Julie & Julia, the bestselling memoir that's "irresistible....A kind of Bridget Jones meets The French Chef" (Philadelphia Inquirer), is now a major motion picture. Julie Powell, nearing thirty and trapped in a dead-end secretarial job, resolves to reclaim her life by cooking in the span of a single year, every one of the 524 recipes in Julia Child's legendary Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Her unexpected reward: not just a newfound respect for calves' livers and aspic, but a new life-lived with gusto.
Julia Child was and always will be an icon in the cooking world. I went to the American History Museum at the Smithsonian and saw the display with her kitchen. I just stood in awe to think of everything that had been cooked there. It was the same feeling that Julie Powell had after she had completed her year long project to cook every recipe in Julia Child's French cookbook and blog about it. I enjoyed reading about her decision and the reactions she got when Julie pursued the project. Challenges are always that, a challenge to do and especially when there's no real incentive, it can be hard to finish it. However she manages to do it, have fun in the meantime, and learn how to cook really good food. I, myself, probably would never accomplish this task, due to my distaste of most French food, but as a mild foodie it was fun to read. The little Julia excerpts throughout the book, while fictionalized, made her and her husband come alive in the book. I almost shrieked and grimaced throughout the maggot scene in the book. Even now, I'm still gagging just thinking about it. It was portrayed humorously but if I had been in Julie's shoes I would have been doing the exact same things she did.
There were a few things about this book that I wasn't too fond of. I would have liked more talk about the food. I assume that all that was left on the blog, but it would have been nice to have read some excerpts from the blog entries or more adventures about what happened. What was in the book was really fun to read and very enjoyable. It's just not a food memoir so if that's why you're reading the book, you should be prepared. While I fully appreciate her excitement about being a blogger (the comments, the readers, the hits), I have never in my 3 years of blogging have ever heard anyone call a blog reader a "bleader". There is some language in the book and while at times it's a bit grating, it's not a big distraction.
Overall I enjoyed the book and Julie's style of writing. It was fun reading into a year of her life and the background story behind the idea for her blog. I wish I could have read her blog during it's original run. I'll be looking forward to seeing the movie and watching the book come to life.
Julie and Julia by Julie Powell is published by Little Brown and Company (2009)
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