Julie Powell. Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously. Little, Brown and Company, 2009. ISBN 978-0316042512 400 pp. $12.99
Julie and Julia is a little like a meta book; the book deal was landed because of Powell’s blog, documenting her self-imposed challenge to cook her way through Mastering the Art of French Cooking, vol 1. and document it. I had thought the book would just be repackaged blog entries, but it wasn’t–I almost wish they had been juxtaposed, along with actual recipes, but I supposed the rights would have been hard to get. Instead, Powell fills in more the details about the process, talks more in depth about her friends and family, and finds parallels between her life, and Julia Child’s. It’s far from a biography, but the speculative bits are based in some degree of research and add a nice dimension to the text.
The writing is a bit uneven but I like Julie Powell’s voice a lot, she’s pretty charming. The food descriptions are seductive. And, I like that she’s often pretty raw and honest – about her marriage, her shortcomings, her language. By the time I finished this book, I wanted to read Powell’s new book, Cleaving, and make eggs en cocette. Which turned out shitty, but ah well. I just had another (vodka) gimlet and ate the potatoes, which came out great.