Monday, October 22, 2012

Americans in Paris

Have you ever wanted to move to another country? Today we're looking at stories of Americans living in Paris. Whether you want tips on what to do when you move there yourself, or just want to live vicariously through the authors, these books are entertaining tours through one of Europe's most famous cities.

Lunch in Paris
A Love Story, With Recipes
By Elizabeth Bard

Elizabeth Bard knew she wanted an international life. A native New Yorker, she was already living in London when she met a Frenchman during a conference. She began crossing the Channel to visit him in Paris on weekends, and then she took a leap of faith and moved to Paris full-time. While trying to find a way to live in a city where she barely spoke the language, she discovered that there are a lot of things that just don't translate. How does one find friends in France? How do you start a business, or at least find a job? What about an apartment? The pace of the city is slower than New York or London, and the social cues are complex. But one area where she definitely found her way was the food. Bard describes many mouth-watering meals throughout her international adventure. She also provides recipes at the end of each chapter if you'd like to try your hand at the cuisine.

Paris, I Love You But You're Bringing Me Down 
By Rosecrans Baldwin

Like Elizabeth Bard, Rosecrans Baldwin is a New Yorker. He was still living stateside when he got offered a chance to move to Paris and work for an advertising agency. He had no experience in advertising, and didn't really speak French, but who says no to a job in Paris? Baldwin is a novelist (find his novel here) so he's  good with words. Being surrounded by French speakers, however, made that difficult. He writes, "Living in another language and speaking defectively, I could not be clever. At best, I was genuine." As he bumbles his way through French office culture, supermarkets, and parties filled with fellow temporary expats, he is indeed genuine and candid. You'll laugh along with him as he tries to learn how to exist in Paris, how to communicate without saying something offensive, and who to kiss hello in any given situation. By the time he makes it back to New York, he's a changed man.

Review by Danny Hanbery

Request these books by clicking on the titles or the covers above.

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