Archive for the ‘Non-fiction’ Category

l’appart: The Delights and Disasters of Making My Paris Home

January 17, 2018

index (1)After working thirteen years as a pastry chef for Chez Panisse, a French restaurant in Berkeley, California, David Lebovitz decides it’s time to pack it in and move to Paris. As he soon found out, this was no easy task. In order to rent an Parisian apartment or l’appart, one must first have a bank account. No problem, one might think. But in order to open up a bank account in Paris, one must have a copy of an electric bill. However, if you’ve never rented in Paris, how do you obtain an electric bill? It’s like trying to find a job having no prior experience. And this is just the first of many problems Lebovitz encounters en route to becoming a true Parisian. However, on the plus side, he does find a partner while apartment hunting, who is a great help to him since Romain is a native of Paris and does not hesitate to show his displeasure when necessary, in flawless French,

of course. L’appart is a hilarious read, and you can’t help but root for Daveed to triumph over the unscrupulous contractor he hires to renovate said apartment, and commiserate when it looks like Claude has cost Lebovitz an absolute fortune with his outrageous shenanigans. It’s a glaring case of buyer beware…

A Paris Year

July 11, 2017

1bookThis journal and memoir by Janice MacLeod chronicles a year spent in “the most romantic city in the world”, synonymous with Paris. Author of Paris Letters, in her new masterpiece MacLeod has written a day to day view of what it means to live in Paris. The book is gorgeous, with watercolors and photos sprinkled throughout the book, as well as anecdotes and stories of famous characters who have lived there. It is such a delightful book, and the cover itself feels so rich to the touch. A Paris Year is a must read for anyone with an interest in Paris. Palisades Library is currently the only library in the system to own a copy, so please take advantage of our book buyers’ good tastes…

Scrappy Little Nobody

May 30, 2017


Anna Kendrick’s autobiography is a quick read with plenty of down-to-earth wisdom. She chronicles her life from being a child actor to the “world’s most reluctant adult”, as she titles her final chapter. Kendrick mixes lots of humor and self- deprecating remarks, and despite being a movie and Broadway star, she definitely does not put on airs. I enjoyed her acting in the Pitch Perfect series, and hope she returns soon to the big screen.

The Stranger in the Woods

March 27, 2017
9781101875681Just hitting the New York Times Best Sellers list is The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit by Michael Finkel. This quick read tells the story of Christopher Knight who in 1986, at the age of 21, left his home and disappeared into the woods of Maine. Knight spent 27 years in solitude, and with one or two exceptions, did not interact with another human being until his arrest in 2013 for stealing food from the cafeteria of a nearby camp. In just 200 absorbing pages, the author provides insight into Knight’s mindset and motivations for retreating from society, and the effect his stay in the forest had on him, his family, and those living in the cabins he broke into, time and time again, to obtain the supplies he needed to survive. I can’t see myself going off to live in the woods or willingly facing the many dangers of living outdoors (almost thirty Maine winters…no, thank you!). However, Knight’s story has me convinced that there is an appeal to, and benefit of, regularly spending at the very least a few hours, if not days, alone and unplugged, allowing oneself time to let the mind wander.

Adult Summer Reading Book Review: Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant by Roz Chast

August 24, 2016

617lsz642xl-_sx258_bo1204203200_5 stars (loved it!). This book spoke to me in many ways. My parents are getting old and much of the trials she has gone through with hers folks aging smacks of my current reality. She puts a funny, but honest spin on a very hard subject, arguably the hardest, with her fantastically expressive drawings and her uncannily familiar-sounding observations. [I have always LOVED Roz Chast’s work in the New Yorker and have felt a kinship with her since I too am an illustrator and we attended the same school, both lived and worked in the city, etc. but I don’t know if I would have read this book if it hadn’t been on the Bingo list as a graphic novel-so thanks!] – 2016 Adult Summer Reading Participant

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