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.