Reading: Julie & Julia

After finishing Julia Child's fabulous autobiography, My Life in France, I was hungry for another tale of a female discovering the positive impact that cooking has one's life. I had to look no further than Julie & Julia. This book is written by Julie Powell and details her insane attempt to execute in one year all the recipes in Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking. That is 524 recipes in 365 days!

I am finishing up the book, so I can't tell you whether or not Julie completes all the recipes within a year, but I can tell you that I am enjoying the book. However, I wasn't always a fan. Since I had just finished reading Julia Child's autobiography, I was expecting something written in the same light-hearted and wondrous tone. Instead, this book is pessimistic from page one. It was dramatic and discussed all sorts of issues from lackluster sex lives to the boredom that comes with working temp jobs. Sound familiar? It should because all chick lit books have the same formula. Now, I'm as much of a voracious reader of chick lit books as any other girl (or boy); I really dig the works of Meg Cabot and Helen Fielding. For some odd reason, though, I couldn't get behind Julie right away. I found her to be too gloomy and whiny, but I marched on through the book anyway. I set aside a little bit of time every night to ready a few more pages of the book and made up little reading schedules for myself. Since I'm a goal-oriented person, this technique really helped me get through some of the book.

However, as the story and Julie's life progressed, I found myself no longer marching. I was actually looking forward to finding out more about her escapades in the kitchen, and I set aside larger chunks of time to read the book everyday. It was as if I had warmed up to Julie around the middle of the book. I'm not quite sure why this is, but I think it's because she started describing more of the support she received for this project. Her friends and brother were over at her apartment more, and blog readers (or "bleaders") began to comment on her blog. As a result, I think Julie realized her own potential and developed a sense of purpose.

This book started out a wee bit slow, but it is now a pretty awesome read. What's even cooler is that Julie Powell chronicled her Julie/Julia Project on a blog. So as soon as I finish getting the retrospective look on the project from this book, I can read up on Julie's thoughts as she completes each dish and moves a step in her quest to recreate all of Julia Child's creations. I can even see all of the comments left on her blog, which, as described in the book, are pretty wacky and funny.

I highly recommend Julie & Julia because it's kind of inspiring in a voyeuristic way. Plus, this book is being adapted in a film with Amy Adams portraying Julie Powell and Meryl Streep playing Julia Child. Pretty nifty...


  1. Jane said...

    Ooo, I like how your new site looks. =] I totally hear you on the wordpress complaint. But everything has its pros and cons. =]


  2. Cecilia said...

    Everything does have its pros and cons. I liked wordpress because it was pretty sleek and simple; plus, the server seems to be faster than that of blogger. It takes a bit longer to upload posts and pictures with blogger. However, I really, really enjoy the control over the blog layout. Blogger lets me add more of my personality and input into every aspect of the blog.