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Julia Child never claimed to be an early starter. "Until I discovered cooking," she once admitted, "I was never really interested in anything." And remember, she didn't start cooking until she was 32. But, late starter or not, the beloved author of Mastering the Art of French Cooking fully earned her place in Karen Karbo's book gallery of women worthy of emulation. (Her previous roster included Audrey Hepburn, Coco Chanel, and Georgia O'Keefe.) Oversized, awkward, and loud, Child nevertheless wins our allegiance with her modesty and hard-won wisdom. A sweet gift for any season; editor's recommendation.