I just watched the new movie Julie and Julia and thoroughly enjoyed it! The food looked mouth-watering, the romances were sweet, the story of Julia Child fascinating, and the project of Julie Powell was fun to put into place. I enjoyed the audio book version of Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen by Julie Powell (Little, Brown and Company, September 2005) over a year ago. I started listening to the audio book and was enjoying it so much (the dry, wry humor, the temper flying, the taste tests, the relationships, the patience, the hardwork), that I stopped listening to it, only to start again with my husband, convincing him that he really would enjoy the book! It really wasn’t just chic lit, there was substance to it, and it was about Julia Child and her infamous cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking. We really enjoyed the audio book version, read by the author, full NY grit and style. And I have to say, I believe it was shortly after finishing this book that I wanted to begin this book blog. How sweet and inspiring! (Thank you Julie Powell for the source of inspiration!)

The movie version was an interesting tie-in of Julie and Julia by Julie Powell and My Life in France by Julia Child. The food shots were very good and I feel compelled to learn more about Julia Child now. I plan to read My Life in France (now on my wish list)  as I’ve found recently that I enjoy reading biographies and memoirs now more than ever. (A sign that I’m maturing in my reading tastes perhaps?)  Also, I now have a destination the next time I’m in D.C. (ALA Conference, June 2010) to visit Julia Child’s Kitchen at the Smithsonian! And, of course, who could ever forget the Saturday Night Live version of Julia Child played by Dan Aykroyd (you can find that on YouTube, or just watch the movie of Julie and Julia!). Doesn’t it feel good to laugh out loud about such funny comedy?

Another highlight of the movie was seeing actress Linda Emond who played Simone Beck, Julia Child’s co-author of Mastering the Art of French Cooking. I admire Linda’s work (visit her website for a list of her films and plays) especially her audiobook readings. Linda is one of the best audiobook readers I’ve had the pleasure of listening to. Some of my favorites with Linda reading are The Devil and Miss Prym and Brida both by Paolo Coelho, as well as What the Dead Know by Laura Lippman. Here’s a list of Linda’s readings from Audio Editions and another list from Audible.com.

This was a movie where you just felt like beaming after the movie was over, awash in happiness, dreaming about good food that one can create using Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

I love books about food, mostly because I love good food! Around the same time that I originally read Julie and Julia, I was also reading books like French Women Don’t Get Fat by by Mireille Guiliano and books by Michael Pollan, including The Omnivore’s Dilemma and In Defense of Food.  More favorite foodie books include Epitaph for a Peach: Four Seasons on My Family Farm and  Heirlooms: Letters from a Peach Farmer, both by David M. Masumoto and Stanley Crawford’s A Garlic Testament. And, don’t get me started on cookbooks, which I love to read through and salivate over (I am also starting to focus on cookbook indexing with my new business, Summit Information Services).  I just read through one of my favorite vegetarian cookbooks, The New Laurel’s Kitchen by Laurel Robertson and the American Wholefoods Cuisine by Nikki Goldbeck and also Jeanne Lemlin’s Quick, Simple and Main-Course Vegetarian Pleasures. Have a favorite cookbook or recipe website? Send me a note at greycatblog [at] gmail [dot] com or post a comment to GreyCatBlog. Thanks!

Happy Reading, Movie-Going, and Cooking! Bon Appetit!