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Review: Julie & Julia

March 20, 2009


As Julie Powell was approaching 30, she found herself in a funk.  She’d moved to New York to pursue an acting career, yet she was working as a secretary and she was having reproductive issues just as her biological clock was ticking.  She decided to embark on a project – in the next year she was going to cook all 524 recipes in Julia Child’s original cookbook, The Art of French Cooking.  Her husband, Eric was supportive, and even suggested she start a blog to document her progress along the way.  While listening to this book, you meet Julie’s friends and family and learn of her accomplishments and frustrations. You learn about the recipes she creates and the difficulties she has finding some of the ingredients.

Julie & Julia, by Julie Powell is the story of “The Project,” as she began to call it.  This book is about the recipes, her blog and her relationships with her friends and family.  I downloaded the audio version of this book from iTunes after seeing people talk about it on Twitter.  The author reads the book and she does a splendid job.

I have to admit that when I first heard about “The Project,” my first thought was,  “Why?”  We used to live in the culinary capitol of France and discovered food that even Carl wouldn’t eat.  But, after listening to Julie for a little while, I was rooting for her and “The Project.”  Most bloggers can relate to her joy at receiving 36 hits early on (she knew because she’d checked her stats 12 times that day) and receiving her first comment.  This audiobook made me laugh (a lot) and even got me teary-eyed at one point.  The author has quite the potty mouth, so this is not one to listen to with your children.  There’s a great interview with the author at the end.

Here’s a cute video with an excerpt of the book:

A movie version of this book is slated to be released in August.  It will star Meryl Streep and Amy Adams.  Julie Powell has a new book, Cleaving coming out in August.  I am looking forward to both.

36 Comments leave one →
  1. March 20, 2009 5:29 am

    Sounds like quite a different “cookbook” since I used to look at my mom’s and then my own Good Housekeeping cookbook. Might even get me to cook again. Nice review. I wanted to tell you I heard you on the Galway radio interview and you did a great job, I believe talking on the phone in your car was it? Anyway, I said to myself, I know her…which meant I read your blog and have yours listed on mine. Congrats!

  2. March 20, 2009 6:45 am

    I just got the hardback for review — Your review has made me bump it a little higher up in the pile!

  3. March 20, 2009 8:10 am

    Blogs becoming books seems to be on the rise. I always wonder if the problem is that people will just go to the blog and not buy the book. But your review does a great job of making me interested in the book!

  4. March 20, 2009 8:59 am

    Cooking all those recipes sounds like an interesting way of beating the blues. I enjoy cooking, but I think I would make it my goal to spend at least 30 minutes outdoors each day.

  5. March 20, 2009 9:01 am

    I actually read this book a couple of years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. In fact, the book inspired me to consider trying my own cooking challenge (although I had no desire to work through Julia Child’s collection — Maida Heatter’s desserts is more my speed). That inspiration was very fleeting, however. Perhaps when I retire…….

    I had not heard that it was going to be made into a movie; Meryl Streep is such a fine actress.

  6. March 20, 2009 9:54 am

    this sounds like a really nice book.. and the cover is amazing! I loved the colors on the cover as soon as i saw it! And di dyou say it might become a meryl streep movie in the future? i better get my hands on this one before the movie comes out!:)

  7. March 20, 2009 10:16 am

    I read this book awhile back and thought it was a fun read. I am looking forward to the movie version!

  8. stacybuckeye permalink
    March 20, 2009 10:48 am

    This sounds like fun. I’ll have to look for it. Maybe in audio since you liked it so much.

  9. March 20, 2009 11:05 am

    Ha! I may have to read this just for the nostalgia of that first exciting day when you get 36 views: “Oh my gosh! I usually only get about 15 views! Where did all these people come from?” Off to see if my library or BookMooch has this!

  10. March 20, 2009 11:10 am

    This definitely sounds like something I would like a great deal and I love the cover!

  11. Glenda permalink
    March 20, 2009 11:22 am

    I read this several years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. I’m glad to hear the author has a new book coming out later this year.

  12. March 20, 2009 12:02 pm

    I read this a few years ago (I think pre-blog) and enjoyed it a lot. This is my favorite type of memoir, the ones who do some kind of project.

  13. March 20, 2009 12:13 pm

    i’m going to check it out…i know the feeling of a blossoming blog…and start stalking. 🙂 the book sounds like a good read–and something i can relate to.

  14. March 20, 2009 12:44 pm

    I will be the dissenter! I thought this sounded great and tried to read it a few years ago…I didn’t make it very far. I wanted to read about the cooking mostly, and wasn’t terribly interested in the personal parts…it just didn’t work for me at the time. I am curious about the film, though!

  15. March 20, 2009 12:50 pm

    What an interesting idea for a book. I’m excited about the movie too. I love Meryl Streep.

  16. March 20, 2009 2:06 pm

    I remember hearing about this when it first came out. I get where she got the idea for it! Whenever I read a cozy mystery I want to make all of the recipes! Especially the ones by Joanne Fluke 🙂

    Looking forward to the movie!

  17. March 20, 2009 2:51 pm

    I have this on my TBR shelves and keep picking it up but haven’t read it yet. I think I will read it sooner as I want to see the movie. I adore Meryl Streep.

  18. March 20, 2009 3:28 pm

    I liked this one — amazing how her blog took off and the friends she made.

  19. March 20, 2009 3:31 pm

    sounds like a lot of fun. you gotta love a blogger who made good! 🙂

  20. March 20, 2009 3:36 pm

    I would be as big as a barn if I undertook this!

  21. March 20, 2009 6:01 pm

    I’m glad to hear the author has a new book coming out later this year.

  22. March 20, 2009 7:46 pm

    What a great reminder or a super fun book. And now a movie with Meryl Streep no less. Wow, good for Julie Powell. I’m looking forward to the new book and the movie too. Thanks for the review and the heads up.

  23. March 20, 2009 10:11 pm

    I used to have one of those little egg whisks. Except he sat on top of the stove for too long and his butt melted.

    You know, even though I now listen to audio books every day in the car, I still don’t think of it as an option when I read other people’s reviews. Except for when you mention them. I just might add this one to the audio list.

  24. March 21, 2009 6:00 am

    I am looking forward to the movie!

  25. March 21, 2009 1:10 pm

    This book is sitting on my shelf, waiting for me to get to it. I’ll probably end up seeing the movie first!

  26. March 21, 2009 1:32 pm

    wow.. great review .. I didn’t even know what the book is about.. and now I have to read it… and well a Meryl movie is a given for me! Thanks.

  27. March 21, 2009 9:42 pm

    I’ve recently “discovered” books that center around cooking. This would be a good one to add to my “to read” list!

  28. March 21, 2009 9:53 pm

    I enjoy books about “impossible quests” (I even have a category about it on my blog) so this sounds right up my alley! I’m adding it to my list. So often, the quest to complete some task is so enlightening and the questee learns so much about what they never expected.

  29. March 22, 2009 11:13 am

    I read this book when it first came out. I enjoyed it in the beginning, but grew tired of it before I was finished. It was an interesting idea though. I’d never complete it;-)

  30. March 22, 2009 12:21 pm

    I love foodie books. I’m planning to read this before the movie comes out.

  31. March 22, 2009 8:18 pm

    Goodness–524 recipes in a year!! Sounds like a fun book (and movie!), but too bad about the language.

  32. March 23, 2009 10:35 am

    I loved this book…and really looking forward to the movie. I think this is a great idea…my mom and I talked about picking a cookbook (not this one!) and doing the same thing…

  33. March 23, 2009 8:17 pm

    Love the cover! And this is going on my TBR pile – what a great story.

  34. March 24, 2009 12:01 am

    I enjoyed this book. I didn’t realize that Julie Powell has another book coming out soon! I’m looking forward to that.

  35. March 27, 2009 1:56 pm

    All 524 recipes?!? Wow, that’s a commitment. I love cooking, but I don’t think I’d want to do that.

  36. March 26, 2010 4:28 pm

    I haven’t read or heard it yet. Want to do one or the other before seeing movie.

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