Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Julie & Julia by Julie Powell

A Cooking Memoir for the Not-Boring

Julie & Julia: 365 days, 524 recipes, 1 tiny apartment kitchen

Julie Powell, frustrated with her boring secretarial job and her failed acting career, was searching for something to give her boring life a boost. While visiting her parents in Texas, she happened upon her mother’s copy of Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Julie gets the inspiration to cook all 524 recipes in one year in the tiny New York City apartment she shares with her husband, three cats and a pet snake.

A friend suggests she keep an online journal, or “blog”, to document the often hilarious results of a less-than-experienced cook tackling some very involved and demanding recipes. Powell’s writing is funny and engaging; you really feel you’re right there in the tiny kitchen as she gets overwhelmed by crepes that keep sticking to the pan, or struggling with the live lobsters she has to “dispatch”. The supporting cast of characters—her husband, parents, brother, friends, even Julia Child herself—are as vital to the book as the recipes. If you enjoy personal memoirs or books about cooking, you’ll enjoy this book. Julie and Julia is currently being turned into a major motion picture.

Reviewed by David Brown, First Regional Library

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