My Life in France by Julia Child (audiobook)

Well-used audiobook from local library.

Are you a fan of Julie & Julia? That movie made me appreciate the cooking (and eating!) of good food, but it didn’t make me want to learn how to cook. Listening to the audio version of My Life In France, however, has made me want to learn how to cook.

My current skills in the kitchen tap out at chilli and baked chicken breasts. I’ve done the unimaginable (for me) and put a cook book, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, on my wish list.

As a kid, I did not watch Julia Child’s TV show. When it came on or when I got up off the couch to see what else was on, I’d pause on it, want to like it, but would quickly grow bored and turn the dial to something like Woody Woodpecker or the Cubs game.

My Life In France is about Julia’s love affair with France, her discovery of French food, and all the people and projects that they brought into her life. From her first meal in France, Julia was hooked. If you watched Julia & Julia and think you know Julia’s story, much of what Nora Ephron did with this memoir is true in spirit, yet there is, of course, much that was left out or slightly altered to fit the film’s vision.

Julia’s story is an inspirational read for those who are wondering what to do with their lives and offers encouragement to those who are already striving to do what they want to do with their lives. Woven throughout are small snippets of life in France, the political toll of McCarthyism, and the challenges and rewards of creative collaboration. It’s also the great love story between Julia and her husband Paul. Theirs is an example of a relationship where both partners support each other’s interests. They had much in common, but also had passions of their own, which seemed to be the two main ingredients to their happiness.

I own the paperback version of this book (purchased back in the days of Borders) but stumbled on the audiobook at the library. There’s lots of French in this book and French is one language that I have never gotten the hang of (not that I’m a whiz with any foreign language). I no longer try to sound out the words in my head when I come upon French in a book and sometimes when listening to it, it sounds a bit like the teacher from the Peanuts (wah wah, wah-wah, wah), but listening to narrator Kimberly Farr speak the French gave this listening experience an extra flavor that I’m sure would have been lost had I read the print version. 

5 of 5 stars.

My Life In France
Julia Child with Alex Prud’homme
Read by Kimberly Farr
Random House Audio
10 sound discs (ca. 677 min.)

Read for the 2013 TBR Pile Challenge (see my list here) hosted by Roof Beam Reader.

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