Posts Tagged With: books about Paris

Special Report — PARIS, Paris: Journey into the City of Light

Okay, kids. As promised, here is my review of  PARIS, Paris: Journey into the City of Light.

PARIS, Paris: Journey into the City of Light
by David Downie, 2011, New York: Broadway Books
Photographs by Alison Harris
Foreward by Diane Johnson, author of Le Divorce

PARIS, Paris: Journey into the City of Light is a collection of 31 essays about La Ville Lumière in which historical and personal narratives enlighten readers about Paris’s present. Author David Downie has distilled decades of study and experience and blended it with his unique adventures as a 25-year resident of Paris, resulting in chapters that are not only rich, but accessible reading because of Downie’s down-to-earth personality infusing the text. Downie writes in the chapter entitled “The Janus City,” “… in this old Europe of which Paris is still the cultural capital, to look forward we must first look back” (p. 284). The essays, which are anchored in Downie’s own curiosity about and explorations of the city, are ballasted in historical perspective. Fine photos by his wife and professional photographer, Alison Harris, anchor each chapter with a unique perspective. Like a good whisky, the reading goes down smoothly, and one feels satisfied from first taste to lasting finish.

For more specifics, keep on reading…

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Categories: Book Reviews, Special Reports/Reviews | Tags: , , , , , ,

Special Report: Mademoiselle London ©


You know how sometimes you hear stories that make you think, “Wow. This was no accident! This was meant to be.”

Some days I can (and want) to go the other way: I can just as easily get behind the idea that everything is random and chaotic, hazardous and accidental. Especially about bad things. Who wants to believe that bad things happen on purpose? Not me.

But today I want to share a story that is about good things, serendipity, connections, meaningfulness, and a seeming plan. In short, something that seems full of kismet, or as it was put in the book The Alchemist by Paolo Coelho, maktub. It’s the Arabic word for “destiny” — literally, “it is written.”

As a lover of books and a hopeful writer wannabe, I appreciate the idea that our lives can be written like a story, if not each word, sentence, and paragraph completely set down, then at least as a healthy plot outline which we can follow, and that if we are attuned to our lives and inner sense of being and purpose, we can sense the narrative arc that we came into this life intending. Not to say there are not plot twists and turns along the way. I think that any author worth his or her salt will say that even though they go in intending to write one thing, sometimes another is what comes out. I venture to think our lives are similar.

In the story I plan to share here, a protagonist named MADEMOISELLE LONDON © was born.

The creation of Katya Jezzard-Payraud and Franki Goodwin, Mademoiselle London is the British Everygirl who has come to Paris to try her lot, as many before her, in the expatriate life.

What she finds is that she Hearts Paris, sometimes (quelquefois).

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Meeting Elizabeth Bard of LUNCH IN PARIS


Lunch in Paris by Elizabeth Bard

On Thursday,  March 11, I attended a book talk/book signing with Elizabeth Bard, author of Lunch in Paris.

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Categories: Book Reviews, Life in Paris, Paris Adventures, Paris Blogging, Paris Friends, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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