former NYT food critic frank bruni’s food memoir “born round” is an entertaining read through the rollercoaster ride that of a writer and a lover of food. unlike “food” novels filled with long exotic analogies and strings of adjectives to describe his gourmet life, bruni uses his own childhood and experiences to talk about his love-hate relationship with food.
i’ve read a lot of “foodie” novels and have enjoyed them immensely. but unlike ruth reichl(also a former NYT food critic) who likes to talk about her meals and recipes as if she’s inviting us to join her, frank bruni weaves a tale of lifelong food addiction, short stints with eating disorders, a constant battle with his cavernous pit of an appetite along with his stories of career success, failed and triumphant love and familial happiness.
with ms reichl, we are her dinner guests. and with mr bruni? we are his therapist and his confidant. i’ve always admired frank bruni’s food reviews as it is well-written with a humorous punch. but after reading his memoir, the critiques did little to show a most charming personality who led a very full life. i also thought the book struck a chord because part of me understands the same anxieties and insecurities he was experiencing.
born round is exhilarating, painful and touching. it’s a breezy read and even at its deepest and most emotional, frank bruni’s words go down easily.