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Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company (September 28, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 031610969X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316109697
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 2.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (672 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #720,715 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Julie & Julia is the story of Julie Powell's attempt to revitalize her marriage, restore her ambition, and save her soul by cooking all 524 recipes in Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume I, in a period of 365 days. The result is a masterful medley of Bridget Jones' Diary meets Like Water for Chocolate, mixed with a healthy dose of original wit, warmth, and inspiration that sets this memoir apart from most tales of personal redemption.

When we first meet Julie, she's a frustrated temp-to-perm secretary who slaves away at a thankless job, only to return to an equally demoralizing apartment in the outer boroughs of Manhattan each evening. At the urging of Eric, her devoted and slightly geeky husband, she decides to start a blog that will chronicle what she dubs the "Julie/Julia Project." What follows is a year of butter-drenched meals that will both necessitate the wearing of an unbearably uncomfortable girdle on the hottest night of the year, as well as the realization that life is what you make of it and joy is not as impossible a quest as it may seem, even when it's -10 degrees out and your pipes are frozen.

Powell is a natural when it comes to connecting with her readers, which is probably why her blog generated so much buzz, both from readers and media alike. And while her self-deprecating sense of humor can sometimes dissolve into whininess, she never really loses her edge, or her sense of purpose. Even on day 365, she's working her way through Mayonnaise Collee and ending the evening "back exactly where we started--just Eric and me, three cats and Buffy...sitting on a couch in the outer boroughs, eating, with Julia chortling alongside us...."

Inspired and encouraging, Julie and Julia is a unique opportunity to join one woman's attempt to change her life, and have a laugh, or ten, along the way. --Gisele Toueg

From Publishers Weekly

Powell became an Internet celebrity with her 2004 blog chronicling her yearlong odyssey of cooking every recipe in Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking. A frustrated secretary in New York City, Powell embarked on "the Julie/Julia project" to find a sense of direction, and both the cooking and the writing quickly became all-consuming. Some passages in the book are taken verbatim from the blog, but Powell expands on her experience and gives generous background about her personal life: her doting husband, wacky friends, evil co-workers. She also includes some comments from her "bleaders" (blog readers), who formed an enthusiastic support base. Powell never met Julia Child (who died last year), but the venerable chef's spirit is present throughout, and Powell imaginatively reconstructs episodes from Child's life in the 1940s. Her writing is feisty and unrestrained, especially as she details killing lobsters, tackling marrowbones and cooking late into the night. Occasionally the diarist instinct overwhelms the generally tight structure and Powell goes on unrelated tangents, but her voice is endearing enough that readers will quickly forgive such lapses. Both home cooks and devotees of Bridget Jones–style dishing will be caught up in Powell's funny, sharp-tongued but generous writing.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

More About the Author

Julie Powell thrust herself from obscurity (and an uninspiring temp job) to cyber-celebrityhood when, in 2002, she embarked on an ambitious yearlong cooking (and blogging) expedition through all 524 recipes in Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking. She detailed the experience in her critically acclaimed 2005 New York Times bestselling memoir, Julie & Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously, which was adapted into a major motion picture starring Meryl Streep and Amy Adams in August 2009. Julie has made appearances on national television shows from ABC's "Good Morning America" and CBS's "The Early Show" to "The Martha Stewart Show" and Food Network's "Iron Chef America," and her writing has appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers including Bon Appétit, Food and Wine, Harper's Bazaar, New York Times, Washington Post, and more. She is a two-time James Beard Award winner, has been awarded an honorary degree from Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, and was the first ever winner of the Overall Lulu Blooker Prize for Books.

Customer Reviews

2.7 out of 5 stars
5 star
150
4 star
111
3 star
64
2 star
112
1 star
235
See all 672 customer reviews
Julia Child is inspiring and authentic -- everything Julie Powell is not.
NMN
Well, unfortunately Julie Powell felt the need to "liven it up" with so much profanity I couldn't even get through this book.
Wendy Bird
I had to quit this book halfway through - I just couldn't take it and justify wasting my time trying to read it.
NURSEYNURSE

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

370 of 408 people found the following review helpful By J.W. & S.W. on August 14, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Don't buy the book based on your opinion of the movie. I took my niece to see the movie and we loved it - Meryl Streep was, naturally, beyond amazing, while Amy Adams was charming. Nora Ephron was wise to do what she did with this story, because the real Julie Powell is quite insufferable, hardly an ideal role model for waking up one's life.

As far as the foul language goes...a well-placed swear word can add realism and punch to a story, but overuse of profanity by an author is, in this writer's opinion, not only offensive and jarring, but worse, downright lazy. If you have to rely so heavily on swear words, then you're only proving that you are unable to express yourself in print with any degree of finesse.

A lot of reviewers who gave this book a bad rating used the word "whiny." It is not misplaced, I assure you. I love humorous life stories in which a protagonist tries to make sense of things by embarking on journey of self-discovery through a special project, but, rather than being full of fun foibles, poignant moments, and growing insight, this author shows a character who is narcissistic, snobbish and insufferable. I'm not a republican or a Bush fan, either, but I absolutely LOATHE people who exhibit such blatant disrespect for other people's views, opinions, and beliefs (reminds me of Helen Goode on "The Goode Family," who whines to her husband, that it IS good to respect others, just "not them!"). Apparently, if you disagree with Julie Powell, you're just stupid.

I didn't come out of this too badly myself: I enjoyed the movie, am relieved I didn't spend money on the book, and interested in learning more about Julia Child, who sounds like an amazing person as well as an exceptional cook. As far as this trite goes, however...
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198 of 221 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan Ellis on April 1, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The jacket gushes, "Julie Powell writes about cooking the way it always needed to be written about."

No, she doesn't. She writes about her friends' dysfunctional sex lives, about her own barely-controlled anger management issues, and about how much city life sucks for the less-than rich. But she writes very little about cooking.

She also has a rather limited vocabulary, substituting liberal amounts of profanity. This gets old quickly, too.

I threw this away unfinished; I didn't want to be responsible for anyone else wasting time on this book by giving it away. Fortunately it was cheap.
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119 of 135 people found the following review helpful By Emily on May 24, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Because this project has what I consider to be an irresistible premise and because a friend described the book as "funny," I was excited to read it. On the surface, I have a good deal in common with Julie Powell. We are close in age and background, similar in work history, and both enjoy good food, good drinks, cursing and leaving the cleaning to someone else.

After reading this book, if someone were to tell me I reminded them of Julie Powell, I would commit hari-kari. She is terribly unpleasant, self-absorbed and repellant. All of the characteristics with which I could identify are completely reduced to rubble in her hands. I find myself never wanting to hear or use the F-word ever again, and even I was repulsed by her disgusting apartment. I had to skip most of the passage involving maggots lest I lose my lunch. All the tales of sticky cat hair, brackish flooded fixtures and rotting floors didn't help either. I read most of the book with that look on my face people have when something nearby stinks.

I assume she was attempting humor and exaggerating many of her misadventures and personality flaws, but the end result is that I loathe her as a fellow human being and wish ill upon her. Her heartless exposure of her friends' and family's personal lives is inexcusable (and dull) and her husband appears to be a combination saint/fool for putting up with her. Powell hates the project, hates her job, dislikes her husband (she mentions her frequent desire to beat his head with sharp rocks. I mean really! Eric! Run for your life!), disdains her friends, scorns her mother, disrespects Julia Child and admires only her cats and her brother.
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183 of 211 people found the following review helpful By frumiousb VINE VOICE on March 31, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A friend of mine lent me Julie & Julia at a point when I needed something to cheer me up. I have to admit that few things make me more suspicious than a book that derived from a blog. I also have a pretty low tolerance for chick lit in general, and this smelled like chick lit to me.

But anyhow. Despite going into the book with poor expectations, I was pleasantly surprised. I found it well-written and it felt honest. It had several laugh-out-loud moments. Best of all, I found myself genuinely liking the narrator/author. It was good fun. And that was exactly what I wanted it to be.

Although you can get some foodie kicks from Julie & Julia, it is not really about food. Do not read the book if you are looking for technical details, deep reflection about Julia Childs and French cooking, or kitchen tips and tricks. It is not that kind of book. Think light read with cooking as a kind of character quest.

One quarrel-- in her author's note Powell declares that "sometimes she just makes stuff up". That made me less comfortable with the book, honestly. As a memoir it has a lot of charm. As a novel, it has much less interest. I am not sure why that should be the case, but it took a little bit of the shine off for me to see that note at the beginning.

Anyhow. If, like me, you are looking for some cheering up then this could be a book for you. Bonus points if you find yourself an urbanite with a foodie-wannabee cooking habit, because then the funny parts are going to be even funnier. I had to wince when remembering some of my own attempts at homemade mayonnaise. Recommended.
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