Book Reviews

Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen by Julie Powell | Book Review

Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen by Julie Powell | Book Review Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen by Julie Powell
Genres: Food, Memoir, Non-Fiction
Original Publication Date: 2005
Source: I purchased this book
Find the Author: Twitter, Goodreads, Amazon

Nearing 30 and trapped in a dead-end secretarial job, Julie Powell reclaims her life by cooking every single recipe in Julia Child’s legendary Mastering the Art of French Cooking in the span of one year. It’s a hysterical, inconceivable redemptive journey — life rediscovered through aspics, calves’ brains, and créme brûlée.

The somewhat controversial Julie and Julia tells the now-famous story of Julie Powell.

Powell was working as a secretary in New York and living in Queens. She was miserable in her job but didn’t have goals.

On a visit to her parents, she stole borrowed her mother’s copy of the Julia Child classic Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

Powell Decides To Cook Her Way Through Julia Child’s Cookbook

After making one of the dishes in the book, Julie decided to make one recipe a day for one year.

The book details how she managed to finish every recipe within the time allotted. Some turned out very well, and some were disasters.

Powell Blogs About Her Progress

Her husband suggested that she start a blog.

She had no idea what a “blog” was. Soon the “Julie/Julia Project” was born.

She immediately became an internet star with her blog. This was in 2002 when there weren’t many blogs.

Part of her popularity was due to her unusual approach to cooking. Her blog was full of feisty, foul-mouthed observations.

Final Analysis

The book is very interesting, although sometimes her bluntness is quite brutal. She’s not afraid to be heavily self-critical, either.

She was so obsessed with the project — because with the popular blog she was afraid not to finish by her self-imposed deadline — that other things suffered. For instance, her kitchen was so dirty that maggots invaded the kitchen.

Apparently, Julia Child did NOT approve of the project, but it brought Julie Powell a book and movie deal. Here is Powell apparently attempting an audition for The Food Network:

If you are interested in Julia Child and/or cooking, I would recommend that you read it.

Julie Powell is a rather controversial figure. That’s because some people think that she became famous for another person’s talent.  Your tolerance for the book is based on personal tastes.

The book was eventually combined with Julia Child’s memoir My Life in France to form the film Julie and Julia, starring Meryl Streep and Amy Adams.

UPDATE 2021: There’s an update on Julie Powell!

Where is Julie Powell Now?

Similar Books

To read more about Julia Child, I have also reviewed My Life in France by Julia Child and Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child.

You may also want to read The Lost Ravioli Recipes of Hoboken: A Search for Food and Family by Laura Schenone | Book Review.

Thank you for reading The Literary Lioness!

About Julie Powell

Julie Powell became famous in 2002 when she embarked on an ambitious yearlong cooking (and blogging) expedition through all 524 recipes in Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking. She died in 2022.

I love books, writing, film, and television.

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