Wednesday, August 06, 2008

the julie/julia project

so i was thinking that at the end of august, i'd post all the books that i read this summer and write a blurb about them. well...this one was too good to wait...and heck - who doesn't need a good book to read by the pool/beach in the sunshine, right? or in your bed curled up during a thunderstorm?

here it is: Julie and Julia : 365 days, 524 recipes, 1 tiny apartment kitchen : how one girl risked her marriage, her job, and her sanity to master the art of living - by Julie Powell

this 29 year old woman, living in NY, hating her string of temp jobs, and feeling distraught about turning 30 and having nothing accomplished in life gets this random idea that she'll cook all 524 recipes in Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking Vol. one year. waaay back in 2002 when everyone didn't have their own blog, she began blogging her cooking fiascos. alyssa had mentioned this book a month or so ago and i can't remember if she'd read it or just heard about it. i remember saying, "how could that be a whole book?" well it is.

i feel like this is a random idea that I'D get and blog about and wish that i hadn't started but have to finish because i said i would...which is exactly how julie feels. and when you hear the premise of the book, you think that it must be chapter after chapter of recipe after recipe but it's not. it's a lot about her life with some cooking thrown in. and the things that she makes are crazy. and julie is hilarious - very much like a friend that you know. you probably have an instant picture in mind of what type of person is taking on this cooking project, right? i did. my picture was kind of an (unsuccessful) rachel synchyshyn - you know, ulimate multi-tasker, love for food and talent for cooking, clean, measures ingredients carefully, enjoys good cookware... but she's crass and not rachel at all. doesn't hold back the honesty in the crazy that this project made her: the mean things that she said to her husband, the screaming profanity breakdowns, or the number of times she'd have to try to make something over and over until it was halfway decent. (she's not much of a perfectionist)

i'd definitely recommend the read - there were many lines i wanted to write down and quote here but didn't...and then couldn't find the page again. i checked out the FVRL library website and all but one copy is "in library"...apparently only one other person besides me in the lower mainland is reading this book. however...a disclaimer to my rave reviews: there are references to things of a sexual nature (she often equates cooking to sex)...and as mentioned earlier, more swearing than you'd expect from a book like this (she says her sailor mouth comes from her mom) so you know...beware. i think as i was reading, it was a "yeah...this is pretty good" but as it comes to the end, you're sad to see it finished and want to read more. and julie powell ends it well - poignant but with a laugh.


therachel said...

I LOVE that you're reading this book...and that you mentioned me in your blog.

I read this one 2 years ago, also at the recommendation of Alyssa! That Alyssa, always a source of a good read.

I laughed out loud lots while reading this book.

Your next book MUST be: The Girls, by Lori Lansens. It's Canadian, and takes place in Ontario, and is about conjoined twins (yes, joined at the head). SO GOOD. 450 pages and I burned through it in 6 days...which says less about my ability to read quickly, and so much more about how great of a read the book is. If you can wait till you get to my house - see the top shelf of the book case in the living will be waiting for you!

Alyssa said...

Yes, I loved this book as well. I randomly picked it up off the shelf at the library while in the cooking section (only because of Rachel - my favorite library buddy)... and now they're making it into a movie! I just loved how such a random project changed her life.

therachel said...

making it into a movie!?!?! HOW GREAT IS THAT?!!!

ashlee said...

$5.99 at chapters right now (in the bargain section) - bought it today after reading your rave review :)