Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Julie and Julia is Joyous!

I've been reading a wonderful book. I recently finished it and I'm going to miss it!

"Julie and Julia," by Julie Powell, is about a woman's quest to work through the 524 recipes in Julia Child's "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" in one year.

Not only is it very funny -- and particularly wonderful if you enjoy cooking -- but she really covers a lot of ground... and it's ground I enjoyed reading about tremendously.

These are the basics. Julie Powell works at the building across from Ground Zero and the book begins in 2001, so there is a sense of familiarity of place -- we know that area. She works as a secretary for a government organization that is intimately involved with the families of 9/11, particularly in regard to site memorial plans. I just found that back-story interesting.

She also ends up making this commitment to prepare Julia's recipes in her tiny NY kitchen. AND, she decides to chronicle her journey on a blog.

Once you're into it, the book is almost as much about blogging as it is about cooking or 9/11 or New York. And some of the parts I most enjoyed related to her relationship with her blog readers (or bleaders!) as she experiences their support, her rise to a funky sort of mini-star status, and the roller coaster movement of the project. She makes some astute observations that so many of us have noticed -- about the supportive community this cyber-world delivers, among others.

If spiky language is an issue for you, you may want to be forewarned that her tongue is sharp. But I suspect if many of us were trying to prepare brains and sauces with bone marrow and souffles in New York City during the summer of the blackout (remember when the power grid went down because of all the heat?) -- well, I know my conversation would become extremely colorful, too!

And the last couple of chapters -- well, they deliver a surprise and a high-caloric finish!

No recipes here (but she makes many references to Julia's book, should you choose to follow along!). But there is the good humor of a salty young woman trapped in a job she finds unrewarding and the joy of watching her grow up, in a way. Discover herself. Make a plan, have a goal. Go for it.

I'm told a movie with Meryl Streep as Julia and Amy Adams as Julie has been made. Here's a photo of Meryl.
It hasn't shown up here (but lots of things don't). Maybe it hasn't been released yet. Meanwhile, if you want to check in on the source material, you can visit Julie Powell's blog here.


Anonymous said...

I read this one! (hey, my book has a different cover.) YEs, it was good but I gave it to my daughter (Laylou) who is an even better cook! (don't know where she got it.)
A movie? Do you think it can sustain it? Actually, it could be even funnier than the book ... glad to hear your review because I always wonder what others think, especially when it's not a purely mainstream, huge hit, gotta-read-it story.
Although I think this one is working its way up there.

beth said...

thanks for filling us in on this one...looks great even though I HATE cooking....did I mention I HATE cooking ?

anno said...

I LOVE this book -- first bought it as a Christmas gift for my sister-in-law, and then kept it for myself when I realized that the language was on the saltier side of my SIL's rather refined sensibilities. (I even wrote a post about it.) And when I heard you were reading it, I hunted my copy down from the basement to re-read it, and enjoyed it just about as much the second time around. Glad to hear you liked it, too!

As for Meryl Streep, I never would have thought she resembled Julia Child in any way, but that picture... oh my!

jet1960 said...

Sounds like a great book and Meryl Streep does look a lot like Julia in that picture. I'm way behind on reading blogs as I've been trying to blog hop around the OWOH giveaways between working.

Joanne Huffman said...

I heard this is a good book.


Karen Owen said...

Thanks for the recommendation. this sounds like a book I'd love.

BONNIE K said...

I remember reading a review in the Sunday paper when this book came out. I'm gonna check out her blog. And Meryl really does look like Julia!

Beth Leintz said...

I listened to this as a book on CD and loved it- enough that I went on to listen to Julia Child's biography written by her niece- which was equally interesting and entertaining.

Shelley said...

Meryl as Julia Child. Oh my! That is just wrong!! LOL But then so was Mamma Mia. Horrid movie. Certainly Meryl isn't scratching the bottom of the barrel for roles? She's one of my favs!

Popular Posts