The life of a blogger - a person who keeps an online diary - can be a strange one. One day you decide to set up a blog to write about something that you are passionate about, be it politics, film, sport or - in Julie Powell's case - to document her attempts to cook the 524 recipes in Julia Child's classic 'Mastering the Art of French Cooking' in just one year. And, suddenly, your life takes on a different slant.
Powell started the project in, as she says, "inky isolation" - a miserable temp in a New York government office - but twelve months later she was an online celebrity, being cheered on to the finish line by numerous 'bleeders' (Powell's name for her blog readers) who experienced the whole tumultuous episode vicariously through her writings on the Julie/Julia Project blog.
A collection of her entries from the website, comments from bleeders and some imaginative commentary on Julia Child's own life, 'Julie & Julia' is an great read, even for those who were never on Powell's - or any other - blog. She writes humorously about her disasters as well as her successes, along with the many tears and tantrums experienced during the year.
Although eminently slappable at first, as Powell curses and cooks her way through Bavarois à l'Orange, Crème Plombières, using numerous sticks of butter and discovers that she has a knack for killing lobsters, she gradually endears herself to the reader.
Both entertaining and exasperating, 'Julie & Julia' is a postcard from the edge of an ordinary life made extraordinary by embracing a project which captured many other people's imaginations. A very enjoyable read.