelligence, insight, honesty and humor. Great stuff.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Zoe

    Still one of my favorite memoirs ever written. Immediately relatable to anyone reading, Bruni is charismatic and lovable from the very first page. To anyone who has ever dealt with issues of weight, of loss, of self doubt and self judgement, Bruni is a guide sent from the future, where everything really is better.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Alicia

    The author of this book is the current food critic for the NY Times. However, he has had a long and difficult relationship with food. I loved this book, because I feel like I too have had a long and difficult relationship with food. I saw so much of myself in him, in his writing, and in his feelings towards self image. There's a part about how he meets someone and they ask him out, and then he puts off the date for weeks because he always wants to lose a "few pounds" or fit into those one pair of The author of this book is the current food critic for the NY Times. However, he has had a long and difficult relationship with food. I loved this book, because I feel like I too have had a long and difficult relationship with food. I saw so much of myself in him, in his writing, and in his feelings towards self image. There's a part about how he meets someone and they ask him out, and then he puts off the date for weeks because he always wants to lose a "few pounds" or fit into those one pair of jeans. Even though his friends tell him, "um didn't they already see you? They know what you look like!" And he has all these excuses like "well, the lighting was good" and "he probably was distracted" or things like that. It's hilarious, but so true. See, people with real body issues see things that others don't yet they are blind to other things. They see the worst in themselves, think that everyone is looking at their love handles, and thinks that every comment is a comment about their weight. They notice the skinny people in the room, and notice the chubby ones too, and they rank themselves to where they fall in line in the "fatter or skinner than" race. However, they are also delusional about their real size. They don't want to know their weight, and they wear tight-ill fitting clothing so that they don't have to go to the store to try to fit on the size they THINK they wear, only to have to go up 2 sizes to find the size they really wear. Or if they Do go to those stores, they go to Ross or TJ Maxx (or DI) so they won't spend too much money on clothes that they will inevitably hate. And they know their real size now! Why would they want to buy clothes? Might as well wear that one pair of pants over and over again until they get holes in the crotch and have to be thrown out. . . not like I know that from experience or anything. They also don't want to stand on a scale. There's a hilarious story about when the author reaches his highest weight right after he was on the 2000 campaign trail with Bush and he goes to the Dr. and says "I don't want to know what my weight is. Just don't tell me" (this is something he had done for years, since adolescence actually) And after he steps off, the Dr looks at him and says, "you weigh 268 pounds". Just like that. HA HA HA!! Hilarious. And just what he needed. Anyway, I thought this book would be about his life as a food critic. And while it does eventually get there, it's much more of a personal memoir about his struggle with his weight. And I mean a real struggle. Not those 5-10 vanity pounds that most people want to lose, but the 25, 75 or 100 pounds that you fight against, the binging and purging cycles, the laxatives that you take, the crazy diets that rule your life, and the inevitable fall into that bucket of KFC chicken. This book is for you. It will make you laugh and smile and then make you want to go to the gym and get your exercise on. Well, it did for me, anyway.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Allison Floyd

    Well. As void spackle goes, it was alright, although if you ask me, there could have been more general iridescence lurking in the white clumps. What I mean to say is that this was a heartfelt, entertaining--moving, even--read that somehow didn't quite fully do it for me. I suspect this has to do with the fact that the bulk of the book is dedicated to the author's painstaking dissection of his early life, which, like most, was largely unremarkable. While his doing so was clearly necessary to set t Well. As void spackle goes, it was alright, although if you ask me, there could have been more general iridescence lurking in the white clumps. What I mean to say is that this was a heartfelt, entertaining--moving, even--read that somehow didn't quite fully do it for me. I suspect this has to do with the fact that the bulk of the book is dedicated to the author's painstaking dissection of his early life, which, like most, was largely unremarkable. While his doing so was clearly necessary to set the stage for his lifelong battles with food and body image--and while it's refreshing to have a male author tackle issues that are considered largely the province of women--it just didn't answer the question that memoirs always raise for me--why should I care?--completely satisfactorily. I would have preferred if he'd devoted more space to his restaurant critic career, which was by far the most engaging and interesting part of the book, for me at least. I also had the nagging feeling while reading it that this book is somehow shallow, although I'm not sure I can justify it. Maybe it has to do with the extent to which physical appearance comes into play--with respect to the author's criteria for his own worth and the extent to which it seems to dominate his criteria for prospective mates. But maybe that's normal. I wouldn't know, on account of I am a freak. Maybe it's the sense of someone writing from the vantage point of a life that's been pretty charmed (albeit rife with internal struggles, but whose isn't?), who hasn't had much occasion to examine this or to assume it'll ever be otherwise. Not to pull that Hardship Equals Inherent Virtue crap (she protests whilst pulling that Hardship Equals Inherent Virtue crap), but... All in all, though, a fun piece of food porn with a hearty serving of chatty gossip and tearjerker on the side. If you wanted to be especially obnoxious and stereotypical about it, you could pretend while reading this on a lazy afternoon that you were Carrie Bradshaw sipping cosmos with Stanford Blatch. Or maybe Charlotte and Anthony, although I think Stanford is a more apt comparison here, because he's nicer, and gosh darn it, Mr. Bruni sounds like a nice guy. Oh jeez, did I just write that last paragraph?

  22. 5 out of 5

    Tony Noland

    "Born Round" is Frank Bruni's honest, heartfelt look at his struggles with his weight. Going beyond just the number on the scale or the tightness of his pants, he talks about what it means to grow up in a family where the size of the meal offered is a measure of the love expressed, and where the number of servings consumed is a measure of the love returned. For all the bombast and proclamations of familial affection in a loud Italian clan, it's the interpretation of actions around eating that ar "Born Round" is Frank Bruni's honest, heartfelt look at his struggles with his weight. Going beyond just the number on the scale or the tightness of his pants, he talks about what it means to grow up in a family where the size of the meal offered is a measure of the love expressed, and where the number of servings consumed is a measure of the love returned. For all the bombast and proclamations of familial affection in a loud Italian clan, it's the interpretation of actions around eating that are given outsized emotional weight. Bruni goes into the self-image issues that pervade people who compulsively overeat. The story is more familiar when told by women, so it's interesting to get this from a male perspective. There's a clear vein of negative self-regard based on his weight. It runs through his life as presented in all stages of this autobiography: as a successful student and athlete, during his training to become a writer and during his jobs as reporter, foreign correspondent and ultimately as the restaurant critic for the New York Times. I'd recommend this book to anyone from a big, loud family, or to anyone who ever got a hurt look from Aunt Patricia when they turned down her special dessert or second helpings of anything. It's a quick read, written in a lively, accessible style. Bruni concludes the book with a summary of his self-examination - what he's learned about his own life and about his flawed perceptions of himself and the family he came from. Bruni's life story is unique, but the life lessons learned about addiction and self-image are broadly applicable.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    Bruni, the former New York Times restaurant critic (and before that political and papal reporter), takes us through the ups and down, as well as his ever expanding and decreasing pants sizes of his life. The title is no joke, Bruni has a serious problem with food, sometimes gorging, sometimes starving, sometimes taking diet pills, etc. etc. I wanted to take him into a big bear hug and say, "Frankie, you need therapy--now!!" But he doesn't go, and regrettably, the reader is lead into his world of Bruni, the former New York Times restaurant critic (and before that political and papal reporter), takes us through the ups and down, as well as his ever expanding and decreasing pants sizes of his life. The title is no joke, Bruni has a serious problem with food, sometimes gorging, sometimes starving, sometimes taking diet pills, etc. etc. I wanted to take him into a big bear hug and say, "Frankie, you need therapy--now!!" But he doesn't go, and regrettably, the reader is lead into his world of pain and self doubt. For anyone who has had a problem with food in the past, I found it heartbreaking to read. Gorging then promising you'll be good the next day, or taking a day off from exercise and promising yourself you'll do something tomorrow. Bruni reminded me of myself in some ways, but on a much greater scale. I really enjoyed his stories of working as the reviewer at the Times (IMO, the NYT restaurant critic has more power in that city than the mayor!), I wish it was filled with more of these anecdotes. Bruni has a great ability to connect with his readers; I felt like I was sitting and chatting away over a cup of coffee with him and his articles in the Times are the same way. In this case, though, it was like having that somewhat uncomfortable personal conversation with someone you don't know very well; you're there to listen, but all the same, are not sure you should be there.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    I'm a big fan of Mr. Bruni's op-ed columns in the NYT, so I looked forward to reading more about him. I recognized a lot of my own childhood (Clean your plate! Eat more because I made it for you!) and my own insecurities about weight (If I only lost these five pounds, I'd be 50 times more attractive). It's heartening that he seems to have found balance in his life, and I found his journey to be really inspiring. I also enjoyed learning about his family and his stint as a restaurant reviewer. Goo I'm a big fan of Mr. Bruni's op-ed columns in the NYT, so I looked forward to reading more about him. I recognized a lot of my own childhood (Clean your plate! Eat more because I made it for you!) and my own insecurities about weight (If I only lost these five pounds, I'd be 50 times more attractive). It's heartening that he seems to have found balance in his life, and I found his journey to be really inspiring. I also enjoyed learning about his family and his stint as a restaurant reviewer. Good read!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    Really 3.5 stars, but Frank Bruni is so likeable and seemingly lovely that I will round up to 4. Well-written, entertaining book with interesting insight into the professional life of a restaurant critic. Some of the dieting details got a little tedious, but in fairness, it's the theme of the book. Really 3.5 stars, but Frank Bruni is so likeable and seemingly lovely that I will round up to 4. Well-written, entertaining book with interesting insight into the professional life of a restaurant critic. Some of the dieting details got a little tedious, but in fairness, it's the theme of the book.

  26. 5 out of 5

    John

    A 3.5 A nice read. I liked Bruni's writing. He has a sense of humor that sneaks up on you. His is an interesting journey. I appreciated his openness about his struggles with food. I second his personal findings about food/diet/weight. The "Aha!" lesson for me in my adult life was portion size. I don't outlaw any foods, but learned from a friend to keep portion sizes reasonable. As a teen and young adult I stuffed myself and never thought twice about having more of something I liked. But that is n A 3.5 A nice read. I liked Bruni's writing. He has a sense of humor that sneaks up on you. His is an interesting journey. I appreciated his openness about his struggles with food. I second his personal findings about food/diet/weight. The "Aha!" lesson for me in my adult life was portion size. I don't outlaw any foods, but learned from a friend to keep portion sizes reasonable. As a teen and young adult I stuffed myself and never thought twice about having more of something I liked. But that is not tenable over a lifetime. Hand in hand is Bruni's learned discipline of burning calories. My calorie burning is nowhere as intense as the authors, but I learned to love exercise (and find exercise I love). An easy book to recommend! I think it is accessible and enjoyable.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Marilyn

    For everyone who struggles with good I read this book by Frank Bruni after watching him with Bill Maher recently. I was drawn to the book because of my struggle with weight. I identified with his tale of overeating and the requisite suffering that accompanies it. His path was my path but along the way I only gained 35 lbs. My mom was unlike Franks, but was known as ''The Food Administrator ''. She was a terrific cook but monitored everyone's intake. I think that my overeating, unfortunately, was For everyone who struggles with good I read this book by Frank Bruni after watching him with Bill Maher recently. I was drawn to the book because of my struggle with weight. I identified with his tale of overeating and the requisite suffering that accompanies it. His path was my path but along the way I only gained 35 lbs. My mom was unlike Franks, but was known as ''The Food Administrator ''. She was a terrific cook but monitored everyone's intake. I think that my overeating, unfortunately, was my passive aggressive way to punish her for what I don't know. PS I LOVED THIS BOOK

  28. 5 out of 5

    Sophie

    I don't think I had heard of Frank Bruni as a reporter nor a food critic. The title is what caught my eye to pick up this book. I liked his writing style and related to his family dynamics. There are lots of triggers in this book for anyone with an eating disorder. As someone who has always struggled with body image and weight management, it was like reading about my own feelings. The portion about his food critic days was interesting and a bit humorous. It was not a disappointing read. I give i I don't think I had heard of Frank Bruni as a reporter nor a food critic. The title is what caught my eye to pick up this book. I liked his writing style and related to his family dynamics. There are lots of triggers in this book for anyone with an eating disorder. As someone who has always struggled with body image and weight management, it was like reading about my own feelings. The portion about his food critic days was interesting and a bit humorous. It was not a disappointing read. I give it three stars, as in I liked it.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Belann

    The book gave insight into how hard it is for some to reach the ideal weight. People who do not struggle do not realize how hard it is. He was finally able to master his weight, but some struggle just as hard and do not find success. Weight is still a mystery. Calories in and calories out is not really the true story.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Audrey

    I was wavering between 4 and 5 stars. I committed to 5 stars mostly because I really enjoyed his honesty and writing style, and also because how he describes the importance of food in his Italian family. This book might not be for everyone but I was fascinated and consider it one of my favorite memoirs.

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