Saturday, January 25, 2020

Je Pars à Paris!

Paris, Paris, Paris. That's pretty much all I thought about this week, and all I will be thinking about for the next three weeks.

I bought some cold weather clothes based on recommendations many of you shared with me...layers...fleece...hats, gloves, scarves. Paris in winter will be a whole new world for me, a lifelong resident of the Texas Gulf Coast.

And I spontaneously decided to buy a Kindle to take with me to Paris. I want to be able to read wherever I am, without wifi, and a Kindle turned how to be a relatively inexpensive way to load up on books and read for up to twelve hours without recharging. I had a Kindle version 1 when they first came out, but I've missed the subsequent ten generations. I hope I like using it. I picked the Kindle Fire because I wanted to be able to download books from Hoopla at my library, too.

I finished The Truth Is last week. I live a couple of blocks from our local high school, and after reading this deeply realistic YA fiction book, I feel like someone needs to send in a team of counselors to work with the students there. Whew. Are high school students really this devastatingly mean to each other? Are the parents of high school students really this negligent? Please tell me that the characters in The Truth Is are on the far side of typical. My worries about the world have just soared.

The Truth Is will never be on a list of mood-boosting books.

I've loaded up my Kindle with books about Paris for my trip. You'd be surprised what you can find at your public library or as free Kindle books. 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)

Which of these should I read first?

Amazon was not my friend this week.

It was my great-niece's first birthday. I ordered three books for her from Amazon. I decided to mail them directly to her house. They were scheduled to arrive on Sunday. On Sunday morning, I got a notice that they could not be delivered; the driver could not find her house! What? My great-niece lives in a subdivision right off a main street in a Houston suburb. Her family has lived there for several years. And they can't find her house? 

I called Amazon and gave Amazon detailed instructions on how to find the house. We will definitely deliver the package on Monday, the Amazon staff person assured me. On Monday, I got a notice that the package would not be delivered that day. When I called Amazon, I was told that the package was apparently lost! Oh my goodness. The Amazon staff person offered to send another package, at no charge to me. I said I would like them to do that, but I'd rather they send the package to my house; I didn't want to chance it that Amazon might be unable to find the house or lose it again so I'd take the package over to my great-niece myself. 

The books arrived at my house in two days and I drove them over to my great-niece's house on Wednesday, and everything was good, though the books were very late. Then on Friday, I got a notice that the original package was delivered to my great-niece's house. My niece called and told me about the second package of books arriving, and she offered to return them. I told her the whole story, and I told her to give them to one of her friends. It didn't seem right that she should have to go to all the trouble to return the books or that I would have to drive all the way back over to her house to pick them up and then return them.

Three days later I got a notice from Amazon that I would be charged for the second set of books if I did not return them. Now I was really angry. I called Amazon and they agreed (I have an email in which the Amazon staff person assured me in writing that the second set of books would be sent at no expense to me) to take the books off my account. 


I leave for Paris on Monday. I will have wifi in the apartment in Paris, so I plan to blog while I am there, though I may appear to be blogging at very odd hours. Au revoir!

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.


  1. I'm excited to hear about Paris! We went when I was pregnant and I couldn't drink the wine or eat the cheese :( Please have extra wine and cheese for me! How frustrating Amazon (and other online retailers) can be. I try to shop local because if we don't then there will be no retail left, but sometimes nothing beats the ease of Amazon. Happy travels!

    1. I will definitely have extra wine and cheese, just for you.

  2. Bon voyage! I'm so excited for you! Your trip (and all the books on Paris) sound heavenly!

    I'm glad you got the Amazon stuff straightened out. I'm not a fan of theirs and try not to order from them.

  3. I have a Kindle Fire too and really like it. I have a really old Kindle Keypad as well that I read on.

    Amazon has done that to me a few times but at least they fixed it even if it did take a while.

  4. I'm still surprised that you've never experienced snow. Not that I'm a fan, but you really need to. :)
    I'm not surprised at all about books you can find at your public library or free Kindle books. I work at a library, after all, again :). The thing I've noticed about Amazon is that when they do make a mistake, they often do correct it. It doesn't make it any less frustrating, but they usually do respond positively. After all, they don't want to lose business. Have fun in Paris. I can't wait to hear about your trip.

    1. My mom grew up in Pennsylvania, and she told us as children horror stories about snow. I think I have always been a little afraid of it.

  5. I'd be thinking all about Paris if I were you, too! That's so exciting. I love bringing my Kindle on vacation. It's like taking my whole book collection with me. I hope you enjoy reading on it. I'm sorry for your Amazon troubles, but glad they corrected it. Have a great week!

    1. That's exactly what I am hoping my Kindle will be like.

  6. Which books first? I'd want to start with the "French Visual Phrase Book" and listen to "Learn French with Paul Noble," but maybe you have a bit of knowledge of the language already? Even though some of my ancestors were French, that's not a language I studied. My Kindle is the best way to take books on trips. Have fun in Paris!

  7. Paris??? How exciting for you. Haven't been to Paris since my senior year of high school (almost 50 years ago LOL). Your Amazon story sounds so frustrating. They recently opened a warehouse/distribution center about 8 miles from here and, as a result, we are getting most everything in (1) day by their own delivery crews.

  8. Hope you are having a fabulous time in Paris! Can't wait to hear about your travels.

  9. That is a lot of books about Paris! I will be there myself in 11 weeks or so and I cannot wait. It will only be a few days for us but I intend to make the most of it!

  10. I hope you have a wonderful time in Paris!

  11. That's a lot of books about Paris, I hope you enjoy them!

    I've been buying from Amazon for years and have never had any problems with them. Sorry you had this bad experience!

    I have 3 Kindles (Fire, Paperwhite, Voyage) but my Fire is my favorite.

    I hope your trip to Paris is amazing! I'll be eagerly waiting for photos etc. I've want to go there since I was a little girl.

    1. Paris is my favorite place on earth. I feel so lucky to get to go.

  12. I love Rachel Khoo! I used to watch The Little Paris Kitchen and have the cookbook as well. It's so funny, I actually mentioned her on my blog post this morning.

    It sounds like you are all set for your winter travels! There can be something so invigorating about being outside in winter. I am looking forward to hearing about your travels! Have fun!!

  13. Well you certainly won’t run short on reading material! Make sure you check if you will need a voltage/plug adapter to charge your various devices.
    Wishing you a safe flight, and I’m looking forward to you sharing your French experiences.

  14. I read on my tablet or phone - always library books.
    We were in Paris in May so looking forward to hearing about your trip.

  15. That experience you mentioned with Amazon - I've had at least couple of similar experiences over the past few months. Not sure what the deal is. Although they always sort it out at the end - the hassle we go through to get there is so painful. They used to be all about their customers and took extra steps upfront to improve the experience but now I'm having to beg or rail for some courtesy. Ugh, so frustrating. What you experienced is insane though - glad it worked out!

    Enjoy Paris - I'm sure it will be beautiful! Do you plan to share live pictures or posts?

  16. I have been very lucky shipping to my grands and others from Amazon. A few years ago at Christmas a Kindle cover failed to arrive and the shipped out a new one overnight. They are usually shipped to the local post office and delivered from there but this is a small town. I am glad the books arrived and after the trouble had a positive outcome. Have a great week.

    1. Yes, it all worked out with Amazon. It surprised me that they were difficult to work with this time.

  17. I have been hearing more and more horror stories when it comes to Amazon shipping lately. I am sorry you had to go through all that trouble. I hope your flight to Paris goes smoothly and you have a great time. Your list of books you have ready to read all sound good! I hope you enjoy your Kindle Fire. I have one, but prefer reading on my Kindle Oasis.

    I hope you have a great week, Deb. Have a wonderful time in Paris!

    1. The Fire enables me to download other books than just Kindle books on my tablet.

  18. Bon voyage... have a wonderful trip!! Sorry to hear about your amazon hassles. How very frustrating! The Belly of Paris has been on my tbr shelf for ages.

  19. Oh Deb, I hope you have a fantastic trip! I love the black and white scarf, which seems quite Parisian to me. The Amazon horror story is also...something. I just read a hilarious thread on Twitter from a woman who ordered a vase from Anthropologie and instead got seven boxes with one bizarre item in each. Like, a 12 pound candle and a golden hand shaped hook. She also had to battle with them to not have to deal with returning these items she'd never asked for.

  20. Enjoy your time in France, and stay away form tear gas :-(

  21. Happy reading in France! I found the happiest times were when I read on the plane or in a foreign country, created a nice routine.

  22. I hope you'll have a great time in Paris! I've been to Paris twice in Winter and really enjoyed it both times, however, I didn't have the difference in temperature, because even though I live in a different country, it's not that far away.

    Have a wonderful week!

    1. I think it will feel refreshing. I'm quite used to the rain.

  23. Wow, that’s an annoying Amazon problem. I’m lucky that I’ve been ordering stuff from them since 2009, and I haven’t had any huge problems. I hope you have a good week!

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

    1. It was my first. And it all turned out well. Thank goodness.

  24. How frustrating about the Amazon order but I'm glad that you got it resolved. I hate when things don't work like they're supposed to! I imagine Paris in winter will be quite a shock but amazing. I can't wait to see your pictures. Have a great week!

  25. Have a fabulous time in Paris! Can't wait to see photos and hear stories. That Amazon tale is ridiculous. Good for you for pursuing it to not pay for the second package.

  26. Enjoy your trip to Paris. I haven't been an Amazon customer in over a decade.

  27. I am so jealous, Paris is my favourite city so Inhope you enjoy it and have a brilliant time! Be sure to cisit Shakespeare and Co! (In other news, Amazon fail!)

  28. I think you'll love the Kindle for traveling. It's so handy being able to take so many books on such a small device and so much lighter!

    I did a post on my favorite books set in Paris a couple years ago, so here's what I'd recommend:

  29. Have a great trip! Paris sounds like a wonderful place to be, and looks like you have some good reading material too! The Amazon thing would definitely be frustrating, I'm glad it worked out but yes what a bunch of hoops to leap through to get there.

  30. I hope you enjoy your new Kindle. I love mine. Amazon can be sort of difficult once in a while. I love the vast selection of items I can buy there though. I've bought everything from books to jeans to Panko bread crumbs recently. Come see me week here. Happy reading!

  31. Have a great time in Paris. After all these books on your new Kindle, you will be an expert! I was in Paris just two years ago and it really was fantastic. A time I wont forget. I wish you the best.

  32. Have fun on your trip to Paris! I hope it is a perfect trip and it looks as though you will have plenty of reading to occupy your time.

  33. I am almost as excited about your trip to Paris as I am for mine in NYC.

  34. One of my reviewers loves to read about Paris (she's been to Paris, too). Enjoy your trip.


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