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Julie & Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously [Paperback]

Julie Powell
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)

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Book Description

22 Feb 2007
Trapped in a boring job and living in a tiny apartment in New York, Julie Powell regularly finds herself weeping on the way home from work. Then one night, through her mascara-smudged eyes, Julie notices that the few items she’s grabbed from the Korean grocery store are the very ingredients for Potage Parmentier, as described in Julia Childs’ legendary cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking. And The Project is born. Julie begins to cook – every one of the 524 recipes in the book, in the space of just one year. This is Julie’s story, as gradually, from oeufs en cocotte to bifstek sauté au beurre, from “Bitch Rice” to preparing live lobsters, she realises that this deranged Project is changing her life. The richness of the thousands of sauces she slaves over is beginning to spread into her life, and she begins to find the joie de vivre that has been missing for too many years.

Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (22 Feb 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141018178
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141018171
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.8 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 679,526 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Julie Powell thrust herself from obscurity (and an uninspiring temp job) to cyber-celebrityhood when, in 2002, she embarked on an ambitious yearlong cooking (and blogging) expedition through all 524 recipes in Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking. She detailed the experience in her critically acclaimed 2005 New York Times bestselling memoir, Julie & Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously, which was adapted into a major motion picture starring Meryl Streep and Amy Adams in August 2009. Julie has made appearances on national television shows from ABC's "Good Morning America" and CBS's "The Early Show" to "The Martha Stewart Show" and Food Network's "Iron Chef America," and her writing has appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers including Bon Appétit, Food and Wine, Harper's Bazaar, New York Times, Washington Post, and more. She is a two-time James Beard Award winner, has been awarded an honorary degree from Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, and was the first ever winner of the Overall Lulu Blooker Prize for Books.

Product Description


Sassy, quirky and disarmingly honest (Marie Claire)

Restores your faith in eating for pleasure (Vogue)

I savoured each dish with the same delight as the author (Sarah Vine The Times)

A gem of a book...both hilarious and touching (Glamour)

What lies at the heart is the power of food to transform the everyday act of eating into a complex and potentially life-changing experience (Guardian)

An entertaining romp portraying the joys and frustrations familiar to any ambitious domestic cook (Sunday Times)

Heartwarming...highly entertaining (Daily Mail)

Reads like a rip-roaringly good novel...a deliciously funny romp

(BBC Good Food Magazine) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From the Back Cover

`Sassy, quirky and disarmingly honest' Marie Claire

`Restore[s] your faith in eating for pleasure' Vogue

`A gem of a book ... both hilarious and touching' Glamour

`What lies at the heart is the power of food to transform the everyday act
of eating into a complex and potentially life-changing experience' Guardian

`An entertaining romp portraying the joys and frustrations familiar to any
ambitious domestic cook' Sunday Times

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
As far as I know, the only evidence supporting the theory that Julia Child first made Potage Parmentier during a bad bout of ennui is her own recipe for it. Read the first page
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Julie's wild ride is a winner 15 Feb 2006
I was really surprised by the previous review, as this is the best book I've read in ages. Okay, granted I'm not bothered by Julie's effing and blinding - maybe I was prepared after the blog! I was a latecomer to the Julie/Julia project but you don't need to have read her blog to enjoy this book - it's as much about Julie coming to terms with who she is and what can make her special, even in her dead end job and turning 30, as it is about Julia Child and the massive cookery/blog project. Though the cooking stories make me laugh and cringe. And I want to know what happened to all her wild friends and family! I can't wait to see what Julie does (and writes about) next. My first true classic read of 2006.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars MTAOFC 11 Dec 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed the book enormously as I have used MTAOFC since the sixties - I'm on my second copy as the first one fell apart after many years of frequent use.
The idea of working through the whole book, cooking every single recipe, is quite remarkable & Julie Powell writes in a very easy style.
I have not made all of the recipes & of recent years have stuck to the tried & tested so this book has somewhat inspired me to return to the index & delve deeper.
I am not an afficionado of bad language but it didn't ruin my enjoyment of the book - I just feel it is unnecessary.
A good read for any cooks - particularly those who have dabbled in MtAoFC.
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51 of 54 people found the following review helpful
I bought this book having watched the film 'Julie and Julia' and loved the main characters. Amy Adams as Julie Powell was so sweet and I empathised with what she was doing in the film. The real Julie Powell though, the lady who has written this book, scares me. There is no element of sweetness about her. She doesn't focus on much of the cooking and to my horror, she is bad at it. There was something about the determination of the film Julie to keep on going and work through every recipe to detail, the book Julie gives up, substitutes ingredients and makes things very very badly. I continued to read this book to the end, hoping with each page that it would get better but for me, it didn't. I ended up getting annoyed by the writer and her self indulgent prattle, how she descibes reading the Joy of Sex as a child and compares it to MtAoFC, no way - that is just weird. She swears a lot which I don't mind except that I think it's just a lack of imagination in what to say. Overall, I felt like this book shattered my illusion of these 2 women that the film portrays. As soon as I'd seen it I came on amazon to get the book as I wanted to continue the good feelings the film gave me. My advice would be, watch the film and leave it at that. Amy Adams is lovely as Julie Powell, Meryl Streep awesome as Julia Child but the real people will grate and disappoint. Such a shame as books are normally better than the film but in this case not. I can understand now how Julia Child wanted nothing to do with Julie Powell, who would?
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yum! 10 April 2006
By J. Charlesworth VINE VOICE
I give this 5 stars for sheer enthusiasm. I bought this as a birthday present for myself and think it's just brilliant. As someone who tends to have bizarre kitchen accidents culminating in copious swearing, I guess maybe I found it comforting that someone else would admit to that. Julie is completely unpretentious in her writing -making this fairly unique among food books I've read- and makes some wonderful analogies about the dishes she is preparing. Julie & Julia is a wonderfully warm and witty book, with her enthusiasm for cooking and her friends making it a pleasure to read.
I'm surprised by the person who said it's not well-written. Sure, Julie is frank and frankly, at times, obscene. But she is, undeniably, a good writer. Her exuberance really shone through in this and I must say I found it really inspiring. It is clear at times that Julie is a relative newcomer to writing, but the thing that impressed me the most was how this slightly crazy cooking project inspired her to find and develop her unique voice. I hope she writes many more books.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars not to everyone's taste 19 May 2010
By Lady K
Just like the recipes in the cookery book that is the basis for this book (and the film)this will not please everyone. A vegan friend was deeply disturbed by the various descriptions of animal carnage that litter the pages; experienced cooks and Julia Child fans alike are seemingly horrified at Julie Powell's apparent ineptitude and callous disregard for the instructions and ingredients demanded in the recipes. Personally I found the whole thing laugh out loud funny- the lobster murders in particular brought a tear to the eye (with giggles not grief)Yes Julie Powell comes across as self-absorbed, selfish, obsessive, and she swears- who doesn't these days, and at times she isn't particularly likeable but hold on a minute, doesn't that make her all the more human.I certainly haven't met any saints lately. She is clearly an intelligent woman and it's no easy thing to write yourself, warts and all. She writes with humour often at her own expense, recognising her own preoccupation with herself. It was because of this as much as in spite of it that I found the book to be very enjoyable.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Scrumptious! 13 May 2007
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
'Without the project I was nothing but a secretary on a road to nowhere, drifting towards frosted hair and menthol addiction.'

Julie Powell is in a mundane and dead-end job with a government agency when she decides to inject a bit of a challenge into her life. Her aim is to cook the 524 recipes from Julia Child's 'Mastering the Art of French Cookery' within twelve months. The book includes such wonders as: eggs poached in red wine, various food stuffs suspended in aspic, 'B*tch rice', many lobster recipes and something unspeakable made with marrowbone.

I loved this book. Powell's sense of humour and determination make it a wonderful read. You'll cheer her triumphs and commiserate over her failures (and there are many!)

Highly recommended.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very pleased
Published 4 days ago by Mrs Lesley S Larsen
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
One of the best films ever.
Published 27 days ago by AnnaWilliamson
5.0 out of 5 stars A food blogger's inspiration!
I like to put my ideas out there in the blogging universe and I always think that it's like sending your heart out into the big bad world. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Yael Medina
1.0 out of 5 stars Julie & Julia
Didn't like it at all. Not my kind of book. Shame really as it sounded quite good. Think you need to be into cooking in a big way for this.
Published 6 months ago by Wendy Davey
5.0 out of 5 stars "Identifying details, individuals and events have been altered...Also,...
"For the sake of discretion, many identifying details, individuals and events throughout this book have been altered... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Legal Vampire
3.0 out of 5 stars "...put the whole mess out of your head for a while"
I will first of all say that I have seen the film inspired from this book. I will also say that the film is far, far superior (as superior as a light, frothy and romanticised movie... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Rosemarie
5.0 out of 5 stars A good book in it's own right.
if like me you loved the film you might be a little disappointed in this book, but please carry on reading it and you will soon find that this is a gem in it's own right. Read more
Published 7 months ago by kitty
5.0 out of 5 stars Julie and Julia
A Brilliant dvd. A very moving film appealing to people of all ages, especialy ones with an interest in cooking.
Published 7 months ago by MRS J FORREST
4.0 out of 5 stars Second time lucky!
I was asked to review my order before it had even arrived so I was pretty annoyed and only gave one star. Read more
Published 9 months ago by jimdev
5.0 out of 5 stars Great, much more detail and insight than the film
I ordered this after watching the film, it was interesting to learn more about Julie and her relationship with her husband. Great story and very real. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Lisa Zoe Sherratt
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