With just a week to go before Christmas, I have three book recommendations for you. One is a new release, one is a little older, and one is a classic. Trois livres pour Noël (twa leev-ruh poor no-ell) means “Three books for Christmas.” I hope that you enjoy them.
First up is L’Appart, by David Lebovitz. If you’ve ever thought of buying a pied-à-terre in Paris, as I have, this book will having you reconsidering that dream. Lebovitz recounts the Kafkaesque problems he ran into during the purchase and renovation of his Paris apartment. His sense of humor took a lot of knocks along the way but he seems to have emerged on the other side of his ordeal still smiling. He punctuates each chapter with a recipe that will have your mouth-watering.
And don’t give up your dream of an apartment in France just yet. I wrote about A+B Kasha a few years ago – a company that will provide you with a perfectly renovated apartment in Paris. Although their apartments cost about 20% more than the market price, after what Lebovitz went through, 20% seems like a complete bargain!
Next, is a An Immovable Feast: A Paris Christmas, by John Baxter. This 2008 release chronicles Baxter’s quest to source the finest ingredients for his family’s Christmas dinner. The Australian married into a French family and found that his skills as a raconteur and a creative chef won him a place in their hearts. There are plenty of cultural and historical anecdotes to entertain you.
Finally, a purely sentimental recommendation. Read a French translation of a childhood favorite. I recently finished Anne…La Maison aux pignons verts, otherwise known as Anne of Green Gables, by Canadian L. M. Montgomery. I received the English edition as a Christmas gift when I was about eight. Some stories are so good that they transcend language or time.