*Julie and Julia by Julie Powell*
From time to time, I get so excited about reading a book that I rush out to buy it thrilled at the prospect of coming home to dedicate myself night and day to its pages. Last weekend I felt the familiar pang when looking to get some Julia Child DVDs and the book Julie and Julia kept popping up. It is a story based off a depressed temp who decided one year that the best way to get her life put together was to throw herself headlong into a year of passionate cooking. She determined to do all of the roughly 560 recipes from Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking with brains, liver and all. What is not to like? Stories of a woman in Queens learning to butcher meat, extract bone marrow and all sorts of delightful ingredients! So, I made up my bed with the most lovely sheets, turned on my beautiful crystal reading lamp, and burrowed in. It was exactly what I did NOT want it to be. The prose was clumsy, course and reminded me of a teenager who was overly excited about swearing without getting in trouble. There was far too much discussion of her politics and conversations of how Republicans (her former employers) were the scum of the earth. Occasionally she focused on the experiences of actually bumbling through recipes, but often those were glossed over for trite observations and lewd dialog. Towards the end of the book, she actually talks about a interview she held with a reporter from The Times and Julia Child herself discussing the author's Julie/Julia project. She wept as she talks of how in the interview, it became apparent that Julia Child hated her. Julie sobbed and has a chapter of her grief at discovering that her idol considered her a twit. I knew I was in good company! I think she is a total twit too! So, it almost killed me, but I went ahead and finished the book last night so that I could get a new book today and move beyond her terrible, terrible book. So, if the book is given to you as a gift, you don't mind reading a thinly veiled poser's self indulgent journal, enjoy! I just have one thing to say. . . NOT IT!