David Jay's Reviews > 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

Julie and Julia by Julie Powell
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's review
Mar 08, 2009

it was ok

Some very cute parts, and well written. Powell is likeable and the book is a quick and easy read. Most of the book is set in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens, which I always like. Powell's apartment at the beginning of the book is a few blocks from where I live.

But I just didn't get it.

This is the story of a bored, depressed temp/secretary who isn't quite sure what to do with her life, wants a baby but isn't sure if she can have one, hates where she lives and so she decides to cook her way through Julia Child's 1961 classic, Mastering the Art of French Cooking. She decides that she will cook all 524 recipes in one year and she will write a blog about it. I'm sorry but... why?! This is going to, and apparently does, give her purpose and refreshes her life. It sounds like a horrible year and the cooking seems to be a real chore for her. I don't recall a single passage where Powell appeared to actually enjoyed the process. And yet, at the end we're to believe this experience was somehow purifying and enlightening. I just didn't get the point.

Also, vegetarians, be warned. The descriptions of cooking meat are graphic and, for me, really, really gross. Avoid the section where she talks about removing marrow from bones.

I think the genre of books about blogs that are turned into books about people who write blogs and are turning those blogs into books needs to end. Now.
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