Sunday, December 9, 2012

Julia Child by Laura Shapiro

This was a fairly short (5.7 hours) audiobook from the library. I had listened to a podcast on Julia from The History Chicks and was intrigued enough to dig around for more on her. I think everyone knows who she is, but there was more to her than her famous voice and TV series.

Ah, the lady loved food. And wine. How can you not love someone so enthusiastic about being happy?

“The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you've got to have a what-the-hell attitude.”
Julia Child

I don't know where this book lies in the best of the best, since it was the first one I picked up about her, but it was pretty good. We get to travel from being a young, privileged woman in Pasadena, to travel in the Foreign Services for the war, to meeting Paul Child and becoming a strong team of two. The relationship between her and Paul just makes you believe that good things can happen and that there are people out there without tremendous egos that want you to be happy.

I was a little (a lot) unhappy about Julia's prejudices against homosexuality, but I try to remember the era that she was raised in. It makes it worse that the book describes her dad's prejudices and how she abhorred them because she clearly though her views were fine. It took the AIDS epidemic and losing several dear friends to make her come around.

I don't think any of the Food Network "stars" have the power that Julia did. How the world created such an optimistic and enthusiastic person, I will never know.
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