At our last League of Utah Writers meeting, we played a used-book exchange game. I ended up with Julie & Julia, not what I considered a prize—I mean, I’d seen the movie, why would I want to read the book? I left it on a stack of magazines and a few days later, searching for something light to read, I picked it up for a quick skim. I was instantly hooked. The movie is only slightly based on the book.
How can I explain my relating to a hip 29-year-old looking for fulfillment but not ready to have a baby? Well, now that I think about it—who isn’t looking for fulfillment? And at 69, not just my biological clock is running out. And I do like to cook, although I would never attempt Julia Child’s complicated—not to mention butter-laden recipes. Still, it was great fun to read Julie Powell’s culinary adventures—and misadventures—as she braised and sautéed her way through Julia’s behemoth cookbook—blogging about each day’s efforts. Something about being involved in a challenging project appeals to the human soul. And reading about someone else’s project is much less stressful than starting one’s own.
Powell’s breezy, self-deprecating blog-style prose is kind of like listening to my daughters—well, their language (at least around me) is not quite as rough as Powell’s. I think my ward book group would enjoy meeting Julie Powell, her long-suffering husband (they have since divorced), her wacky family, and weird friends—not to mention experiencing vicariously the joy of accomplishing her physically/financially/emotionally draining goal. Unfortunately, Powell’s use of the real word instead of “flipping” would freak these good sisters. Maybe I’ll just offer it to one at a time—to read in secret.