First off, I must say that I normally only read books meant for kids. Books with pictures. Books about sharing and being nice to the kid with glasses or being unique or being loved. Books like Loser by Jerry Spinelli. If I read a chapter book it is usually meant for a kid under the age of 15. When I read grown up books, I normally like science fiction, fantasy, mystery, or other such books that generally cry out "nerd!".
But my sister-in-law didn't know this so when she lent me a grown up book I took it and decided to actually try it. And it turns out I liked it!
I read Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously by Julie Powell. It wasn't a "can't put it down" book but it was, nonetheless, enjoyable.
Short story for the skimmers: I would definitely recommend it.
I would recommend this book to the following people:
-Anyone who likes to cook. This would seem like a given, but Julie describes cooking and food in the way that only someone who has experienced both triumphs and disasters in a kitchen could describe. I must admit to skimming through some of her descriptions of the french food but let's face it, I had no idea what it said. I did like that she kept it real though. Sometimes you try something crazy in the kitchen and end up ordering pizza and trying not to think about how much money you wasted on the ingredients for your failed meal.
-Anyone who has ever found themselves in a rut and needed to prove to themselves they could do something. Julie's story is more about making a big change in her life than it is cooking. Two years ago I quit my office job so I could spend lots of money on grad school, and while it wasn't because I turned 30, I did need a big change.
-Anyone who is married or in a life partnership. Julie's view of marriage is so UN-hollywood that I found myself cheering for her all along the way. She refers to Eric (her husband) as her partner and acknowledges his role in her life as a friend. Eric's pretty cool. He's no Mr. Awesome, but I admired Julie's view of marriage and how she and Eric made such a stressful year work. After all, isn't that how every year of teaching is?
-Anyone who just started a blog. Julie started blogging in 2003/2004 so reading her book is sort of like looking back in history. Blogging was so different then (she had dial up. DIAL UP! Can you even imagine?) and she blogged before the rest of us thought it was cool. Or maybe you all did and I am really the last soul on Earth to create my own blog. But either way it was neat to read a book about a blogger right when I am just starting my own.
Ok now for my negatives:
I would NOT recommend this book for the following people:
-People who are on a diet. I wanted to eat every time I read the book. Rather than inspire me to cook, this book really inspired me to go to a fancy restaurant. Mmmmm.
-People who like nice strong plots. This book is definitely not like the kinds of books I'm used to reading. There was no archetypical hero, no driving plot, no crisis, no climax, little resolution, and no real cast of very dynamic characters. However it was still quite pleasant to read and the characters were all very real and believable.
-People who want the book to be exactly like the movie. The book is an adaption of the blog, the movie is an adaption of the book... get over it.
In any case, I liked the book, I do recommend it, and I look forward to the next book my sister-in-law lends me! Of course, I have to give her this one back...