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Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously Paperback – September 7, 2006


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Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously + Julie & Julia + Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume I: 50th Anniversary
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Back Bay Books; Reprint edition (September 7, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316013269
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316013260
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (679 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,617,394 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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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

This book, and Julie Powell, however, are a waste of time.
Mama of Three
After reading half of the book I finally put it down last night and won't be picking it up again.
Mama Bee
I've read better bloggers than her ... So is this book disappointing?
Busy Mom

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

396 of 437 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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212 of 238 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer 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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253 of 295 people found the following review helpful By Lindsay Johnson on June 23, 2009
Format: Paperback
Many a blog turned book falls into the "nothing new" trap; what we get on paper is just a reproduction of what we got on the screen. In her attempt to escape this pitfall, Julie Powell goes to the opposite extreme and tries to do way too much. The premise lured me in: approaching 30 and flitting from one temp job to the next, Powell attempts to do the improbable, tackle all of the 524 recipes found in the first volume of Julia Child's "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" in one calendar year. What could have been an interesting story of using a culinary challenge to provide structure and direction to an otherwise chaotic New York lifestyle turns into a book with an identity crisis. Part memoir about family and friends and life in New York, part story of getting closer to Julia Child through her iconic cookbook, part recounting the blogging experience near the time of its inception, part fictional re-imagining of the relationship between Paul and Julia Child - the book felt like a shouting match between styles and genres each fighting fiercely for attention.

Was the book diverting? Yes, and sometimes it was hilarious. However, there are a number of books out there that successfully do what Powell is attempting here. If you have your heart set on reading this book, go for it. However, I would also like to offer the following recommendations depending on what drove you to look at this book up in the first place:

If you are interested in Julia Child and how she (and others) have influenced American cuisine, I suggest The United States of Arugula: The Sun Dried, Cold Pressed, Dark Roasted, Extra Virgin Story of the American Food Revolution.
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126 of 145 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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