Good Food Book Club

The Good Food Book Club is an avenue for Moscow Food Co-op owners and the greater Palouse community to foster civil dialogue, connection between people, and community engagement through thoughtful book club subject matter. We aim to provide an open, inviting venue to share educational and entertaining information critical to our food system and other pressing social issues. 

For detailed information on the book of the month as well as past books, please visit the Good Food Book Club section of Community News.


August 2019:

“Save Me the Plums: My Gourmet Memoir” by Ruth Reichl

When: Sunday, August 25, from 4 - 5:30 p.m.
Where: Location will be announced via email reminder
Email for more info and to subscribe


Welcome to bookend number one. This month we’ll be reading a book whose origins stem directly from next month’s book (that would be bookend number two). Both books sit squarely in the larger world of significant contributions to Western literature, and thus, to our evolving grasp of what’s possible not only with food and its thriving genre, but in the human and democratic experience. Some might consider these topical topics in these times.

This month’s book, our first bookend, is Ruth Reichl’s remarkable new memoir, “Save Me the Plums: My Gourmet Memoir” (Random House 2019). Reichl – a beloved American food writer and long-time editor of Gourmet magazine – not only transformed the food writing genre with her many contributions, she transmuted the American food experience itself. Some of our group’s favorite books across the years of the Good Food Book Club, are Reichl’s.

But she would not call herself the alchemist. No doubt, she’d give that accolade to M.F.K. Fisher, author of the book we’ll
read next month, “The Gastronomical Me” (and direct literary godmother to Ruth Reichl, as evidenced by this lyric and beautiful tribute to the former’s impact on the latter’s at LitHub). Reichl found Fisher’s work as a child – her first taste was “How to Cook A Wolf” – and forever after, Reichl, it is safe to say, consumed Fisher’s work with a kind of bliss gusto. Not just for Fisher’s rapport with crafting literature adequate to the deeply human experience of food joy, but for her sheer, sensual pleasure of food’s impact on life itself.

If we have access to a feast of privileges in the United States, one of those is surely the privilege of cooking and enjoying delicious food with even more delicious friends. Related is the privilege of writing and publishing about such treasures. Which is precisely the narrative thread that unspools across “Save Me the Plums” as Reichl describes her journey as Gourmet’s editor in chief, then what happens when the magazine shutters.

Ann Patchett, best-selling author and trusted contributing voice of American literature (Bel Canto, State of Wonder and many others) says, “‘Save Me the Plums’ sweeps the reader up in the intoxicating splendor of Gourmet in its glory days, when the smart set was in it for the food, the friendship, and the big new ideas. This is the rare case of an amazing writer living an amazing life, with a book that’s the party I never wanted to end.”

While Susan Orlean, likewise beloved author of “The Orchid Thief” and her new best-seller and NYTs book of the year, The Library Book, says, “Ruth Reichl is the best sort of storyteller—intimate, wise, frank, and completely engaging. Here she beautifully details her ten years running Gourmet, with all the triumphs and tribulations, and it’s a brilliant tale. Every page is rich and delicious; the book is such a treat!”

Should you wish to search for and read reviews specifically from food writers, chefs, and others, they’re as abundant and warming as hot butter on apple pancakes.

Please join us to discuss “Save Me the Plums” by Ruth Reichl (Random House 2019) on Sunday August 25 from 4:00-5:30pm at a member’s private residence. Location and details will come in this month’s email reminder. Remember to email to receive reminders about the Good Food Book Club.

“Save Me the Plums” is available through your local library. If you are interested in buying the book, check out the area’s local used book stores or visit BookPeople of Moscow where Book Club members receive a discount.

— Book club president Rachel Clark