Review & Giveaway: Julie & Julia by Julie Powell

21 Jul

Julie JuliaMy rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
I really enjoyed reading this book.

From the Hachette Books Web Site:

Julie Powell, nearing thirty and trapped in a dead-end secretarial job, resolves to reclaim her life by cooking in the span of a single year, every one of the 524 recipes in Julia Child’s legendary Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Her unexpected reward: not just a newfound respect for calves’ livers and aspic, but a new life-lived with gusto. The film version is written and directed by Nora Ephron and stars Amy Adams as Julie and Meryl Streep as Julia.

I think the upcoming movie triggered me into a “read uncritically” view (I watch movies much less critically than I read books) because I think there should have been things I didn’t like about this book, at least minor ones.

OK, there was the food itself. I’ve never grown out of my childhood pickyness enough to eat most of the dishes she described. But even if I wouldn”t like the food, I still enjoyed the descriptions of it as well as Julie’s process of making it.

Beyond the food, there were some really entertaining characters! Meeting Julie’s mom, who worries that Julie is taking on too much. Friends that are supportive to various degrees– when they can find time around their love lives. Eric, Julie’s very supportive husband, who always comes through when needed.

This book was about more than the food, or even the project. I was about Julie’s attempt to find herself, or at least something that motivated her. It was her transitioning into the next stage of her life, even if she didn’t know it at the time. I’d love to find something that compelled me that strongly, while I’m at a transitional stage in my life– in some ways, this blog is filling that role for me.

Julie & Julia would be a good book club book. It is very readable, with lots of possibilities for discussion.

The original blog is still online, with entries from 8/25/02 through 8/13/04. See The Julie/Julia Project.

Giveaway information

Thank you to Hachette Books for providing me a review copy of Julie & Julia. Thanks to them, I’m also giving away five copies!


  1. Leave a comment to enter. Be sure your e-mail address is valid, so I can notify you if you win.
  2. For another entry, let me know if you subscribe to my blog via RSS or e-mail, or if you follow me on Twitter. Thank you to my current subscribers, Welcome if you are new to my blog. (Including this in the same comment is fine)
  3. One more entry if you let other people know about this giveaway! On your blog, on Twitter, another social site. Just let me know in a comment.
  4. As a bonus (for an additional entry) tell me what your favorite food related book is.

Having an address (not a PO Box) in the US or Canada is required. I’ll pick the winners on the evening of August 4.

See my sidebar for any other giveaways running at this time!


Posted by on July 21, 2009 in books, giveaway, reviews


Tags: , , ,

58 responses to “Review & Giveaway: Julie & Julia by Julie Powell

  1. Ruth

    July 21, 2009 at 10:18 am

    Me, me, me!! I want to read this book! (Thanks for having this contest).

    I follow you on twitter and subscribe in RSS.

  2. Ruth

    July 21, 2009 at 10:18 am

    Favorites are hard for me, but a food-related book I really enjoyed is Like Water for Chocolate.

  3. Peggy Switchenko

    July 21, 2009 at 11:14 am

    I like food and reading about food. I have also been wanting to read this book! Without having yet read MK Fisher by favorite foodish book to date is Garlic and Sapphires by Ruth Reichl. Her first book, Tender at the Bone is also a fun read and touches on food and how it nourishes more than the body.

  4. Susan Kitson

    July 21, 2009 at 11:17 am

    Like Water for Chocolate – definitely, and I never read, but saw the movie Babette’s Feast, which is also fantastic.

  5. Tam

    July 21, 2009 at 11:20 am

    Nice review.

    I am a subscriber, follow you on Twitter and will be posting this on Twitter as well.

    As far as favorite food related book, I think I have to go with Animal, Vegetable, Miracle – it really opened up my eyes further to how I eat, and it also provided some great recipes.

    My email is baileysandbooks(at)gmail(dot)com.

  6. Maureen

    July 21, 2009 at 1:22 pm

    The reviews for the movie sound really good. I would like to read the book before seeing the movie. though.

  7. nanscorner

    July 21, 2009 at 2:18 pm

    I’d love to be entered in the giveaway. I am also a subscriber through google reader.

    My favorite food related book… I have to think about it and get back to you on that one! My mind is going blank at the moment. 🙂


  8. Bridget

    July 21, 2009 at 3:17 pm

    Hi! Just posted this on Win A Book. No need to enter me though

  9. Mozi Esmes Mommy

    July 21, 2009 at 3:59 pm

    Would love to read this! And I’m a new follower on twitter (MoziEsme).

    Food-related book: How Nanita Learned to Make Flan…

  10. elizabeth

    July 21, 2009 at 4:10 pm

    I REALLY want to read this before I see the movie. Hope I get too. Thank you.

  11. Sheri

    July 21, 2009 at 4:10 pm

    I’d love a chance to win this book! I heard about you from West of Mars. I’m going start checking out your blog.

  12. Pam R.

    July 21, 2009 at 4:17 pm

    I gave this book to a friend a while back for her birthday. Now that I’ve seen the previews for the movie, I’m wishing I read it first!

    I’m a new subscriber.

    My favourite food-related books are by Joanne Harris – I enjoyed Chocolat, Blackberry Wine, and Five Quarters of the Orange.

  13. Sue

    July 21, 2009 at 5:11 pm

    No need to enter me in the giveaway – I just bought this book for myself yesterday! I’ve been trying not to spend much on books (relying on the library, review copies, and loaners), but the upcoming movie motivated me, too!

    It sounds great – thanks for the review –


  14. Lisa

    July 21, 2009 at 5:25 pm

    I think this looks like a fun read. I’ve added your site to my Google Reader–looks like you’ve read a lot of books I’m interested in. My favorite book(s) are those by Joanne Harris–Chocolat most notably.

  15. Susan

    July 21, 2009 at 6:03 pm

    Looks like a great read! I’ve wanted to read it since the first trailer for the movie!!!

    My favorite food? Right now I’m obsessed with Shock-A-Cone Ice Cream from Coldstone Creamery.

    I’m now following you on Twitter (@jezebelsk).

    I’m also a new subscriber!

    Thanks again!

  16. mari

    July 21, 2009 at 6:04 pm

    Thank you! I had been debating whether to read this book (I have had a few people say it’s not ‘great’).

    I just bought it and will read it soon.

  17. amandasue

    July 21, 2009 at 6:11 pm

    Sounds like an interesting book and I saw the commerical for the movie today.

  18. cenyasmom

    July 22, 2009 at 3:19 am

    The review is good, I am a subscriber, count me in.

  19. Beth

    July 22, 2009 at 9:53 am

    This looks fun! Please enter me!

    BethsBookReviewBlog AT gmail DOT com

  20. Beth

    July 22, 2009 at 9:54 am

    I’m a RSS subscriber.

    BethsBookReviewBlog AT gmail DOT com

  21. Beth

    July 22, 2009 at 9:55 am

    LOL! Does Martha Stewarts Cookies cookbook count? 🙂 LOVE it! 🙂 Otherwise, perhaps Like Water for Chocolate?

    BethsBookReviewBlog AT gmail DOT com

  22. Jessica

    July 22, 2009 at 10:26 am

    I’ve seen Like water for chocolate but not read the book. I can’t even think of a book thats food related that I’ve read the closest is Odd Thomas about a fry cook who sees the dead. Does that count? jessica(at)fan(dot)com

  23. Aimee W.

    July 23, 2009 at 7:26 am

    Thanks so much for the giveaway — I have read some really good reviews for this book!

  24. Aimee W.

    July 23, 2009 at 7:27 am

    I subscribe to your blog via email.

  25. Aimee W.

    July 23, 2009 at 7:28 am

  26. Aimee W.

    July 23, 2009 at 7:30 am

    I really enjoyed Eay, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert.

  27. Janel

    July 23, 2009 at 11:38 am

    Please enter me! This book sounds wonderful.

    My favorite food-related books are all of Diane Mott Davidson’s culinary mystery series.

    jgbeads at gmail dot com

  28. Theresa N

    July 23, 2009 at 12:35 pm

    I’m sure reading this book will make me gain weight. 🙂

  29. kim

    July 23, 2009 at 4:54 pm

    I really want to read this as it sounds wonderful. Between the terrific reviews of the book & the upcoming movie I think this is a super read.

  30. kim

    July 23, 2009 at 4:56 pm

    Email subscriber

  31. kim

    July 23, 2009 at 4:58 pm

    Blogged about giveaway under my current giveaways sidebar

  32. kim

    July 23, 2009 at 4:59 pm

    My favorite food related book is I Loved I Lost I Made Spaghetti by Giulia Melucci. I loved the story and the recipes are easy and tasty (I’ve made a few).

  33. Sharon Spivack

    July 23, 2009 at 8:41 pm

    To echo Ruth, “Me, me me!” I want to read this book! 🙂

  34. Sharon Spivack

    July 23, 2009 at 8:42 pm

    Okay, so, I follow you on Twitter and on email! Entry 2!

  35. Sharon Spivack

    July 23, 2009 at 8:45 pm

    Finally, I’ve read several I like. I agree with Ruth, again…I liked “Like Water for Chocolate.” But…I also liked food critic Ruth Reichl’s “Tender at the Bone” and “Comfort Me with Apples” as well as the Peter Mayle books set in Provence.

  36. Dawn M.

    July 23, 2009 at 9:35 pm

    I’ve been hearing a lot of good things about this book. Would love to read it. Please enter me. :0)


  37. Nicole

    July 23, 2009 at 11:59 pm

    oh wow this looks liek a good one! sign me up please!!!

    +1 my favorite food realted book is called “I loved, I lost, I made spagetti” about a womens relationships and it included yummy recipies too!

  38. Grad School Mommy

    July 24, 2009 at 9:16 am

    a friend of mine is reading this book now, and is raving about it… so i want my own copy, please! 🙂

    i’ll happily pass it along after i soak it all up! thanks!

  39. Christy A.

    July 27, 2009 at 12:10 pm

    Cool! I’ve been wanting to read this book, so thanks for the review. I follow you on Twitter, and just tweeted to others about your contest. My favorite food-book (mostly because it’s the last one I read) is Animal Vegetable Miricle by Barbara Kingsolver. Oh, and Garlic and Sapphires by Ruth Reichl is always a good read on the go.

  40. Bcteagirl

    July 27, 2009 at 10:25 pm

    I have read one copy of this book and enjoyed it. Would love to read the movie version as well and see how it differs. Thank you for this great contest!

    My favourite food related book is a ‘Cooky’ (cookie) vintage cookbook I found at a garage sale. 🙂

    teagirl1 at telus dot net

  41. Marian

    July 28, 2009 at 12:17 pm

    I’d love to win a copy of this book. 🙂

    My favorite food-related book is “Five Quarters of the Orange” by the author of “Chocolat”. There’s a recipe in “Five Quarters of the Orange” for green tomato jam that always makes me want to make it, never mind that I can barely fix sandwiches, let alone jam.

  42. Pam

    July 29, 2009 at 11:26 am

    This looks like a GREAT book. I’d love to win one.

  43. Pam

    July 29, 2009 at 11:27 am

    I subscribe via RSS 🙂

  44. Pam

    July 29, 2009 at 11:30 am

    My favourite food book would have to be
    “Moveable Feasts: From Ancient Rome to the 21st Century, the Incredible Journeys of the Food We Eat”
    by Sarah Murray

  45. Wanda

    July 29, 2009 at 11:36 pm

    I’d love to win this. Please enter my name. Thanks.

  46. Carol M

    July 31, 2009 at 4:51 pm

    This sounds good. Thank you for the chance to win it.
    mittens0831 AT aol DOT com

  47. Carol M

    July 31, 2009 at 4:51 pm

    I subscribe by email.
    mittens0831 AT aol DOT com

  48. Carol M

    July 31, 2009 at 4:55 pm

    I like Joanne Fluke’s Hannah Swensen mystery series.
    mittens0831 AT aol DOT com

  49. Kathy S

    August 1, 2009 at 8:29 pm

    I’ve alway beens intrigued by Julia Childs.

  50. Sara M

    August 4, 2009 at 9:01 am

    Great Contest, please enter me.
    +1=I just subscribed via reader
    +1=The School of Essential Ingredients


  51. Madonna Cramer

    August 4, 2009 at 9:10 am

    Can’t wait to see the movie and would love to read the book too.

  52. Madonna Cramer

    August 4, 2009 at 9:13 am

    I am an email subscriber.

  53. Lana

    August 4, 2009 at 9:19 am

    Hi there! Follow you on twitter and want a chance to win. am currently writing my own book, and, gasp, there are recipes involved! Loved Like Water for Chocolate, and love reading recipe books. Current food obsession is watermelon!

  54. Lusty Reader

    August 4, 2009 at 9:59 am

    Thanks for letting us know Juli’a blog is still up! I didn’t even think to look for it, just assumed it was shut down.

    I would love to win a copy of the book and for extra credit by favorite “foodie” book has to be Scarlet Feather about a catering duo by Maeve Binchy.

  55. Lusty Reader

    August 4, 2009 at 10:01 am

    also i just added you to my google reader, so im a new follower! im happy to have found you, we have a lot of reading preferences in common!

  56. sarah fishburn

    August 4, 2009 at 11:56 am

    Look forward to seeing AND reading this.
    I DO follow you on Twitter!
    Blackberry Wine by Joanne Harris…but I also love the cookbook from Cafe Pasqual in Santa Fe!

  57. Ruth

    August 4, 2009 at 2:22 pm

    I tweeted about your contest today!

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