Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Julie and Julia

By Julie Powell, and coming soon to a theatre near you.

I wasn't thinking that I would enjoy this book so very much. It had been sitting on my bookshelf awaiting a second glance for about a year, after I picked it up at Border's on clearance for $3.99, way back when I had at least a smidgen of extra cash (I have always been inclined to spend on books and makeup).

Anyway, I figured that since the movie would be coming out in August (and although I have no desire to see it on the big screen -- this is a DVD rental for me), I should probably read it. So I did, in the past three nights, home sick. And I liked it!

Interestingly, I am less entranced by Julie herself than I am by her friend Isabel. Although Julie and Eric sound like fun (and sure can do some damage to a bottle or ten) Isabel sounds totally cool. I would love to know more about what happened to her after. And of course I am captivated by Julia Child, Amazon Queen of All Kitchens. I bet she was a blast to hang out with. Do you remember watching her show? I was a little kid when I saw her originally, but she always seemed larger than life, and she contributed to the excitement about cooking that my mom instilled in me. When Julia was on Emeril a few years ago (you know, before she died) she was still charming and hilarious and sharp, and I really liked that.

I had not been a reader of the Julie/Julia Project, and so I never knew Julie had written a long blog post about lobsters. I felt a kinship with her since I wrote them about too. Also, I am looking forward to making Concombres au Buerre. Who knew you could bake cucumbers?

  • I liked hearing about the apartment in Long Island City (it reminded me of my first apartment in Astoria. I'll tell you about it one day.
  • Engagingly written
  • Cute cover (sad egg whisk, bowl full of meringue)
  • I loved the foodie talk and I felt like I was cooking along with her.
  • Excellent descriptive passages, and they were not always about food
  • Not too mushy, and although thoughtful, the book was not bawl-your-eyes-out-poignant
  • Best parts, hands down: the dinner parties. The paragraph where Julie describes her Bavarois à l'Orange was especially lyrical. Moments like those are the ones people live for.
  • Lots of "fucking" language (not that I mind -- hey, you need to use it, go for it) but not nearly enough real screwing. If you're gonna plant that seed (trussing, anyone? I loved that!) be ready to deliver.
  • Too light in certain places, too wordy in others, and entirely too much mention of the sofa and the Czech/Croatian movers. Who cares?
  • Certain parts read as if they had been written by someone else.
All in all, I enjoyed the book. I wouldn't buy it again, but I will definitely read it again. And when she publishes again, I will read that too. Enjoy!

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