Author: Julie Powell
First Published: 2005
No. of Pages: 307
Synopsis (from B&N): "With the humor of Bridget Jones and the vitality of Augusten Burroughs, Julie Powell recounts how she conquered every recipe in Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking and saved her soul.
Julie Powell is 30 years old, living in a tiny apartment in Queens and working at a soul-sucking secretarial job that's going nowhere. She needs something to break the monotony of her life, and she invents a deranged assignment. She will take her mother's worn, dog-eared copy of Julia Child's 1961 classic Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and she will cook all 524 recipes -- in the span of one year.
At first she thinks it will be easy. But as she moves from the simple Potage Parmentier (potato soup) into the more complicated realm of aspics and crepes, she realizes there's more to Mastering the Art of French Cooking than meets the eye.
And somewhere along the line she realizes she has turned her outer-borough kitchen into a miracle of creation and cuisine. She has eclipsed her life's ordinariness through spectacular humor, hysteria, and perseverance."
Fiction or Nonfiction: Nonfiction
Comments and Critique: This one started off a bit rough for me, but once I got into, I loved it. The author is one of those writers who really lets her personality come through in her writing, and she's not afraid to let herself look silly. I would love to have her for a friend, although I'm not sure I could take her all the time -- I'm a quiet type most of the time and dramatic people wear me out. There were many parts of the book that had me laughing hysterically (to the point where my husband came out of his office to check on me). And the descriptions of the food made me want to run out, get a copy of Julia Child's cookbook, and throw on an apron, which is really saying something as I'm inclined to order take-out on any pretense. I would definitely read this author again and highly recommend this book.
Challenges: 999 (Dewey Decimal); Dewey Decimal (600 Technology)