Pierre Gouthière: Virtuoso Gilder at the French Court – This exhibit of stunning gilt porcelain is at New York’s Frick Collection until February 19, 2017. Gouthière (1732–1813) worked for Louis XV and Louis XVI as a master ciseleur–doreur (chaser-gilder). His works commissioned and collected by Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. Not all of his noble customers paid their bills, and Gouthière liked to spend lavishly, which led to his bankruptcy. His success was such that others tried to copy his work, so one aspect of this exhibit was the opportunity to closely study authenticated pieces by Gouthière to better identify imitations.
La Parisienne – “You were born to be French. But accidents happen. Receive weekly lifestyle secrets from real Parisiennes.” This is the premise behind La Parisienne, the latest spin-off from My Little Paris. I’m thoroughly enjoying the content, including a quiz to find out which French celebrity is my alter ego. I don’t really see myself as Edith Piaf, however.
Still Life, by Louise Penny – My sister recommended this Canadian author who writes mystery fiction set in Québec. The award-winning author throws in the odd word in French, but not enough to pose any problems if you’re an anglophone. Chief Inspector Armand Gamache eats brioche and croissants with his Tim Horton’s double-double and wears Burberry, so he doesn’t fit the stereotype of police detectives. It’s well-written fiction with an engaging plot. If you enjoy it, Still Life is the first of twelve books in the series.
Book Giveaway – In keeping with my one-word resolution for 2017, Light, I’ve decided to lighten my book shelves of some books that I’ve enjoyed, but don’t feel the need to keep any longer. I’m going to give some of my francophile books to readers of the blog, rather than just donate them to the library. First up is Paris panoramique, a book I purchased in Paris that features panoramic photos of the capital. If you’re interested, just leave a comment below saying that you’d like the book. I’ll pick one randomly on January 27, 2017 and reply to your comment to get your shipping information. To keep the shipping costs reasonable, I am going to restrict the giveaway to US residents only. Bonne chance!