COULDN'T PUT IT DOWN
Published by Thriftbooks.com User, 6 years ago
I absolutely loved this book. I got it last Thurs (8/6) and finished it Saturday morning (8/8). I was sorry to see it end. I almost didn't buy it because of many critical negative comments posted here. I found most of the comments to be totally off-base. After reading the book, I am wondering if maybe many of those negative comments were from conservative republican extremist types who didn't like Julie's occasional digs at their ilk. The many comments about profanity also puzzled me. Yeah, she threw in the f-word here and there. But, it certainly wasn't gratuitous! I am surprised at how easily offended many of the readers of this book were. I don't get it. If you are at all open-minded and enjoy life and cooking then I whole-heartedly endorse this quick, easy, joyful, happy read! Just enjoy and don't take anything in the book (or yourself) too seriously!
For those who hate their jobs, and love to cook
Published by Thriftbooks.com User, 8 years ago
I first read this book as it's hardback version. When it came out in the newly titled paperback, I couldn't resist rereading it. I should also mention I've given this book to several friends and relatives who have all enjoyed it as well. The premise of this book is quite interesting - a woman who is looking for direction in her life stumbles across her mother's old, hardback copy of Julia Child's "Mastering the Art of French Cooking", and has an epiphany. She decides, that in one year, she will cook all 524 recipes in the book, and write about her experiences in a blog - still a relatively new "art" form at that time. The resulting blog, and book, are filled with lustily-written passages describing cooking; her rather surreal job at an unnamed government job; (Something to do with designing a new memorial building at the Twin Towers Site post 9/11); her interesting, bohemian friends and their escapades; and her marriage. Her writing is full of angst, passion, and verve. All-in-all, a highly entertaining read. The recipes, as such, are limited. This is not a cookbook. This is a memoir of cooking. This is a memoir of life. This is a memoir of joie-de-vivre. This is a book that has more to do with discovering that while you can hate your job, your coworkers and where your life is going, you can love to cook, love your husband, love your friends, and that, in the end, is what matters. Enjoy the read, enjoy the ride!
Its just not all about the cooking...
Published by Thriftbooks.com User, 8 years ago
Those who seem to be dissapointed in this book seem like they were looking for more of a cookbook. This is not a cookbook. Someone has already wrtitten Mastering the Art of French Cooking. I love to cook, but there is no way I would ever cook even half of the items in MtaoFC. Yes, julie is petulent, and spoiled at times. But it just puts a real life spin on all of it. Cooking serves as a backdrop for someone trying to change her life. She does have a foul mouth which can get a little annoying at times, but she's a real woman - a far cry from Martha Stewart which is what makes this great Entertainment. She is a real woman, hissy-fits and all. Even though some of it seems exaggerated the time, it just makes reading it all the more fun.
All Ya'll Hush Up Now
Published by Thriftbooks.com User, 9 years ago
Sometimes in your life you need a senseless obsession to lob you into a new phase of life. Julie Powell was 29 years old, for crying out loud; she was (and I'm sure is) smart, creative, funny and honest. Quadruple whammy of "gifts" (or curses) - what would you do with a frantic soul? I don't know about you, but I am completely inspired by the idea of taking a concrete project with set parameters, and attempting to focus that all that energy on Just Plain Doing It. As an artist myself, I love artistic busywork; it frees your mind, streamlines your frenzy, and lets the people you live with have at least some vague idea of what to expect. I also love to cook, but only if it's monumental - I think Julia Child was a perfect choice, as opposed to, say, all the recipes in the Time-Life Casserole book. So my point is, that Julie's experience appears to be VERY focused on the food she is recreating; maybe not so much in a physics-of-cooking kind of way, but, as she says, in the sexiness of handling, serving, and experimenting with it. My personal favorite form of self expression (that I can write here) is drawing what I see - to me, that is infinitely more fascinating to me and translatable to others than drawing what only I can imagine. Seems like that's what this book is about. Meat and Potatoes French Cooking. And why would she, or anyone, WANT to seperate their everyday lives from their "project"? What would be the reason for that? And for the comments from those who are put off by Julie's dissatisfaction with her life at the time, it would be horribly depressing to read a book by someone who just loved answering phones and changing toner, wouldn't it? I mean, look at what she HAS done - what do people want from other people? Lighten up. I think an attempt at Something, Anything (and a successful attempt in this case) should be congratulated. I say eat, drink, smoke, (try to) have a lot of sex, and for God's sake, do it with a sense of humor. Just like Julie.
Something's Burning in the Kitchen (It's Julie)
Published by Thriftbooks.com User, 10 years ago
I love stories like this. Someone comes up with a harebrained, or possibly a brilliant, idea, such as reading the entire Encyclopedia Britannica (Know-It-All), watching a movie in a different theater every day for a year (A Year at the Movies), or eating nothing but fast food for one month (Super Size Me). What kind of obsessed people are these? Maybe I wouldn't take on these crazy projects myself, but I can't resist their stories. Julie Powell doesn't seem obsessive at all, a little prone to mood swings perhaps, and depressed that her job as a temp secretary in Manhattan is so-o-o-o boring and that she is approaching age thirty before she is quite ready for it. Her husband Eric, whose even temper is the perfect counterpoint to Julie's emotional peaks and valleys, suggests that she a) go to cooking school, and b) visit her family in Austin. Julie sensibly takes his advice to get away for a while and rediscovers her mother's forty-year-old copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Why spend money for cooking school when Julia Child has already developed a course in her classic cookbook? An idea begins to form. . . Eric, not only supportive, but also full of good ideas, further suggests that Julie keep a blog of her project, an original idea in 2002. The project has rules now: all the recipes must be completed within one year and she has to post on her blog every day. When I heard about this book, I thought it would be a fun read about Julie's adventures and misadventures in French cooking. It turned out to be rather more than that. It would have been easy enough for Julie to just flesh out her blog a bit and turn it into a book. Instead, she weaves in partly true stories about her friends and family, partly true stories about Julia Child and her husband Paul, and snippets from Samuel Pepys's diaries. Since Julie's temp job is connected with the aftermath of September 11, that hangs in the background as well.