Born Round: A Story of Family, Food and a Ferocious Appetite

( 40 )

Overview

The New York Times restaurant critic's heartbreaking and hilarious account of how he learned to love food just enough

Frank Bruni was born round. Round as in stout, chubby, and always hungry. His relationship with eating was difficult and his struggle with it began early. When named the restaurant critic for The New York Times in 2004, he knew he would be performing one of the most watched tasks in the epicurean universe. And with food his friend and enemy both, his jitters ...

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Born Round: A Story of Family, Food and a Ferocious Appetite

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Overview

The New York Times restaurant critic's heartbreaking and hilarious account of how he learned to love food just enough

Frank Bruni was born round. Round as in stout, chubby, and always hungry. His relationship with eating was difficult and his struggle with it began early. When named the restaurant critic for The New York Times in 2004, he knew he would be performing one of the most watched tasks in the epicurean universe. And with food his friend and enemy both, his jitters focused primarily on whether he'd finally made some sense of that relationship. A captivating story of his unpredictable journalistic odyssey as well as his lifelong love-hate affair with food, Born Round will speak to everyone who's ever had to rein in an appetite to avoid letting out a waistband.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780143117674
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 6/29/2010
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 625,327
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Frank Bruni

Frank Bruni was named restaurant critic for The New York Times in April 2004. Before that he served as the newspaper’s Rome bureau chief and as a White House correspondent. His 2002 book about George W. Bush, Ambling into History, was a New York Times best seller. He lives in New York City.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 40 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(9)

4 Star

(13)

3 Star

(11)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(3)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 40 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 5, 2010

    Buyer beware...

    First off, a really well written and nice little book.
    Unfortunately when I purchased it I anticipated insight in what it was like to be a food critic at the NYT where the difference of one star could make or break a chef and or a restaurant. Living in 'The Big Apple.' Stories about the food industry, restaurants, wonderful or terrible meals.
    Instead, three quarters of the book is devoted to his eating disorder and coming to terms with his sexuality and family. Sadly, much of that is self indulgent and repetative. A guy can only read so much about the vomiting, the laxatives, the size 36 pants vs the size 42 pants, the running, the excersise, etc.
    His writing about his early family life... growing up in an Italian culture where food is king is marvelous. (I couldn't eat enough sausage and peppers when reading about his youth. Not to mention more than a few cannoli.)
    Again, a good book and the fault is my own for not understanding more before my purchase. Sort of like ordering the veal saltimbocca and having a plate of James Beard's meatloaf and mashed potatoes set before you. Still really good, but not what you had your stomach set for.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 12, 2010

    Exceptional Memoir--and Cautionary Tale

    I read Frank Bruni's memoir while recovering from triple bypass heart surgery, so the lovingly detailed descriptions of Italian family feasts struck me as more of a cautionary tale than it might most readers. Given the lengths Bruni went to embrace fad diets and his denial about even checking the scales, it wasn't a surprise that he avoided doctors' medical advice. "Born Round" is nevertheless a pleasure to read; Bruni's struggles with his weight are universal even if his own career path has been unique. Bruni has had an exceptionally varied career as a journalist, and if you only know him for his restaurant reviews, you're in for a pleasant surprise. His struggles to adhere to diet and exercise follow him as he covers George W. Bush's first campaign for President as well as his years covering Detroit and the Vatican. By the book's ending, I wish he had reflected more on our Western society's obsession on body image and the media's role in forming that, but he does summarize well the lessons he's learned as he enters middle age. "Born Round" is a welcome memoir. Recommended.

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  • Posted June 26, 2010

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    I Also Recommend:

    Not Just Born Round but Born Talented. . .

    I'm a huge memoir fan and so glad I got a chance to pick up Frank Bruni's Born Round. The writer bares his soul and you can't help but want to be there for him. Moments when he gave in to over-indulgence, I really wanted to jump into the book and give him a kick in the pants and drag him to the gym. In the end, it was his own determination that got him back on track to being healthier.
    I've been following F Bruni on twitter even before I read this book, just to get a feel for what he's like nowadays. He's an interesting twitterer. He'll be doing readings and Q/A in New York early July-2010. I'll be there to see him in person. . .

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  • Posted March 17, 2010

    The Dangers of the Clean Plate Club!

    Mr. Bruni's tale of connection inter-related connection with food, family and love is a charming and, at times, poignant read. Particularly touching is his relationship with his mother, who at times abetted his eating and at others encouraged restraint. The irony of Mr. Bruni's appointment as restaurant critic of the New York Times is not lost anyone, particularly Mr. Bruni himself. Bruni writes in a clear and accessible fashion. Mr. Bruni's ability to engage in healthy relationships directly derives from his ability to love himself and his relationship with food. I recommend this to anyone who battled with mothers, food and the Clean Plate Club in their youth!

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  • Posted February 8, 2010

    Delicious

    I have gotten to know the intimate soul of the artist. I feel that I can address him by Frank. Frank does a wonderful job of humorously telling his life story and his loving participation with his family and food. Frank has insecurities regarding his weight and does a brillant subtle job of telling a story that sadly is the story of many. In the end he has managed to be the master of his desires; knowing that negativity about his physical shell is the real task he will have a lifetime journey with. Frank, you tell the story of many and you tell it well!

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  • Posted November 16, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    An uninspiring read

    By a cursory glance at the title, and glancing at the inside cover, I purchased the book looking for a character I can empathize with, being raised in a family environment where food was doled out as a pain salve, and being stigmatized by being overweight for the majority of my childhood. In reality, it focused on the manifestations as to how one reacts to food, rather than a sympathetic character being saddled with being overweight his entire life. The author was born in a loving family, with all the privileges of an upper middle class lifestyle, and in fact was an accomplished athlete in high school and writer in his adult life. If you purchase the book with the expectations of obtaining an intimate look at the struggles of being an overweight child, and the impact of that stigma as you enter adult hood, not sure if this specific read will offer you that insight.

    Despite the title being a bit misleading, and the subject uninspiring, Mr. Bruni is a talented and entertaining author, and would reocmmend the purchase for anyone who has suffered through the angst of food.

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  • Posted November 13, 2009

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    I Also Recommend:

    Left me craving for more

    Is it wrong to enjoy reading how one man has struggled and was tortured his whole life because of his weight? One has to admire Frank Bruni's bitter honesty recounting all the ways he has attempted to lose weight or maintain his weight since he was a baby. I think that everyone in some way, shape or form, can relate to his ordeals, whether it was to shed some baby fat, the freshman 15 in college, or dieting before a wedding. However, the irony in Bruni's life is that when he finally found a regime that was healthy and successful in getting to his goal pants size, he becomes a food critic who is required to dine out for almost every meal of the week! It is a truly inspiring and touching book and a definite read for foodies.

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  • Posted October 23, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Born Round

    "Born Round" is Frank Bruni's tale of how he dealt with his fluctuating weight throughout his life. Interesting were the stories of his family and how everything seemed to revolve around food. Since both his mother and grandmother were passionate about cooking, it didn't help Bruni with his weight problem. He controlled this by becoming a swimmer in high school but was bulimic during his college years. He discusses not only his weight, but his journalism career, his homosexuality, and life in the city.

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    Posted August 10, 2011

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