Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Julie & Julia (Julie Powell)

This book did not get the best reviews, but I wanted to read it for myself before I decided its fate. Meryl Streep and Amy Adams deemed it worthy enough to star in the movie with the same name, so it must be enjoyable, right? Eh.

I am always intrigued by people who do something like this...AKA having a "Project". In this case, Julie Powell decides that, to take respite from her everyday life (you know...the job, everything going wrong in the apartment, etc.), she will cook her way through Julia Child's masterpiece, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, in one year. She will also begin writing about her cooking escapades in a blog. Julie & Julia is the story of that year.

If you are thinking that this book is exactly like the movie, think again. The producers of the movie told the story of Julia Child much more than this book did. To me, the most enjoyable part of the movie was Meryl Streep's interpretation of Child. In the book, Powell just includes excerpts of letters that Paul Child wrote about his wife. However, in Powell's defense, the movie and book are based on HER project, so she can do what she wants.

While laugh-out-loud funny at times and absolutely adventurous at others (I give Powell all the credit for even thinking about cooking kidneys, brains, and bone marrow.), Powell never, ever holds back her thoughts. She rips on everyone who she does not share viewpoints with, from her employer, to a specific political party, to her mom. I am all for refreshing honesty, but sometimes she goes too far (in a published book, anyway). However, I admire Powell for having the guts to do something like this. My husband says I should cook my way through the Barefoot Contessa's cookbooks. Maybe some day. Thanks for the inspiration, Julie Powell.