New View of Julia Child

Next week, a new window opens on the Julia Child legend, with As Always, Julia: The Letters of Julia Child and Avis DeVoto, edited by Joan Reardon, a collection of Child’s correspondence with her close friend and unofficial literary agent. The two women first encountered each other in 1952, when DeVoto responded to Child’s fan letter to her husband after reading an article he wrote about knives, and became soul mates as Childs was writing Mastering the Art of French Cooking (DeVoto is portrayed in the film Julie & Julia by Deborah Rush).

Entertainment Weekly gives it a “B”: “While their conversations can drag a bit — weather, health, and politics get too much space — the book is an absorbing portrait of an unexpected friendship.”

So far, library holds are in line with modest orders at libraries we checked – but that may change as more media arrives.

As Always, Julia: The Letters of Julia Child and Avis DeVoto
Retail Price: $26.00
Hardcover: 432 pages
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt – (2010-12-01)
ISBN / EAN: 0547417713 / 9780547417714

Usual Suspects On Sale Next Week

Rescue: A Novel by Anita Shreve (Little, Brown) follows a paramedic worried that his daughter is becoming an alcoholic, like his troubled ex-wife. Library Journal says, “a solid read, though not the author’s most compelling or dazzling work. Excellent fodder for book clubs; there is plenty to discuss in the protagonists’ motivations, decisions, and characterization.”

Of Love and Evil by Anne Rice (Knopf) is the second entry in the supernatural Songs of the Seraphim series, involving a divine vigilante dispensing justice in Renaissance Italy. Kirkus says, “The plot’s intense; equally so are Rice’s meditations, while never breaking the seamlessness of the story line, on the nature of love and evil. A bullet of a book—and an absolute bull’s eye.”

Port Mortuary by Patricia Cornwell (Putnam) is the 18th novel with detective Kay Scarpetta.

The Sherlockian by Graham Moore (Twelve) finds a literary investigator caught up in a murder case. Library Journal says, “constant switching of narrators can be jarring, but Moore does an excellent job of making his characters and settings feel real, using his thorough knowledge of the Holmes stories to good effect.”

Clouds Without Rain by P. L. Gaus (Plume) is an Indie Next Pick for December that won bookseller praise for its slowly unravelling mystery set in Amish country, “with a good many surprises along the way. Another excellent entry in this series.”

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