With the humor of Bridget Jones and the vitality of Augusten Burroughs, Julie
Powell recounts how she conquered every recipe in Julia Child’s Mastering the
Art of French Cooking and saved her soul.
Julie Powell is 30-years-old, living in a rundown apartment in Queens and
working at a soul-sucking secretarial job that’s going nowhere. She needs
something to break the monotony of her life, and she invents a deranged
assignment. She will take her mother's dog-eared copy of Julia Child's 1961
classic Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and she will cook all 524 recipes.
In the span of one year.
At first she thinks it will be easy. But as she moves from the simple Potage
Parmentier (potato soup) into the more complicated realm of aspics and crépes,
she realizes there’s more to Mastering the Art of French Cooking than meets the
eye. With Julia’s stern warble always in her ear, Julie haunts the local
butcher, buying kidneys and sweetbreads. She sends her husband on late-night
runs for yet more butter and rarely serves dinner before midnight. She discovers
how to mold the perfect Orange Bavarian, the trick to extracting marrow from
bone, and the intense pleasure of eating liver.
And somewhere along the line she realizes she has turned her kitchen into a
miracle of creation and cuisine. She has eclipsed her life’s ordinariness
through spectacular humor, hysteria, and perseverance.
If you're a keen home cook or a fan of memoirs, real or fictionalized, such as Bridget Jones, this is one for you; and with the holiday season coming up dangerously soon, you might also want to keep a note of Julie & Julia as a potential gift item for a domesticated relative - perhaps paired with Julia Child's autobiography My Life In France (with the caveat that Julia Child, who died while Julie was working her way through The Art of French Cookery, wasn't a fan of Julie or her project!) (Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).
Powell is not a domestic goddess; she's emphatically, unembarrassedly a domestic mortal. But she is also a genuinely gifted thinker and writer about food. As we learn in the account of her culinary marathon, Child's gastronomical masterpiece teaches Powell precious lessons about herself.
Both home cooks and devotees of Bridget Jones-style dishing will be caught up in Powell's funny, sharp-tongued but generous writing.
Powell is a softy at heart, appreciating Child because, she says, Child "wants you to remember that you are human, and as such are entitled to that most basic of human rights, the right to eat well and enjoy life." Powell clearly enjoyed hers, with all its madness and pleasures.
Booklist - Vanessa Bush
Hilarious. Powell discovers incredible determination and hidden talents in cooking, writing and living. This is a joyful, humorous account of one woman's efforts to find meaning in her life.
Ann Beattie Julie and Julia has all the ingredients of a tasty novel: it's
original, funny, and slyly provocative. I also learned a lot, and I will channel
Paul Child when I renovate my kitchen.
Mario Batali, cookbook author and 2005 James Beard Awards' Outstanding Chef of The Year.
Julie Powell's homage to Julia is inspiring, poignant and engaging. A
magnificent introduction into the lives of two very interesting women.
Elizabeth Gilbert, author of The Last American Man
A feast, a voyage and a marvel. Julie Powell writes about cooking the
way it always needed to be written about - in big, buttery, honest and lusty,
gravy-dripping-down-your-chin gulps of rhapsody.
Recent Reader Reviews
Rated of 5
by coolcookie Julie & Julia This book is boring!!! its like reading a cookery book from start to finish zzzz. And I like cooking!
Still reading it, have skipped lots of bits throughout. Can't wait to be finished with it.
Maybe a good book for some people but not me!
Rated of 5
by Geraldine Exhausted of Julie, curious of Julia This book was picked for my book club and as the film had already been released I think we were influenced by Meryl Streep on the cover. I digress,I found this book very difficult.. Julie Powell is so self absorbed and moany. she tries far too hard... Read More
Rated of 5
by Mary A. Schmidt Disappointed. My review I believe is much as Julia Child's was. It comes over as someone (Julie) who wants to be recognized too as someone who likes to cook and tried to cook and be like Julia Child. Julie seems to be bored with her job and in a sense her... Read More
Rated of 5
by RosalieBABY The Best Book I have EVA READ Greetings everyone who goes on this website.
This book was AMAZING. And I ain't no fluent reader nor spelling and writer for heaven sake I'm a 13 year old who has read this unbelievably funny and great book.
This book was so very good I... Read More
Rated of 5
by Kris tough read I got the book to read before seeing the movie. I'm having trouble getting through it. Spoke with a few ladies at work who saw the film and said it was cute but hadn't read the book. I don't see how the movie is anything like the book. If I make it... Read More
Rated of 5
by Jerry B Julie & Julia The basic idea of the book was excellent, BUT, there are so many digressions that, well, I skipped so many that I lost count. The various love lives did not add to the story; they were MAJOR distractions. The near constant use of the... Read More
says... 'My answer to "what's
your favorite read" changes
every time I'm asked it, but I
can say that as far as cookbook
authors, Paul Prudhomme*, Andries
de Groot and, yes, Nigella
Lawson are folks I enormously
admire. Elizabeth Gilbert is a
fantastic writer as well as a
great person, and I look forward
to her next book with bated
breath. I am in awe of Alice
Munro. As a kid I was a bit of a
sci-fi and fantasy geek, and
read Douglas Adams'
Hitchhiker's trilogy on a
bi-yearly basis, and was a big
fan of Pyrdain Chronicles
by Lloyd Alexander.'
The Julia Child website at
*Alex Prud'homme, Paul Child's
Blood, Bones & Butter is an unflinching and lyrical work. Gabrielle Hamilton's story is told with uncommon honesty, grit, humor, and passion. By turns epic and intimate, it marks the debut of a tremendous literary talent.
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