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Julia Child Rules: Lessons On Savoring Life Hardcover – October 1, 2013


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Globe Pequot Press (October 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0762783095
  • ISBN-13: 978-0762783090
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 5.5 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #194,546 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The love affair with the iconic Julia Child continues in Karbo's guide to living with abandon, as Child always did, which gives a window into the legendary cook, author, and television host's fascinating backstory. One of the lessons Karbo draws from Child's life is that one must face adversity rather than being daunted by it. And from the start, Child, a red-haired, freckle-faced girl who grew to 6'3, experienced a great deal of knocks. But rather than dwell on her awkward appearance, she felt free to be herself. Child tried to join the military during the WWII effort, but was rejected due to a physical disqualification. She eventually got a job with the OSS (a predecessor of the CIA) and was tasked with organizing massive amounts of data; later, this experience helped her craft precise, detailed recipes. More significantly, she met Paul Child—her future husband and #1 cheerleader—while working for the OSS. As Karbo persuasively argues, Paul gave her herself. Without him she wouldn't have found her calling at last at age 38. Karbo's joyful take on the ebullient, self-described California hayseed will charm readers new to the twists and turns of Child's life, as well as devoted fans. Agent: David Forrer, Inkwell Management. (Oct.)

Review

“In Julia Child Rules, Karen Karbo has written that rare bird of a book: one that manages on every page to be as enlightening as it is entertaining, as smart as it is funny. In prose as clean and sharp as your best kitchen knife, Karbo gives us a portrait of the incomparable Julia Child that’s intimate, inspiring, and unlike anything I’ve ever read about Child before. I want to make wallpaper out of this original and beautiful book just so I can have Karbo’s unparalleled wit and wisdom always on hand.” —Cheryl Strayed, author of the New York Times bestseller Wild


“If you love Julia Child (and who doesn’t?), then you will love Karen Karbo’s smart and entertaining book.  Karbo’s take on Ms. Child’s life is like being invited to a lively dinner party where ideas and experiences are related with great verve and wisdom. Read this book and discover why Julia does indeed rule! Bon appétit.” —Whitney Otto, author of the New York Times bestseller How to Make an American Quilt


“Karen Karbo gives us a riveting, zingy new perspective on the indomitable, cheery, lovable, hardworking French Chef. Julia Child Rules cracked me up as it inspired and moved me. It made me want to cook with Julia and Karen in a cramped, under-equipped Paris kitchen, bustling about in aprons, swilling wine and whisking and deglazing, then eating with all the gusto in the world.” —Kate Christensen, author of Blue Plate Special: An Autobiography of My Appetites

"The love affair with the iconic Julia Child continues in Karbo’s guide to living with abandon, as Child always did, which gives a window into the legendary cook, author, and television host’s fascinating backstory. One of the lessons Karbo draws from Child’s life is that one must face adversity rather than being daunted by it. And from the start, Child, a red-haired, freckle-faced girl who grew to 6’3", experienced a great deal of knocks. But rather than dwell on her awkward appearance, she felt 'free to be herself.' Child tried to join the military during the WWII effort, but was rejected due to a 'physical disqualification.' She eventually got a job with the OSS (a predecessor of the CIA) and was tasked with organizing massive amounts of data; later, this experience helped her craft precise, detailed recipes. More significantly, she met Paul Child--her future husband and #1 cheerleader--while working for the OSS. As Karbo persuasively argues, Paul 'gave her herself. Without him she wouldn’t have found her calling at last' at age 38. Karbo’s joyful take on the ebullient, self-described 'California hayseed' will charm readers new to the twists and turns of Child’s life, as well as devoted fans." --Publishers Weekly

“Humorous, balanced mix of biography, autobiography, and self-help guide appeals to cooking fans and non-cooks alike. In Julia Child Rules: Lessons on Savoring Life, Karen Karbo explores what made Julia Child so successful. She parses the aspects of Julia’s personality, her struggles, and her joy for life that made her the influential icon we all know today. It is also part autobiography of the defining moments in Karbo’s own life, such as the death of her mother when Karbo was seventeen. The author intersperses the perfect mix of personal anecdotal information, and her fun personality comes through in conversational writing. There are many footnotes, too, where Karbo’s humor is most evident. But, ultimately, it is a self-help book about how to find true happiness, following Julia Child’s guide to life. For a book about Julia Child, Karbo’s perspective is somewhat unexpected, because while Karbo clearly admires Julia Child as a person, she does not seem to share Julia’s love of cooking. She’s enamored mostly with Julia’s willingness to immerse herself fully in a new craft and career so late in life (in her late thirties), and that motivation is what Karbo encourages readers to emulate. She isn’t encouraging readers to love cooking, but to find their own passion—the thing they would want to devote themselves to fully, as Julia did when she set out to write a comprehensive cookbook on mastering the art of French cooking. For that reason, this book will have wide appeal. Those who love cooking and those who don’t, those who are fans of Julia Child and those who aren’t, will all find Karbo’s suggestions useful and thought-provoking—because the “rules” aren’t really about cooking at all. They are about overcoming adversity, having a strong work ethic, and not conforming to the expectations of others. Karbo draws these lessons from the fact that Julia (McWilliams) Child married for the first time later in life, after meeting Paul Child while she was working for the OSS (the precursor to the CIA). She also trained as a chef at Le Cordon Bleu in middle age. Karbo even draws lessons from young Julia, who was quite tall as a child—usually the tallest girl in her class or any room she was in, in fact. But rather than view this as something that made her an outcast, Julia found a way to use it to her advantage, never dwelling on things she didn’t have the ability to change. This intriguing book is about how Julia Child became an icon, and Karbo attributes Child’s success to her unique view on life. Here, through a fun and engaging set of rules, Karbo instructs readers on how they can follow Julia’s example and find true joy in life, too.” –ForeWord Reviews

"Karbo’s (The Gospel According to Coco Chanel: Life Lessons from the World’s Most Elegant Woman, 2011, etc.) delightful foray into Julia Child’s life blends entertaining facts with Child-inspired lessons for living the good life. The author chronicles the great cooking instructor’s childhood in Southern California, her work in Sri Lanka, her lifelong love affair with Paul Child, her trials while learning to cook and her midlife TV career. Child’s life has been dissected many times, but Karbo adds a personal layer to the narrative. While exploring her inspirational and aspirational qualities, the author weaves in bittersweet memories of her family life and her mother, an early fan of Child’s. As an explanation of America’s complex fascination with Child, Karbo writes, '[m]y theory is that our real attachment to Julia is less about her cooking, or even about what she did for the cause of serious cuisine, and more about our admiration for her immutable aptitude for being herself.' The author holds Child up as an example of a woman comfortable in her own skin, intent on creating good food and finding a passion in life. Karbo underscores the lessons for achieving a happy life, as lived by Child, using chapter titles like 'Live with Abandon,' 'All You Need Is a Kitchen and a Bedroom' and 'Cooking Means Never Saying You’re Sorry.' Along the way, the author ladles out solid advice for contemporary women on a variety of topics, including the joy of hard work and how to both cultivate ways to amuse yourself and disobey the rules that society sets out for women. 'Julia pretty much ignored the whole thing, and it may be the only real lesson there is for the end of our days,' writes Karbo about Child’s take on old age. 'Just pretend like it isn’t happening, until you have no choice but to accept reality.' A lighthearted trek through a food icon’s life, studded with satisfying tips for modern living." --Kirkus

"Some titles just have a way  of sticking

Unique ingredients

Portland’s Karen Karbo follows biographical treatments of Katharine Hepburn, Coco Chanel and Georgia O’Keeffe with “Julia Child Rules: Lessons on Savoring Life.”

From Julia’s country club youth, through her “Less Learning, More Moonshine” adventures in higher education, her high-security service in the earliest incarnation of the CIA, her cross-country martini-fueled courtship with her husband-to-be and her entrance into our kitchens and our homes, the woman was a joyous and fascinating force of nature.

Karbo’s informative and inspirational concoction is an absolute treat. The only downside — no, not the calories — is that you have to wait until October to enjoy it." --Register-Guard

 

 

 

 


More About the Author

Karen Karbo's first novel, Trespassers Welcome Here, was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, and a Village Voice Top Ten Book of the Year. Her other two adult novels, The Diamond Lane and Motherhood Made a Man Out of Me, were also named New York Times Notable Books.

Karbo's 2004 memoir, The Stuff of Life, about the last year she spent with her father before his death, was an NYT Notable Book, a People Magazine Critics' Choice, a Books for a Better Life Award finalist, and a winner of the Oregon Book Award for Creative Non-fiction.

Her short stories, essays, articles and reviews have appeared in Elle, Vogue, Esquire, Outside, O, More, The New Republic, The New York Times, salon.com and other magazines. She is a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Fiction, and a winner of the General Electric Younger Writer Award.

Karbo is most well known for her best-selling Kick Ass Women series, the most recent of which is How Georgia Became O'Keeffe, published in 2011. How to Hepburn, published in 2007, was hailed by the Philadelphia Inquirer as "an exuberant celebration of a great original"; #1 ebook best-seller The Gospel According to Coco Chanel appeared in 2009. Next up: Julia Child Rules, which will appear in October 2013.

In addition, Karbo penned three books in the Minerva Clark mystery series for children: Minerva Clark Gets A Clue, Minerva Clark Goes to the Dogs, and Minerva Clark Gives Up the Ghost.

Karen grew up in Los Angeles, California and lives in Portland, Oregon where she continues to kick ass.

Customer Reviews

I was really disappointed and didn't even bother to finish it.
Elaine Wilson
I love the way Karbo immserses herself into Julia Child's life, traveling to France, cooking, and adopting Julia's lessons.
Molly Bloom
This was a very easy read and full of interesting tidbits about the author and Julia Child.
Clyde's Mom

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By the GreatReads! TOP 1000 REVIEWER on October 8, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Julia Child means different things to different people. Karen Karbo's latest offering is full of life, wit and charm. It is so refreshingly different, entertaining and enlightening. It is not pretentious. Readers will savor the book with ease and learn to live with joy and gay abandon.

Julia Child Rules: Lessons on Savoring Life by Karen Karbo is one of a kind!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Molly Bloom on September 17, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Reading Karen Karbo is like eating dessert--you just can't get enough! I loved The Gospel According to Coco Chanel and How Georgia Became O'Keeffe, but as someone who loves to cook and enjoys food, Julia Child Rules just might be my favorite. Karbo is a master at bringing these iconic women to life and showing a lesser known side of them. I enjoy learning more about their lives while also taking in the "lessons" of how they lived life and some of the ways we can try to emulate their spirit. I love the way Karbo immserses herself into Julia Child's life, traveling to France, cooking, and adopting Julia's lessons. I especially love her sense of humor and the witty asides in her footnotes. This book made me truly fall for Julia Child--the spirited child, the idealistic young woman, the ultimate prankster, and the adoring wife. Karbo brilliantly captures what it means to work hard to follow your passion as well as what it means to be in a truly loving marriage/relationship. The love and affection between Julia and Paul Child is truly something to which we can all aspire. And, it's wonderful to read about how supportive Paul was of Julia's career and success. This book is a treasure to be savored!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Sir Keith on January 29, 2014
Format: Hardcover
This book should be titled 'A Reinterpretation of the Life of Julia Child by a Disillusioned Feminist with an Enormous Chip on Her Shoulder.' This book assumes that the reader already knows all the salient facts about Julia's remarkable life, and then attempts to recast them in the light of Ms. Karbo's cynical, self-absorbed, and ultimately, pathetic world view. If you love Julia, by all means read her enchanting autobiography "My Life in France,' as well as Bob Spitz' remarkable and thoughtful 'Dearie.' In such company, Karen Karbo is a lightweight, and her 'Julia Child Rules' is nothing more than the kind of female 'magazinery' that she claims to despise.
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Format: Hardcover
Karen Karbo is wide awake. Not only is every fact about her ostensible subject accessible to her, but so is every thought those facts inspire and every moment of her own experience. That kind of writing is invigorating. And fun --- Karen Karbo is fun, the person at the party you want to sit near because she's going to knock back a few drinks and tell terrific stories.

She did this in "The Gospel According to Coco Chanel: Life Lessons from the World's Most Elegant Woman" and "How Georgia Became O'Keeffe: Lessons on the Art of Living." She may be in awe of those women, but that's not why she writes about them; she wants to unearth their secret wisdom. When she does, she bluntly shares. Her take on Chanel's philosophy of life: "Cut to the chase, don't waste time doing stuff that seems essential to your life and business just because other people do it." And O'Keefe's: "The greatest aphrodisiac is vitality."

Karen Karbo grew up 15 miles from Julia Child's childhood home in Southern California. She knows what it means "for her to go to France in her 30s as a Californian and hurl herself into French culture." What's more remarkable about that reinvention is something Karbo knows and other writers forget to note: "She was pretty average. When she was in school, she was an average student --- average to bad, actually, because the girl did love to party. Her philosophy at Smith was, `less study, more moonshine.' It wasn't like she had this fantastic aptitude for cooking; she just had a huge passion for cooking, and she was an enormous workaholic."

Karbo's title is literal --- the book is structured around ten of Julia's rules.
Read more ›
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Danna W. Schaeffer on October 13, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I am a huge fan of this series and have been looking enormously forward to the Julia Child one. What I like is the supercollider energy of Karbo's authorial beam colliding with her material: the result here is neither pure Child nor pure Karbo but a whole new thing, at once entertainment, revelation, and instruction. We learn a lot about Julia Child and her discipline and brains and guts and humor and we learn a lot about Karbo, too. (Go to one of her readings with her hilarious powerpoint to learn even more.) My favorite Julia Rule of the hour is Live with Abandon. On second thought, it's Obey Your Whims. For her this meant being up for anything, like getting herself into the OSS and being sent to India and China, or later moving with Paul to Europe. For me it means... well, never mind, this isn't about me, though I would like to think Julia would approve. She would certainly approve of this book. In fact, she'd love it. It's a delicious read.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Joyan Sanios on January 18, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It is an easy read and humorous, but the book is more about the author than Julia Child. And half of the many footnotes could have been explained in the body of the book.
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