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Beach Reads

Just finished two books (that's right, I'm a multi-tasker, and I never want to be kept waiting without reading material).The first is Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise , which is a food memoir written by a former NYT restaurant critic. Ruth Reichl eats her way through the New York restaurant scene, describing each meal in deliciously rich detail. The twist that adds the unexpected burst of flavor (sorry about the cheesy food metaphors) is that Ruth decides to throw off sycophant waiters by showing up in outrageous disguises, even setting up a new credit card for each one (can't be good for her credit rating, can it?). Her adventures and her insights into food and the rituals of dining make for an enjoyable read.Before that I read The Hidden Diary of Marie Antoinette . A friend of mine gave her copy after she realized it wasn't actually the "Hidden Diary of Marie Antoinette" but rather a work of historical fiction (I guess the line "a novel by Carolly Erickson" didn't tip her off). I can see how this novel parading as a diary might disappoint die-hard historians, but for me, it delivered the drama, romance and historical flourishes I expected, similar to The Other Bolyen Girl . Diary has the pretty pink cover similar to a chick lit novel, but the historical background gives it more meat.

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Beach Reads + secret