Category Archives: Julie and Julia

My reading list for the plane to and from Prague

Hello from above the Atlantic Ocean! Guess what time it is in Prague?

Here’s what I’m reading on the plane, in order of preference:
I can’t wait to read The Romantics by Galt Niederhoffer. The Romantics [I am intrigued by the story of college buddies reuniting for a wedding, plus I want to read the book before the movie comes out this fall.]
Noli me Tangere by Jose Rizal (translated by Soledad Locsin)  Noli Me Tangere (Touch Me Not)[This was a pivotal book for my Mom when she lived in the Philippines. She suggested the family read it since my middle sister is going to live in the Philippines for two months.]

The Butcher and the Vegetarian: One Woman’s Romp Through a World of Men, Meat, and Moral Crisis by Tara Austen Weaver The Butcher and the Vegetarian: One Woman's Romp Through a World of Men, Meat, and Moral Crisis[This was suggested to me after reading, Cleaving, by Julie Powell. Julie & Julia365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen I loved Julie & Julia but I do NOT recommend reading her sophomore effort. I was disturbed by reading about her infidelities.] 
The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down [A coworker recommended this book.]
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time[I love the cover of this book and apparently it has received rave reviews.]

Any other suggestions?

Today and for the next 9 days, I’ll be wandering these romantic cobblestone streets!!!
Hradcany, the other side of Prague
Doesn’t this town just look magical?
prague skyline

Katie Holmes and Boeuf Bourguignon

It’s Sunday night. While the Boeuf Bourguignon cooks, I’m watching Eli Stone and Katie Holmes is such a cute guest star! (She’s been a favorite actress of mine since Dawson’s Creek and I’m really looking forward to her new movie, The Romantics.)

My husband and I spent several hours chopping, saute-ing, and carefully preparing this famous dish from Mastering the Art of French Cooking and the Julie & Julia movie. We also just decanted a bottle of châteauneuf-du-pape. It smells like cherries. 
Tonight is a wonderful culmination of the Christmas weekend!

Book Reviews of 2009

Referring back to my October 10th, 2009 post, there is only one book left on my list, Books I Want to Read in (or by the End of) 2009. It’s Pretty in Plaid: A Life, a Witch, and a Wardrobe, or, the Wonder Years Before the Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smart-Ass Phase by Jen Lancaster! I’ve been hoping I can find it for less than $10 on Amazon soon.

My favorite book of this year was The Girl Who Played with Fire. It’s a dynamic and eye opening sequel to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson. The first book was quite graphic and dark, but the sequel explains more of the main character’s idiosyncrasies and strange habits in a logical fashion. I’m eagerly looking forward to the end of the trilogy, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, coming out in May 2010. 

I have just finished God Came Near and started Cleaving by Julie Powell. Both are fascinating and intriguing, but I’m ready for light and fun reading, like Jen Lancaster for my Maui vacation. I am also very curious about the new book by the Time Traveler’s Wife author, Audrey Niffenegger. Has anyone read Her Fearful Symmetry: A Novel? Perhaps on a light note, I’d also be interested in hearing reviews about How to Train Your Dragon (Heroic Misadventures of Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III)!

I did find a great review of Pretty in Plaid on the blog, “A Girl Walks Into A Bookstore…“. She makes me think this will be a perfect Hawaiian vacation read. In Bitter is the New Black, Jen Lancaster gave us the brief details of her bio before she was famously fired from her high-powered job. In Pretty in Plaid, Lancaster illustrates some of those moments, from growing up in Cow Town, Indiana, to her life as a sorority girl during her eleven years of college, to her first job post-college. Like her previous books, Pretty in Plaid is written as a series of essays, all of which are connected by the theme of clothing. From her Girl Scout uniform—covered in (il)legally earned patches—to her first job interview suit, Jen illustrates how clothes shaped the way she views the world. I was extremely entertained by this book. It’s a fast read—I read it in less than two days—and it’s just as funny, if not funnier, than some of her other books. Jen Lancaster definitely has a unique voice that’s very witty, and her thoughts, as usual, are uncensored—good for the reader, since it meant that I was belly laughing all the way through. In fact, in places, I had to put the book down, I was laughing so hard. No matter what situation Jen finds herself in, she’s always got a positive attitude about it. Although the present-tense narration got a little irritating in some places, I simply couldn’t stop turning the pages. It’s a nice, light read that’s perfect for spring.”

Books I Want to Read in 2009

Busy Bookworm Challenge

My Life in France by Julia Child

The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides (I loved the movie and only found out it was a book when I blogged about this movie!)

Cleaving: A Story of Marriage, Meat, and Obsession by Julie Powell (This the author of Julie and Julia! She’s written a second book and it’s coming out November 30, 2009)

Pretty in Plaid: A Life, a Witch, and a Wardrobe, or, the Wonder Years Before the Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smart-Ass Phase by Jen Lancaster (The only Jen Lancaster book I have yet to read!!!)

The 10th Sookie Stackhouse novel, perhaps not published until early 2010

The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson (I thought the first book of this series was too graphic and dark, but I couldn’t put it down. He writes in a haunting and intriguing manner that’s fascinating.)

An Ideal Husband by Oscar Wilde (Why not?)

Why I decided to start blogging…

As a child, I would read anything I could get my hands on. Now with a 8-5 job, I have to schedule the time to read. Although, every once and awhile, certain books will come along that make me stay up until 1AM to finish them, for example, “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” by Stieg Larsson. I love to read anything from chick lit, historical fiction, mysteries, science fiction, to some romance and thrillers that are not too scary. I will pretty much try to read anything.

In the last year, I’ve been inspired to write more after reading several bloggers turned writers, like “Julie & Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen” by Julie Powell and “Bitter is the New Black” by Jen Lancaster. I’ve always enjoyed keeping a diary and I’m curious to try this new creative outlet. I hope you appreciate my random and varied interests. Please join me in my journey to become a better writer.