Customer Reviews for

Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen: How One Girl Risked Her Marriage, Her Job, & Her Sanity to Master the Art of Living

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

9 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

Laugh out loud funny

This book was so much fun, I only wish I had been aware when the project was underway, it would have been fun to blog along and encourage Julie in her endeavor. I actually laughed out loud multiple times while reading. For me that is always a great sign. I truly enjoyed...
This book was so much fun, I only wish I had been aware when the project was underway, it would have been fun to blog along and encourage Julie in her endeavor. I actually laughed out loud multiple times while reading. For me that is always a great sign. I truly enjoyed it and am now stimulated to read an actual biography of Julia Child!!

posted by Marie314 on April 6, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

18 out of 19 people found this review helpful.

Great Premise turned bad.

I was excited to read this book. What an amazing thing to take on in one year. Cooking some of the hardest receipes out there by the great Julia Child. I was excited to hear about how she figured it out all from a cookbook and no help.

Instead - this was a self-...
I was excited to read this book. What an amazing thing to take on in one year. Cooking some of the hardest receipes out there by the great Julia Child. I was excited to hear about how she figured it out all from a cookbook and no help.

Instead - this was a self-indulgent look into a womans life that as I read further, I realized I didn't like. Don't get me wrong - I don't care about the bad language. I'm not giving this a bad rating over that.

I found the writing to be disjointed, the story did not flow and I didn't laugh. There were three major problems I had with the book.

1. The gross factor - I'm not talking about cooking livers or kidneys or brains. I'm refering to the filth she lived in and cooked in. When your kitchen is so disgusting that your sinks are backing up, your house is full of flies and you have a mass of maggots in your dish tray - the last thing you should be doing is cooking.

2. The political bashing. While I appreciate everyone is entitled to their opinion, I don't think it belongs in a 'non-political' book. If I want to hear the bashing - I'll turn on the news or read a political book. In a book about cooking and life - there is no reason to continually go off on your political ramblings. The criticism and the stereotyping of one group was just not needed in the book. Each time this happened, I considered throwing the book out.

3. Julie as a person. At the end of the day - I thought I might grow to like her. She was self-centered, lazy, dirty and contributed nothing. At the end of the book - she seemed even more self-centered, I didn't get a big message out of all of this so either she can't write or she didn't either and her contribution was a blog and a poorly written book. Even Julia Child didn't like her. If I were Julia Child - I wouldn't want this woman anywhere near anything I had done. Much less attach her name to mine.

Such a shame as this could have been so much better.

This book reminded me a lot of Eat, Pray, Love. Another book about a self-absorbed woman that was almost impossible to finish.

posted by ajt4 on November 4, 2009

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  • Posted November 4, 2009

    Great Premise turned bad.

    I was excited to read this book. What an amazing thing to take on in one year. Cooking some of the hardest receipes out there by the great Julia Child. I was excited to hear about how she figured it out all from a cookbook and no help.

    Instead - this was a self-indulgent look into a womans life that as I read further, I realized I didn't like. Don't get me wrong - I don't care about the bad language. I'm not giving this a bad rating over that.

    I found the writing to be disjointed, the story did not flow and I didn't laugh. There were three major problems I had with the book.

    1. The gross factor - I'm not talking about cooking livers or kidneys or brains. I'm refering to the filth she lived in and cooked in. When your kitchen is so disgusting that your sinks are backing up, your house is full of flies and you have a mass of maggots in your dish tray - the last thing you should be doing is cooking.

    2. The political bashing. While I appreciate everyone is entitled to their opinion, I don't think it belongs in a 'non-political' book. If I want to hear the bashing - I'll turn on the news or read a political book. In a book about cooking and life - there is no reason to continually go off on your political ramblings. The criticism and the stereotyping of one group was just not needed in the book. Each time this happened, I considered throwing the book out.

    3. Julie as a person. At the end of the day - I thought I might grow to like her. She was self-centered, lazy, dirty and contributed nothing. At the end of the book - she seemed even more self-centered, I didn't get a big message out of all of this so either she can't write or she didn't either and her contribution was a blog and a poorly written book. Even Julia Child didn't like her. If I were Julia Child - I wouldn't want this woman anywhere near anything I had done. Much less attach her name to mine.

    Such a shame as this could have been so much better.

    This book reminded me a lot of Eat, Pray, Love. Another book about a self-absorbed woman that was almost impossible to finish.

    18 out of 19 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2007

    A reviewer

    From my perspective, Julie Powell's life wasn't worth the reading time it took out of my life. I found the book title and premise misleading, since the work shared few cooking experiences and any relationship to Julia Child was tangential, at best. While the author did use Child's recipes, she also had what I consider the audacity to 'make up' other material regarding the lives of Julia and Paul Child, which, even if 'inspired' by original material and acknowledged in the author's note, seems an obvious ploy at aligning her life with theirs. Anyone interested in the interesting and impressive life of the remarkable woman who was Julia Child would be better served by reading her own work,written with her grandnephew, Alex Prud'homme, 'My Life in France'. Quite frankly, Powell could have been using any cookbook for her excuse to write a blog, and then later a book, except it is clear that by associating her self with Child she seeks a status that is undeserved. I rarely stop reading a book, but in this case I made an exception.

    17 out of 22 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 7, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I read to page 68, then returned for a refund

    Julie opens the book with the acknowledgment that the Julia Child stories are fiction, then goes on to throw in a good dose of profanity, sex, masturbation, snide remarks about Republicans, condescension towards the elderly as well as the families of victims of 911--oh, and a little about cooking. If I met this woman in person, I wouldn't like her! I'm voting with my pocketbook and returning the book for a refund. Do yourself a favor, and don't buy it in the first place. This snarky style of witticism isn't for me.

    14 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 5, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Vulgar little book with a misleading title

    I was put off initially by the realization that the stories included about Julia and Paul Child were "made up." There is something slightly offensive about using Julia Child's life as the basis for a book when it isn't even really her life. I wanted to read a fun book about cooking, and this isn't that. This really is a book about a year in Julie Powell's life, with a lot of swearing and stories about sex thrown in. One good thing that I took away from this is the desire to read MtAoFC.

    11 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2007

    Horrible writing and foul language

    The author has a very poor writing style. 'A. Lot. Of. Sentences. Read. Like. This.' which is incredibly annoying. It was difficult reading due to poor writing style, foul language, and a very sluggish story line. Although the author does cook everything in Julia Child's first cookbook within one year, it still seemed that there was no plot. We hear nothing of her fun in obtaining the ingredients which I would have loved to read about since she is in NYC and has access to ethnic neighborhoods and shops. Also, as a side note, the author works for an agency that deals with 9/11. Her thoughts about her job and the 9/11 victims are appalling.

    11 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 6, 2009

    Laugh out loud funny

    This book was so much fun, I only wish I had been aware when the project was underway, it would have been fun to blog along and encourage Julie in her endeavor. I actually laughed out loud multiple times while reading. For me that is always a great sign. I truly enjoyed it and am now stimulated to read an actual biography of Julia Child!!

    9 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2009

    This book is not worth the time

    This was meant to be a book club book but most of the club members never got passed the second chapter. It was a sensless book. I finished it to the end but would advise readers to not bother with this book. It is by far not a page turner. It is rather appalling reading about the conditions in which the author cooked her recipes. Everything about the book and every character in the book appears to be dysfunctional. Definitely a waste of time.

    7 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 24, 2007

    A reviewer

    I found this book to be incredibly funny and was not disappointed at all. It is not what I expected it to be from the blurb on the cover, but it was a highly enjoyable read. Don't expect highbrow cooking adventures, rather it is what you would expect if you tried to go through every recipe in Mastering the Art of French Cooking without being a chef. Julie does not apologize for her language or lack of skill, but it makes the book much more accessible. All in all a fun read.

    7 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 3, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Not Worth the time or money...

    My review would just be a duplicate of a few others. This book was a huge disappointment.
    I loved Julia Child's book My Life in France and also "The Sharper your Knife the Less you cry".

    6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 17, 2009

    See The Movie

    What a disappointing book. The only reason that I read it through was because I paid full price for it.

    Such a foul mouth!

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2009

    Ruined by one thing

    This was a charming, witty book with one exception - the liberal use (and I do mean FREQUENT) of really, really bad language for absolutely no reason really was a distraction, and made me extremely hesitant to recommend it to friends.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 4, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Amazingly Awesome and Hilarious!

    Oh. My. God. This was easily one of THE best books I have ever read! Who knew that hidden among the writings on food books was a gem of this caliber and magnificence.<BR/><BR/>Julie Powell was like many failed actresses who had moved to New York before her¿stuck in a dead end job. She was unhappy in her secretarial work for some government agency as are many people who labor at such menial occupations. <BR/><BR/>On the cusp of her 30th birthday, Julie recognized the trivial existence she had been inhabiting and determined that she needed some purpose in life. She was beckoned to what would be become her Bible for the next year¿Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child. Julie resolved to cook her way through this intimidating collection of recipes within one year. Not only did she take on this daunting task, she decided to blog about her experience, which resulted in a group of followers, several interviews, and an eventual book deal.<BR/><BR/>What follows the introduction into the premise is 300 astonishing pages of anger, pain, laughter, frustration, adoration, and¿butter. Julie deliciously (and sometimes disgustingly) describes, in detail, her journey into the foray of French cooking. We are thrilled with her when she accomplishes tasks such as bone marrow scraping and crepe flipping. We are aggravated alongside her through the poaching of eggs and the ever elusive task of mayonnaise making. We are enraptured with tart-a-palooza and squirm our way through aspics. We are even with her when she attempts culinary seduction by way of pecan spice cake with pecan icing. <BR/><BR/>Not only is there are relationship built with Julie but through her, and the apartments in her brain pan, we come to know Julia Child as a culinary genius and one Hell of a woman. I was even saddened when in the final pages of the book I learned that Julia Child died on the eve of her 92nd birthday.<BR/><BR/>This book is not strictly about food, though that is the central theme, but is also about people. We get to know Sally and are somewhat creeped out by the David¿s, we worry over Isabel¿s life altering choices, and enjoy Gwen¿s sexy IM romance. We are thankful for husband¿s as supportive and composed as Eric and wish Julie¿s mother would just calm down. What is there to say about Heathcliff other than¿that¿s Heathcliff. <BR/><BR/>What can I say to express the sheer pleasure and delight that filled me with each turn of the page? I laughed, I cried, and I toiled. This book is inspirational to say the least. I was ravenous through the majority of its duration and my cravings would change as we grew deeper into the cookbook, beginning with potato soup and ending with a stuffed, pastry-wrapped duck. I found myself overflowing with the hunger to cook. I kept walking to my kitchen bookshelf to find and flip through my copy of Julia Child¿s The Way to Cook. Not only have I found myself wanting to create culinary masterpieces, I also was inspired to write. Julie Powell¿s voice is blunt, brutal, and honest. She has no qualms about using the word f*** whenever she sees fit, and sometimes even if it doesn¿t fit. She does not sugar coat her life to make it seem more desirable. She offers the reader nothing other than her self and her life. Take her as she as or do not take her at all¿and balls to you if you don¿t like her! <BR/><BR/>All in all, this was quite a delectable read. I recommend it to anyone who wants a good laugh and or if you simply want an uplifting, yet down and dirty read. Bon Appetite!!!

    5 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 23, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I found Julie to be obnoxious, spoiled brat, arrogant and am completely in agreement with Julia Child's assessment. It should be read to get a good feel of one person's ego

    Read it if you want a different perception of that given by the movie. I saw the movie first and then really looked forward to reading the book for a better overview. I'm glad I did because it definately answered my questions about Julia Child's response to the book. I'm surprised Julie still has a husband and friends....her attitude needs a real adjustment

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 17, 2009

    Definitely Lacks Taste

    I am an avid reader. I have read numerous books ranging from biographies, to vampire books, and then there's this book which quite frankly in my opinion makes Ron Jeremy look like a child's cartoon character. The ridiculous overuse of profanity in this book caused me to put the book down for good after only reading 1/3 of it. In my opinion, Julie Powell would have done better writing a satanic pornography book rather than a book about her journey with Julia Child's Mastering The Art Of French Cooking. I was greatly disappointed and I have to admit that just reading this 1/3 of the book, I'm not going to rush to the nearest theater to see the movie. I will wait and rent it and hope for the best. I also did not like the fact that Julie made derogatory comments about the mourners of those lost in the 9/11 attacks. It's one thing to not agree with your government, but by making a mockery of it, that is simply unpatriotic.

    4 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 22, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Disappointing

    I've never heard so much complaining in one book before. I was expecting a lot more with the movie coming out and all the hype with it. Not a book I would recommend to anyone.

    4 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2007

    Most fun I've had reading a book in ages

    I think the other readers suffered from the delusion that this was a cookbook. This was a memoir of the author's experience, and is really a story of her working through her turning-30-and-stuck-in-a-boring-job angst. I LOVED IT. I especially loved her writing style, which was hilarious. If the occasional f-bomb is going to upset you, you probably shouldn't read the book, but you'll be missing a fascinating glimpse into the author's life.

    4 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 22, 2009

    so much hype for this book..

    i don't get it.
    i mean it wasn't HORRIBLE or anything. but julie did kind of get very whiny and childish and that was hard to deal with. she didn't really bother to try to portray herself as a nice person, or a stable person lmao..she was kind of like all over the place and got real nutty at the drop of a hat. or a crepe. it was one of those books you read so you can say you read it but other than that.. i wouldn't read it again.
    her poor husband :x

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 10, 2009

    What a disappointment!

    I'm usually a person who loves the books more than the movie but this was an exception. The writing was a disappointment and the cursing was so over the top that it turned me off. The movie left me with a good feeling. The book left me with disgust. What good has Julie really achieved? It was a waste of my time and a waste of my money. See the movie instead.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Leave out the swearing please!!!

    This book would have been ten times better (and half as long) if she had stuck to her cooking experiences. I could completely do without her foul mouth and her completely unrelated rantings about politics and sex. This book had great potential, but doesn't deliver. I fervently hope the movie version takes out the garbage and only keeps the good stuff. The idea of the movie sounds great, but Julie Powell is so awful that I hate to think some of my money would be going to her if I went to the movie.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 2, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Did not like.

    The bad language turned me off and I threw it away. It might have been an interesting book without the bad language. I'll never know, because I refuse to read any book with that much foul language. I found it offensive!

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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