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Karen Karbo to speak at Ledding Cultural Forum

Readers who want to learn more about Julia Child, the iconic American chef and TV personality, should plan to attend Karen Karbo’s presentation on Thursday, June 5, at the Ledding Library Cultural Forum.

Karbo, a Portland resident, will offer a PowerPoint presentation based on her newest book “Julia Child Rules,” her fourth book in her Kick Ass Women series.

In her first three books in the series, Karbo profiled Georgia O’Keeffe, Katharine Hepburn and Coco Chanel.

Karbo said she wrote about these women “because I’m interested in how they changed our view of what it means to be a modern woman. Julia, who is most like the rest of us, was the most difficult to get my arms around.

“She was just a very tall girl from Pasadena who developed a mania for cooking. And yet, her character, fortitude, stamina and sheer esprit made her an icon. What was it about her? Why do we still revere her? Love her? And, of course, what lessons does her life hold for how we can ‘savor life’?”

“Julia Child Rules” takes the reader from the chef’s early years to the time when she tried to join the military during World War II, but was rejected.

Child, whose maiden name was McWilliams, then got a job with the Office of Strategic Services, a predecessor of the CIA, and was given the task of organizing huge amounts of data. That gave her the ability to compile complex and detailed recipes. Also, while working for the OSS, McWilliams met Paul Child, who became her husband and biggest supporter.

Karbo is looking forward to meeting her readers at the cultural forum and said that these kinds of author events are important for a community, because “anytime we’re away from our screens for more than a few hours is a triumph. Gathering to discuss pretty much anything, face to face is more important than ever before.”

Stir up some fun!

What: The Ledding Library Cultural Forum presents Karen Karbo, author of “Julia Child Rules” and many other works.

When: 7 to 8 p.m. Thursday, June 5

Where: The Pond House, 2215 S.E. Harrison St., Milwaukie

Cost: Free

More: karenkarbo.com