I cast a wide net when it comes to learning about Paris. History, novels, memoir, essay, blog and facebook posts – they all have their uses. I use paper, ipod and e-book and app. It’s as much about ambiance as education. Let the reading begin.
The Sweet Life in Paris, by blogger and pastry chef David Lebovitz, http://www.davidlebovitz.com. Read via ebook. Honest and funny, plus recipes. Go to his blog for top ten delicious things to eat in Paris. I just burned two hours reading his experiences in restaurants and checking their proximity to my apartment via Google Maps. Downloading his puff pastry app right now.
Paris In Love, a memoir by Eloisa James. Read via ebook. She writes historical romances. Swoon. But she’s also Mary Bly, a Shakespeare professor at Fordham University with degrees from Harvard, Oxford, and Yale, so smart, right? She and her professor husband took sabbaticals, sold their house, sold their cars, uprooted their kids and ran away to live in Paris for a year. This is an abbreviated account of that year, partially salvaged from her blog and Facebook posts. I enjoyed it immensely.
The Most Beautiful Walk in the World: A Pedestrian in Paris, by John Baxter, is the kind of off-kilter approach I find engaging. http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/travel/book-review-the-most-beautiful-walk-in-the-world/2011/05/25/gIQARsJJhI_story.html
Listening, on and off, to an audiobook of David McCullough’s The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris. It’s a Ken Burns-esque experience.
Novels in the TBR section of my ebook –
The Good Thief’s Guide to Paris by Chris Ewan http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/3173811-the-good-thief-s-guide-to-paris
The Chocolate Kiss, by Laura Florand http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15806994-the-chocolate-kiss
The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris, by Jenny Colgan http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16079967-the-loveliest-chocolate-shop-in-paris
Back to the pleasure of the iPod, I downloaded a couple of classics, The Hunchback of Notre–Dame by Victor Hugo, and Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens. I’ve read them in my distant past, and wanted to listen to them while I walked miles at the gym, training for the rigors of walking ten hours a day in Paris.
Paris, The Novel, by Edward Rutherfurd, is an epic tale. From what I’ve heard so far, I suspect I will enjoy it more after my visit than before. http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15786792-paris
A traditional guide ebook I expect will be referred to often after I arrive, Rick Steves Paris 2013. It’s informative, no-nonsense, and lacks all pretension. Hallelulia. http://www.amazon.com/Rick-Steves-Paris-2013/dp/1612383815
Pre-ordered for my ebook – The Food Lover’s Guide to Paris by Patricia Wells.
A Moveable Feast, Ernest Hemingway’s memoir of Paris. I read in 1973, when I lived in a garret in Paris. It ruined me for the rest of his work – I much prefer it to his novels – and stamped Paris in my mind forever as an epicenter of writers and artists.
I love the header I’m using, with permission from Marshall. Here’s a link to the eponymous song Make Time, http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=