Saturday, February 1, 2014

Julia Child Rules: Lessons on Savoring Life by Karen Karbo


Julia Child Rules: Lessons on Savoring Life
by Karen Karbo
skirt!, 2013
240 pages
source: purchased e-book

In a nutshell:
In the spirit of The Gospel According to Coco Chanel and How Georgia Became O'Keeffe,  Julia Child Rules dissects the life of the sunny, unpretentious chef, author, cooking show star, and bon vivant, with an eye towards learning how we, too, can savor life. (from publisher)

My thoughts:
"My theory is that our real attachment to Julia is less about her cooking, or even about what she did for the cause of serious cuisine, and more about our admiration for her immutable aptitude for being herself. Julia’s real genius wasn’t in breaking down the nine million steps in cooking a mind-blowing beef bourguignon, or assembling a thousand-page cookbook, but in having the confidence to stand in front of a camera, week after week, without trying to change one thing about herself." p. 10
I think this statement by Karen Karbo pretty much nails it. Julia Child fans are legion, yet who among us is actually preparing her beef bourguignon on a regular basis? Surely Julia's appeal must transcend both cooking and food.

 In Julia Child Rules, Karen Karbo's exploration of Julia's life and philosophy is formatted to fit ten basic life rules. From Rule 1: Live with Abandon through Rule 10: Every Woman Should Have a Blowtorch, her off-beat approach is both fun and inspiring.

Karbo's own, sometimes humorous, adventures are also included in the narrative. I can't imagine trying to follow in Julia's footsteps while living in an ovenless Paris apartment! Although these sections were entertaining, I was always happy when the focus returned to Julia.

This book was not quite as much to my liking as My Life in France, but it contained new (to me) information, a fresh voice, and I loved the life lessons twist. You certainly don't need to be a foodie to appreciate this one.

My rating:


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36 comments:

  1. I haven't read this yet because I wasn't sure it was for me. I think I"ll see if the library has it.

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    1. Beth F - I got the kindle edition for $1.99 (or maybe $2.99), so it was definitely worth it, but borrowing from the library would be preferable to paying full price!

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  2. I so agree with her statement about Julia Child- we loved her because she was comfortable being who she was. i think that influenced many women.

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    1. Diane - And that definitely makes her worthy of role model status.

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  3. I was looking forward to hearing about this one! I think its heroine would make it worth reading even if it's not top of the list.

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    1. Audrey - I will never tire of reading about Julia :)

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  4. This sounds like a good read -- will add to my list! Thanks!

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  5. What a wonderful read this must be. I love that quote! Maybe an audio version could bring it alive even more?

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    1. Arti - I haven't seen an audio version yet, but I'm sure it would be an enjoyable listen.

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  6. I think I may buy this book. I love what you wrote: "Julia Child fans are legion, yet who among us is actually preparing her beef bourguignon on a regular basis? Surely Julia's appeal must transcend both cooking and food." And that is absolutely true about my feelings for her. For a vegetarian, there's not a lot in her cooking that I can make - her choc mousse is about the only recipe I've ever made. But it is Julia the woman I love. She is one of my guides through life.

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    1. Nan -Julia's life was so interesting and I really appreciated the format of telling her story through life lessons. I was lucky enough to pick this up as a kindle daily deal.

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  7. I have this one in my library pile. Looking forward to reading it.

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    1. Linda - I hope you like it. It's a fairly quick read.

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  8. I have this book, but haven't started reading it yet. Sounds like a good thing to do this evening.

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    1. Janel - It's very easy to get into this book... enjoy!

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  9. I agree that My Life in France was simply wonderful. It would be hard to top that as a first choice to learn about how Julia became America's best loved chef.

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    1. Rachel - I don't think any book will top My Life in France in that respect, but I definitely appreciated the unusual format and light-hearted tone here. Thanks for visiting!

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  10. I totally agree with the statement of Julia Child. She was a woman unafraid to just be herself. I loved My Life in France. I'll have to try this as well.

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    1. fanficfan44 - I'm starting to think it's time to reread My Life in France!

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  11. This does sound like fun! I've avoided the book because the cover doesn't appeal to me at all.

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    1. Kathy - It's definitely the most unusual book about Julia's life I've seen... fun format, too.

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  12. I must read this and My Life in France, because I haven't read either. I love Julia for the same reasons listed, and I have to say I became much more interested in her and her life, after seeing the movie with Meryl Streep as Julia. Thanks for the review, JoAnn!

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    1. Becky - The movie piqued me interest, too. Not sure if you ever listen to audiobooks, but My Life in France was wonderful in that format.

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  13. I have this book on my end table right now! checked it out from the library. Now, I'll have to read it because you have piqued my interest (sometimes I just check stuff out and they take them back to the library without reading them. I have so many already on my TBR list)

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    1. Debbie - I do the same thing with library books, lol! You could always just test read the first chapter to see if it's something you'd like to return to later.

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  14. I really enjoyed this as a kind of dessert after My Life in France.

    Joy's Book Blog

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    1. Joy - Love the idea of this book as dessert!

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  15. I have My Life in France around here somewhere - uh oh, maybe I loaned it to someone! I also want my husband to make that beef b thing. (can't spell french words and too lazy to scroll up to find out! awful of me huh? oh well.)
    This book looks like a fun way to keep building my admiration of Ms.Julia.

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    1. Care - My Life in France was great on audio... just in case you need a suggestion on how to use credits ;-)

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  16. This looks like a fun read. And I'd love to imagine myself in a Paris apartment for the summer :)

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    1. Stacybuckeye - I wouldn't mind spending time in Paris either... with or without an oven ;-)

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  17. I think you're absolutely right about Childs' appeal transcending food. This sounds interesting.

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    1. Lisa - This was an interesting book, but My Life in France would be the one to read first.

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