Saturday, December 26, 2009

Do Not Talk About Book Club comeback?

My wife and I watched newly received Christmas present and thoroughly enjoyable Julie & Julia yesterday. And, upon seeing how blogging reinvigorated 30-something Julie Powell into a meaningful existence, I decided that I, too, can be reinvigorated. DTABC has more or less been on a hiatus for the last six months, and I need some inspiration: not by cooking a French recipe a day, but by reading - wait for it - a book a day! Starting January 1st, I would read a book a day for a grand total of 365 books by January 1st, 2011. I was ready to go: a book a day, and real books, like Dickens and Tolstoy and Pynchon and Atwood - no grey areas, such as novellas or blogs, or Nick Hornby books. I was really inspired... until I read that after Julie Powell completed her massive Julie/Julia Project, she was once again lost and needed to find herself again, and turned to an adulterous affair and an apprenticeship at a butcher shop. After that, she was lost once again and decided to travel to world destinations where beef and meat processing are a major industry. After that, she wrote about her experiences in a new book, Cleaving, about butchering and, apparently, how to butcher personal relationships.

And all of a sudden, my fantastic dream of 365 books in 2010 disappeared. It was an impossible dream, if Powell was my guide. As Kim Moritsugu of The Globe & Mail writes, "the real Julie Powell is no Amy Adams". By all accounts, Cleaving is a self-absorbed tell-all that tells too much, and she takes up butchering "for reasons that are not made clear (nor even explored)". An unmitigated disaster, really: "Reading this book is like watching an automobile crash in slow motion". Ouch!

A fellow blogger, Jen from A Book a Week With Jen, felt similarly inspired by Powell's lead, and her blog is a result. She is still going strong, but her review of Cleaving shows that she's outgrown her mentor and become her own blogger:
"The reason I don't like the book is because the retelling of the whole sordid thing is dull. She whines -- a lot. Powell becomes that best friend who is dating the absolute wrong guy, knows it, still does it, and won't shut up about it." (Good for you!!)

I decided that the real Julie Powell was a poor role model to follow, and so I will follow the fictional Julie Powell, aka Amy Adams, who is sweet and cute and sympathetic, and I will try to blog on a regular basis if only to keep myself entertained. Of course, my wife will continue to be mortified, but I will persevere: Do Not Talk About Book Club will make a comeback in 2010!

P.S. Notes on Julie & Julia - Jen provides thoughts on the movie, Amy Adams, and Cleaving. She also provides the link to her first review, of Julie & Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1Tiny Apartment Kitchen.

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