First things first–the title of this book is really long, so for the fist time I’ve cheated a bit and did not include the full book title in the blog post title. But just so I feel better, here is the full title in all its insanely long glory…Julie and Julia: 365 days, 524 recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen: How One Girl Risked Her Marriage, Her Job, and Her Sanity to Master the Art of Living. I know there is now a movie based on this book, but honestly I have not seen it yet (that’s not for lack of interest, just a lack of opportunity and cheap movies in Boston). After reading this book,  my desire to see the movie is back. For those of you who have seen the movie, was it any good? And for those who have read the book and seen the movie, how does it do on following the storyline?

Julie & Julia

This book was one of my favorite finds in the carload (yes, a legitimate carload, as in the trunk and back seat were full) of books the boy and I adopted from his family (thank you thank you thank you!). Well, this book and a cookbook aptly titled Everything Tastes Better With Bacon. As you all know by now, I love food and all the wonderful cookbooks and foodie books that go with that obsession. How five years managed to pass without my reading this book I am not sure, but I am overjoyed to have finally finished it. The first day I started to read, I actually got through 160 pages and considered staying up the rest of the night to finish the last 147 pages, but logic and the need for sleep stopped me.

This book is about the year Julie Powell, unhappy secretary in a government agency in NYC, turned 30 and decided to cook her way through Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume One.  She hates her job, cannot get pregnant, and lives in a horrible apartment, so of course the logical decision is to spend a year learning to cook and blogging about it (come to think of it, I don’t think I would mind doing this).  Despite opposition from her mother and several friends, Julie is convinced that at the end of the year she will have realized the meaning of life.

Given how crazy the Julie/Julia Project is, you can imagine what kind of character she is: foul-mouthed, short-tempered, stubborn, and often hysterical. Her brutal honesty about life and cooking was so refreshing, I wish I was friends with her! I also wish I was brave enough to learn French cooking. Word of warning: Julie is a democrat, and she curses constantly, so read this book with a very open mind if either one will offend you.

Overall, this was a great book. Not the most wonderfully written bit of prose ever, but it had everything on my “what makes a book readable” checklist: funny and realistic characters I love, cats, food, sarcasm, a great setting, and a fast-paced story line, among others. For a lazy weekend like mine, this book was perfect. For my next lazy weekend, I am on a mission to find the movie and a recipe for crepes.

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