An inspirational memoir of food and finding oneself.



A nonfiction writer and food expert tells the story of her long struggle to overcome a poor body image and unhealthy eating habits.

Howard had always felt like an outsider. She was always the “tallest [girl], towering and ungainly,” all through grade school, a dark-haired Jew in “a sea of blondes.” To become “dainty and pert,” she went so far as to have breast reduction surgery in high school. Unfortunately, her efforts did nothing to fill her inner emptiness or improve the poor self-image at the core of her dissatisfaction. Determined to continue remaking herself, she began what became an unhealthy pattern of yo-yo dieting just before entering Columbia University. At around the same time, the author also had an intense sexual involvement with the troubled middle-age manager of the gelato shop where she worked part-time before moving on to the prestigious Picholine restaurant. Despite academic success at Columbia and an internship at the Serious Eats blog, she still wallowed in private misery as a part-anorexic, part-bulimic woman with the character traits of both disorders: “people-pleasing, timid, perfectionistic, inflexible” on the one hand and “impulsive, dramatic and erratic” on the other. Yet the same passion for food that caused Howard such personal shame eventually came to define her career path as a food industry expert. After graduation, she moved to Los Angeles, where she trained to run a high-end steakhouse, then to Philadelphia, where she managed an “American Italianish” restaurant, then back to NYC, where she worked at the Fairway Market. As she battled her eating disorder, she found herself drawn into sexual relationships that were as passionate as they were destructive. Only after discovering a compulsive-eating recovery group was Howard finally able to find deeper healing and the self-respect that had eluded her. In this candid and searching memoir, Howard offers a celebration of food as well as an account of the determination required to forge a path to self-acceptance.

An inspirational memoir of food and finding oneself.

Pub Date: April 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5039-4257-8

Page Count: 236

Publisher: Little A

Review Posted Online: Jan. 9, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2018

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If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.


The authors have created a sort of anti-Book of Virtues in this encyclopedic compendium of the ways and means of power.

Everyone wants power and everyone is in a constant duplicitous game to gain more power at the expense of others, according to Greene, a screenwriter and former editor at Esquire (Elffers, a book packager, designed the volume, with its attractive marginalia). We live today as courtiers once did in royal courts: we must appear civil while attempting to crush all those around us. This power game can be played well or poorly, and in these 48 laws culled from the history and wisdom of the world’s greatest power players are the rules that must be followed to win. These laws boil down to being as ruthless, selfish, manipulative, and deceitful as possible. Each law, however, gets its own chapter: “Conceal Your Intentions,” “Always Say Less Than Necessary,” “Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy,” and so on. Each chapter is conveniently broken down into sections on what happened to those who transgressed or observed the particular law, the key elements in this law, and ways to defensively reverse this law when it’s used against you. Quotations in the margins amplify the lesson being taught. While compelling in the way an auto accident might be, the book is simply nonsense. Rules often contradict each other. We are told, for instance, to “be conspicuous at all cost,” then told to “behave like others.” More seriously, Greene never really defines “power,” and he merely asserts, rather than offers evidence for, the Hobbesian world of all against all in which he insists we live. The world may be like this at times, but often it isn’t. To ask why this is so would be a far more useful project.

If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-670-88146-5

Page Count: 430

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1998

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...


Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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