Having just finished reading "My Life in France" by Julia Child, this was a great follow-up. Julie Powell's humorous rendition of her attempt to cook all of JC's recipes in "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" had me howling. But it also cause me to reflect back on when I was 29 going on 30 (more years ago than I care to remember) and making the transition from a young woman just cruising along to one who wanted to make something more of her life. I would not hesitate to recommend this book. In fact, it has been my favorite book so far of my summer reading.
Ruth (NewRuth) reviewed Julie & Julia : 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen on
Helpful Score: 5
I started reading this book expecting to like it. What's not to like about a tale of someone taking a year to cook every recipe in Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume 1? Unfortunately, Julie littered the book with nasty comments about how mean Republicans are while writing things like this from page 170(hardback edition):,"I had to go to the six Democrats in the office and tell them they might want to take a pass since there might be ceramic shards or antifreeze in it." The "it" being a dessert that she left to share in the staff kitchen of the government office where she worked. If the author would have stuck to food and cooking, it might have been an enjoyable book. As it was, it left a bad taste in my mouth. Maybe the author's bitterness is what Julia Child didn't like.
Hysterical and delicious book. Granted, some of the recipes that inspired Julie Powell (from Julia Childs' "Mastering the Art of French Cooking") are a little bit out of my league, but what a great book! Powell has a kooky and familiar sense of humor, and her cooking meltdowns really boosted my own self-esteem, since I frequently wig out while taking on complex recipes. She'll make you laugh out loud, and maybe you'll be inspired to whip up something' yummy tonight.
A funny accounting of a busy New York woman who decides to cook all the recipes in Julia Child's classic cookbook on French cooking. The author uses her humor to tell the tales of trying to cook complex French recipes.
I had actually heard some negative reviews of this book before I started reading it - I think that made me put it off for a while, because I liked the movie, and followed that up with Julia Child's "My Life In France", which gave great insight into her early years in cooking. When I finally did put aside my preconceived notions about this book, and Julie Powell herself, I found I actually enjoyed it! Sure, she is far from perfect, but in truth, none of us are. She smokes, drinks, sometimes has the mouth of a truck driver, but so what? To me, I think that's better than being a pretentious,"I'm better than you are" kind of person. I kind of chuckled at one reviewer that complained "all she does is badmouth Republicans"...yeah right, like no Republican has ever done likewise to a Democrat! (I'm neither, by the way - hate 'em both...just in case you were wondering...)
ANYWAY! I liked this book mainly for this reason: I get a feel for exactly what led Julie Powell to attempt "The Project", what it felt like for her to experience the failures, learn from her mistakes and finally win. I felt the heartache of the strain it put on her marriage, as well as Julia Child's response to "The Project". I celebrated her successes right along with her, and while I think the Julie/Julia Project was a brilliant idea and I wish I thought of it first, I know that I would never in a million years have been able to pull it off, and for that this book and this author have earned my respect.
Julie Powell feels like her life is at a dead end, and so she embarks on an attempt to cook every recipe from Julia Child's "Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume 1" and blog about it. This book does not delve deeply into Julia Child's life, but only addresses the aspects about her that Julie found inspiring. I was surprised at how entertained by her experiences, successes and frustrations at trying to complete this goal. I give it four stars.
Very disappointing. Surprisingly little of it is about cooking! Mostly it's self-deprecating anecdotes about someone with no direction in life, a lot of whining and occasional funny passages. The writing voice is perky, gossipy and vulgar - not my taste at all.
Have you ever seen a movie and then just wanted to read the book because it seemed like a good idea at the time? That's how I decided to get this book and was then horribly disappointed. I had assumed, as I'm sure many who have seen the movie had, that the parts with Julia and Paul Child were based on actual events. They're not. Instead, the author thought it would be cute to make stuff up based on what she's (again, I'm assuming) read elsewhere. In a way, I felt oddly betrayed that the parts with the Julia and Paul Child were fiction when I was actually hoping for something that the author had researched. Although, the part where the real Julia Child put down the author was probably my favorite part. ;P
I had expected, from seeing the movie, that Julie was a bit of a drama-queen, but she's even more so in the book. I prefer to read a book where I either really like the character because they are someone I can understand or love hate them because they're such great villains. Julie is so self-absorbed and whiny on a consistent basis that I can't help but dislike her.
I mostly tried to keep going in the book just to see her fail (had to find something to keep my interest after all) but even that couldn't keep me going. I guess I'm not impressed by anyone who profits on the work and fame of others while at the same time believing that their writing skills are something worth publishing. This author is just another one of those writers who managed to get lucky and attract someone with no sense in what makes a book great. Powell's writing is not the kind that touches you. Instead it's the kind that makes you want to throw a book across the room because it's such trash.
Gertrudis L. reviewed Julie & Julia : 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen on
I saw the movie, loved it.Now read the book, enjoyed it very much. It has prompted me to buy "Mastering the art of French cooking", to cook some of the dishes the author talks about. Have not cooked anything yet, but will begin with the Potato and Leek soup.