I don’t normally blog about books to movies on the whole, and didnt after I saw The Time Traveller’s Wife, however I had to blog about this one! Last night in a big break from the Sensational Season (in tomorrow’s post you will see that I had a very, very sensational weekend in more ways than one) and went with The Converted One to see one of the few movies I have been very excited about this year…Julie and Julia. I will admit before I go any further that I haven’t read the book yet so I can’t compare and contrast. This is also shocking behaviour for me as I tend to always read the book first. This time though my copy of Julie Powell’s book is almost at the top of my TBR however I simply couldn’t wait.
The story of the movie is that Julie Powell (Amy Adams) is in a job she finds both emotional and dull, dealing with insurance after 9/11 and moving from Brooklyn to Queens with her husband to an area good for him and slightly remote for her. All her friends at ‘the cob salad social’ who she was at school with are high fliers in various fields, one who is a journalist and one who starts a successful blog while Julie, herself once an editor who temped to write a novel for 8 years, remains a frustrated writer. So she decides to start a blog… she will cook all the recipes in culinary legend Julia Childs (we don’t really know her in the UK, she is like a Delia or a Nigella, I now have to get this cookbook though) ‘Mastering the Art of French Cooking. That’s 524 recipes in 365 days.
Meanwhile we get to see the story of Julia Child (Meryl Streep) arriving in Paris where she is tall, loud knows barely any French but loves food… and devours French food. Getting bored while her husband works she gives up bridge lessons and hat making to learn French cookery and though she has no knowledge (“what’s a shallot”) she does have determination and flare. I found the love between Child and her husband so touching and so well portrayed it was so, so sweet. I won’t give anymore away other than to say the two women’s lives parallel on occasion and we then follow their stories.
I loved the movie (so did The Converted One who at once wanted to know more about my blogging, and simultaneously felt happy that there are other people out there who come second to their partners blogs – no comment). I actually left wanting to watch it all over again. Fortunately we went to the last showing on Sunday and so we couldn’t, had we been able to I would have been in there like a shot. It’s just one of those delightful feel good movies where you laugh, in parts you sort of want to have a little weep (though I was crying with laughter at Meryl Streep’s wonderful performance – Oscar worthy, you watch) with joy in places. I left with a spring in my step and all geared up for the week ahead, even if I did want to stay up and whizz up a soufflé.
The interesting thing with the film is that I now feel less inclined to read Julia Powell’s ‘Julie and Julia’ straight away (but must as The Converted One is eyeing it up dangerously) which I am still excited about but in the film the modern part of the tale seems somewhat flatter. Then again they say films are never as good as the books so that means I now have two fabulous books to read. I am simply chomping at the bit to get my mitts on ‘My Life in France’ by Julia Childs.
Has anyone else seen the film? Ever cooked one of the recipes from Julia Child’s acclaimed book? Have you read ‘Julie and Julia’ and is it fab? What about the latest novel from Julie Powell ‘Cleaving’ – which am not sure about? Have you read ‘my Life in France’? Or are you just not bothered about it all?
I have had quite an influx of books at Savidge Towers from some lovely publishers and thought I would share with you what titles you may well be seeing much more of on Savidge Reads. The first set of books that have been coming very kindly through the letter box are of course my main source of reading through August and that is the Man Booker Long List.
Now I have ordered them into “read” which are standing up vertically, “going to read” horizontally and then ‘The Children’s Book’ which is my “steady progress” I actually should have put The Wilderness slightly at an angle as I am re-reading that one again as I think I read it to fast earlier this year and missed some of the magic you have been mentioning. ‘Love & Summer’ was read this week and ‘The Little Stranger’ I read a while ago, I am still finding the latter is one I think about a lot in hindsight. I have just finished ‘Heliopolis’ so expect a review of that soon, possibly later today. I am feeling quite chuffed I have gone from having read one and a half of the list to 4 and 3/4 in a week. Now which should I read next? I still have two more to come which are apparently in the post and those are ‘How To Paint A Dead Man’ by Sarah Hall and ‘The Glass Room’ by Simon Mawer… I hope they arrive in time before the shortlist is announced! Eek! There has also been some non Booker books arrive…
We have in the picture (do you like my new bedding?) just in case you cant see the books are;
- One Day – David Nicholls ( we meet a couple of people on the same day every year for twenty years and see how their lives entwine)
- Serena – Ron Rash (don’t know much about this but sounds like an epic novel)
- Border Songs – Jim Lynch (haven’t read him before but have always wanted to try The Highest Tide)
- A Beginner’s Guide To Acting English – Shappi Khorsandi (I think she is a brilliant comic and a tale of escaping to Britain should be quite funny)
- Of Bee’s & Mist – Erick Sethwan (not out till December this is meant to be an amazing debut of magical surrealism based on folklore from Erick varying family cultures, apparently this has been quite big in America)
- The Other – David Gutterson (someone I have always wanted to try)
- Julie & Julia – Julie Powell (I won’t lie I will be reading this pronto!)
- The Monsters of Templeton – Lauren Groff (a debut novel thats sounds very exciting and me and I have been wanting to read since it came out in hardback)
- The Bronte’s Went To Woolworths – Rachel Feruson (I seem to be late on the uptake with this re-released classic)
- Henrietta’s War – Joyce Dennys (Paperback Reader and Stuck-in-a-Book have both loved this so I am sure I will)
- The Angels Game – Carlos Ruiz Zafon (loved Shadow of the Wind, VERY excited about this one)
Now if this wasnt enough I had two more deliveries (my Gran is staying and has been flabberghasted at the arrivals) one which isgoing to remain secret and be a theme for Septembers blogs and I will announce at the weekend and hope some of you will join in. The other wasn’t for me… or my Gran, but for ‘The Converted One’.
The lovely people at Bloomsbury had sent two Brazilian authors works they are publishing this year, or have published sorry. ‘Equator’ by Miguel Sousa Tavares which ‘The Converted One’ is “going to read next, is so kind of them” and ‘Ashes of the Amazon’ by Milton Hatoum which won the Brazil Jabuti Prize for Best Novel in 2006. After enjoying Heliopolis (even though not by a Brazilian but set there) I am going to have to piler these myself!
Which of these books have you been tempted to read or have your read? Have you read anything else by one of the authors? As ever do let me know, I love all your opinions. What books are at the top of your TBR and are you itching to start?