Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Julie and Julia by Julie Powell

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

This is a book that one is led to believe is solely about a project taken on by the author, Julie Powell. But once the novel begins, the reader is taken on a ride a whole lot farther than he or she probably wants to go.

Julie is about to turn 30 and feeling like she hasn't accomplished much -- if anything -- in her life. And so she sets up this project: In one year's time, she is going to complete the 524 recipes written out by Julia Child in her first cookbook, Mastering The Art of French Cooking. What was originally started out as a blog became a book which then became a movie. 

I had no interest in reading the book or viewing this movie until earlier this year. The movie kept coming up in conversations with friends and teachers and when I learned it was to be a future book club read, I went ahead and watched the movie via Netflix when I had nothing better to do.

The movie was better. And the only reason this truly bothers me is because this book had such great potential!

The parts that were strictly Project related were great. I devoured those parts, loving to read about the recipe as Julia has written while also reading about the recipe as Julie perceived and performed it. The mishaps, the challenges, the wins, the losses. All of that was wonderfully interesting.

The other parts, though, those I could have dealt without. The parts about her family, the parts about her job, the parts about her friends: the one deciding whether or not it was okay to have an affair, the one deciding whether or not she wanted a divorce, the friend who took for-effin'-ever to pick up a couch.

Seriously: Did not care for and still do not care for. Maybe these parts helped in being able to know who was who later when friends started to come over to eat closer to the end of the project. This is the only reason I can account for telling us their lives. I felt as if I were peaking in on things I had no part of.

Aside from those parts, I found this book enjoyable. Some days her writing style irked me, and I honestly have no idea if this is related to her actual writing style or my mood for that day. And reading the book really added an aspect to the movie for me and made me like it more.

I want to give this book 2 stars but I give it the extra one for the chapter about the lobster (my favorite chapter, hands down) and the last couple of chapters. They really saved the book in my eyes.


  1. I read this one and had some of the same feelings. Then I moved on to Cleaving on audio which by the end of the first CD I had to shut it off, the affair is now full blown and anyway.... that's about all I have to say about that. :)

  2. I had heard about that before I started reading J&J. I think knowing that kinda ruined her for me and helped make this book less enjoyable. I don't think I could read Cleaving at all, honestly.