Books & Guides & Writing

Books, fiction or non-fiction; guide books about Paris, past or present; Writing/Literature salons, groups, seminars, workshops

David Downie’s Parisian Love Affair with Food

David Downie's latest book comes out September 26, 2017

“A Taste of Paris, A History of the Parisian Love Affair with Food” is a fun book in David’s style. David combines history, travelogue and a personal quest. David’s quest this time: “What is it about the history of Paris that has made it a food lover’s paradise?” You can follow his Paris food seduction from 53 BC to the present. Bringing Paris food history alive, David presents lots of written culinary activity between the 1300s and 1792 (end of the Ancien Régime) with all the King Louis’s, their chefs and the chefs’ cookbooks. David takes us back to the barbarian Parisiis squatting, eating with no tableware and demonstrates how the Romans were the more elegant diners and knew how to entertain and cook refined meals. In “Taste” food origin myths are dispelled.

Bring France Home with Designer Souvenirs

Image of Nathalie and Mathilde Bring France Home Paris Designer Souvenirs Made in France in front of the Eiffel Tower holding their Eiffel Tower souvenir

Bring Home France on rue de Birague in the Marais offers unique Paris and French souvenirs designed by a street artist, graphic designers, fashion and home designers. Some products are made by long-standing French firms in Gien, Limoges, by Duralex and Laulhère-France.
In the store and for shopping online they have a wide selection of products ranging from gastronomy and jewels to fashion, decoration and toys. Nathalie Crouzet tells you some stories and legends behind some of the souvenirs in my first video story.

Paris Summer Activities with Kids

Magazine Vivre Paris Kids special edition

With all the activities available for kids and teenagers in Paris this summer, I don’t know if the parents are going to have time for a romantic Paris dinner at the newly opened Ritz … Well, yes, you can with a babysitter service. What follows is a list of suggestions for finding some activities this summer. It would take a book or at least a magazine to list everything.

Paris Fashion – Read a Book

Two euro book of short stories by Guy de Maupassant

Want to read a French book? Don’t want to spend a fortune if the exchange rate goes bad? Buy a two euro book. All Parisians read a book. Ride the Paris metro and look at what people are holding in their hands: A book…. “Boule de Suif” is a book of short stories by Guy de Maupassant that began my two euro addiction. I skipped looking up the adjectives because I understood the gist of the stories. Each of the stories is about a woman….

Book review: PJ Adams-Intoxicating Southern France

Cover of PJ Adams' latest book "Intoxicating Southern France".

Passing through some of the villages in Southern France and stopping along the way, JP Adams is your chauffeur. Get intoxicated. You won’t have a hangover, but you will feel a good buzz while reading PJ Adams’ latest personalized travelogue, “Intoxicating Southern France”. Each chapter is broken down into seven sections: History & Landscape, People & Lifestyle, Food, Shopping, Wine, Navigating the Area, Culture & Art. Having visited these regions, I like her personal touch, information and anecdotes

Book Review: An Hour from Paris

Within the first five pages I was swept into a desire to quickly read the entire book grab my camera, my Navigo, a bottle of water and head out. The personal update acknowledgements that first meet the reader introduce me to the author, Annabel Simms. Her manner of explaining her method and the updates gives me the impression that what I am about to read in the book will be from her heart.

Buying Books For, About and In Paris

Antique books in a shop window along a street in Paris

If you want a free guidebook when you arrive in Paris, visit the Paris Tourist Office for guidebooks or download and read them before you arrive. If you decide to buy a guidebook when you arrive, Paris has English language bookstores and guidebooks available at some kiosks, English and French book stores and second-hand stores. “Relay” is a kiosk found in the train stations, airports and in the metros. FNAC is a French bookstores where you might find English language guidebooks. W.H.Smith and Galignani are the largest English language Paris bookstores.

Book Review: “Intoxicating Paris, Uncorking the Parisian Within”

Partial book cover "Intoxicating Paris" by PJ Adams with Metro, Hotel de Ville plaza and Notre-Dame in the background

There is always something useful and something to learn in a guide book. PJ Adams’ recent book, “Intoxicating Paris, Uncorking the Parisian Within”, is a combination of helpful hints all rolled into one. It is a personal insight, lightweight travel guide with suggestions, partial psychological and psychotherapeutic guide to American and French cultural differences, and a marketing tool for other authors. I was able to identify myself in some parts and appreciated the parts on the cultural differences. “Intoxicating Paris” is a good start for a first-time visitor.