Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Giveaway & Book Review: Julie & Julia by Julie Powell




Julie & Julia is one woman's account of the year she spent cooking her way through Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking. In the summer of 2002, Julie Powell was stuck in a job she hated, stuck in Long Island City--just stuck in general. Powell's challenge to herself, and the blog she wrote to chronicle it, is her effort to free herself.

I'll admit, it was both disconcerting and false-hope-bringing that I could draw so many similarities between Powell and myself. Twenty-something, lives in New York, has a far too patient husband and an extremely crappy secretarial job, gets too caught up in playing Civilization, has a predilection for swear words: any of these could apply to either one of us. In other words, one of the major draws of the book for me was any number of eerie correlations.

But beyond the "your life but better" vibe, what I found most intriguing and gripping about Julie & Julia was Powell's writing. Her writing style made me feel as though I was listening to a friend of mine with a knack for storytelling tell me her most gripping story yet. The events in Powell's life are not action-packed like, say, a Dan Brown novel, but her talent lies in her ability to make cooking and omelet as tense and thrilling as any car chase.

Which segues nicely into my only complaint about the book: Powell doesn't seem to trust her writing ability enough. For instance, I found it slightly jarring that the narrative was presented out of chronological order, something I find odd for a book that chronicles a time-limited project; much more distracting was Powell's predilection for jumping into scenes in the middle with little or no exposition, or jumping between two events with no clear dividing line.

All of this reads as unsteadiness, uncertainty on Powell's part that she can captivate her reader when the narrative necessarily focuses on repetition of essentially the same event; after all, challenging yourself to cook your way through Mastering the Art of French Cooking means that you will be cooking--and writing about--French food every day. This self doubt, however, is a shame. Her prose is captivating all on its own, and it is Powell's unique point of view that really drives the story.

But my grips are really minor, and I can say that I truly loved this book and didn't want to put it down. I'm very much looking forward to Powell's next book, and if it is even a tenth as good as Julie & Julia, I'll be flying through it in less time than it takes to make Pot Au
Feu.

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Now for the giveaway! Thanks to Anna and the good people at
Hachette, I have five copies of Julie & Julia to give away.

The Rules

1. The contest will run until midnight EST on
August 31st.
2. Unfortunately, this giveaway is limited to the United States and Canada only, and no P.O. Box addresses can be accepted.
3. To enter, just leave a comment with your e-mail address so that I can contact you if you win.
4. For additional entries, you can:
+1 Follow my blog
+1 Subscribe by reader
+1 Subscribe by e-mail
+3 Post on your blog about this contest (either sidebar or post is
fine; include the link in your comment)
+1 Tweet about this contest (include the link in your comment)
5. Please post a separate comment for each entry.

Good luck!



MckLinky Blog Hop

56 comments:

  1. I would love to win a copy.

    I'm a follower.

    fatimastreasure(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'd love to read this!

    janemaritz at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am really looking forward to reading this book! Thanks for the chance!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Don't enter me in the drawing--I've got the book coming. But I can't wait to get my hands on it. I figure any book that has writing flaws but can still make the reader love it is worth the read.

    ReplyDelete
  5. This looks like a really interesting book. I would love a copy.

    +1 am a follower
    +1 subscribe by reader
    +3 added to sidebar
    neverendingshelf.blogspot.com

    Kate
    neverendingshelf@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  6. Love this book cover. Please count me in.

    cindyc725 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  7. +1 Follow my blog

    cindyc725 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  8. +1 Subscribe by reader

    cindyc725 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  9. +3 Posted on sidebar.

    http://juniperrbreeeze.blogspot.com/

    cindyc725 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  10. Please count me in! I'd love to win this book.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I really am trying to win this for my friend who needs books to read during her recoup from surgery. Thanks for the chance.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I am a follower...I just signed on but blogger is acting weird today so have no idea why my pix didn't show as usual but I am there..thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  13. I have been wanting to read this book. I grew up watching Julia Child.
    Thanks for the chance.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I forgot to put my address in my 1st post.

    sharon54220@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  15. I am also a new follwer

    sharon54220@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  16. This was a super cute review. I am a follower of the blog, please enter me for the book. My email is
    ezhunt@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  17. I am a follower. Please enter me in the giveaway.

    thereadingjourney[at]gmail[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  18. I have added a link to my blog sidebar: http://thereadingjourney.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  19. I've been trying to win a copy of "Julia and Julie" to read. My email is

    teakettle58@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  20. +1 I now subscribe for emails.
    +1 I now follow you.
    +1 I subscribe by reader

    ReplyDelete
  21. I have the contest in my sidebar.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I tried to tweet. I couldn't find you.

    ReplyDelete
  23. please enter me in the giveaway! thanks!!

    couchpapaya2{at}gmail{dot}com

    ReplyDelete
  24. Please enter my name in your marvelous draw! Thanks.
    wandanamgreb (at) gmail (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  25. I just became a follower of your blog.
    wandanamgreb (at) gmail (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  26. I subscribe through Google Reader.
    wandanamgreb (at) gmail (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  27. I would like to be entered!

    delilah0180(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  28. Follower!

    delilah0180(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  29. Google reader subscriber!

    delilah0180(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  30. I loved the movie and now I really want to read the book.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Hopping by on the McLinky Givewaway Hop. Please hop by www.jdaniel4smom.blogspot.com and enter my giveaways.

    I loved this book.

    ReplyDelete
  32. I really want to read this book. It looks so good.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Please enter me to win a copy of Julie& Julia. Thank you for this chance!
    +1 Follow my blog
    +1 Subscribe by reader
    +1 Subscribe by e-mail
    knittingmomof3(AT)gmail(DOT)com

    ReplyDelete
  34. The idea of cooking French food everyday sounds exciting to me.
    Theresa N
    weceno(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  35. I would love to win this book!

    jlhal@verizon.net

    ReplyDelete
  36. I subscribe!!

    jlhal@verizon.net

    ReplyDelete
  37. This book intrigues me because I've always admired Julia Child.

    carollovesyarn at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  38. I'm following too. :) carollovesyarn at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  39. I've added you to my google reader. ;) carollovesyarn at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  40. I would love to win this book! I loved Julia Child!.

    mlawson17 (at) hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  41. I've just become a follower and am enjoying the blog. I'd love to win a copy of "Julie and Julia".

    ReplyDelete
  42. I would really love to read this book! Thanks for your consideration! shelley_runyon@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  43. I'M eager to read this book.

    wolfcarol451(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  44. I subscribe by email.

    wolfcarol451(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  45. I follow your blog.

    wolfcarol451(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  46. I subscribe with Google Reader.

    wolfcarol451(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  47. I followed!

    skelb(at)hotmail(dot)com

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  48. I would really love a copy! I've been wanting to read this :)

    hensnest {at} windstream {dot} net

    ReplyDelete
  49. Please count me in! My email address is in my profile = thanks so much for this giveaway

    ReplyDelete
  50. I just saw the movie now I'd love to read the book!

    andie.v107(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  51. Count me in for this great giveaway.

    jsrogers at shaw dot ca

    ReplyDelete
  52. I have been on the fence about this novel until our review. Thank you for helping me make up my mind and for giving me a chance to win this novel.
    +1 follower
    +1 Subscribe via Google Reader
    +1 Subscribe via e-mail
    knittingmomof3(AT)gmail(DOT)com

    ReplyDelete
  53. Loved the movie, I'm sure I'll feel the same about the book. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete