For those bemoaning the lost art of reading (here's David Ulin's fine piece in the Los Angeles Times) or the lost art of cooking (Michael Pollan in the New York Times), there is good news on both counts: Julia Child's classic cookbook "Mastering the Art of French Cooking," first published nearly half a century ago, is topping best-seller lists. The Huffington Post reports that the book topped the charts of both Amazon.com (which sold out of the cookbook) and Barnes & Noble.com, and that its publisher Alfred A. Knopf has now ordered an additional 75,000 copies.
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Okay, so the media blitz for the Nora Ephron movie "Julie & Julia," which opened on Friday, has been a little overwhelming. But if these are the results, maybe Knopf should put pictures of Meryl Streep on more book covers. She'd look pretty awesome on the front of Strindberg's "Miss Julie," say, or "Women in Love," by D.H. Lawrence. How about Pollan's own "The Botany of Desire?" Whatever works.