Born Round: The Secret History of a Full-time Eater

Frank Bruni
Star Rating
Reviewer's Rating
Oct 6, 2014

In Born Round: The Secret History of a Full-time Eater, journalist Frank Bruni reveals all the intimate details of his decades-long battle with overeating and how it so negatively interfered with his personal life. Fast-paced, high-stress work for the New York Times didn't help. His story eventually makes an unexpected turn-around during years in Italy that eventually led to his job as a food critic. He takes a brief detour to describe the tricks and challenges to being an "undercover agent" in this line of work, which offers some comical moments.

As someone who has struggled (successfully and unsuccessfully) with overeating and weight gain since my preteens, I so easily related to Bruni's story. Most fascinating to me were the mind games he played on himself, and at the end he credits determination and honesty as his keys to self-discipline and relief from the psychological love-hate relationship with food. I suspect there's also something to accepting our emotional vulnerability to food.

Most would not call this self-help or inspirational, but this memoir has qualities of both, especially for readers who have battled the bulge. Others may find his story overly detailed and self-absorbed. I highly recommend listening to the audiobook, narrated by Bruni, to fully capture the book's personal and insightful nature.

Reviewed by Hope H.
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