Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Few Thoughts on Gourmet

Right now I'm reading Comfort Me With Apples by Ruth Reichl, a book Daphne had mentioned. (Actually, Daphne suggested I read another Reichl book first, but with my library you take what you get and you don't throw a fit.) Anyway, I'm loving this book. Reichl, who was the editor of Gourmet, writes so passionately about food that she makes me excited for my next meal. Eating is an adventure. Reading this book makes me regret all those times I've eaten crap food like Cocoa Krispies for dinner. Why did I waste my time on that garbage? I should have been eating real food cooked in real butter with bread on the side and a glass of wine and dessert with every meal.

While I was just on the Gourmet website, I read this very negative review of the book and movie Julie and Julia. The reviewer states that Julie Powell's writing is "hollow, narcissistic, and unforgivably lazy." I'll admit I know very little about the blog or the book that the movie is based one, but this review irked me a bit. Aren't all blogs narcissistic? Isn't that the entire nature of a blog? Anyone who takes the time to maintain a blog has more than their share of narcissistic qualities--you have to. The assumption that you have something to say that others would find interesting is what motivates us to get up everyday and do it. And as far as being written lazily, again I think this is the nature of the blog. I routinely start sentences with "and" or "but" and my idea of editing is to hit spellcheck before publishing. It's virtually impossible to self edit and even if it wasn't, who would have that kind of time? This isn't a job. It's what I enjoy doing in the small amount of uninterrupted free time that I have.

This post was supposed to be a Random Thoughts. But after clicking over to Gourmet, it morphed into a rant all fueled by a review for a movie I haven't seen and a book I haven't read. For some reason I took it all very personally. I know a lot of you have read the book and seen the movie...any thoughts?

12 comments:

Daphne said...

I've read the blog, the book, and seen the movie. I loved the blog, I liked the book, and I loved the movie. The blog I liked a lot more than the book -- but I have noticed a trend in that I *always* like the blog better than the book. It loses something in the translation. Hollow? perhaps -- but it's about cooking! Who cares? Narcissistic? maybe. Again - who cares. It was fun! The movie was LOVELY and you should see it. I didn't expect to love it as completely as I did.

Isn't Ruth Reichl wonderful? When she's talking about Berkeley, I know all the locations and some of the people she's talking about, which is fun. The Channing Way house is just about 15 minutes from my house!

Betts said...

Maybe the editor at Gourmet is a little miffed that her magazine is kaput. Anyway, I agree with you about blogs. They aren't meant to be literary masterpieces. I want mine to sound chatty and conversational, not high-brow and verbose.

Tammie said...

i think there is an intimacy that you get with a blog that just doesnt translate into book form.

i do want to see the movie. ive heard really good things about it.

thats so exciting! she describes everything so wonderfully. i have it all pictured in my head.

Tammie said...

betts: thats what i go for too. i dont want my blog to seem exclusive.

Dani said...

Gourmet can suck it.

Mari said...

I just heard a Ruth Reichl interview (with Teri Gross) a couple of weeks ago on npr, and she was fascinating. She talked about her mom being manic/depressive, among other things. I haven't seen/read any of the projects, but I want to read the blog and see the movie!

Barefoot_Mommy said...

I haven't read the blog or the book or seen the movie, but I really WANT to. Maybe once Halloween is over and done with I'll have more time to read. ... eh... who am I kidding... maybe after the new year.... or maybe when my kids are in college. LOL

R.H. Ducky said...

I have been totally MIA lately. Just got a chance to catch up on your blog...

-thanks for sharing about JW, I never knew much about it, and am fascinated
-Happy Flippin' Birthday! I turned 32 last month and don't have it all figured out. I don't hold out much hope for next year either. But I'm ok with that.
-the story of how you met your husband is GREAT! Reminds me of my time in the Air Force and having to sneak around with my gf.
-I haven't read the blog or book or seen Julie/Julia but I wanna.
-and I love having Cocoa Krispies for dinner (which is odd because I don't like chocolate)

Aleta said...

I thoroughly enjoyed the movie, as did my husband. But we related from a blogger point of view. Never thought of it being a case of narcissism. How funny!

Hotch Potchery said...

Really liked the movie. Liked the blog...at first, then I think she did get a bit full of herself...but hey, she did get a book and a movie, no?

Bridge said...

No-but I am a devoted Gourmet reader and I am so sad to have received my last issue. : (

I read Ruth Riechel's Not Becoming my mother (or something) like that and liked it. If you go the the Fresh Air With Terri Gross their is a great interview with her.

I cannot comment on the movie, but really want to see it! Now off to the blog...

victoria said...

Hi Tammi! Way late on this. I had no idea what the movie was about until I originally read your post. I finally saw it and I really liked it. I'm embarrassed to say that the first time I visited Julie Powell's blog I thought it was down or had moved because I couldn't figure out the navigation (the calendar page thing). I've since read a bit of it and like it so far. On the critics ... well you know, whatever. I think Julie gets the last word with a great movie starring Meryl Streep, eh? The movie portrayed them both as being very sweet which doesn't seem to mesh if Julia blew Julie off, know what I mean?