cover image The Table Comes First

The Table Comes First

Adam Gopnik, read by the author. Recorded Books, unabridged, library edition, nine CDs, 11 hrs., $102.72 ISBN 978-1-4618-0746-9

Longtime New Yorker contributor Adam Gopnik charts the rise and evolution of America’s obsessive foodie culture, tracing the roots of “eclectic eating in big cities” back to French manners, describing how the emergence of restaurants affected social norms, and chronicling his own culinary adventures and misadventures in both the United States and Europe. Gopnik is an enthusiastic reader, especially when describing his own experiences, e.g., the wariness in his voice is palpable as he embarks on a possibly illicit mission to procure (and consume) a New York–raised chicken. However, Gopnik’s narration is less natural during more academic sections of the book, such as when he attempts to place our relationship with eating in a historical context. In such cases, his reading sounds stilted—as if he’s delivering a lecture from his notes. A Knopf hardcover. (Nov.)