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My Life in France

Child, Julia (Book - 2006)
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
My Life in France
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Random House, Inc.
In her own words, here is the captivating story of Julia Child’s years in France, where she fell in love with French food and found ‘her true calling.’

From the moment the ship docked in Le Havre in the fall of 1948 and Julia watched the well-muscled stevedores unloading the cargo to the first perfectly soigné meal that she and her husband, Paul, savored in Rouen en route to Paris, where he was to work for the USIS, Julia had an awakening that changed her life. Soon this tall, outspoken gal from Pasadena, California, who didn’t speak a word of French and knew nothing about the country, was steeped in the language, chatting with purveyors in the local markets, and enrolled in the Cordon Bleu.

After managing to get her degree despite the machinations of the disagreeable directrice of the school, Julia started teaching cooking classes herself, then teamed up with two fellow gourmettes, Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle, to help them with a book they were trying to write on French cooking for Americans. Throwing herself heart and soul into making it a unique and thorough teaching book, only to suffer several rounds of painful rejection, is part of the behind-the-scenes drama that Julia reveals with her inimitable gusto and disarming honesty.

Filled with the beautiful black-and-white photographs that Paul loved to take when he was not battling bureaucrats, as well as family snapshots, this memoir is laced with wonderful stories about the French character, particularly in the world of food, and the way of life that Julia embraced so wholeheartedly. Above all, she reveals the kind of spirit and determination, the sheer love of cooking, and the drive to share that with her fellow Americans that made her the extraordinary success she became.

Le voici. Et bon appétit!


Baker & Taylor
A memoir begun just months before Child's death describes the legendary food expert's years in Paris, Marseille, and Provence and her journey from a young woman from Pasadena who cannot cook or speak any French to the publication of her legendary Mastering cookbooks and her winning the hearts of America as "The French Chef." 150,000 first printing.

Book News
Amazingly energetic, creative, and ultimately inimitable (despite many attempts), Julia Child (d.2004) brought French cooking to American kitchens. For this book she worked with her husband's grandnephew Alex Prud'homme to record her experiences between 1948 and 1954 in Paris and Marseille (and a few later adventures), which she terms the best years of her life. Like her life, her book is full of fun and zest. Fans will savor, or devour, this account. Annotation ©2006 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Baker
& Taylor

Here is the captivating story of Julia Child's years in France, where she fell in love with French food and found "her true calling." From the moment she and her husband Paul, who worked for the USIS, arrived in the fall of 1948, Julia had an awakening that changed her life. Soon this tall, outspoken gal from Pasadena, California, who didn't speak a word of French and knew nothing about the country, was steeped in the language, chatting with purveyors in the local markets, and enrolled in the Cordon Bleu. She teamed up with two fellow gourmettes, Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle, to help them with a book on French cooking for Americans. Filled with her husband's beautiful black-and-white photographs as well as family snapshots, this memoir is laced with wonderful stories about the French character, particularly in the world of food, and the way of life that Julia embraced so wholeheartedly. Bon appâetit!--From publisher description.
Here is the captivating story of Julia Child's years in France, where she fell in love with French food and found "her true calling." From the moment she and her husband Paul, who worked for the USIS, arrived in the fall of 1948, Julia had an awakening that changed her life. Soon this tall, outspoken gal from Pasadena, California, who didn't speak a word of French and knew nothing about the country, was steeped in the language, chatting with purveyors in the local markets, and enrolled in the Cordon Bleu. She teamed up with two fellow gourmettes, Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle, to help them with a book on French cooking for Americans. Filled with her husband's beautiful black-and-white photographs as well as family snapshots, this memoir is laced with wonderful stories about the French character, particularly in the world of food, and the way of life that Julia embraced so wholeheartedly. Bon appâetit!--From publisher description.The legendary food expert describes her years in Paris, Marseille, and Provence and her journey from a young woman who could not cook or speak any French to the publication of her cookbooks and becoming "The French Chef."
The legendary food expert describes her years in Paris, Marseille, and Provence and her journey from a young woman who could not cook or speak any French to the publication of her cookbooks and becoming "The French Chef."

Authors: Child, Julia
Statement of Responsibility: Julia Child with Alex Prud'homme
Title: My life in France
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2006
Edition: 1st ed
Characteristics: xi, 317 p. : ill. ; 25 cm.
Notes: Includes index
Subject Headings: Cooking, French Cooks United States Biography Cooks France Biography Child, Julia
Topical Term: Cooking, French
Cooks
Cooks
Additional Contributors: Prud'homme, Alex
LCCN: 2005044727
ISBN: 1400043468
Research Call Number: JFE 06-7996
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Sep 16, 2014
  • bibliotechnocrat rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

This is the book the Meryl Streep half of the Julie and Julia movie is based on, and it is a delight. It's a truly personal account of her marriage, her discovery of Food, the dawning realization of her calling, and the problems of the diplomatic life (her husband, Paul Child, worked for the American embassy in Paris). It's so easy to hear her voice as you read about her adventures in post-war France; she was an amazing woman. And don't get me started on the food she describes...

May 06, 2014
  • kay_g_93 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

If you ever have the chance to go to Paris, and adore food, this is a must read before you go, or at least begin on the plane. But, if you've never been to Paris, but adore food, and know of Julia Child its still an exceptional read. It's one tablespoon a love story, a cup of adventure and a bowl full of passion. I'll take seconds.

Feb 10, 2014
  • multcolib_lauralw rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Julia's husband Paul Child took the photographs for this wonderful memoir that is part love story and part search for identity fulfillment. Julia Child weaves a savory tale about her life with food and her love with her husband.

Jun 22, 2013
  • WVMLBookClubTitles rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

This big, brash girl with no pretensions and a lovely, frank, open-hearted way of looking at others truly found herself in Paris, where she threw herself into French life and of course French cuisine. Her wonderful descriptions of Paris and Marseille in the early fifties were written in chatty prose, as easy and familiar as her cooking shows on television. She relished the good things in life and brings that delight to your life as the lucky reader of this book.

Jun 23, 2012
  • LauralLibrarian rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I savored this love story of Paul and Julia Child.

Jun 17, 2012
  • hrynkiw rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

Originally checked out to read only the section(s) about French bread, but kept running into other interesting tidbits so ended up reading the whole book.

A little bit long on "we went here, and ate this food with this wine", but the sections about her culinary education are often delightful.

Mar 03, 2012
  • melissajayne80 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

I really enjoyed this book and loved the description of the restaurants that she and Paul went to when they first arrived and how she, a self admitted non-cook in her late 30s, became a cook by diving into French culture by learning the language, the customs of buying food at a local market and by taking classes at the famed Le Cordon Bleu in Paris (which was also attended by the author of Kitchen Counter School) in the late 1940s. While I am not a cook myself (as you probably all know by know), I could really appreciate the chance that Julia took to learn to become an accomplished cook (she came across as the sort of person that has the expectations to become an accomplished cook; I think also the fact that she was trying to get to the same sort of level as Paul's mother had a large effect on her) and even though I probably will never get to the level of Julia herself (somehow we always compare ourselves to her), I think even taking the chance to cook or bake something is a step in the right direction.

I did appreciate her frankness about her frustration in writing the first cookbook and even though there was great success with the second one as well, she didn't bow into pressure into writing a third book. I also appreciate that the book felt personal, even though it was only a glance into her private life, and that not everything was perfect and how she worried about things just like we all worry about things and how concerns about what was going on in Paul's work in the 1950s was of equal concern for her and probably didn't make things any easier when living abroad in Europe, far away from family and friends in the States.

Also, I appreciated that she didn't constantly talk about food in the book and that you felt like you got to know Julia and her husband, albeit on a surface level, and the fun little facts that she passed along in the book (did you know that Judith Jones, the editor for Mastering Vol.1 & 2, was the person that got The Diary of Anne Frank into the hands of American readers in the 1950s, when it was just sitting on "the pile" of manuscripts that had been submitted to her while she was working for Random House in Paris?) that made the book enjoyable to read.

Jan 14, 2012
  • ser_library rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

a wonderfuly and honest memoir; the voice is the voice i remember from television

OPL has DVD's of Julia's television programs

Dec 19, 2011
  • mogie rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

Having first seen the Movie Julie & Julia I enjoyed the book even though I knew some of the stories that were chosen for the book. For non-fiction it was a good read and the title explains the plot well. To learn about the process of writing her iconic cookbook was quite interesting.

Aug 05, 2011
  • GWAIGWAI rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

You need to know a little French to appreciate the book!

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