A Book Club Dinner Party

Last Thursday was my in-person book club’s annual dinner party, one of my favorite nights of the year.

This year our book was My Life in France, so of course we had a French-themed dinner!

My Life in France dinner party meal(photo credit: Janet McKnight)

We had beef bourguignon & garlic mashed potatoes, asparagus with hollandaise, Provencal tomatoes, green salad, and bread.

Plus macarons, chocolate cake, and wine. 🙂

It was, as always, a lovely evening.

While we don’t always match the menu to the book, it worked well this month, and it added quite a bit to the appreciation of the book to actually taste some of the items she described in it.

The only downside to the dinner party is I find we rarely discuss the book much, and I’m always happy that typically our book club actually discusses our books. We chatted briefly about the book, and the reality of trying to cook meals like that, but mostly we just socialized. By now we know that’s likely to happen at this meeting, and we choose our book for the month accordingly. 😉

It is a lovely book however, so don’t take our lack of discussion about it to mean that it’s not worth reading. It absolutely is, and you can read more about my thoughts on it in my original post about it from 2012.

Previously on The Deliberate Reader

Four years ago today I started this blog – thank you all so much for reading it!
Two years ago: Magic in the Mix
Three years ago: First Blog Birthday
Four years ago: Welcome to The Deliberate Reader

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Book Review: My Life in France

My Life in France by Julia Child with Alex Prud'Homme - Nonfiction book review by The Deliberate ReaderMy Life in FranceMy Life in France by Julia Child with Alex Prud'Homme - Nonfiction book review by The Deliberate Reader. by Julia Child with Alex Prud’Homme

I picked this book up on a whim – I love biographies, but I tend to shy away from celebrity biographies. Julia Child was a celebrity, but I decided to give this book a chance because, in a way, she got her start as a writer before becoming famous. And I am so glad that I tried the book – it’s a delightful account of her years in France, written by Child and her grand-nephew in the last few years of her life.

Because the book is based in large part on the letters that Julia and her husband Paul wrote to friends and family, it retains a contemporary feel and minimizes the retrospective analysis some biographies or memoirs have. I loved Child’s account of her first meal in France – how eye-opening it was and how it led to her eventual status as an American cooking icon.

I always love behind-the-scenes details, and the stories about what all went into the publication of her masterpiece “Mastering the Art of French Cooking Volume 1” are fascinating. The years of work, the struggles with her coauthors, the difficulties in finding a publisher – even though I know that eventually it is published to wide acclaim, I still found myself wondering how on earth she stuck with it and persevered.

The joy and exuberance with which Child approaches life is infectious, and her love for her husband is heart-warming. Overall it is such a wonderful read: light, amusing, and fun. I highly recommend it.

Find the book: Print | Kindle | Audible | Goodreads

Publisher’s Description:
Julia Child single-handedly awakened America to the pleasures of good cooking with her cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking and her television show The French Chef, but as she reveals in this bestselling memoir, she didn’t know the first thing about cooking when she landed in France.

Indeed, when she first arrived in 1948 with her husband, Paul, she spoke no French and knew nothing about the country itself. But as she dove into French culture, buying food at local markets and taking classes at the Cordon Bleu, her life changed forever. Julia’s unforgettable story unfolds with the spirit so key to her success as as a cook and teacher and writer, brilliantly capturing one of the most endearing American personalities of the last fifty years.

Book Details

Title: My Life in France
Author: Julia Child with Alex Prud’Homme
Category: Nonfiction / Biography
My Rating: 4.5 Stars

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