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"Dearie" - a Julia Child biography

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nikkihwood Sep 18, 2012 08:52 PM

A 500-plus page book, by Bob Spitz. The notes to the book are so extensive that they had to be published online. They make for as interesting a read as the book does.

It's a wonderful book. If you've read "My Life in France," you know some of the story Spitz presents, but the incredible number of facts, the background information, comments from friends and colleagues, and all of the late 20th century food world gossip add to Julia's legend.

It turns out that he was Julia's choice as a biographer, but other projects - see below - interfered with the writing of this book.

I am an avid reader. 500 pages is a big book. I ripped through this in about 2 1/2 days. It's terrific.

[Spitz also wrote "The Saucier's Apprentice", an 'I'm gonna go to Europe and cook' book - highly entertaining, He's also the author of a comprehensive biography of The Beatles.]

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    cleobeach RE: nikkihwood Sep 19, 2012 06:46 AM

    Thanks for the recommendation, I love biographies and also really enjoyed My Life in France. I added it to my reading list.

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      pedalfaster RE: nikkihwood Sep 19, 2012 03:29 PM

      I too want to thank your for your review. Nice to see it on a food-oriented website. I am putting this on my "to read" list!

      1. gaffk RE: nikkihwood Sep 19, 2012 03:37 PM

        Thanks nikki. I now know what book mom is getting for Christmas. (I'll read it when she's done ;)

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          MarianneB88 RE: nikkihwood Sep 23, 2012 05:56 PM

          Thanks so much for the review! I am wary of reading bios of famous people after reading a few poorly done ones. Julia Child has always been a favorite of mine. I was thrilled to find it in my local library. I will be setting aside a couple of long afternoons to devour this book. Again thanks so much!

          1. C. Hamster RE: nikkihwood Sep 24, 2012 05:56 AM

            I love Julia and ripped through My life in France so I downloaded the sample of "Dearie" to my Kindle and found it stultifying . I was very sad about that. Maybe it gets better as it goes along?

            1 Reply
            1. re: C. Hamster
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              lsmutko RE: C. Hamster Sep 24, 2012 09:45 AM

              I don't know what the Kindle sample entails but I found the book is a bit of a slog at first, but the intensive background on her family does add perspective as it goes on. It's not as breezy as My LIfe in France, but it was worth it to me to hang in with the early chapters.

            2. tamagoji RE: nikkihwood Sep 24, 2012 06:38 AM

              I heard Spitz on NPR (Diane Rehm show). It was nearly an hour long interview that was really engaging, funny, and filled with some great memories of Julia Child from Diane Rehm and other callers of her show.

              http://thedianerehmshow.org/shows/201...

              Glad to hear the book was wonderful. Look forward to reading it.

              1. t
                tvchick RE: nikkihwood Sep 24, 2012 06:26 PM

                I read it a few weeks ago, and yes, the length makes it daunting. I found the parts about her childhood, family and early working years to be only moderately interesting, and "My Life in France" covers much of her life more concisely and engagingly. I also read another book about her years as a "spy"--it focused more on another woman than Julia but covered the India/China years well.

                What Spitz added to my knowledge of JC was detail of her life in the more recent past--Paul's decline in health, her late in life relationship and how she kept going, despite her own health issues. Spitz wears me out--I forgot how exhausted I felt after reading his Beatles bio--but I'm glad that I read "Dearie."

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