27 April 2011

17. The Sweet Life in Paris by David Lebovitz

I have read David Lebovitz's blog for a while now (www.davidlebovitz.com/) and really enjoyed his musings on food and his life in Paris. Prompted by an upcoming holiday to France (albeit Brittany, not Paris) I bought a copy of his book, The Sweet Life in Paris, a lovely non-fiction book about life and food in Paris "the most glorious and perplexing city in the world".

The book is mainly on the subject of food and each chapter ends with a handful of recipes vaguely related to the contents of the chapter. I am yet to try any of the recipes but there were a fair few that looked tempting and I'm sure I will try a few at some point, the madeleines looked particularly tasty. For me personally, the recipes weren't the chief appeal but it does give a nice selection of Parisian inspired, fairly simple recipes if that is what you are looking for.

The chief appeal of the book is Lebovitzs witty and informal descriptions of life in Paris. The book covers everything from the difficulty of finding a good cup of coffee to his adventures working in the fish markets and trying to overcome his squid phobia. On the whole he's an entertaining and appealing writer although I did feel it got a little lascivious over various attractive French people occasionally - I personally am not bothered about reading about how attractive random French fishmongers or waiters are!

I really enjoyed the genuine insight into life in Paris. I have only visited Paris once although I have been to various other places in France enough that various things rang true and I also learnt a lot of inside information should I ever revisit the French capital. Lebovitz also provides a list of his recommended eateries and other food related establishments in Paris which I would definitely look up if I ever visisted. His descriptions of various little shops or cafes really whetted my appetite and this book would definitely be in my luggage for a return trip to Paris to find the hidden gems.

All in all, a light hearted and informative read for Francophiles or foodies.

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