New Gopnik On the Rise

The new book by New Yorker writer Adam Gopnik, The Table Comes First: Family, France, and the Meaning of Food is marked as “on the rise” on the latest Indie Hardcover Nonfiction Best Seller list. Libraries are showing heavy holds where ordering is light.

Prepub reviews, however, made it sound less than enthralling, as expressed by Library Journal, “Despite Gopnik’s allusive, witty prose, his supercilious and moralistic discussion will leave readers with a bad taste in the mouth.”

Consumer reviews have been much stronger, with Entertainment Weekly giving it an A-  (“By turns meaty and frothy, this ode to the social experience of eating combines a reporter’s eye for facts with a gourmand’s devotion to food.”) In Slate, Laura Shapiro vividly expresses her enjoyment of the book, even though (or, perhaps especially because) it “may be full of holes,”

I wish this book, The Table Comes First, didn’t have to be a book. I wish it could be a dinner table, instead, with maybe six people sitting around it…And I wish Adam Gopnik were at the table, leaning forward intently as the plates come and go, yakking away happily about food and history and Paris and cookbooks and life, just as he does in these pages. Then the rest of us guests could jump in and interrupt him whenever we want, probably knocking over a wine glass in our enthusiasm…

The Table Comes First: Family, France, and the Meaning of Food
Adam Gopnik
Retail Price: $25.95
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Knopf – (2011-10-25)
ISBN / EAN: 0307593452 / 9780307593450

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