“Sometimes, if you want to be happy, you’ve got to run away to Bath and marry a punk rocker. Sometimes you’ve got to dye your hair cobalt blue or wander remote islands in Sicily, or cook your way through Mastering the Art of French Cooking in a year, for no very good reason.”
--Julie Powell, Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously
I love all books about year-long projects in self-improvement, and I loved this book. (Side note: it's surprising just how big this category is.)
Reading this passage reminded me of a post that I myself wrote several years ago -- A Happiness Lesson from Julia Child? -- which remains one of my favorite pieces of everything I've ever written. I wrote it as a response to reading Child's wonderful memoir, My Life in France.
Here's the final paragraph of that post:
"Julia Child’s love for French cooking was so contagious that even today, almost fifty years after she wrote her first cookbook, we still feel her influence. I’m not sure whether I agree with Ralph Waldo Emerson, who wrote, “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm” – but enthusiasm certainly helps. What a passionate life Julia Child led! And what a marvelous flavor she left behind."