— But you will be ready to say, what was your hope in doing this? — What did you look forward to? — To any thing, every thing — to time, chance, circumstances, slow effects, sudden bursts, perserverance and weariness ... Every possibility of good was before me, and the first of blessings secured ... — from Emma, by Jane Austen (1775-1817)
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June 29, 2010

Bonjour, Paris!


I'm hoping to spend some time (virtually) in Paris this coming month, thanks to a group project (more than 30 readers!) organized by Book Bath and Thyme for Tea.  The project is especially appealing because it's not just about reading -- movies, cooking, travel, art are all included. It's not that I wouldn't love to spend a month reading books about, or set in, Paris, but with this more-encompassing project I'll be able to extend the experience. {Practicing my French would be fun, too. You have been warned. :)}


I've been to Paris twice...once for a weekend (a great way to 'taste' and learn your way around a city or the first time!) and once for about 10 days (a present to myself for one of those birthdays). Moi, je regrette beaucoup, that I haven't found time to go back, but I will.


My hotel, (coincidentally) on the rue Maitre Albert,
very close to the Seine and Notre Dame.
'My wits were in a turmoil of concern about the correct pronunciation of 'Maitre Albert,' Roxy's street, lest the taxi man take me somewhere else altogether, and whether he would be surly, the way they are reputed to be, and more generally, would coming to France be a mistake and false detour in life? Roxy must have been watching from her window when I got there, or heard the rattle of the taxi in the street, and came out the big green wooden doors to meet me."
-- Diane Johnson, Le Divorce

I haven't had a chance yet to think too much about what I might read, or bake, or watch, or listen to. (I did bring Murder in the Palais Royal, by Cara Black, home from the library, because I happened to find it on the new books shelf. This is a mystery series (I've only read one of them, several years ago) set in Paris, about private investigator Aimee Leduc, that I've heard is very evocative of Paris.) I'm looking forward to making a list in the next day or so (I love making lists, even if I don't follow them.)


In the meantime, I thought it would be fun to  look through my reading notebooks and remember what books I've already read about Paris, or set in Paris...


Biographies/Memoirs
Elizabeth Bard, Lunch in Paris
Mary Blume, A French Affair
Thad Carhart, The piano shop on the left bank
Suzy Gershman, C'est la vie
Noel Riley Fitch, Sylvia Beach and the Lost Generation
Diane Johnson, Into a Paris quartier
Alex Karmel, A corner in the Marais
David Lebovitz, The sweet life in Paris
Jeremy Mercer, Time was soft there: a Paris sojourn at Shakespeare & Company
William Murray, Janet, my mother and me (about Janet Flanner)
Catherine Sanderson, Petite anglaise
Sarah Turnbull, Almost french:  love and a new life in Paris
Patricia and Walter Wells, We've always had Paris...and Provence
Brenda Wineapple, Genet:  a biography of Janet Flanner


Gertrude Stein lived here.

Fiction
Barbara Taylor Bradford, Three weeks in Paris
Muriel Barbery, The elegance of the hedgehog and Gourmet Rhapsody
Henry James, The American
Diane Johnon, L'affaire, Le Marriage and Le Divorce
Luanne Rice, Secrets of Paris
{I'm sure there were others, but I don't recognize them from the titles.}


Henry James ate here.
Mysteries
Cara Black, Murder in the Marais
Dan Brown, The Da Vinci Code
Claude Izner, Murder on the Eiffel Tower and The Disappearance at Pere-Lachaise {new series set in turn-of-the-century Paris)
Georges Simenon, Maigret and the Madwoman, Maigret and the Saturday Caller, Maigret sets a trap, Mme. Maigret's Own Case, and None of Maigret's Business

Off to look for ideas. A bientot!

1 comment:

Frances said...

Gorgeous photos! I feel like making my way to the airport, passport in hand. Glad to see that you are also participating. This is such a great idea and perfect for the summer. Can't wait to see your choices!

Thank you for visiting!

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