If you have any sort of problems watching what you eat, or you're trying to diet right now, I would highly recommend NOT picking up Frank Bruni's new memoir Born Round: The Secret History of a Full-Time Eater.
Bruni has been the restaurant critic for the New York Times since 2004, but this book is the much larger story of his always tempestuous relationship with food. Starting when he was very young and growing up in an Italian family that believed making an abundance of food for every meal was the best way to show your family you loved them, Bruni was a champion eater among champion eaters. Of course, then, he struggled with carrying too much weight from little on--describing with perfect accuracy how it felt to have to shop in the "husky" department.
As Bruni grew older, his unhealthy eating habits continued, and he moved through stints with bulimia and Mexican "diet pills" (also known as "Mexican speed") while he simultaneously moved through college, his journalism career, and years of not feeling good enough about himself to feel comfortable letting his boyfriends see him naked. Somewhere along the way you realize you're reading a memoir composed largely of someone's memories of how he eats, which seems like a slight subject, but there's really nothing slight about it.
I liked this one from the start, when I read the "author's note" in the beginning. I am always a sucker for an author who can nicely address the problems of writing a memoir, and Bruni has done that:
"And while none of the people, events or conversations in this book were invented, some conversational details lay beyond the reach of memory, so dialogue has been reconstructed through interviews and other reporting, and fashioned in line with what I know and remember of how the people, including me, spoke."
I also like Bruni's journalistic writing style, which always moves right along. And although it comprised less than 100 pages of the narrative, I'll admit his descriptions of his restaurant critic job were the ones I enjoyed the most. The man can describe food. At one point he actually made baguettes with jam and butter sound so good that I almost had to go driving around at 8 p.m. last night, looking for baguettes (although I know full well that a good baguette in my neck of the Midwestern woods can be hard to find).
My verdict? Read it. But DO NOT read it when you're hungry.