My Kitchen Year: 136 Recipes That Saved My Life by Ruth Reichl | Audiobook Review

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

My Kitchen Year: 136 Recipes That Saved My Life by Ruth Reichl | Audiobook ReviewMy Kitchen Year by Ruth Reichl
Narrator: Ruth Reichl
Length: 6 Hours 44 Minutes
Published by Random House Publishing Group on September 29th 2015
Genres: Cooking, General, Biography & Autobiography, Culinary, Personal Memoirs
Pages: 352
Format: Audiobook
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon
ISBN: 9780679605225

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY NPR • Los Angeles Times • Men’s Journal • BookPage • Booklist • Publishers WeeklyIn the fall of 2009, the food world was rocked when Gourmet magazine was abruptly shuttered by its parent company. No one was more stunned by this unexpected turn of events than its beloved editor in chief, Ruth Reichl, who suddenly faced an uncertain professional future. As she struggled to process what had seemed unthinkable, Reichl turned to the one place that had always provided sanctuary. “I did what I always do when I’m confused, lonely, or frightened,” she writes. “I disappeared into the kitchen.”
My Kitchen Year follows the change of seasons—and Reichl’s emotions—as she slowly heals through the simple pleasures of cooking. While working 24/7, Reichl would “throw quick meals together” for her family and friends. Now she has the time to rediscover what cooking meant to her. Imagine kale, leaves dark and inviting, sautéed with chiles and garlic; summer peaches baked into a simple cobbler; fresh oysters chilling in a box of snow; plump chickens and earthy mushrooms, fricasseed with cream. Over the course of this challenging year, each dish Reichl prepares becomes a kind of stepping stone to finding joy again in ordinary things.
The 136 recipes collected here represent a life’s passion for food: a blistering ma po tofu that shakes Reichl out of the blues; a decadent grilled cheese sandwich that accompanies a rare sighting in the woods around her home; a rhubarb sundae that signals the arrival of spring. Here, too, is Reichl’s enlivening dialogue with her Twitter followers, who become her culinary supporters and lively confidants.
Part cookbook, part memoir, part paean to the household gods, My Kitchen Year may be Ruth Reichl’s most stirring book yet—one that reveals a refreshingly vulnerable side of the world's most famous food editor as she shares treasured recipes to be returned to again and again and again.
Praise for My Kitchen Year
“Ruth is one of our greatest storytellers today, which you will feel from the moment you open this book and begin to read: No one writes as warmly and engagingly about the all-important intersection of food, life, love, and loss. This book is a lyrical and deeply intimate journey told through recipes, as only Ruth can do.”—Alice Waters“What will send this book to the top of bestseller lists is the lovely way Reichl describes how dishes come together, like the Greek chicken soup with lemon and egg known as avgolemono, and her talent for assembling a collection of recipes her legions of former Gourmet fans will want to make themselves.”The Washington Post
“The recipes make for lovely reading, full of Reichl’s elemental wisdom. . . . In the best way possible, My Kitchen Year is cozy, the reading equivalent of curling up next to a fire with a glass of red wine and perhaps the scent of bread in the oven wafting over.”Vogue
“If anyone can convince us that a dessert, plus two more fabulous dishes, can turn a crummy day around, it’s culinary writer Ruth Reichl, who knows firsthand just how powerful food can be.”O: The Oprah Magazine
“The voice is pure Reichl in a way that makes the reader yearn for a house in the country with a pantry full of staples. . . . And as she finds solace through cooking, we find comfort too.”Eater (Fall 2015’s Best Cookbooks)
From the Hardcover edition.

Why Did I Listen To My Kitchen Year: 136 Recipes That Saved My Life by Ruth Reichl?

Ruth Reichl’s My Kitchen Year: 136 Recipes That Saved My Life is a book that was on the Listening Library/ Penguin Random House audiobook app Volumes under review copies. I downloaded it because I love books about food. I am a huge fan of eating – like plenty of people- and so books about food are totally up my alley. Plus, it is nice to have a little break from the typical type of book I read. I need variety in my life — and lots of different spices. I began listening on a whim and it turns out, aside from a few things, I really enjoyed Reichl’s memoir.

Those few things being that I felt like Reichl has a very privileged life – I mean she has had a company card that pays for all her meals out since the 1970s, and that includes personal non-business meals. She had two homes. Also, an office in Times Square. Like, there’s nothing wrong with privilege but eh, it does grate a little tiny bit. It keeps her from feeling like a regular person I could relate to.

What’s This Audiobook All About?

My Kitchen Year: 136 Recipes That Saved My Life is about when Reichl was let go by Gourmet magazine, along with every other employee because the Conde Nast magazine was shutting its doors. Of course, as Reichl was older, she was scared she would not be able to find another job. Essentially she spent most of her adult life as an editor for the magazine. After packing up her Times Square office, she goes on a book tour for a cookbook, and then a couple other things happen. Reichl then has to reevaluate. She has to decide where to live — New York City or their second home, Upstate (#Represent). She also goes back to basics and spends much of her year in the kitchen, cooking which really grounds her. She takes what could be a depressing story – older woman out of work, increasingly irrelevant in a technological world – and triumphs in My Kitchen Year: 136 Recipes That Saved My Life.

How Are The Food Descriptions?

I feel like I enjoy books about food so much because I am not a super experienced cook. Listening to people talk about cooking makes me feel inspired to try different and new things in the kitchen beyond my tried and true crock pot recipes. Reichl really does a superb job making the food sound sumptuous and rich in My Kitchen Year. She makes me want to try food that is not typically a part of my staples. There’s something to be said for the ritual of cooking and I can see how it was therapeutic for her. I liked that her recipes didn’t have exact measurements, but instead are like something our grandparents would do – you know a pinch of this, a dash of that, etc etc where cooking is just this instinctual thing. I really quite loved the bits about the food.

How’s The Narration?

My Kitchen Year: 136 Recipes That Saved My Life by Ruth Reichl is narrated by the author herself. I thought she did a decent job narrating her own book. She’s definitely got a New York City accent and I was okay with that. I am used to that kind of accent. I thought her narration was easy to listen to and not at all snoozeworthy, boring, or annoying. This is also a quick audiobook. It is only 6 hours and 44 minutes long.

Who Should Listen To This Audiobook?

  • Foodies
  • People who are full – because otherwise this might make you hungry
  • Readers who like a good comeback story
  • Fans of memoirs – especially people who do not view memoirs as self-indulgent
  • Former readers of Gourmet magazine

Sum It Up With A GIF:

me while listening to My Kitchen Year

This gif is how I felt listening to this book.

Other reviews of My Kitchen Year: 136 Recipes That Saved My Life by Ruth Reichl:

Lesa’s Book Critiques – “a glorious book

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About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. I still miss Gourmet magazine… the magazine’s closing was a shock to all of us. I would read anything Ruth writes about food.


  1. […] Books & Good Wine reviews My Kitchen Year, written and read by Ruth Reichl and X: A Novel, by Ilyasah Shebazz, narrated by Dion […]

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