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My Life in France (2004)

by Julia Child, Alex Prud'homme

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5,0521992,058 (4.15)281
Biography & Autobiography. Cooking & Food. Essays. Nonfiction. HTML:NATIONAL BESTSELLER ‚?Ę Julia's story of her transformative years in France in her own words is "captivating ... her marvelously distinctive voice is present on every page.‚?Ě (San Francisco Chronicle).
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Although she would later singlehandedly create a new approach to American cuisine with her cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking and her television show The French Chef, Julia Child was not always a master chef. Indeed, when she first arrived in France in 1948 with her husband, Paul, who was to work for the USIS, she spoke no French and knew nothing about the country itself.
But as she dove into French culture, buying food at local markets and taking classes at the Cordon Bleu, her life changed forever with her newfound passion for cooking and teaching. Julia‚??s unforgettable story‚??struggles with the head of the Cordon Bleu, rejections from publishers to whom she sent her now-famous cookbook, a wonderful, nearly fifty-year long marriage that took the Childs across the globe‚??unfolds with the spirit so key to Julia‚??s success as a chef and a writer, brilliantly capturing one of America‚??s most end… (more)
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English (196)  Spanish (2)  German (1)  All languages (199)
Showing 1-5 of 196 (next | show all)
It's hard to imagine how reading a book about food and recipes could be so interesting and entertaining, but it is, and down to the very last page. When you read how much time and effort Julia put into each and every single recipe in both Mastering the Art of French Cooking 1 & 2, you may want to locate copies for your own library. I But beware, Julia claims in the book, "My Life in France", that every edition required revisions and things corrected that had been missed or measurements that had been written out wrong, i.e.: 2 cups corrected to 2 tsps. These mistakes infuriated her because no matter how many times she went over it, she would always find mistakes. And Julia was a perfectionist!

You will find that Julia drops the "f" bomb a lot during the first half of the book..."french" words, phrases and sentences without explaining what they mean. You can choose to just skim over them or, as I did, download a free French pronunciation app onto your phone to help pronounce and decipher the meanings. Don't let this deter you from reading the book. It's still an excellent story, an excellent book. She revisits France for the last time back in about 1992, to pack up the rest of her and Paul's things. It's very sad that many of her friends and co-author had already passed on. She doesn't find leaving her beloved France as hard as she thought because it was the people who made France home and a part of her heart, not France, itself. ( )
  MissysBookshelf | Aug 27, 2023 |
Heavenly inspiration! I want to be just like Julia Child, not for her cooking but for her enthusiasm for life. She doesn't know things and isn't afraid to ask (huge failing of mine), and when she sets about learning things she does so whole-heartedly. Not just with cooking - she didn't learn to cook a drop until she was 36!! - but in art and world affairs and foreign cultures. Truly, she seems to have said yes to living life, and I think she would have been the best of fun to know.

My favorite bit of advice: "I don't believe in twisting yourself into knots of excuses and explanations over the food you make. When one's hostess starts in with self-depreciations such as "Oh, I don't know how to cook...," or "Poor little me..," or "This may taste awful..." it is so dreadful to have to reassure her that everything is delicious and fine, whether it is or not. Besides, such admissions only draw attention to one's shortcomings (or self-perceived shortcomings), and make the other person think, "Yes, you're right, this really IS an awful meal!" Maybe the cat has fallen into the stew, or the lettuce has frozen, or the cake has collapsed - eh bien, tant pis!" (p. 77). ( )
  blueskygreentrees | Jul 30, 2023 |
What an absolutely delightful memoir. ( )
  xaverie | Apr 3, 2023 |
Great stories here from the iconic Ms. Sheelds (LOL ala Julie and Julia) And as you know this was one of the books used along with Julie Powell's that was adapted to screen. ( )
  Jonathan5 | Feb 20, 2023 |
The very intersting story of Julia Child and how she became, well, Julia Child. I only have one reservation about the book which is, as Julia herself writes, she is not a sentimental person and sometimes I wished for more about how she felt. She is most effusive writing about food and less so about people, including her husband. Still, I enjoyed the book a lot and I'm glad I read it. ( )
  clue | Sep 7, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 196 (next | show all)
For me, reading Julia Child’s memoir felt like going home.
 
"My Life in France," written with Alex Prud'homme, is Child's exuberant, affectionate and boundlessly charming account of that transformation. It chronicles, in mouth-watering detail, the meals and the food markets that sparked her interest in French cooking, and her growing appreciation of all things French."
added by lorax | editNew York Times, William Grimes (Apr 8, 2006)
 

» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Child, Juliaprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Prud'homme, Alexmain authorall editionsconfirmed
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This is a book about some of the things I have loved most in life; my husband, Paul Child; la belle France; and the many pleasures of cooking and eating.
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Usually one's cooking is better than one thinks it is. And if the food is truly vile, as my ersatz eggs Florentine surely were, then the cook must simply grit her teeth and bear it with a smile - and learn from her mistakes.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Biography & Autobiography. Cooking & Food. Essays. Nonfiction. HTML:NATIONAL BESTSELLER ‚?Ę Julia's story of her transformative years in France in her own words is "captivating ... her marvelously distinctive voice is present on every page.‚?Ě (San Francisco Chronicle).

Although she would later singlehandedly create a new approach to American cuisine with her cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking and her television show The French Chef, Julia Child was not always a master chef. Indeed, when she first arrived in France in 1948 with her husband, Paul, who was to work for the USIS, she spoke no French and knew nothing about the country itself.
But as she dove into French culture, buying food at local markets and taking classes at the Cordon Bleu, her life changed forever with her newfound passion for cooking and teaching. Julia‚??s unforgettable story‚??struggles with the head of the Cordon Bleu, rejections from publishers to whom she sent her now-famous cookbook, a wonderful, nearly fifty-year long marriage that took the Childs across the globe‚??unfolds with the spirit so key to Julia‚??s success as a chef and a writer, brilliantly capturing one of America‚??s most end

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