If you are a fan of all things Julia you will love this book…it might even become a personal treasure that you enjoy rereading as your beef bourguignon is percolating in the oven. If you’ve written Julia Child off as a skit on SNL, you’ll be delightfully surprised by how accessible and personable the real woman was. And if you’ve ever pursued a dream, trying to make it real, this book will stick with you long after you turn the last page.

I had heard how little Julia knew about cooking before moving to France with her dear husband, Paul. (in the ‘how to husband’ handbook, they should put a chapter on Paul!). But I was blown away…oh my, she ate dreadfully and really, it wasn’t her fault. She just hadn’t met a beautiful filet of sole marinating in a luscious puddle of butter yet.

But she will, and that’s so much a part of the fun of this book. Really, Julia had quite a life story going (yes, she was working in the precursor of the CIA during WWII!) before she found her life’s calling. But once she found it she dove in head first and never looked back.

So much of her story is also a love story about her life with Paul, and readers will want to know more about this creative and supportive man. But it’s also the story of so many cooks who learned to love their craft because of a woman who fell in love with food and then made the rest of us fall in love too.

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Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz

If, like me, you’ve always been a fan of the classic murder mystery, this book is for you. Think Agatha Christie, quaint English villages filled with charming citizens, each with a secret or two. And, of course, the manor house and its powerful owner holding sway of...