Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Paris: A Perfect Flower, in a Random Alleyway

I'm just back from Paris.

Paris, I think, is a perfect flower, in a random alleyway.

We were waiting for our restaurant to open. We walked through the alleyway next to the restaurant while we waited. 

There was heart graffiti all along the walls of the alley.


Suddenly I saw it. A perfect flower. In a random alleyway.


Paris is a perfect flower in a random alleyway. There is beauty to be found everywhere in Paris, even in unexpected spots.




For more wordless photos, go to Wordless Wednesday.

Saturday Snapshot is hosted by A Web of Stories. To participate in Saturday Snapshot: post a photo that you (or a friend or family member) have taken and then leave a direct link to your post in the Mister Linky at A Web of Stories.


Tuesday, February 18, 2020

The Last Ten Books That Wowed Me


"Read the best books first, 
or you may not have a chance to read them at all."
                ---Thoreau

And this is why I love the Classics Club....

I read 300+ books a year, but the best books are always classics.

I resist, and try new titles with lots of buzz. But it's the classics I love, it's the classics I urge others to read, it's the classics I get lost in.

Here are the last ten classic books I loved:




The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
Persuasion by Jane Austen
L'Assommoir by Emile Zola
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Moby Dick by Herman Melville
Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome
Don Quixote by Miguel De Cervantes
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott


Are you interested in reading more good books? You might like to join the Classics Club. What is the Classics Club? From the blog:

  • Choose 50+ classics.
  • List them at your blog.
  • Choose a reading completion goal date up to five years in the future and note that date on your classics list of 50+ titles.
  • E-mail the moderators of this blog (theclassicsclubblog@gmail.com) with your list link and information and it will be posted on the Members Page.
  • Write about each title on your list as you finish reading it, and link it to your main list
  • When you’ve written about every single title, let the club know.
 For more information about joining the Classics Club, check out this post.




Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. Each Tuesday That Artsy Reader Girl assigns a topic and then post her top ten list that fits that topic. You’re more than welcome to join her and create your own top ten (or 2, 5, 20, etc.) list as well. Feel free to put a unique spin on the topic to make it work for you! Please link back to That Artsy Reader Girl in your own post so that others know where to find more information.

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Weekly Wrap-Up: Au Revoir, Paris!




I am home after seventeen days in Paris. 

The flight home was eleven and a half hours in the air, and then it was another hour and half ride home in the car. I was so happy to see my husband---he grew a beard while I was gone. The house was spotless and I found a huge pile of books that have arrived in the mail while I was gone...it was a perfect homecoming.





I told my husband when I arrived home that I'd read three books and started a fourth. He looked surprised and said I'd slowed down my reading while I was gone. You misunderstand, I said. I didn't read only three books and start a fourth during the seventeen days of my trip to Paris; I read three books and started a fourth on the plane home!


So what did I read in the last seventeen days?




I am now a Zola fan. I finished my first Emile Zola book, L'Assoimmoir, while I was in Paris, and it went straight to my list of Favorite Books Ever and Must-Reads.

I delighted in reading Champagne Baby. I was expected to enjoy this book mainly for its French characters, but I ended up enjoying the memoir itself as well as all the information I learned about wine and the wine industry.

The Reader on the 6.27 was great fun. Guylain works at a job he hates: Guylain shreds books. His one joy in life is reading aloud each day on the 6.27 train. And then he discovers a diary on the train, and he feels compelled to find the author of the diary.

And The President's Hat, the story of a hat that travels from person to person, empowering each one to do the things he had been afraid to do, was also a delight.


I also read and reviewed lots of small books while I was in Paris: The Little Bookshop on the Seine; Alone Time: Four Seasons, Four Cities, and the Pleasures of Solitude; City Trails of Paris: Literary Paris: A Photographic Tour: The Little Paris Kitchen; L'art de la Liste; Charlotte in Paris; Forever Paris: 25 Walks in the Footsteps of the City's Most Illustrious Figures; Pretty Minnie in Paris; The Knight and the Dragon; There Was An Old Dragon Who Swallowed a Knight; Introduction to French Poetry. All of these are reviewed at Goodreads.






Every morning in Paris, I would eat a jar of Bordier yogurt, drink a cup of coffee, and read a few chapters in the only book I brought with me on the trip, Paris in Winter: An Illustrated Memoir by David Coggins.

I'm still reading it, now that I'm home.





How many months of the year do I work on the Cybils? We start at the end of the summer, organizing the year, creating images, and continue through the fall, seeking out judges, encouraging nominations, working through the winter, reading books, discussion books, choosing finalists, and finish on Valentine's Day with the announcement of the winners. It's a tremendous amount of work, but it's all worth it when the winners are chosen and announced, as they were this week here. I can't remember when I've loved the Cybils Board Book and Cybils Fiction Picture Book winners more than I have this year. Please check out the amazing board book, Jump! by Tatsuhide Matsuoka, published by Gecko Press, and the fabulous fiction picture book, One Fox: A Counting Book Thriller (the first picture book thriller I've ever read, btw) by Kate Read, published by Peachtree.









While I was off in Paris, I posted three times about French words from In Other Words: A Language Lover's Guide to the Most Intriguing Words Around the World. I loved this book so much that I plan to get my own copy.









Someone recommended Portlandia to me. Thank you. Good and quirky. 



I'd love to hear about your week.




I'm very happy you found your way to the Sunday Salon. There are no real requirements to linking up at Sunday Salon. Sunday Salon is simply a place for us to link up and to share what we have been doing during the week. Sunday Salon is a great way to visit other blogs and join in the conversations going on there. 

Some of the things we often talk about at the Sunday Salon:

  • What was your week like?
  • Read any good books? Tell us about them.
  • What other bookish things did you do? 
  • What else is going on in your life?


Other places where you may like to link up over the weekend are below. Click on the picture to visit the site.


My linkup for Sunday Salon is below.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

In Other Words: A Language Lover's Guide to the Most Intriguing Words Around the World (Partie Trois)


In Other Words: A Language Lover's Guide to the Most Intriguing Words Around the World
written by Christopher J. Moore

"Take a trip around the world of words and unlock the meaning of some of the most insightful, intriguing, and satisfying expressions on the planet, for which there are no English equivalents."

Christopher J. Moore closely studies all the languages of the world to find the most fascinating words and expressions and shares them with us in this book. Moore finds words in French, German, Italian, and other Western European languages; Czech, Russian, and other Eastern European languages; Yiddish; Nordic languages including Danish, Norwegian, and Icelandic; the Middle Eastern languages of Arabic, Turkish, and Persian; African languages; Asian languages; ancient and classical languages; indigenous languages; and Creole and Pidgen languages. This is the kind of book that we who love words could read for a year.

While I'm off in Paris for a few weeks, I thought it would be fun to share some of the most fascinating French words from the book, and to use my nascent photography skills to illustrate each.

Here are a few of my illustrated words:




Monday, February 10, 2020

159 Love Books I Have Read

Here are all the books I have read with "love" in the title. There are 159 books with "love" in the title. (There are only two with "hate" in the title. That's hopeful, I think.)

Some of my favorite book titles are "love" titles.

Many involve Paris...
I Love Paris. 
Everyone Loves Paris.
Paris in Love.
Lessons in Food and Love from a Year in Paris.
Paris I Love You But You're Bringing Me Down.

Or books...
For the Love of Books. 
How to Find Love in a Bookshop.
The Library of Unrequited Love.
The Dewey Decimal System of Love.

Some describe the outer boundaries of love...
When an Elephant Falls in Love.
Hair Love.
Love in the Asylum. 
Love Letters to the Dead.

Some involve some unexpected love objects...
Baby Loves Quarks.
Rosa Loves Dinosaurs.
Cece Loves Science.
Penny Loves Pink.
Miffy Loves New York City.
Mouse Loves Snow.
I Love My White Shoes.
Worm Loves Worm.
Betty Bunny Loves Chocolate Cake.

Some seek to explain love...
The Ingredients of Love.
The Tapestry of Love.
The Colors of Love.
Love Illuminated.
Love's Little Instruction Book.
The Lover's Dictionary.


Love Books by debnance
Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. Each Tuesday That Artsy Reader Girl assigns a topic and then post her top ten list that fits that topic. You’re more than welcome to join her and create your own top ten (or 2, 5, 20, etc.) list as well. Feel free to put a unique spin on the topic to make it work for you! Please link back to That Artsy Reader Girl in your own post so that others know where to find more information.

Saturday, February 8, 2020

Weekly Wrap-Up: Aimer Mon Temps à Paris (Loving My Time in Paris)




I'm halfway through my aventures à Paris. I would love to live here. Do you think my husband would understand if I decided to stay for a few more weeks? Months? Years?




I'm continuing to read along in my Paris books. 






I've loaded up my Kindle with books about Paris for my trip. Here's what I have on my Kindle:


(Not Quite) Mastering the Art of French Living (memoir)
Alone Time: Four Seasons, Four Cities, and the Pleasures of Solitude (memoir)
Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne (classic fiction; 1001 Children's Books)
Barefoot in Paris: Easy French Meals You Can Make at Home
The Belly of Paris by Emile Zola (classic fiction)
The Book of Salt by Monique Truong
Captain Fracasse by Theophile Gautier (classic fiction; 1001 Children's Books)
Champagne Baby: How One Parisian Learned to Love Wine-and Life-the American Way (memoir)
Charlotte in Paris (children's book)
Chez Moi: A Novel by Agnes Desarthe (fiction)
City Walks: Paris (travel)
Fairy Tales by Marie Catherine Baronne D'Aulnoy (classic children's fiction; 1001 Children's Books)
Father Goriot by Honore de Balzac (classic fiction)
Forever Paris: 25 Walks in the Footsteps of Chanel, Hemingway, Picasso, and More (travel)
French Visual Phrase Book (language)
Gourmet Rhapsody by Muriel Barbery (fiction)
In Foreign Fields: How Not to Move to France (memoir)
Introduction to French Poetry: A Dual Language Book (poetry)
L'appart: The Delights and Disasters of Making Paris Home by David Lebovitz (memoir)
L'art de la Liste: Simplify. Organize. Enrich Your Life. (self-help)
L'assommoir by Emile Zola (classic fiction)
Learn French with Paul Noble (language audio)
Literary Paris: A Photographic Tour (photos)
The Little Bookshop on the Seine (fiction audiobook)
Little French Bakery Cookbook (cookbook)
The Little Paris Kitchen by Rachel Khoo (cookbook)
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
My Paris Kitchen by David Leibowitz (cookbook)
Mystery of the Yellow Room by Gaston Leroux (classic audiobook; 1001 Children's Books)
Ooh La La! French Women's Secrets to Feeling Beautiful Every Day (self-help)
Omelette and a Glass of Wine by Elizabeth David (foodie nonfiction)
Mad Enchantment: Claude Monet and the Painting of the Water Lilies (nonfiction)
Nobody's Boy by Hector Malot (children's fiction; 1001 Children's Books)
P. S. from Paris by Marc Levy (fiction)
Paris City Trails (travel)
Paris in a Weekend with Two Kids (travel)
Paris: Lonely Planet (travel)
Paris Revealed: The Secret Life of a City by Stephen Clarke
Paris Sweets: Great Desserts from the City's Best Pastry Shops (cookbook)
Paris: The Novel by Edward Rutherford (historical fiction)
Paris to the Moon by Adam Gopnik (memoir)
Pocket Paris (travel)
President's Hat by Antoine Laurain (fiction)
Pretty Minnie in Paris (children's picture book)
Reader on the 6.27 (fiction)
Seven Ages of Paris (history)
Sophie's Misfortunes by Sophie Rostopchine, Countess of Segur (classic children's fiction; 1001 Children's Books)
Sundays in Paris: An Insider's Guide to the Best Places to Eat, Drink, and Explore (travel)
Taste of Paris: A History of the Parisian Love Affair with Food (foodie nonfiction)
To Capture What We Cannot Keep by Beatrice Colin (fiction)
Where is the Eiffel Tower? (children's nonfiction)
Who Was Claude Monet? (children's biography)
Writer's Paris: A Guided Journey for the Creative Soul (writing)

Yellow highlights books I am currently read.







I'll be posting 159 Love Books I Have Read on Tuesday. Some of the titles are rather odd. How many books with "love" in the title have you read? 









Who of you told me about this show? Thank you, thank you. I am enjoying it so much.




I'd love to hear about your week.




I'm very happy you found your way to the Sunday Salon. There are no real requirements to linking up at Sunday Salon. Sunday Salon is simply a place for us to link up and to share what we have been doing during the week. Sunday Salon is a great way to visit other blogs and join in the conversations going on there. 

Some of the things we often talk about at the Sunday Salon:

  • What was your week like?
  • Read any good books? Tell us about them.
  • What other bookish things did you do? 
  • What else is going on in your life?


Other places where you may like to link up over the weekend are below. Click on the picture to visit the site.


My linkup for Sunday Salon is below.