Julie & Julia
by Julie Powell
Julie Powell decides to work her way through Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking (gratingly abbreviated throughout as MtAoFC, presumably by the same person who comes up with all of the U.N.'s acronyms) in one year. Breakdown ensues.
Julie & Julia often seems to be more of a memoir of starting a blog that gets popular than one of a woman turning 30 who finds herself through French cooking. There are lots of quotes from comments on the blog, her posts and her IM conversations.
Powell is a New Yorker originally from Austin, and the book is peppered with New Yorker cliches. Early on (before all the cooking), she describes a "loon" in the subway station who bangs her head against the subway platform. Ha, there are crazy people in subway stations in New York -- crazy New York. (It's probably oversensitive to point out that this "loon" is a severely mentally ill and possibly homeless woman. And shouldn't someone stop her from banging her head? Or at least make sure she hasn't given herself a concussion?)
But as awkward as I found the writing, Powell just one day decided to do something interesting, and it's always fun to read about people's obsessions.