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GROUP READS > Julie & Julia Discussion

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message 1: by Cynthia (last edited Aug 30, 2009 08:18PM) (new)

Cynthia (pandoraphoebesmom) | 1378 comments If you choose to read Julie and Julia 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen for the Group Reads task (or another task for that matter) please feel free to discuss it here.


message 2: by Marsha (new)

Marsha Thompson I have a Julie and Julia book by Julie Powell but the sub title is different ("My year of cooking dangerously"). Is this the same book? I was thinking of starting it next.


message 3: by Cynthia (new)

Cynthia (pandoraphoebesmom) | 1378 comments Marsha wrote: "I have a Julie and Julia book by Julie Powell but the sub title is different ("My year of cooking dangerously"). Is this the same book? I was thinking of starting it next."Yes it's the same book.




message 4: by Marsha (new)

Marsha Thompson cool I thought maybe it was and was just repackaged because of the movie. I hope to finish the book and then go see the movie.


message 5: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (sureshot26) | 771 comments I actually used this one for the fall challenge, but I really enjoyed it - I'm of a similar temperament to Julie, so it connected for me on that level.

I even had my own Julie-and-Julia moment this past weekend. My husband and I decided to make French-style pot roast using a Cook's Illustrated recipe on Sunday. We started at 4:30, and by 8:30 it was painfully clear that dinner was in no way going to be finished in time to eat before bedtime. I channeled Julie, tossed what had been accomplished into the fridge until the next day, and ate pizza instead. On the upside, it turned out great on day 2, even if it was a day late!


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (susannag) I was somewhat disappointed by this one - the concept was great, but the execution I can only describe as a bit whiny.


message 7: by Kim (new)

Kim | 166 comments I'd reserved this one from the library- so I have this one on the tbr pile now!


message 8: by Marsha (new)

Marsha Thompson I just started it....I just have the first chapter read (I only had a few minutes at lunch). I know what Susanna mean about a bit whiny but I really like the tone. Whiny but its humorous to me. I think I'm going to like it. I'm going to go check out the reviews.



message 9: by Jensownzoo (new)

Jensownzoo | 125 comments I love to cook so was excited to read this book shortly after it was released. I remember it being a bit meh. It was okay but I didn't ever plan on rereading it (and so gave my copy away), which is fairly unusual for me. All I really retained from it is bone marrow, gimlets, and a small kitchen.

I do want to see the movie when it comes out on DVD. I've been hearing much better things about it than I did about the book.


message 10: by Terri (new)

Terri (terrisa-uk) | 233 comments I've just read this for a different task (the current job/dream job task).

I liked it, I liked the tone and the sarcasm, but like Jen above, I wouldn't want to read it again particularly, and I wouldn't go out of my way to see the film. But I would watch on DVD. The lobster thing had me curling my toes ...


message 11: by Marsha (new)

Marsha Thompson ok....I liked the tone originally but its starting to grate. I keep finding other things I need to do instead of picking up this book and completing it. The thing that got me was around the September 11 families....No matter your political leanings or what you think caused the attacks...People died and left grieving family members. I felt see didn't have much empathy for them but they were just in her way at the moment. I still plan to complete it (looking for more about Julia) but I have low expectations at this point


message 12: by Mary Beth (new)

Mary Beth (marybethbaker) | 143 comments I finished Julie and Julia for the Summer Challenge right after I read Julia child's My Life in France. And, I agree with everyone who has mentioned the whiny tone. I was able relate to certain parts about being a young transplant to New York working as an assistant when that was not your original plan while trying to figure out what to do with your life. However, I enjoyed My Life in France MUCH more.


message 13: by Jenna (new)

Jenna | 84 comments I read this book for the Fall Challenge and really liked it. Julie was a little whiny, but I still enjoyed it. And I really liked the movie. The Julia Child parts were great! Not to mention I have cravings for many of the foods that were made. It also made me want to read My Life in France.


message 14: by Marsha (new)

Marsha Thompson Well I finished it. I rated it a 3. I couldn't stand Julie at the beginning by the end I could tollerate her. I have heard the movie is better because there is more about Julia. I'll probably rent it.


message 15: by Britta (new)

Britta (macdeath) I'm reading it. Half-way through. It makes me reeeally hungry! Not a good idea to read it in school. I'm constantly hungry in school ^____^


message 16: by Marie-vicky (last edited Sep 19, 2009 01:46PM) (new)

Marie-vicky (grimace) | 22 comments I'm almost halway through.Julie is kind of annoying in some part.I feel that she takes all the place and let the other in the background with the furnitures.what bugs me she obsessive and I loose the pleasure of what she wants to accomplish.
in a other way I like her challenge where she cooks to find herself.
Some parts are really funny and some sentence made me laugh because there some reality in that book.EX; How and where she try to finds some ingredients> in A french cooking book it can be a pain the neck to adapt a recipe.
My french is kind of good because its my native language and I can tell that what happen to julie happen to me all the time. a french cooking dictionnary can be useful.

Julie and Julia is my first task challenge.Hoping i will get through before the end of the week end to get my 20 points.I have started the challenge late and my time is kind of tight.I hope that challenge will push me to get time for myself.


message 17: by Britta (new)

Britta (macdeath) I finished it. In the end I'll give it 4 stars. First of all, I'm horrible at giving any books less than 3.5 stars, cause I'm just too nice ;-;
Secondly, yes, Julie was a little whiny. I felt sorry for Eric ^____^ But I liked that some of the other character's stories were brought into it, and the Julia parts were lovely, if short. I can't wait to see the movie ^-^


message 18: by Wendy (new)

Wendy | 588 comments The movie was so different from the book, so I was surprised how much I enjoyed Julie's story without so much of Julia's story.


message 19: by BZMoney (new)

BZMoney | 160 comments Finished Julie/Julia last night! I liked it. Yes, she was quite opinionated & maybe a little whiny & self-centered... but she was honest & not phony. And yes, she was a little rough on her very supportive husband, but she always mentioned that he was supportive & she loved him. I'm excited to see the movie... it looks very cute.


message 20: by Angela (new)

Angela | 409 comments I actually quite enjoyed this book. I laughed out loud at certain parts and I can relate to the whole my life is stale, so how can I spice it up! I also liked the other characters in the book: Gwen, Isabel and I think Sally(?). There were parts were I found myself bored with all the details about the actual cooking of a meal, but overall I really liked this book. I am looking forward to seeing the movie.


message 21: by Kat (new)

Kat (thatcrazykatlady) | 15 comments I saw the movie first, several weeks ago, and I just it was just adorable. I enjoyed it a lot. I didn't really enjoy this book.

Something I kept thinking was that maybe the problem was that Julie originally wrote this book as a blog. Adapting it from blog form to book form seemed to give it a weird, familiar, fragmented structure that bugged me. I also sincerely disliked the way she treated her husband throughout most of the book (now I've learned that in her new book, which details her life after the Julie/Julia blitz, she admits that she later had a two year affair she barely bothered or cared to hide from Eric). The whining that everyone is mentioning didn't really bother me that much, but -- well, when I don't enjoy your writing style and don't really care for you as a person, I am not going to like your book.

Two stars, for me.


message 22: by Kim (new)

Kim | 166 comments I gave this one three stars- but think it will be one of the rare books where I prefer the film. I haven't seen the film yet- but just found myself thinking I bet this will come across better in the film most of the way through the book.


message 23: by Marsha (new)

Marsha Thompson Birish wrote: "Finished Julie/Julia last night! I liked it. Yes, she was quite opinionated & maybe a little whiny & self-centered... but she was honest & not phony. And yes, she was a little rough on her very sup..."

Amanda...I ditto everything you said. I really had wanted to see the movie but having read the book first and really not liking Julie at all by the end of it I think I'll pass.


message 24: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (lbhick) | 730 comments I read Julie & Julia over the summer. What a tremendous undertaking! I can't imagine trying to cook every single recipe of Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking, much less having to eat it. Liver, kidneys, brain.........ugh, gag me!!!! I enjoyed Julie's snarky commentary, although it sometimes got annoying; then again Julia Child was sometimes annoying to watch. Anyway, I enjoyed reading Julie's attempt to make some sense of her life by cooking her way through Julia. It wasn't always appetizing, especially the maggot infested kitchen; but it was humorous.


message 25: by Diane (new)

Diane | 742 comments I was really looking forward to this book. I love to cook, so the premise of the book was really exciting to me. I could see myself doing something similar. (In fact, several years ago I set out to make a complete meal each week from a different country of the world. I did this for over two years, then I had kids, and it came to a screeching halt). There were a lot of very humorous parts of the book and I felt it was well-written for the most part. I enjoyed hearing about the different recipes she tried and the results. However...
- I thought the author/narrator was a total b*****. I thought she had a negative attitude and some of her comments were in very poor taste. I found myself having to put the book down frequently because of this. At one point, I didn't think I was going to be able to make it through the book.
- Way, way, WAY too much swearing throughout the book. F this, F that - ugh! Are there really people who swear that much in everyday conversation? Perhaps there are, but nobody I know. I found that rather off-putting. I hope the language in the movie version was better.


message 26: by [deleted user] (new)

I really enjoyed this book. My mother-in-law has my copy now and I hope she enjoys it as much as I did. I do agree that Julie was a bit whiny at times but, really don't we all have our moments?!


message 27: by Erin (new)

Erin I loved the project idea! Very fun & creative...and I think someone more positive should have done it. Julie totally wrecked it for me with her snide comments, constant complaining (about her job, husband, and the fact that cooking wasn't saving her from her life like she thought it would), foul mouth, inability to take responsibility, and questionable morals.
If this had been my project, it would've been a light-hearted attempt to bring something different into my life. I feel that Julie was putting too much pressure on this project to change her and save her from an life that left her unfulfilled.

That being said, I fully enjoyed all of her cooking adventures! I'm sure I would've done half as good and not made it nearly so far. There were some aspects of her personality that I admired - preparing & eating all that strange food she obviously has a courageous streak and I think she should nourish that in other ways in her life. Maybe then she wouldn't be so unhappy.

I was not looking forward to seeing the movie after I'd finished the book but surprisingly I enjoyed it much more! I like that they added a lot about Julia Childs because Meryl Streep was amazing! I was disappointed that they didn't show more of Julie's hilarious cooking adventures and I really wanted to see those enacted.

All in all, not impressed and disappointed.
2 stars.


message 28: by Sara ♥ (new)

Sara ♥ (saranicole) | 1136 comments Birish wrote: "Oh man, this was painful. Not that it was badly written because it wasn't really. And at first, she's kind of funny in a self-deprecating sort of way...and then the more she talks about herself, the more I was put off. She complains..about 9/11 victims? About a very nice husband? About Republicans, nonstop? Encourages a friend to have an affair with a married man? What kind of person IS this? Just left me with a bad taste in my mouth. Gross. "

Perfectly stated. My feelings exactly.

She came right out and said no one intelligent would vote Republican. I was like, "Ummm... I'm a Republican, and I would consider myself an intelligent person. I'm an engineer, for crying out loud! Being conservative doesn't make you stupid! Way to piss off half the women reading this book, Julie!" (Are women less likely to be Republican? I wouldn't be surprised...)

And the thing with Gwen talking about having an affair with a married guy (WITH A KID)??? And Julie is like, "When did I become the poster child for the sanctity of marriage? ... all my single friends seem to think I'm some kind of moral authority. I don't do sanctity." She then proceeds to tell Gwen, "...let him worry about the state of his marriage." WHAT????????? That shocked me, and then pissed me off. How can a married woman not hear about that situation and put herself in the wife's shoes? Does the woman have NO EMPATHY? (Ditto with the 9/11 victim's families!) Speaking of this, I saw a movie this afternoon where 3 single women were talking about sleeping with a married guy, and they were like, "[Marriage:] doesn't count unless they have a kid." WHAT???? What a awful and selfish attitude. I can't believe what this world is coming to.

The only other thing I'd add is "LANGUAGE, WOMAN!" Gee whiz! I don't know about anyone else, but my father taught me that if you are intelligent (and would like to appear so), you should be able to find more... clever... ways to speak. "Only stupid swear all the time, because their vocabularies are so limited," he would say. That's not to say I never swear, but SERIOUSLY! It was EXCESSIVE!

I gave it 2 stars, as I DID enjoy the cooking parts. (Although I'm getting pissed off again, and am considering lowering my stars...) As I stated in my review, I liked the cooking parts (I'm a big Food Network fan, so...), but I could NOT be friends with this woman.


message 29: by Danielle (new)

Danielle (daniellek86) | 12 comments I really liked the book, actually. Yes, Julie does have issues, but, speaking as someone who's anxious/depressed, you sort of cling to anything that gives you a sense of purpose. julie knew that she had people reading her blog because they left comments, and she knew if she kept posting, they would keep reading, and let her know people do care about her, hence her fanatical "but my bleaders! i can't stop!" also, she set this goal for herself to finish the book in a year, which, while kind of insane, was the goal. if she didn't finish it, she would be failing, and no one wants to fail - especially someone who already feels like she's failing at life because of her crappy outer borough apartment and crappy nowhere-near-dream job.
Also, i feel like julie resorts to cynicism when she feels at all threatened... hence her scorn for things like 9/11 families. i'm sure she, like every new yorker, is devastated by that tragedy. but when you have to deal with it 9-5, every day, constantly hearing tragic stories, constantly looking at the gaping hole the towers left, you have to put up a wall, look for the thigns to make fun of or laugh at, because otherwise you'd become mired in the awfulness of it all and totally unable to function.
finally, all the cursing and general jadedness and irritability? that's new york city for you :)


message 30: by Sara ♥ (new)

Sara ♥ (saranicole) | 1136 comments The whiny factor didn't bother me much. It was everything else.


message 31: by Julie (new)

Julie (scrapsofhistory) I don't think it has taken me this long to read one book before. I find myself making myself read. That is not good for me because I have limited reading time. I am hoping it is going to get better soon, I'm about half way through


message 32: by Sara ♥ (new)

Sara ♥ (saranicole) | 1136 comments Oye... good luck!


message 33: by Vicki (new)

Vicki | 65 comments I just finished this book and I LOVED it! I was kind of worried because it seemed that most people didn't like it. I thought it was great. I didn't think that Julie was whiny, I thought she was a realist (Maybe it was because I'm just like her, only I can't cook at all and I wouldn't have had the patience) Eric is just like my ex-husband - too perfect.




message 34: by Natalie (new)

Natalie I about half way through the book so far...I was skeptical going into it because of all the bad reviews. But I must say, I am really liking it so far. Maybe it just has to do with the fact that the last two books I read were real duds. I like the way Powell writes. It seems a lot of times books made from blogs seem very, well, bloggy. This has translated well so far.


message 35: by Emily (new)

Emily | 131 comments I'm not sure how I felt about this book. There were time that I enjoyed following her in her challenge and times that I was fairly bored. What was interesting is how disgusted and/or uninterested I was in the parts that were about her cooking; I LOVE cooking shows even though I'm vegan and can't eat most of what is cooked on the shows that I watch, but somehow reading about her process of preparing meals were either empty or repulsive to me. I didn't realize I was media-specific in terms of my ability to enjoy non-veg-cooking.


message 36: by Maggie (new)

Maggie (maggie4007) | 114 comments I'm struggling with this one. I just don't think that Julie is someone that I would really like all that much. I think it's an enormous undertaking and a very cool idea to cook your way through MtAoFC, but really all she does is whine, and encouraging your friend to have an affair with a married man. Who does that, and THEN writes about it so everyone and their freaking mother knows you did it... It's like she thinks it's cool or something?


message 37: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer (pearlady) | 36 comments I have also been struggling this one. The cover is wonderful, but that's about it. It seems I can only read this book in very small increments, and the pace is driving me crazy. I keep interrupting the boredom with other books (three (almost four) other books so far). Though, I am still a fan of Julia Child, it's definitely not lived up to even half the hype to me. Oh well.


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