Book Review: Julie and Julia

I just finished reading Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen by Julie Powell. It's the non-fiction tale of 29 year old Julie Powell, a secretary living in Queens, who is hurdling full-speed ahead toward 30 (sound familiar?) and is completely unhappy with her life. She's dissatisfied with her job, hates her tiny apartment, and has PCOS and is dealing with her doctor telling her that if she's planning on having children, she better have them now.

She travels home to Texas to stay with her parents for awhile, and ends up thumbing through her mother's 1961 copy of Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking. And an idea is born. To give her life some purpose and direction, she takes on the project of tackling every recipe in the book (there are 524) in the span of one year. She decides to blog on the experience, and almost immediately, her Julie/Julia blog develops a cult following of readers cheering her on.

I absolutely loved this book. Julie Powell is honest, self-deprecating, irreverant (she swears while cooking...a lot), and never takes herself or the act of cooking Julia Child's complex recipes too seriously. This isn't a cookbook with some commentary thrown in. It's more a tale of Julie Powell's project, her drive to get it done, and her life with her husband, friends, family, and blog pals as she plows through the recipes.

Now, I will say that as a former vegetarian, and still non-red-meat-eating girl, some of the recipe preparation was a little hard to read. Julie prepares kidneys, calf brains, strips marrow off of some creature's bones, and kills live lobsters. But it was part of her project, and it had to be done.

This book is a must-read for every food blogger, and a fun, quick read for everyone else. I think everyone who reads Interrupted Wanderlust will find a little bit of themselves in Julie.

9 Responses to “Book Review: Julie and Julia”

  1. # Blogger Marie

    You're the second person to recommend this book to me. I'm going to have to check it out!

    I noticed that PBS was running some very old Julia clips over the weekend (probably due to the success of this book). I started watching a segment but was reminded of what bugged me about her when I was a kid -- her voice! She's a classic though...

    Blogger's being a stinker today!!  

  2. # Blogger Christine

    I think I'll have to check it out.

    And double ick on the kidneys.  

  3. # Blogger Shannon

    I've been wanting to read this for a few months now. I'll have to see if the library has it. Or just go buy it!  

  4. # Blogger Geekwif

    That sounds like fun! I'll have to pick it up sometime and fit it in between the other 5000 books I want to read! :)  

  5. # Blogger Kross-Eyed Kitty

    I've heard about that book, and have been meaning to pick it up. Thanks for the review!  

  6. # Blogger Kristi

    Marie-You can borrow my copy anytime.
    And yes, Julia Child's voice is certainly...unique to say the least. Did you know she was over 6 feet tall?

    Christine and Shannon-Definitely check it out. I think you'll both like it.

    Geekwif-I have a stack beside my bed as well, and I actually "moved this book up on the list" since I was so anxious to read it.

    Ramona-let me know what you think of it when you're done.  

  7. # Anonymous thalia

    Julie's was one of the first blogs I discovered and I immediately went back and read it from the beginning. I was bereft when she finished! Looking forward to reading the book.  

  8. # Anonymous MissMeliss

    I read this a few months ago, and also loved it. It made me feel confident enough to experiment with cassoulet.  

  9. # Blogger Shana

    I just finished this book yesterday! Loved it, loved it, and am curious as can be about how the baby project is working out for her. I wonder if her old blog is still up? I would love to read it.  

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