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Lunch » Tags » Books » Reviews » Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously » User review

Inspiration Sensation: Julie & Julia by Julie Powell

  • Aug 11, 2010
Rating:
+3
Julie and Julia is a true story of a writer named Julie Powell and how she has forever linked her life with that of famous TV Chef and cookbook author Julia Child.  Julie and Julia takes place in New York, in Julie Powell's  small apartment kitchen.  As a writer working in an office job she hates, Julie is longing for more.  In her tiny kitchen, she decides to delve into Julia Child's cookbook The Art of French Cooking.  Her husband talks her into blogging her journey through the  recipes in the book for a year.  Being the type of person who has troubles with deadlines and goals to accomplish, this was exactly what Julie needed.  As the story progresses, we see Julie's vulnerability and strengths shine through her blog.  She develops a following of readers who root her on and even send her gifts along the way (including money to purchase ingredients for some of the recipes.)  Julie in turn becomes very aware of her responsibility to the readers of her blog and to finish her goal.  Toward the end of the novel, the story of how Julie's blog turned into a book and then a movie unfolds.  It was as exciting for the reader as it was for Julie to be along on this journey.

When I started to read Julie and Julia I was immediately hit with the sense that this could be me.  This could happen to any one of us.  I immediately liked Julie and thought that she sounded like someone I could be friends with.  She was at times quirky and I thought it charming.  Julie's story shows us the constant struggle between man vs. self in that she was her own enemy.  She stayed in a job she hated because of job security.  She lost touch with writing which she loved because of fear of rejection.  We see her true strength shine through when her husband asks her to quit writing the blog because of the emotional toll it is taking on her and their marriage.  She continues despite this and as we know finds success at the end of her journey.  I found Julie Powell's story quite inspirational.

I was so excited to sit down and start Julie and Julia because I had the movie and wanted to watch it (I can't bring myself to watch the movie before reading the book - I don't want the amazing things I dream up tainted by the movie.)  Normally the book is better than the movie but this time I found the movie to be slightly better than the book.  Shocking, I know!  I enjoyed the fact that the movie explored the life of Julia Child more than the book and I enjoyed how well the interplay between Julie's and Julia's lives played out in the movie.

I would recommend this book to anyone that has ever dreamed of more for themselves.  If you ever felt that you could do more or be more, you will too find inspiration in this book.
Inspiration Sensation: Julie & Julia by Julie Powell

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August 14, 2010
Fantastic review, Lisa!  Thanks for pointing me to it :)  I'm a HUGE food lover (I run the Gourmand community after all!), and I'm also a Julia Child fan, so I'll probably love this book.
August 14, 2010
Thanks! I will have to check out the Gourmand community.
 
August 13, 2010
Great review! I have been meaning to pick this up. Thanks for sharing.
August 14, 2010
Thank you!
 
August 11, 2010
Always more fun to watch the movie after reading the book! I agree, Julie's character was so friendly and easy to like that it did seem like she could be anyone we know. I think we can all relate to wanting to do something interesting or exciting that gets us out of the mundane of day to day life. Julie certainly chose a fun project! I'd love to learn how to cook like that and I would definitely enjoy eating those recipes:) Thanks for the great review!
August 11, 2010
Hi Bethany, Thanks for reading and rating my review. I agree that it would be fun to learn to cook like that however some of the recipes seemed disgusting (the French!) I am a cookbook junkie and the amount of kitchen gadgets I buy makes me seem like a professional chef. I think I would have enjoyed doing a project like this (not to mention the book deal and movie deal that came after it!) I agree that I really related to wanting to do something extraordinary and be able to live off of it. Probably why I liked it so much! Thanks again - and stop by and read more of my reviews. I have some that are on my page and I am going to be reviewing more soon (I just got back from vacation and read a few books.)
 
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More Julie and Julia: My Year of Co... reviews
review by . July 22, 2009
Let's say, for example, that you are in your late twenties, living in New York City in a something-is-always-going wrong apartment, and working at a miserable dead-end secretarial job at a government agency. What do you do to stir up your life? Well, cook every recipe - 524 of them - from Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume I by Julia Child in 365 days of course! And that is precisely what Julie Powell, the author of Julie & Julia, set out to do.       Living in one …
review by . September 27, 2010
I had been wanting to read Julie and Julia for a long time. Partly because I saw the movie when it came out last year, partly because I'm a fellow blogger. Last Friday I finally got around to finishing it. There were things about it that I really liked, and things about it that I really didn't. Although the movie was very similar to the book, the book had an undeniable dark streak running through it (as books often do) that was much diluted in the movie.      So, things …
Quick Tip by . June 20, 2010
This is one of the greatest books ever written for foodies. I, myself, being a foodie really enjoyed reading about her struggles and tribulations. Just the concept of this book and her mission was so out of the ordinary.
review by . January 17, 2010
I was surprised by this memoir/homage which I thought would be much more heavily food focused than it was. Obviously food (or its preparation) was the common tie between Julie and Julia, but the book is much more about Julia's quest to find herself through the admittedly odd project to cook her way through Julia Child's cookbook. The book is well-written though I often found myself frustrated with the author who seemed very immature in parts.    All in all a decent read for someone …
review by . August 09, 2009
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 …
review by . August 05, 2009
Huh? Why not? After reading about the wondrous slimming powers of French eating in Will Clower's "The Fat Fallacy: The French Diet Secrets to Permanent Weight Loss" and "The French Don't Diet Plan: 10 Simple Steps to Stay Thin for Life," along with Mireille Guiliano's "French Women Don't Get Fat," Michel Montignac's "The French Diet: Why French Women Don't Get Fat" and multiple cookbook dieting diatribe offerings from mega home shopping diva Suzanne Sommers, unsophisticated Americans from the west …
review by . July 28, 2009
In general, I've become a fan of the memoir -- almost preferring it to fiction if it's well-written enough (I said almost). However, by far my favorite subset of memoir is the "project memoir." The author sets out to do something (think The Know-It-All: One Man's Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World and other books by AJ Jacobs). These books generally give a glimpse into the person's life in the midst of their project, but aren't so entirely self-absorbed.    Julie …
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Lisa ()
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Member Since: Jun 25, 2010
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Wiki

Julie and Julia is a 2005 memoir written by Julie Powell. The conceit for the book was born out of a blog Powell started called The Julie/Julia Project, which chronicles her self-imposed challenge to cook one recipe from Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking per day.

As mentioned in the book, the Julie/Julia Project started out of Powell's frustration with her ordinary nine-to-five life in post-9/11 New York. When the blog became popular, Powell was able to sign a book deal with Little, Brown.

The book is now being made into a film written and directed by Nora Ephron. The film is simultaneously also based on Julia Child's memoir My Life in France.


References
Julie Powell's current blog
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Details

ISBN-10: 031604251X
ISBN-13: 978-0316042512
Author: Julie Powell
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company

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