This week I had the uncanny experience of having my book match up with what was happening for me this week.
As Julie Powell’s Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously went through cooking, family dysfunction and a busy schedule I found myself inundated with friends and family, signing up as a Tupperware Demonstrator and cooking and cleaning furiously in preparation for my twenty-first birthday on the weekend.
Needless to say, it didn’t take me long to notice the similarities. But as Emma Stone in Easy A points out, ‘isn’t that always the way? The books you read in class always seems to have a strong connection with whatever angsty adolescent drama is being recounted’.
The book was really enjoyable. Inspired by the Julie/Julia Project, the blog that came before, the book follows ‘government drone’ and ‘night-time foodie’ Julie Powell as she cooks, bakes, flambés, and tortures herself through the iconic Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking.
As someone who struggles to throw together even the simplest dish with a small amount of respectability and aesthetic appeal, I connected with Julie and her plight, the only difference being her dishes were much more impressive to master than mine.
Despite my lack of cooking knowledge or experience with recipes and cookbooks, I never felt patronised or lost with Julie having just as many failures as she does victories.
The book masterfully combined the cooking procedures, Julie’s home life and a humorous take on the dysfunction she had thrown herself into, leaving no stone unturned and no cake un-iced as she cooked her way through the massive challenge.
What’s beautiful (and sometimes slightly uncomfortable or unnerving) about the book is that she bares all, risking looking like a terrible human being in order to remain truthful to her work, experience and audience, which I respected and commended her more for doing.
Overall, I loved the book and despite everything happening around me, it wasn’t hard to finish in a week. And it got me to thinking about challenges and how often I read.
This year I’ve been keeping a list of all the books I’ve read and so far it reads twelve books in fourteen weeks which I don’t think is a bad effort.
The point of this blog was to get Curiosity and I back into reading, but I’m giving myself a little more motivation. Jumping off from the start of the year and the books I’ve already read, I’m going to aim to read fifty-two books in fifty-two weeks.
Now I’m a little behind but I figure between uni and the Red Chair I will have more than enough books to read.
I’ll be updating the tally and how the challenge is going in my last post of each month, so stick around to see how I go.
From your internet friend who is bracing herself for a night of food, friends and frivolity,
The Nearly Twenty-One Year Old Cat