Thursday, February 2, 2012

A Review of "Paris, My Sweet" [11]

Paris, My Sweet: A Year in the City of Light (and Dark Chocolate) by Amy Thomas
Sourcebooks, ISBN 978-1402264115
February 1, 2012, 304 pages

"Part love letter to Paris, part love letter to New York, and total devotion to all things sweet, PARIS, MY SWEET is a treasure map for anyone with a hunger for life."
"In the eight years I had lived in New York, it always thrilled me to return to the city. Whether I was training back from a weekend at my dad's in Connecticut or landing at JFK after three weeks of hiking and biking in New Zealand, I could never suppress my grin when I saw the jagged skyline, the halo of light emanating from the city, the sea of yellow taxis, or the mishmash of cultures and clothing swimming together in one crazy orgy. New York was under my skin. For years, it had been my true love. And then Paris came along."
After a semester in France years ago and a summer in Paris in 2008, Amy was, without question, just a little obsessed with all things French. Yet, she loves a great deal about her life working and living in New York City. Her job as a advertising copywriter, her friends, her cat, her cute East Village apartment..not to mention an intimate knowledge of every bakery and chocolatier in the city...makes for a good life. But when the chance arises to take a temporary assignment in the City of Light, and delicious desserts, writing ad copy for Louis Vuitton, of course she can not say no.
The question becomes will she even want to come back "home". Or actually, maybe what makes a place home.

If you read here regularly, you may know that I am not the biggest fan of memoirs.
So what was I doing reading this? Well, I must say I was won over by the promise of descriptions of all sorts of sweet and delicious treats, on both sides of the ocean, and this book did not disappoint in keeping that promise. I do not share Ms. Thomas love of Paris (OK, maybe because I have never been there) but the descriptions of food in this book are so well done, so wonderful, that it could have me packing my bag and buying a black beret for the trip.
Ms. Thomas loves food and she excels at writing about it. The descriptions will have your mouth watering and, without a doubt, those parts are my favorite part of the book. Happily, there are a lot of them.

But the author also write some very interesting observation about the city and her life there and about it's inhabitants. Again, she is very good at putting us right there as she peddles around on her Vélib', a bicycle for Paris bike sharing system. We are there as she finds the best macarons in the world or shows the city off to her visiting mother and step-father and while she deals with the difficulties of making friends, let alone finding true love, in a culture with some significant differences from the Big Apple.

If you live in New York or Paris, or plan to visit either, and have a sweet tooth, this is a book that you will want to pick up. It is fun..and delicious. The lists of 'must visit' places and the cute little maps will be priceless, whether you search out just one or every single one on the list. But even if you never step a foot in either, this is still a fun read, one best read on a full stomach, and yet one with a bit of a serious note.
What will it be for her, NY or Paris?
Will she find true love.
Well, you will have to pick up a copy and check it out to find out!

My thanks to Sourcebooks for providing me with a copy to review.


  1. are you going to write about punxatawney phil!? he saw his shadow :(

  2. Generally I'm not a fan of memoirs either, but every once in a while there is one I love, and the food connection here makes this one sound very appetizing! heh

  3. Yes, MK, he did she his shadow...or so they say.
    I have my doubts.
    Personally, I am all for 6 more weeks of winter...since we did not have any yet!
    Hey, did ya notice the book review? :-)

    Jill, yes, it was all about the food for

  4. It sounds like this could be a very dangerous book to read. I imagine I would be dreaming of sweets the entire book.

  5. I love Paris, but didn't find the pastries particularly sweet there. Most of the people who visited us while we lived in France were very disappointed in their desserts because they weren't sweet compared to American desserts. Maybe they've sweetened them up since then.

  6. Sounds kind of interesting (the food part anyway) but I think I have even a less tolerance for memoirs than you do. My niece talked me into reading Trail of Crumbs and I couldn't have been more bored. She loved it! It sounds like this book could be similar, I'll pass your reco on.


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