Appetite for Life: The Biography of Julia Child (2020)

Appetite for Life: The Biography of Julia Child Noël Riley Fitch Appetite for Life The Biography of Julia Child Julia Child became a household name when she entered the lives of millions of Americans through our hearts and kitchens Yet few know the richly varied private life that lies behind this icon whose st
  • Title: Appetite for Life: The Biography of Julia Child
  • Author: Noël Riley Fitch
  • ISBN: 9780385493833
  • Page: 264
  • Format: Paperback
Appetite for Life: The Biography of Julia Child Noël Riley Fitch Julia Child became a household name when she entered the lives of millions of Americans through our hearts and kitchens Yet few know the richly varied private life that lies behind this icon, whose statuesque height and warmly enthused warble have become synonymous with the art of cooking.In this biography we meet the earthy and outrageous Julia, who, at age eighty five,Julia Child became a household name when she entered the lives of millions of Americans through our hearts and kitchens Yet few know the richly varied private life that lies behind this icon, whose statuesque height and warmly enthused warble have become synonymous with the art of cooking.In this biography we meet the earthy and outrageous Julia, who, at age eighty five, remains a complex role model Fitch, who had access to all of Julia s private letters and diaries, takes us through her life, from her exuberant youth as a high spirited California girl to her years at Smith College, where she was at the center of every prank and party When most of her girlfriends married, Julia volunteered with the OSS in India and China during World War II, and was an integral part of this elite corps There she met her future husband, the cosmopolitan Paul Child, who introduced her to the glories of art, fine French cuisine, and love Theirs was a deeply passionate romance and a modern marriage of equals.Julia began her culinary training only at the age of thirty seven at the Cordon Bleu Later she roamed the food markets of Marseilles, Bonn, and Oslo She invested ten years of learning and experimentation in what would become her first bestselling classic, Mastering the Art of French Cooking Now, her career is legend, spanning nearly forty years and still going strong Generations love the humor and trademark aplomb that have made Julia a household name Resisting fads and narrow, fanatical conventions of health consciousness, Julia is the quintessential teacher The perfect gift for food lovers and a romantic biography of a woman modern before her time, this is a truly American life.
Appetite for Life: The Biography of Julia Child Noël Riley Fitch

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One thought on “Appetite for Life: The Biography of Julia Child

  1. Jodi

    Man, did this book blow How can you take a life like Julia Child s worked in the early version of the CIA during WWII, started a new career as a chef at 39 and became a famous food author and presenter and make it totally boring I m not sure how you manage to make Julia Child s life boring but this author did it Geez I really couldn t finish this book and I would recommend ANY OTHER biography of Julia Child over this one I think the author got bogged down in endless details of Julia Child s life [...]

  2. Christine

    Julia is one of my all time favorite people, but this book was horrible Some great details, thank heavens, thus not a total loss I don t know who is really to blame, the editor or the author, but someone should have been paying better attention What a squandered opportunity

  3. Ed Burke

    An incredible book An in depth biography of a fabulous character in American culture Highest recommendations.

  4. Gemma

    For the record, if anyone ever has to do a report on someone moderately well known for school, I would totally recommend doing Julia Child.She had a fascinating life she worked as a spy in India, was on television and became relatively well known from the 60 s to 90 s She s also not a clich , like a dead US president or European artist, so your teacher probably wouldn t have heard as much about her, and she s obscure enough that you probably don t know all the details of her life.That being said [...]


    Julia McWilliams was always adventurously hunting for food to fill her 6 2 frame When, in her late 20s, the Smith College educated Californian took a wartime job with the OSS that sent her to Ceylon Sri Lanka and China, she began cultivating a taste for authentic eatables as an alternative to service fare Almost resigned to spinsterhood, she met and married Cambridge, Mass born government official Paul Child, who was on Asian duty, and accompanied him to his USIA posts in France and Germany A ga [...]

  6. Laurie

    Two reasons to read this book one, to find out about a beloved icon, two, to find details to undermine the myth created about the beloved icon in My Life in Paris and Julie Julia To pursue either of these goals, you will have to get through 500 pages of earnest but ill edited prose We feel like we ve heard about every restaurant meal Julia ever ate, every tribute by an adoring public, every bookstore signing As for the myth undermining motive, we learn that Julia actually took a cooking course [...]

  7. Shara Faskowitz

    Exhaustive biography of the great Julia Child Early on, the author states that while Julia did not give her personal interviews she did grant Fitch unprecedented access to her family letters and other papers And out of that Fitch built what is probably the seminal biography on Julia.So the good news is that Fitch was an experienced and well known biographer when she came to the project, and she makes good use of the material to weave a mostly fascinating tale of an American icon and not just a f [...]

  8. Jennuineglass

    Not quite what I was looking for, this autobiography was light on the personal dynamics of Ms Child s life and heavy on the what how of her public persona and achievements I confess that by the end I was skimming over pages hunting between cost analysis of her latest book show and looking for tidbits and they were simply bits of her relationships w Paul, friends, and thoughts of the places they traveled to If you are looking for a full detailed journey of how she became the culinary icon of a ge [...]

  9. Elaine

    I am glad I read this book because it gave me a good picture of who Julia Child was and how she influenced the cooking world In one respect, it is a love story about her life with her husband , Paul She would not have gained the fame she had with out his support and character The other part is about how she learned to cook, who she was influenced by, her friends and family and her work ethic The sad part about this book is that it needed an editor IT is over 500 pages long, often listing Julia s [...]

  10. Leeanna

    If you ve read my blog at all, you ve probably seen me mention My Life in France by Julia Child at least once It s a book I adore The writing is fun, Julia s personality shines through on every page, and it s a fascinating tale of how Mastering the Art of French Cooking came to be Ever since reading My Life in France, I ve devoured as many books on Julia Child as I can find None have come close to that book for me Appetite for Life is not a biography I would recommend unless you are interested i [...]

  11. Anne

    Ok, so I was really looking forward to reading about Julia but this has got to be one of the dullest books I have ever read The subject, Julia, is a fascinating woman but the authors writing style is terrible I borrowed it from the library, had to force myself to keep reading because the due date was coming up, renewed it once, tried to renew it again but couldn t because someone else had a request in for it All that and I had only just gotten to where Julia married Paul and was becoming interes [...]

  12. Margaret

    I enjoyed this book very much because Julia Child herself is such a fascinating subject who led a fascinating life full of family, friends, travel, and of course, food The only part of the book I will criticize is the amount of detail it s mind boggling I can understand mentioning names of main characters, but this lady seems to have named and explained everyone Julia ever met it got pretty tiresome With less of that yearbooky, who can forget so and so stuff, it would have been a shorter and en [...]

  13. Angela

    500 pages of Julia Child is a lot Ms Child is worth 500 pages, though, and she offered up plenty of written material to base the book on, so it s an interesting read.I d say that unless you re really, really into Julia, reading My Life if France is enough In fact, if you haven t read that one, you should.Even though I d already read about that portion of her life, I found the bits about her learning to cook and researching the recipes for Mastering the Art of French Cooking to be the most intere [...]

  14. Aniesa

    At first, I thought this book was going to annoy me The amount of detail is cumbersome when discussing Julia s earlier life e.g the teaching philosophy of teachers she had in college, the life stories of friends in high school, etc But once she meets Paul and the Julia everyone loves appears, the details becomes thoroughly enjoyable An inspirational story Find what you love and do it .

  15. Joanne

    I stopped reading halfway through this tedious book Maybe, like some cheese, Julia and Paul improve with age, but I don t care enough to see I disliked the author s name dropping, and statements like She was fair, a classic California girl, and Julia was fair, white and 31 I hated reading about eels skinned alive, and little rabbits killed by drowning them in wine, to feed vulgar self important asses.

  16. J

    Overall an enjoyable book The heavy drawbacks are the amount of information to process it basically gives a year by year account of Julia Child s life until the publication date Plus, there are enough parenthetical statements to fill up their own book A bit slow in the middle, still compelling enough to finish til the end.

  17. Dorothy

    I enjoyed My Life in France so much Read Julia s own words This was an academic look at Julia s life which chronicals accurately, but didn t include very much that could be considered risque though Julia did in her own account Though I appreciate the attempt at civility, I think Julia s joie de verve included her passion for food and for her husband.

  18. Jacquelyn

    I doubt you could find a detailed or educational book about Julia I ve read a handful of books about her and I learned so much new about her while reading this book I only love her

  19. Teresa

    If you want to read an encyclopedic account of Julie Child s is the book for you One fact after another with little or no fun I would not recommend this for an enjoyable read.

  20. Tina

    Growing up watching Julia Child on tv, she was one of the first people to influence my love for cooking and baking She is right up there, at least to me, on the top of the lists of influential chefs besides my great gramma, gramma and mom I got this book on the clearance table at the book store and read it in one day Loved reading about how she and her husband landed in Paris, for his government job, and she decided to attend French cooking classes where she was one of the only women in attendan [...]

  21. Linda

    I would probably rate this book 2 1 2 stars The first half of the book was really interesting with how she met Paul Child and their overseas experience in the war Her background was also unique She did attend college and was born into wealth but didn t want a normal life for her generation The Jane Foster experience and McCarthy was glossed over however Once she went to France her life took a turn and so did the book Every recipe was mentioned and the book became boring The most unique part of t [...]

  22. Cindy Harris

    Loved the insight into how the food scene developed over Julia s lifetime I came to awareness of food and cooking over the same period that she was becoming known Looking back at the food we ate at home through Julia s eyes was absolutely fascinating And it was even interesting when I read Perfection Salad Women and Cooking at the Turn of the Century by Laura Shapiro That story covers the period of Julia s mother s generation and explains how the world that Julia became aware of came into being [...]

  23. Janice

    If you re looking for something as light and breezy as My Life in France which I loved this may not be the book for you It dives much deeper into the same material and , very detailed, almost textbook like I enjoyed it and am very glad I picked it up My only problem was that I had to give up trying to keep track of the many people Mrs Child associated with over many years That said, the author did a meticulous job of presenting an interesting life of over 80 years.

  24. Firecooked

    This is a biography with a big B it was authorized the author had full access to Julia Child, her letters, several family diaries, as well as letters and interviews with family and friends It s very much the historical work, sometimes overstuffed with minutia, names and dates, but does an excellent job of describing Julia and how she fit into the recent history of food as well as US history The appendices describe all the source material, a great job was done in editing to only 500 pages In the [...]

  25. Jordan Powers

    Appetite For Life, The Biography of Julia ChildBy Noel Riley FitchJulia Carolyn McWilliams was born in Pasadena California, on August 15, 1912 In 1945 she was in the OSS and was responsible for important documents Julia was married to Paul Cushing Child on September 1, 1946 in Stockton, New Jersey Julia arrived in Bad Godesberg, Germany with her husband They spent two years in Germany learning the language and searching for good restaurants Julia and Paul explored lots of different parts of Pari [...]

  26. Linda Harkins

    Queen Julia has done than Freidan , Gloria Steinem and Co to show American women a model of power in public and expressive self discovery at home Christopher Lydon.Fitch s biography is thorough and insightful and leaves one with a sense of reverence and respect for Julia Child 1912 2004 Having read and seen Julie Julia despite Julia Child s feeling that book and movie were money making stunts, I knew it was high time to read this biography I was not disappointed Child was ahead of her time much [...]

  27. Carla

    The only thing bad about this book was that it was long too dense with research and information not such a bad thing I started reading this book that s long been on my bookshelf after watching the movie Julie and Julia Watching the convincing Meryl Streep as Julia and Stanley Tucci as Paul Child left me wondering what else I did not remember or know about their lives The book left me in awe of Julia born in 1912, she is a classic example of a modern woman She had than one successful career spy [...]

  28. Biblio Files (takingadayoff)

    It s not something I m proud of, but I seem to be addicted to books about Julia Child I m sure there are mediocre ones out there, but there are surprising numbers of very good ones as well This is one of the first, and I ve only now gotten around to reading it It s up there with the best, but if there s a fault with it, it s that it feels as if the biographer is too close to her subject and reluctant to criticize It s not a hagiography by any means, but there s nothing here that Julia Child hers [...]

  29. Jessica

    I agree with a lot of other reviewers that this book grew really tedious with all the superfluous detail For me, the first part of the book was great and it was enjoyable to read about Julia s childhood, college life, and early work experiences including her time in the OSS during WWII, where she met Paul It s when the Child s move to France and Julia starts cooking that things slow down, and the last few chapters of the book really drag I think the problem is that Julia s life was so well docum [...]

  30. Gizzard

    I wavered between a 2 and a 3 for this book, and wrote a really long review that got lost I dislike when people mark down books because they don t like a character or their religion, so I can t give this a good rating just because I did like the character It is still a very flawed book.Bottom line, this book is overly detailed much of this detail shedding no light on Child the person or her career Much too much, I would have loved the condensed version It is also one sided Julia was saint, every [...]

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