in Ex Libris Sorcha

Ex Libris Sorcha: Chapter 1

“Oooh, Julie and Julia.” I stood snooping around my roommate’s desk after I’d killed my internet catching up on Glee and Bones, looking for some new entertainment. “I saw the movie. Is the book good?”

“Dunno,” she mumbled from behind her newest used bookstore find, “haven’t read it yet. You can borrow it if you want.”

I hardly think she intended for me to hold onto it for two years, long after we’d moved out of that suffocating dorm and into separate states of our own. Though considering she’s still holding onto a couple books of mine as well, I don’t feel all that bad about it. It took me a loooooong time to get into it. I’d pick it up every few months, read a few pages, and then put it down again a few days later when something else caught my attention. Honestly I can’t be sure whether this is due to a problem in writing style or a problem of my own attention span but when I picked it up as my last resort (after a particularly traumatizing book experience involving some graphic werewolf snogging that interrupted a perfectly nice Victorian setting and… *ahem*) I was determined to give it a decent chance.

Back in 2011, Meg started her first solo blog called Ex Libris Sorcha: The Quest for 100,000 Pages. It was a way of motivating herself to keep reading new and interesting books while she was in college getting tired of reading the material assigned to her. This is the continuation of that quest. This particular article is a repost from November 2011.

Chapter 1:
In Which A Secretary Conquers The World… With Food

Either way, once I got into the story, I was hooked. Julie Powell’s narrative style can be both hilarious and heartbreaking in the same sentence. As I continued through the book I’d almost get this eerie feeling that her emotions were my own. In parts of the book where she was irritable and stressed, I would be irritable and stressed. When good things happened to her, I was happy. I’m not sure my fiance, Sab, appreciated these unexplainable mood swings so much but it was definitely one of the more extraordinary reading experiences I’ve had.

NOTE OF CAUTION: I don’t know how many of you have seen the movie but if you have, you may remember how big of a deal it is for Julie to cook a lobster, she essentially freaks out and receives sympathetic help from her husband (accompanied by the song Psycho Killer which cracked up my brother and me in ways only an inside joke can). The movie did not, by any stretch of the imagination, capture the horror I felt while reading the book. I visibly cringed, my skin crawled, and I almost could not continue reading her descriptions of cramming the still living lobsters into the too-small pot and trying to crush the lid down onto their twitching heads. Let alone the part where she had to dissect one while still alive… I almost lost it. As if I wasn’t already certain of my distaste for eating a food that looks like a giant cockroach, this books has successfully assured I never, ever will. I feel nothing but pity for those beady black eyes as I pass them in the super market. Oh, the horror…

Julie & Julia is an amazing, true to life story of a woman, like so many in our day, who grows up and still doesn’t know who or what she is, questions that she finds answers to in one of the most unlikely of places, inside the pages of a cookbook. In typical stories, the end is always graduation or marriage but Julie shows us there’s no shame in getting to that point and still not having everything figured out. I think this book deserves its place as my first review here because, in a way, it inspired me to start this whole project. Not that I’m expecting that kind of drastic change and surge into fame from this blog but I want to challenge myself to do something new and maybe, in the end, I’ll be better for it

Julie & Julia by Julie Powell (362 pages)
Judgment: Emotionally Stimulating (8 out of 10)

Quest Status: 362 / 100,000 Pages

Even if Meagan E. Garey wanted to set down her mint cocoa in her very favorite Kiki’s Delivery Service mug, there is absolutely no room. Scrapbook paper, Perler beads, stationary, embroidery thread, origami birds, and packages of clay litter the small desk. Instead, she opts to stand, put the cup on top of a nearby shelf, and get back to work. Her library haul of the latest YA fantasy, a chunky graphic novel, and some classic that was overlooked in school and moved to the floor to make more room. She pops on a movie to watch while she works. The familiar animated faces make her smile and make the work go by faster as she repeats the well-memorized lines. Don’t worry, she’ll write that next article… eventually.

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