First, a disclaimer about the books I choose to read. Quite often, they're not what's topping the current bestseller's list, but what's sitting prominently on the shelf at my local Salvation Army. This means I am generally a year behind the times in terms of watercooler talk. Whatever, dude... I'm saving $11 per book. It also means, in the case of Julie & Julia, that I've broken the cardinal rule of good little readers everywhere and watched the movie before reading the book.
I presume most people know the plot of this book/movie at this point (I am over a year behind the times, after all). A disgruntled secretary starts a blog as she attempts to cook every recipe in Julia Child's "Mastering the Art of French Cooking". She consequently gets a book and movie deal, inspiring people to sign up for blogger and wordpress accounts in droves.
I've always liked memoirs, especially when there's something in there that I can relate to. There were a lot of similarities between the author and myself, which made it really fun to read. She's a Texan (like me!) who works in Manhattan (me), and lives in Long Island City (you guessed it). I love food, and so I loved reading about her creations in the kitchen and the lengths she took to get the job done. However, and I felt this way during the movie too, I found that I didn't particularly like the author herself. She's a bit abrasive and frenetic, and for much of the book it felt like her motive to get media attention outweighed the simple joy of preparing a meal. I found it hard to root for her.
Still, I gotta give Julie Powell props; I have no idea how she found the energy or motivation to extract bone marrow and make aspics after a long day at work. Then again, as a new blogger, I can identify with how having even a few people tracking your progress can make every step worthwhile. I mean, look at me. Just yesterday I had a record-breaking six comments on my post. It totally made my day. I am so buoyed, I might even debone a duck when I get off at 5:30 tonight. I also may just order a pizza.