Thursday, October 11, 2012

"Born Round: The Secret History of a Full-Time Eater" by Frank Bruni

368 pages

"Born round, you don't die square," Frank Bruni's grandma used to say. And Frank has always been round, literally. His huge Italian family revered food, so he had plenty of opportunities to feed his seemingly endless appetite. As he gained more and more weight, he became more and more stressed about his eating habits. He even began bingeing and purging as a twenty-something. Even though he eventually recovered from bulimia, he continued to struggle with his weight, especially during stressful times like when he came out as gay to his family. So it's no surprise that his family and friends were worried when he was named restaurant critic for the New York Times not long after he'd finally gotten his eating habits mostly under control. How would he maintain his progress when he made his living by eating? 

There's not a lot of action in this memoir, and I felt like it's a bit too slow in parts. I felt like some of the repetition could have been edited out. However, "Born Round" has plenty of other good stuff going on. I like Frank's voice--he's humble and self-depreciating without being annoying about it, and he is good at making jokes about his situation without downplaying the seriousness of obesity and eating disorders. I also loved getting all the insights on the world of restaurant reviewing--super interesting. It's not a favorite, but I'm glad I read it.

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