Monday, July 27, 2009

Books: Julie & Julia

In preparation for the movie, which will be in theaters August 7th, I paused my summer reading pile (a very tall pile that I will never get through) to read Julie & Julia. My friend had told me that it was a quick and easy book. And since I think that Amy Adams is great, I felt it would be a good idea to read the story before I was glamoured by her cheeriness and Meryl Streep’s awesomeness.

The read did not go quickly for me. I did not dislike it, but I did not like it. Wednesday night, with ten pages left, when Jack got home from class, I watched some South Park, and went to bed. Usually, with ten pages to go, I finish no matter what time it is. It’s like running a race and walking the across the finish line.

But Julie Powell did not pull me into her world enough to make me think that her success hinged on my consciousness. The next morning, a coworker was waiting in line at my breakfast place clutching the same book. I asked what she thought and she put it perfectly “I don’t dislike it, but she is in no way endearing.” That’s exactly it! Even though Julie is completely honest about her failures as well as her successes in the kitchen, and she is free with her work trials and tribulations, I did not feel as connected to her as one does with so many honest, un-pulled together heroines. A culinary Bridget Jones, she was not.

Completely enjoyable were her “bleaders.” Blog-readers who encouraged her forward, supported her when she need help with aspics and creeped her out (quite rightly) when they cared a little too much, or knew a bit more about her life and exact address then ideal. They were the gremlins under the bridge, all with their own spice to add. And at a time when Blogs were not what they are today, it’s great to read about her having a following (a somewhat instant following!)

I am out of time and with many books to read, I am mostly glad that I read Julie & Julia in preparation for the movie. Since there is not a ton in the book about Julia Child, and the movie will have much more, I sort of wish I’d gotten a bigger start on it and had read “My Life in France” either instead of Julie & Julia, or as well.

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