Author: Janice MacLeod
Publish date: June 20, 2017
Publisher: St. Martin’s Publishing Group
Genre: Travel, Memoir
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A Paris Year is usually the first book I recommend when I learn someone is going to Paris for the first time. The author, Janice MacLeod, is a watercolorist as well. So this book is absolutely gorgeous. This book reads like a diary. When the author moved from Canada to Paris, she began to document each day through art and journaling. Each page is filled with sketches, watercolor painting, and photographs to accompany the journal entry for the day. You’ll notice that as the seasons change in the book, so do the colors on the pages.
You could easily sit down in one or two sittings and devour this visual journey. Or savor it, reading just one journal entry for each corresponding day.
Five reasons to read A Paris Year
- Original artwork: Janice is an insanely talented artist and each page is filled with an intimately unique view of Paris.
- French name days: I didn’t even know this was a thing until I read this book. But the French have a name day for every day in the year. Janice points out the name day on each page.
- Easy read: Let’s face it, sometimes it’s nice to just open a book and escape into something easy. Let your mind rest. This will do it. You can get lost in Paris for hours without even realizing it.
- Unique view: Because this is written like a diary, it’s literally day to day life in Paris: the man doing mathematics with a fountain pen at the cafe (January 11), typical market days consist of taste testing and gossiping (April 13), and that you can find the best buttons, ribbons, and zippers in the boutiques around the corner from Moulin Rouge (April 1).
- History: Janice is not from Paris, she’s Canadian. so while she was living in Paris, she did research on why things were the way they were. For example, she learned that Napoleon III was the man behind the muted beige and blue apartment buildings (March 2). And that booksellers on the Seine selling vintage books, must hold a librarian’s degree or something similar – comme c’est magnifique (September 12).
My rating: 5/5