Saturday, July 8, 2017

A Paris All Your Own - Nonfiction Review

A Paris All Your Own: Bestselling Women Writers on the City of Light edited by Eleanor Brown

Rating: Loved It!
Source: Publisher

Description:   "My time in Paris," says New York Times-bestselling author Paula McLain (The Paris Wife), "was like no one else's ever."
For each of the eighteen bestselling authors in this warm, inspiring, and charming collection of personal essays on the City of Light, nothing could be more true. While all of the women writers featured here have written books connected to Paris, their personal stories of the city are wildly different. Meg Waite Clayton (The Race for Paris) and M. J. Rose (The Book of Lost Fragrances) share the romantic secrets that have made Paris the destination for lovers for hundreds of years. Susan Vreeland (The Girl in Hyacinth Blue) and J. Courtney Sullivan (The Engagements) peek behind the stereotype of snobbish Parisians to show us the genuine kindness of real people.
From book club favorites Paula McLain, Therese Anne Fowler (Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald), and anthology editor Eleanor Brown (The Light of Paris) to mystery writer Cara Black (Murder in the Marais), historical author Lauren Willig (The Secret History of the Pink Carnation), and memoirist Julie Powell (Julie and Julia), these Parisian memoirs range from laugh-out-loud funny to wistfully romantic to thoughtfully somber and reflective.

Perfect for armchair travelers and veterans of Parisian pilgrimages alike, readers will delight in these brand-new tales from their most beloved authors.

Genre: Nonfiction - Anthology

Why I Picked This Book:  Eleanor Brown's The Light of Paris was one of my favorite reads and the rest of the authors had either written books I'd really enjoyed or were on my TBR.

My Impression:  Every summer I fight a reading slump as well as the inability to focus on something for more than a few seconds.  Between the heat and kids being out of school things are just a bit crazy.  This book was the ultimate antidote and a wonderful delight.

The authors included in this book are truly staggering with essays from Susan Vreeland, Paula McLain, Eleanor Brown, Cara Black, Lauren Willig, and so many more.  And each essay is marvelously different.  The essays are personal.  The story of a trip that exceeded or didn't live up to expectations, the story of a string of moments, or the story of finally accomplishing something that had been the goal for years.  Not every story is full of wonder between Paula McLain's camera fiascos, Megan Crane's late night panic attack, or Michelle Gable's googling "horrible family vacations" but every story is fascinating and with each story I felt like I knew the author just a little bit better.  And by seeing Paris through their eyes I felt like I knew Paris a little bit better too.

This is a delightful book to just dip into - pick up, read a story or two and set aside - like a box of delicious truffles or maybe macrons.   This is perfect beach reading or cozy chair next to a fire reading or really any kind of reading when you're feeling the need for a little armchair traveling.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author:  Yes!  While I had read books by several of the authors included here the ones I hadn't have just jumped up my TBR!

Would I Recommend this Book?  Definitely!  If you enjoy armchair traveling this is a must read.


  1. I really enjoy personal stories that are told well and bring about some reaction like tears, a smile or motivation to pick me up. These sound like they really shared pieces of themselves in print, and that's very cool. Hugs...

  2. I like books like this where you have a host of good authors. Perfect for summer when you have so much going on.
    If you get a chance, send me your address and I have a surprise for you!

  3. Sounds like the stories or essys are nicely varied and perfect, like you said, for reading one or two at a time. And PAris is definitely a good subject for summer reading.

  4. It sounds like this was a perfect read for when you're not able to settle down to a longer book. Variety and good writing probably went a long way to getting you through/over that reading slump!

  5. I love books like this. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on it.

  6. This sounds like a really great read; the perfect book for you in the moment - so glad you enjoyed. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Love a good anthology; sounds like one I need to pick up.