Thursday, June 2, 2011

Currently Reading: My Life in France by Julia Child

I love to read, but lately it usually winds up only being for a little while before going to bed at night.  I tend to read historical or fantastical fiction with strong women characters.  I loved The Memoirs of Cleopatra by Margaret George, The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley, and The Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon among many, many others.  Recently, however, I found myself drawn to memoirs.  I read and loved Julie & Julia by Julie Powell and also rather enjoyed Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert.  And yes, I read them both before seeing the movie versions (loved the movie version of Julie & Julia, btw).  After hearing this, a friend loaned me her copy of Julia Child's My Life in France.

I am about halfway through and just cannot get into it.  The two other memoirs that I read recently, read very much like a story. They were engaging and very easy to get drawn in.  My Life in France seems more like little snippets or memories.  I really cannot account to you what I've read so far because, I'm guessing, there doesn't seem to be a through line.  Nothing connecting the events together.  I'm also having a problem with the fact that I don't understand French nor am I intimately familiar with the streets of Paris.  She uses the French names for the dishes that she's cooking or eating, so even though it makes sense for her to do that, I have no way of salivating after it.  She also uses a French turn of phrase on occasion to make a little funny.  Needless to say, I don't get the joke.  I appreciate the love she bears to the city, but in referencing the streets as much as she does makes it feel like she should really be talking to someone at least a little familiar with the area whereas I'm just lost.

I do think it's interesting that a woman that didn't know how to boil an egg (that may be a bit of an exaggeration) found her calling in the culinary arts.  She found her passion and completely immersed herself in it.  I am inspired by her absolute drive and determination: it took years for Mastering the Art of French Cooking to be published.  And then she broke through even more barriers to have her own cooking show on TV.  Would we have the kitchen shows of today if Julia didn't start it all??

I will probably finish the book just so I can read the rest of her tale in her own words.  After all, she too is a Woman Warrior in her own right for her achievements.  

I actually have a hard time putting a book down even if I don't like it.  I guess I kind of always hope it will get better.  Or maybe it's the part of me that likes to finish things.  What about you?  Do you commit to finishing books that you're not into or do you just feel like it's a waste of time & put it to the side?  What are you reading right now?


FairiesNest said...

I totally loved this book, I did read it after spending some time in France and in Paris so I think that perhaps you're right that it helps.
I just finished "The Beekeeper's Apprentice" a wonderful book about the later life and love of Sherlock Holmes. I went in thinking it would be awful but I love it.. Great female lead too!

Athena's Armoury said...

I'll have to check that one out; sounds interesting. I'm sticking with Julia for now. Thinking about the fact that it's really just little snippets of her life seems to help instead of trying to piece it all together.