A while back, I mentioned "My Paris Kitchen" by David Lebovitz. More than just a cookbook, it contains stories and anecdotes of his experiences living, cooking, and eating in Paris. I enjoyed his narratives so much that I wanted to read more. Lucky for me, he's written several other cookbooks as well as "The Sweet Life in Paris," an enjoyable memoir of his experiences living in a world famous city.
One of the reasons why I like reading David Lebovitz so much is that I enjoy his humor as well as his unpretentious and casual style of writing. His love of food is evident as almost all of his experiences in Paris are related in some way with food. He is a professional chef after all!
He writes with warmth, wit, and humor about what he loves and hates about living in Paris. What could someone possibly hate about living in Paris? Well, as is true for any culture, the French have some perplexing idiosyncrasies. They are also a bit more formal than Americans and there are a few unspoken rules of etiquette that must be followed. Good luck getting helpful customer service in a shop if you fail to properly greet the salesperson. With multiple ways to order water and coffee at cafes, make sure to do it properly. And whatever you do, don't ask someone what they do for a living during a conversation. (It's not a polite question to ask.)
David Lebovitz entertains with amusing descriptions of finding creative uses of limited space in his small Paris apartment, the bureaucratic nightmare of setting up bank accounts and utilities in order to get a long term visa, and his embarrassing gaffes with the French language.
If you aren't able to travel to The City of Light, you can do it vicariously through "The Sweet Life in Paris" and explore all the joys of discovering delicious things to eat in a city known for fine food, the importance of dressing well (because you are always being judged) and learn the finer points of cheese plate etiquette.
David Lebovitiz may be a professional chef, but he's also a skilled storyteller. The quirks of the French language and culture provide some amusing stories and for all those eccentricities, he admits it's "the quirky people that really make Paris such a special place." The recipes at the end of each chapter are a nice bonus, too!
Another good memoir about living and eating in Paris!