Memoir, Non-Fiction, Shapiro-Laura

#760 Julia Child: A Life by Laura Shapiro

Julia Child: A Life by Laura ShapiroJulia Child: A Life by Laura Shapiro

Julia Child came on our televisions and showed us how to cook French. She showed us how to cook period. She never apologized if something didn’t turn out just right. She was a force to be reckoned with, especially at six-foot-two. This is the story of how Julia Child came to be the Julia Child we all knew and loved.

Julia started out life one of three siblings. She didn’t know exactly what she wanted to do with her life. She tried majoring in History. She tried working for the OSS and that’s where she met her husband Paul. At first, neither Paul nor Julia thought that the relationship would go very far, but Julia tried very hard and Paul decided that Julia was the woman for him. They were married and Julia started learning how to be Mrs. Child.

She couldn’t quite figure out what to do with herself, but she made friends anyway. She started getting interested in cooking and ultimately ended up taking a class at Le Cordon Bleu. She and a couple of other friends decided to write a cookbook, a French cookbook, for Americans. Julia wanted to be very scientific about everything. She wanted exact temperatures and exact measurements. Julia wanted to write down the ideas that embodied French cooking. The cookbook was too large when it was finished. It had to be revised. Then it was revised again.

The cookbook ended up being revised multiple times before it was actually published. Julia ended up back in the United  States when her husband retired from the foreign service. Paul made it his priority to support Julia. She went on books tours. She taught cooking classes. She eventually got her own television show. Paul was with her every step of the way. Julia’s popularity grew and so did the sales of her cookbook.

Time went on and ultimately things did have to come to an end, but not before Julia found her way into everyone’s hearts.

What I liked

Julia is someone I admire. She revolutionized cooking in the United States and cooking shows. She was scientific about her cookbook. She wanted to make it easy for people to feel that they could cook complex recipes.

As a person who enjoys cooking, and as a person who is quite good at it, if I do say so myself, I like reading and learning about other cooks. What made them fascinated in cooking? What are their motivations to cook? Does it remind them of home or are they food scientists, like Julia?

I liked learning more about Julia’s life. She was definitely an interesting person. She was in the foreign service, she was an author, and she had her own cooking show. How much more interesting can you get?

I like how Julia was really,really into men and wasn’t afraid to say that she was so attracted to them and that she enjoyed sex.

What I didn’t like

I didn’t know about Julia’s homophobic tendencies. I still like Julia, but I’m not a fan of people who look down on other people because of something about that person.

Overall

Bon appetit

Weigh In

Have you ever cooked one of Julia’s recipes?

Do you like cooking?

#760 Julia Child: A Life by Laura Shapiro was originally published on One-elevenbooks

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