Or should I say, What We're Eating at the Library.
For those of us whose relationship to food is complicated--those of us who overeat, who lash ourselves with guilt for doing so, and who try one ineffective diet after another--this book is like a delicious, healthy meal shared with a friend who's been there.
Frank Bruni, journalist, author, and former restaurant critic for The New York Times, recounts his lifelong struggle with food and weight gain. The emotional toll of trying--and failing--to control his weight is devastating, and at one point Bruni suffered from bulimia and also took amphetamines to control his appetite.
But despite the utter seriousness of his topic, Bruni writes with warmth and humor. His portraits of his mother and grandmother, Italian chefs par excellence, are loving and funny and moving. As he describes a childhood in which food was a central symbol of family well-being and love, and an adulthood in which food acted as a kind of self-medication, Bruni is always honest and clear-eyed.
As a journalist, Bruni traveled with George W. Bush's first presidential campaign (vast breakfast buffets and midnight cheeseburgers) and also worked as a foreign correspondent in Italy (fabulous food and a different way of eating). His descriptions of the covert operations of a restaurant critic (he had to hide his identity when dining out, and was not above using wigs and a fake mustache) give us an inside view of the world of restaurant politics.
Born Round: The Secret History of a Full-time Eater: Bon appetite.