Julie and Julia by Julie Powell

Posted August 2, 2013 in Book Review / 0 Comments

This book may be unsuitable for people under 16 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug use, alcohol use, language, and/or violence.
Julie and Julia by Julie PowellJulie and Julia by Julie Powell
Published by Little, Brown and Company on July 1st 2009
Genres: Biography, Nonfiction
Pages: 362
Format: Paperback
Source: Borrowed
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Julie Powell, nearing thirty and trapped in a dead-end secretarial job, resolves to reclaim her life by cooking in the span of a single year, every one of the 524 recipes in Julia Child's legendary Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Her unexpected reward: not just a newfound respect for calves' livers and aspic, but a new life-lived with gusto.

Main Points
Julie and Julia is just a little too long. There were several fake-out ‘the ends’. Yes, I recognize it’s supposed to cover a year of cooking. And it tried, it really did. But while it only covered a few weeks out of the year, those were very, very drawn out. Hardly a detail was omitted. If it was interesting to read, I wouldn’t mind. Which brings me to the next point.
It seemed, to me, like half the book was Julie whining and complaining about something, and the other half about her cooking something. Like, several recipes were mentioned step-by-step. I like cooking, and yet it bored even me. There’s only so much you can read without it feeling like someone took away the plot and replaced it with a cookbook.
Gosh, Julie was a pill. I felt sorry for her friends, family, and most of all, her husband. They did nice things for her, and she repays them with…food. Half the time it wasn’t even good food. But is it really worth putting up with her throwing fits in the kitchen every single day? I sure liked her friends a lot more than her.
Good things
I didn’t mind her sense of humor, or her swearing. That wasn’t what bothered me. She might seem likable if she wasn’t complaining all the time. I liked her determination, and her goal, even though there seemed to be no reason other than a mid-life crisis. I liked how her story was interspersed with excerpts from the life of Julia and Paul Child. And I like how it had a happy ending, even if it seemed like there was no ending at all.
Her blog is real and does exist, by the way. I was eager to look it up after reading the book and pleased to find it. Quite interesting.
Funny how I liked the movie….
Bottom Line
I enjoyed certain parts of the book. But mostly, it was long and somewhat dull. To me, anyway. That’s just my take on it. Will I be reading her second book? Probably not. Would I recommend this book to people? Only if they a) love cooking or b) love Julie Powell or c) have seen the movie and want to know more about the story. I did like the movie. It was much shorter and much more enjoyable.

About Julie Powell

Julie Powell was born and raised in Austin, Texas, where she first fell in love with cooking — and her husband, Eric. She is the author of a cooking memoir, Julie & Julia, which was released in 2005. Her writing has appeared in Bon Appétit, The New York Times, House Beautiful, and Archaeology Magazine, among others. She lives in Long Island City, Queens.

Overall: two-stars


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