Julie and Julia (2005) by Julie Powell puts the WHINE to wine and dine. Having read Comfort Food (2008) by Kate Jacobs and Garlic and Sapphires (2005) by Ruth Reich, I was interested to read Julie and Julia when my sister recommended it. Since I rarely cook and I knew I would not write down any of the recipes I chose to listen to the book from a digital download.
I found the humor of Jacobs and Reich's books entertaining. Both of these authors wrote about their successes and failures with passion and self-deprecating humor. Powell does neither. I did not find her attempts at being funny, well funny. I thought that for the most part, if her humor was not sophomoric, it was mean and demeaning. I am definitely not a prude when it comes to language and I use some of the language that Powell uses. However, after about the millionth "f" word, it just went from excessive to vulgar and was usually without purpose. And, would she never stop whining about her life, work, husband, and friends? She even whined about the blog fans that helped to make her successful with this project, calling them the "bleeders."
I am not a Julia Child fan, I have not watched her shows, I just don't know much about her. I know more about Dan Ackroyd imitating Julia Child than I know about Julia Child. I thought that Powell was disrespectful to Child, often resorting to childish name-calling when she failed at a recipe and mocking Child's writing as well. I did a little Googling and found that Julia Child loved Ackroyd's imitations of her, so Child was not without a sense of humor. Julia Child thought Julie Powell opportunistic and her use of language was foul and excessive. I obviously agree.
I don’t usually write a lot of negative blogs about books - I can usually find something that I like in every book I read or listen to. There is no exception here. My positive take away from Julie and Julia is that I am very happy that I am not her husband!