Julie & Julia by Julia Powell


Amazon.com Review
Julie & Julia is the story of Julie Powell's attempt to revitalize her marriage, restore her ambition, and save her soul by cooking all 524 recipes in Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume I, in a period of 365 days. The result is a masterful medley of Bridget Jones' Diary meets Like Water for Chocolate, mixed with a healthy dose of original wit, warmth, and inspiration that sets this memoir apart from most tales of personal redemption.

When we first meet Julie, she's a frustrated temp-to-perm secretary who slaves away at a thankless job, only to return to an equally demoralizing apartment in the outer boroughs of Manhattan each evening. At the urging of Eric, her devoted and slightly geeky husband, she decides to start a blog that will chronicle what she dubs the "Julie/Julia Project." What follows is a year of butter-drenched meals that will both necessitate the wearing of an unbearably uncomfortable girdle on the hottest night of the year, as well as the realization that life is what you make of it and joy is not as impossible a quest as it may seem, even when it's -10 degrees out and your pipes are frozen.

Powell is a natural when it comes to connecting with her readers, which is probably why her blog generated so much buzz, both from readers and media alike. And while her self-deprecating sense of humor can sometimes dissolve into whininess, she never really loses her edge, or her sense of purpose. Even on day 365, she's working her way through Mayonnaise Collee and ending the evening "back exactly where we started--just Eric and me, three cats and Buffy...sitting on a couch in the outer boroughs, eating, with Julia chortling alongside us...."

Inspired and encouraging, Julie and Julia is a unique opportunity to join one woman's attempt to change her life, and have a laugh, or ten, along the way. --Gisele Toueg --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly
Powell became an Internet celebrity with her 2004 blog chronicling her yearlong odyssey of cooking every recipe in Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking. A frustrated secretary in New York City, Powell embarked on "the Julie/Julia project" to find a sense of direction, and both the cooking and the writing quickly became all-consuming. Some passages in the book are taken verbatim from the blog, but Powell expands on her experience and gives generous background about her personal life: her doting husband, wacky friends, evil co-workers. She also includes some comments from her "bleaders" (blog readers), who formed an enthusiastic support base. Powell never met Julia Child (who died last year), but the venerable chef's spirit is present throughout, and Powell imaginatively reconstructs episodes from Child's life in the 1940s. Her writing is feisty and unrestrained, especially as she details killing lobsters, tackling marrowbones and cooking late into the night. Occasionally the diarist instinct overwhelms the generally tight structure and Powell goes on unrelated tangents, but her voice is endearing enough that readers will quickly forgive such lapses. Both home cooks and devotees of Bridget Jones–style dishing will be caught up in Powell's funny, sharp-tongued but generous writing.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. "

My thoughts on Julie Powell's memoir, Julia & Julia.

First off, before I even picked this book up I wasn't sure what to think. It sort of sat on my book shelf just leering at me to read it. Honestly, I am not a memoir kind of girl. I think my "real" life is full of enough action, drama, tears, suspense, heartache, happiness, laughs, trials and tribulations to fill 10 memoirs. Well, once I picked it up.. I couldn't stop!

Julie Powell is candid, foul mouthed, angry, sarcastic and dramatic. I loved her. Seriously. She was so honest about her feelings, thoughts, desires and her life that I couldn't help but nod my head laughing because I can understand her! She even talks about the MAGGOTS IN HER SINK! How's that for honesty? "Julie & Julia" is not so much about Julia Childs, cooking, blogging as much as it is about Julie trying to find herself. She is turning 30, has a "syndrome" (as she calls Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) and isn't sure if she can have kids, stuck in a government secretarial position which was responsible for Ground Zero (the site where the World Trade Center Towers stood), married and living in New York City. On a trip to visit her parents in Texas, she snatches her mother's copy of Julia Child's "Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume I". Her husband, Eric, suggests she blogs about cooking through the cookbook. The rest, as they say, is history. She becomes an internet hit, all the while cussing her way through the cookbook (honestly, I cuss just making crepes, I can't imagine what it's like through Julia Child's meals), and trying to find herself. My favorite part was nearing the end, after Julia Child learns of Julie's project and doesn't "care" too much for it. (I just want to throw this in, Julia was pushing 90 when this was going on, probably cantakerous and not understanding about blogs, technology and the like) I loved it when Julie and Eric (her husband) visit Julia's kitchen at the Smithsonian and leaves a stick of butter (remember, Julia cooks French food. Read: lots of butter). Pure awesomeness.

If you are looking for a book about Julia Child, cooking or even blogging, keep looking. If you want a book about personal growth, while cooking through a Julia Child cookbook and blogging about it, then this book is for you. However, be forewarned, there is a LOT of cussing, talk about sex (not pornographic, just the subject of sex) and she is a Democrat who does some Republican bashing, not so much as bashing but gives them a hard time (none of these bother me, just a warning for those it might). If any of those bother you, pass. If they don't, I say pick up "Julie & Julia" and have a good laugh. I know I did.

Just to add this, which I should have when I first wrote this, here is Julie's blog: http://juliepowell.blogspot.com


  1. I am even more excited to read this one. I won this in a giveaway and cannot wait to receive it in the mail!!!

  2. I'm glad that you enjoyed the book! I can't wait to get my paws on a copy!!


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