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.
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 … more
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 … more
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 … more
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.
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 … more
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 … more
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 … more
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.