Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Three Perfect Books to Read on a Trip to Paris

You can't just read any ol' book when you are on a trip to Paris. I think you will agree with me. You need something special. The book you bring with you has to capture the feeling of the French world you will visit. The book you bring with you can't be incredibly dense and heavy...save that book for when you return and you have time to contemplate and mull and ponder. The book you bring with you might be best if written by an outsider like you are yourself, a person who is charmed by Paris but is aware Paris, though amazing, is also deeply flawed, a person who loves Paris like we do our mothers. 

I've found three such books. So far. 

Paris in Winter: An Illustrated Memoir by David Coggins

My sister has been to Paris many times. "I can't count the number of times I have been to Paris," she tells me. 

Often she comes in the winter. Her son is a wine merchant. He comes to France several times a year for business. My sister comes along to help his wife with the kids while her son works.

In 2020, she asks me to come along.

We arrive on January 27. We stay until February 12. Winter in Paris is cold. And wet. And beautiful.

I load up my Kindle with Paris books...travel guides...cookbooks...histories of Paris...poems from Paris...

But I only take along one real book. It's Paris in Winter: An Illustrated Memoir by David Coggins.

It is an ideal book for my trip in winter.

Here's the first page:

"What do you do in Paris every winter? You stay for such a long time."

"We look at art, which makes us hungry. So we eat, which is really why we go to Paris."

"How many years have you been doing this?"

"Twenty or thirty."

"Always in winter?"

"We've gone to France in all seasons."

"Why winter? We were there in winter once. It was cold."

"Fewer tourists. Sometimes it's cold. Often it's very pleasant. It's beautiful really, the spareness outside, the warmth inside."

"You've been to lots of places."

"We like to travel."

"Don't you ever get bored going back to Paris?"

Dear Paris: The Paris Letters Collection by Janice MacLeod

I could only take one real book along with me to Paris in 2022.

This was the ideal book.

Dear Paris is a collection of illustrated letters Janice MacLeod wrote during the time she lived in Paris over a series of ten years. 

I loved reading a few letters a day during the weeks I spent in Paris. Each letter mentions places and people of Paris. It was a delight.

Paris Sweets: Great Desserts from the City's Best Pastry Shops by Dorie Greenspan

I've read this book, yes, but am I through with this book? Certainly not. I loved reading the stories of the little pastry shops in Paris and the pastry chefs who run them and the delightful desserts they create, and I've loved baking from a couple of the recipes - Sablés au Citron (Lemon Shortbread) and Clafoutis aux Pêche (Peach Clafoutis) - but I know that I will continue to return to this cookbook and try other treats in the future.

No one who loves pastries should miss this book. No one who loves Paris should miss this book. Hey, come to think of it, nobody should miss this book.

I bet you have read others you might throw out there for me. Share.

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.  

Il est Juillet et il est temps pour le merveilleux Paris in July co-hosted by Thyme for Tea and Readerbuzz

1 comment:

  1. These look cute. No idea when I will be going back to Paris. Maybe one day...

    Have a great week!

    Emily @ Budget Tales Book Blog
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