!!> PDF / Epub ☉ Born Round: The Secret History of a Full-time Eater ✩ Author Frank Bruni – 1sm.info

Born Round: The Secret History of a Full-time Eater 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 WeightFrank 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 EarlyWhen He Was Named The Restaurant Critic For The New York Times In , 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 PopeBut 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 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 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 andthan 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 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 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, 3840 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, 3840 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 noand 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 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 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 wasinteresting 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 wasinteresting 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 withcompassion 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, andthan 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,precisely, the last third wasinteresting than the first part but not by much I don t think listening to people talk about food even good food is significantlyentertaining 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 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 somethingalong 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 somethingalong 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 tothan a pound of ground beef at one sitting , she would feed himif 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 exerciseand 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 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 eventnot 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 wayalmost 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 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 becomesabout 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


About the Author: Frank Bruni

Frank Bruni was named restaurant critic for The New York Times in April 2004.Before that, Mr Bruni had been the Rome bureau chief from July 2002 until March 2004, a post he took after working as a reporter in the Washington D.C bureau from December 1998 until May 2002 While in Washington, he was among the journalists assigned to Capitol Hill and Congress until August 1999, when he was assigned full time to cover the presidential campaign of Gov George W Bush He then covered the White House for the first eight months of the Bush administration, and subsequently spent seven months as the Washington based staff writer for The New York Times Sunday Magazine.Mr Bruni is the author of The New York Times bestseller about George W Bush called Ambling into History HarperCollins hardcover, 2002 paperback, 2003 He is also the co author of A Gospel of Shame Children, Sexual Abuse and the Catholic Church.


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