Julia Makes a Comeback (and on her birthday, no less)

The two books alternating between the number one bestselling spot on Amazon this week have been The Time Traveler's Wife and Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Coincidence that both are movie tie-ins? I think not. But to focus on Julia Child, as today is her birthday: does anyone else find it interesting that it was a movie based on a book about a cookbook that made the original book (the cookbook) a bestseller for the first time in its fifty-year history?

Granted, the cookbook is permanently engrained in the American psyche, having sold over a million copies - yes, you read right, one million copies - in its lifetime, but before the release of the Nora Ephron, Meryl Streep, Amy Adams power-trio, no one had heard of the memoir of Julie Powell and poor Julia Childs had never seen her name printed in that yearned-for #1 bestseller spot. Last year, Knopf (the publisher), sold approximately 25,000 copies of the classic cookbook; this year, the book has gone through four printings for the movie, three in the last week alone, adding another 225,000 copies to the book's lifetime sales. (Info from a Knopf release discussed in Friday's Shelf Awareness)

I used to despair that it took a movie to encourage people to read, but the more I think about it, the more I have decided that it doesn't matter what the motivation is. Just read. Anything at all. I haven't read Powell's original memoir yet, but I did pick up the old hardcover version on a bargain rack about a year ago, so once I unpack those books, it will move somewhere to the top of the stack. See? Even I'm influenced in my reading decisions by films and TV.


Post Script: Best Julia quote? "Life itself is the proper binge."

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