Thursday, May 30, 2024

Warming Up Julia Child: The Remarkable Figures Who Shaped a Legend by Helen Lefkowitz Horowitz -- BOOK BEGINNING



Warming Up Julia Child: The Remarkable Figures Who Shaped a Legend by Helen Lefkowitz Horowitz

Thank you for joining me for Book Beginnings on Fridays. Please share the opening sentence (or so) of the book you are reading this week. You can also share from a book that caught your fancy, even if you are not reading it right now.


Julia Child was a person of great intelligence, drive, and accomplishment, but she did not work and achieve alone. This is a book about friendship and collaboration.

-- from Warming Up Julia Child: The Remarkable Figures Who Shaped a Legend by Helen Lefkowitz Horowitz.

Last week, I finally visited the Smithsonian Museum of US History and saw Julia Child's kitchen. I'm a huge Julia Child fan, so this visit has been high on my list for a long time. It was well worth it. Very cool!

I bought this book at the Smithsonian gift shop and started it immediately, I've read many books by and about Julia Child. This one is a little repetitive -- they all are -- but it focusses on the people who helped Child create and launch Mastering the Art of French Cooking and her tv show, The French Chef. The author draws heavily from archived primary sources, mostly personal correspondence. It makes me feel like I was right there with Child and her team of helpers. I love it. 

I'm not so keen on the title, but that doesn't detract from the book. To me, Warming Up Julia Child sounds like she's leftovers. Or was left out in the cold. 


Please add the link to your Book Beginnings post in the box below. If you share on social media, please use the #bookbeginnings hashtag.

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The Friday 56 is a natural tie-in with Book Beginnings. The idea is to share a two-sentence teaser from page 56 of your featured book. If you are reading an ebook or audiobook, find your teaser from the 56% mark.

Freda at Freda's Voice started and hosted The Friday 56 for a long, long time. She is taking a break and Anne at My Head is Full of Books has taken on hosting duties in her absence. Please visit Anne's blog and link to your Friday 56 post.


-- from Warming Up Julia Child:
After apologizing that she, not Bernard, was writing in thanks, Avis [DeVoto] stated, “I am green with envy at your chance to study French cooking.” With this she opened the conversation that the two would sustain for as long as Avis lived.
This book makes me long for the days of letter writing! The speed and convenience of email has cost us a valuable historic record. 

Warming Up Julia Child is behind-the-scenes look at this supporting team, revealing how the savvy of these helpers, collaborators, and supporters contributed to Julia's overwhelming success.

Julia is the central subject, but Helen Horowitz has her share the stage with those who aided her work. She reveals that the most important element in Julia Child’s ultimate success was her unusual capacity for forming fruitful alliances, whether it was Paul Child, Simone Beck, Avis DeVoto, Judith Jones and William Koshland (at Knopf), and Ruth Lockwood (at WGBH). Without the contribution of these six collaborators Julia could never have accomplished what she did.

Filled with vivid correspondence, fascinating characters, and the iconic joie de vivre that makes us come back to Julia again and again,
Warming Up Julia Child is essential reading for anyone who adores Julia and her legacy.


  1. I love books about Julia Child...

  2. Sounds good. I do enjoy books about Julia Child.

  3. All that I know about Julia Child is from the TV series Being Julia 2022 -2023, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I think I'd like to read this book.

  4. Sounds interesting. I've got to admit, my interest in Julia Child comes from some mysteries I've read with her in them. I never did see her shows.

  5. I envy you seeing that kitchen. I would love to see it, too!

  6. I agree with you about the title, and the first line didn't grab me either, but I love that the book uses Julia's personal correspondence! There's a book called "Love in the Blitz" that is a collection of published letters from Eileen Alexander to her friend/sweetheart Gershon Ellenbogen during WWII. I really enjoyed it!

  7. Lol. I agree about the title. I does sound like a good book, though, and that's a great opener. I also agree about letter writing. It's a lost art. Have a great weekend. :)

  8. I have to agree with you about the title, but the book does sound good! I would love to visit the Smithsonian someday. So much history! Thank you for hosting and have a great weekend!


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