Julia's Bookshelf

I am a reader. I love books. I want to share this love.

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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

Monday, November 21, 2005

Just Finished/Just Starting

Good Morning! Last night I finished reading Julie and Julia : 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen (by Julie Powell). I enjoyed it immensely. Ms. Powell, a first time author, captured so well the coming of age saga of someone turning 30.* She was married, living in New York City, an aspiring actress and temp. She got a wild hair and decided to cook every recipe in Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume One within a year. She started a blog about it and got covered by many news outlets, including CBS and the NY Times. She did it just to do it. Just to have something to do, something bigger than herself. Having been through the pre-midlife midlife crisis myself, the "What the hell am I doing with my life?" crisis, I understood exactly what she was going through. Ms. Powell writes of her frustration and lack of focus with absolute truth. And plenty of "Fuck!"s along the way. Plus, she throws and breaks things and yells when whatever she's trying isn't working and it is SOOOOO FRUSTRATING! I have had computer smashing desires on plenty of days. That's real life, baby. I am also inspired by her actual writing. That this project unexpectedly turned into a book that is now selling nicely. That before her blog, she hadn't written before. (At least she doesn't mention that she has.) Next on my bedside table is Love My Rifle More Than You: Young and Female in the U.S. Army (by Kayla Williams). I heard about her on NPR and really look forward to her story. Along the lines of up to the minute modern war, my husband and I both recently read Generation Kill (by Evan Wright) Mr. Wright is a reporter and was embedded with a platoon of First Reconnaissance Battalion Marines. Part of the subtitle is "the new face of american war." The war in Iraq is so immediate, instant, in fact, that reading a book like this, with soldiers still over there fighting, is hard to fathom. The book puts you right on the streets, right in the humvees, right in the fighting. It is strange to read and go on with my regular life, as though there is nothing really going on, no actual war to fight. When Naked in Baghdad (by Anne Garrels) came out, I read it immediately. It was a different kind of "you are there" story about the lead up to and the beginning of the Iraq war in 2003. Reading it only a year or so after the time frame she writes about already felt so far removed from when it happened. And yet, watching a war every day on tv, while it is actually happening, gives me a strange sense of almost non-history. It is happening right this second, there is no "history" to it yet. That will come later. Good book, though, highly recommend. *On turning 30: Personally, I loved turning 30, I had no issue with it. At the time, people around me were telling me I should be having an issue with it. I don't understand why getting older is such a drag. Thank god I am who I am now, not still 22 and clueless and out of touch with myself. I'll be turning 40 in little more than a year. Yahoo! I just keep learning and growing and getting better and better, what on earth is wrong with that?


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