Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Read This Book!

I know, I know, you're already reading 25 other books. I don't care. Add this one to your stack. Don't be put off by the chick lit-looking cover. I don't know why her publisher did that to her. This is definitely not chick lit.

Bookstore Meaghan recenty recommended it in our e-newsletter and wrote

Julie Powell needs something to break the monotony of her life. So, she invents a deranged assignment: She will take her mother's dog-eared copy of Julia Child's 1961 classic, "Mastering the Art of French Cooking," and cook all 524 recipes in the span of just one year. Begun as a blog documenting her daily cooking adventures, its popularity grew to such large proportions that it had to be made into a book. Her reward for all her work: not just a newfound respect for calves livers and aspic, but a new life -- lived with gusto.
When I emailed Meaghan to point out that she'd forgotten "to mention that Julie & Julia f-ing ROCKS!" she responed that "We are a FAMILY newsletter. However, if I was reviewing it on, say, your blog, it would be something like, 'The best fucking book on cooking and life this fucking year, bitches. Now eat up, motherfuckers!'" which I guess is a nice way of saying that I have a slight tendency to overuse the f-word. Or perhaps that I've been jumped in to some strange book-reviewing gang.

No matter. Read the book. What you can tell from the cover and the jacket copy -- that "new life lived with gusto" bit -- is that this is a touching story about a woman who finds meaning in the simple act of cooking. What you can't tell is that this is actually a deep book whose beauty lies in its exploration of the universal quest to find meaning in life. You also can't tell that Julie Powell is witty as hell or that by the time you get to chapter six you'll wish she'd invite you over for a gimlet or five. Nor can you tell that her heartwarming homage to Julia Child and joie de vivre is both hip and hilarious.

And best of all? Julie Powell fucking loves the f-word.


Brian said...

You're not the boss of me.

lulu said...

I fucking loved this book. I bought it for my best friend for Christmas, partially so that I could read it.

I wish I were Julie Powell and had thought of doing this first.

Megan said...

Well damn, Lulu. If you would update your "Books I've Read in 2006" list once in a while I might have known. I was totally figuring on you for a new Julie Powell fan.

Melissa said...

I have heard about this book, but had totally forgotten it existed. It will be next on my list. Thanks!

vikkitikkitavi said...

I loooooooove me some Julia Child, but I never bought any of her cookbooks because I'm a (lacto ovo) vegetarian - and she HATES vegetarians. Similarly, I never bought this book even though the interviews I heard with the author always sounded intriguing. Can a vegetarian appreciate this book as well, or is it all foie gras and veal stock?

P.S. I did go through a phase where I think I read every single book by MFK Fisher.

Meaghan said...


lulu said...

Um, it's like the 5th book on the list. I read it over Winter Break.

Megan said...

Melissa: Yes! Check it out!

Vikki: I, too, am a lacto-ovo vegetarian (that means we eat dairy and eggs, right? I even eat cute little seafoods.) and although she talks shit about vegetarians throughout the book, it is still a book gals like us can totally enjoy. I did have to skip the few pages on brains though, and there was a chapter on lobster that made me a bit queasy.

Lulu: Um, my bad.

Maritza said...

I read that too! I did like it but I hate to say, I didn't love it. I thought sometimes she got a little whiney and her dirty house (the maggots!) really bothered me. I like her wit and she's someone who I'd like to hang with in real life but some of her chapters where a little to "oh woe is me" for my taste.