Saturday, June 06, 2009

The Sweet Life in Paris

What to do when I'm wishing I were back in Paris and longing for some good French cuisine?

Why, I shop, of course! But lacking the requisite French culinary skills, I don't shop for groceries; I head straight to the book store.

And today I found the perfect remedy for what ailed me. I purchased a copy of David Lebovitz's The Sweet Life in Paris, a fabulous collection of anecdotes about his life in the City of deLights. I'd been meaning to read it since it first appeared last month.

From the introduction to the final page, the book reads the same way you would relish a French feast. Each chapter is like a dish to be savored. Delightful to the senses, pleasing array of perfectly-timed morsels. One course to the next sauced with David's tangy, well-honed humor. And punctuated by his best recipes (so tempting that even I might try them, kitchen flunkie though I may be). And, like a proper diner of an exquisite French meal, I devoured it appreciatively from cover to cover in one sitting.

So if you, too, would rather be in Paris, treat yourself to The Sweet Life in Paris. The next best thing to being there.



Stephanie said...

Sounds like a great read. Thanks for the review I will have to add this one to my summer reading list.

Going Like Sixty said...


vicki archer said...

I can't wait to read this...I have been meaning too and your post has prompted me, thank you. xv

Starman said...

Are you familiar with French Feast? You can find it here:

Chris said...

I've heard others mention this book. I'll have to pick it up for sure now.

Venus Writes said...

I've just taken the most entrancing stroll through your blog. I feel as though I've happened upon a kindred spirit! :)

Debra Aungst said...

Picked it up when I was in Paris last month - unfortunately I was leaving the day David was signing at the bookstore! A great, quick read - read it on the plane ride home to the states - made me laugh! Looking forward to discovering some of David's suggestions next time in Paris!

Who is Mary Blake? said...

Haven't read the book.
Waiting for the movie.

Fuzzy said...

There is also a great book called "You Can't See Paris From Here". I can't remember the author but it is a cookbook from a restuarant in the Lot written by an American, the chef, who has been there for 18 years. Not too bad.

Going Like Sixty said...

Just finished it.
Hated it. No really! hated it.

I found his experiences living there to be 180 degrees from yours (at least what you wrote about.)

AND 180 degrees from what I experienced (albeit only 2 visits.)

The guy seems to hate everything about the French: they pick their noses on the Metro, they cut in line, they bump you on the side walks, they won't serve tap water in restaurants, he hates their coffee, hates their hot chocolate, etc. etc.


I guess the recipes are cool, but since I don't do cooking, I skipped them.

Polly-Vous Francais said...

Sorry you hated it! And I wouldn't want you to think I gave you a bum steer. I think David really does like the French; he's maybe more ascerbic about the negative side (and there are negatives to any society) than I was.

I disagree with him about the coffee, too. The line-jumping and shoulder-bumping on sidewalks are a part of daily life, but as he says, it makes you more assertive, less sensitive. I used to be upset by the shoulder-bumping, for example, until I learned not to take it personally and realized that it was part of walking down narrow spaces.

Living in Paris did make me learn to stand up for myself. By the time I left I'd bang shoulders like the best of them, and stand my ground firmly in any line.

And, actually, in general I am bothered by books with recipes in the middle (I think they should be in an appendix at the end). When will THAT trend end, O Ye Book Publishers?

Anonymous said...

Someone let me read the part about the coffee. I agree with him. I was in Paris a few times and being an espresso drinker, I tried cafe at several places in Paris. It's not horrible but no way you can compare it to the caffe I tried in Italia later. My sister, who lives in Paris, sometimes comes to the States to visit us. She used to bring me vacuum packs of French cafe until I told her not to bother. I now have a De Longhi machine and buy coffee imported from Italy (Lavazza, Miscela d'Oro, Bristo, etc.) to enjoy. Pardon mais j'aime pas le cafe francais. Mi piace sempre il caffe italiano.

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