Monday, September 17, 2012

Julie & Julia by Julie Powell

I was very resistant to reading Julie & Julia due to despising Julie in the movie version of the book. But I had always wanted to read the book, so I decided to give it a try. I didn't love book Julie but I understood her a whole lot better than the movie version of herself.
Julie Powell is about to turn 30. She is an office drone, unhappy with her work life. Julie wants to have a baby but she has PCOS and is having a hard time conceiving. Night after night, Julie comes home to her husband, eats some takeout or a quickly prepared meal, then vegs out in front of the tv. I could understand the lack of movement she was feeling. Julie didn't feel like she had anything to look forward to. One day after a conversation with her husband, Julie decides to work her way through Mastering The Art of French Cooking  (MTAFC) by Julia Child. Her husband encourages her to set up a blog where she can chronicle her adventure.
While I give Julie props for attempting every recipe in MTAFC, I found her reasoning for it a little misguided. She thought it would take her out of her mundane life which it did to some extent but she also hoped she would have changed. Maybe she did but I certainly didn't see it at the end of Julie & Julia. Perhaps her follow up book, Cleaving, might explore how she changed.
I know a lot of people had complaints about her potty mouth. If I was completely honest about what happens in my kitchen, you'd know I swear like a sailor while I'm cooking. Especially when it's hot and I've got the oven and the dishwasher on. If I'm sweating, I'm cursing. Her swearing didn't bother me but I think I have a higher tolerance for that. I didn't like that she called her readers bleaders. I'm assuming that's an amalgamation of blog and reader. Thank goodness that didn't catch on.
Overall, Julie & Julia was an okay read. I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. Others who shared their thoughts on Julie & Julia: Reading In Winter, Life in The ThumbWords from Willow, What Amy Read Next, The Novel World, and In The Next Room.
This was my eighth read for the Foodies Read 2 Challenge.


  1. Good to know! I didn't enjoy her character very much in the movie, either. But sometimes when a girl is frustrated, like when she's trying to master the art of french cooking, or get through to someone at an insurance company to pay for her windshield, for example, tensions can get high and curse words can be said. Not that that happened to me Saturday afternoon. Oh well!

  2. I haven't seen the movie, but I did think the book was worth reading.

    Funny thing, I didn't even notice the cussing until people complained. Good food is made with a few choice words in my kitchen.


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