Customer Reviews of Julie & Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen
I read this one right after finishing Julia Child's memoirs. What a great decision! I fell in love with Julia then fell in love with Julie. This is a funny book, meant for those interested in cooking and for those who never will put a pan on the fire but just like a good underdog story. You won't get direct recipes (though you will get loads of good advice, like stay away from aspic) but if you're looking for detailed directives you should go to the source anyway and order Mastering the Art of French Cooking. This book is about accomplishing what you set out to do. It sounds simple, but most of us wallow in excuses and self-pity, things Julie tries valiently to avoid.
For those who hate their jobs, and love to cook
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!
Hilarious, Witty, Wonderful break!
I loved this book! I started a book club a year or so ago, this was our most recent selection. It seemed for several months, that no matter which book we selected, turned out to be a depressing family drama, with little humor and often less than impressive writing skills. A fellow book club reader selected this book in an attempt to take a break from the sob stories we had been reading. She absolutely succeeded!
I will admit, I was skeptical at first...french cooking...Who cares?! But it was not long before i fell in love with this book. As the reader, you need a certain appreciation for the pecularities of life and the hilarity of our seemingly mundane lives. I appreciated Julie's candid accounts of her personal life, as well as her honesty and insight. I love her sarcasm, wit and ability to laugh at herself...even publicly.
I found myself reading excerpts of the book to anyone who would listen. I wanted to share the pure humor with everyone around me. After reading, I found myself approaching life a little differently and taking myself a little less seriously.
If you are looking for a recipe book, this is not it. If you are looking for a laugh, looking for some inspiration, looking for a nice break from your own life...this is the book!
Hey,lighten up all you serious foodies! This book was not written for you and Julie Powell would be the first to tell you that. Julie is writing about a year in her life anchored by the Julia Project. How many of us, around the age of 30, haven't also gone through the joys and despair and big questions that Julie experienced and wrote about. I am no cook (my favorite cookbook is "five ingredients or less") but reading about her challenges with the Project has inspired me to give some more serious cooking a try. But the best part is that it is so damn funny. Reviewers are appalled by her course language? Hey, that's the way my friends and I talk too! Mix up some gimlets, turn off the depressing news, and get to know Julie, Eric, and the whole crew. Her nothing's-sacred style of writing will endear her to you by the second page. Enjoy!
A joyful coming-of-age in the kitchen
After reading The Perfectionist, which I found rather one-dimensional and joyless, turning to Julie Powell's account of cooking through Mastering the Art of French Cooking was quite a treat. It was refreshing to find she does not take herself too seriously, and I found myself wishing I'd known about the blog while she was doing The Project (as she calls it). One can tell that reading the book is a different, less personal experience than the day-to-day account on the blog must have been.
In any case, although there isn't an overwhelming amount of technical detail about the dishes Powell prepared, it's interesting to follow her journey through one of the best-known cookbooks, seeing her development both as a cook and a human being. Definitely recommended -- a very enjoyable read.