French Milk by Lucy Knisley
Pages : 193
Genre : Graphic Novel, memoir
My Rating :
French Milk is an adorable graphic novel, illustrating Lucy and her mother’s trip to Paris during the 2006-2007 holidays. Charming and evocative of the beautiful French city, this visual travelogue is also illustrated by a few photographs, though the author’s drawings really are center stage to the story.
I adored reading French Milk, and went through it in one single sitting. In fact, I cracked it open late at night before bed, and ended up reading the whole thing. Knisley has a way of telling her story that made me feel like I was there – and I certainly wish I was – while being entertaining and extremely likable and honest.
This being simply a diary of events taking place over a few weeks, I imagine some readers would find it a little dry; there is no action, suspense, questions, it is only a day-to-day account of what Lucy and her mom do while in Paris. Personally, I loved that, because it reminded me so, so much of our (too) short vacation there. I believe readers who’ve been there, or who have a strong interest in visiting the city, will be most likely to enjoy this one, though honestly I would still recommend it to anyone who enjoys graphic novels and/or traveling. Or eating. Because a lot of Lucy’s time is occupied by food. So. Much. Food!
Another strong aspect of Lucy’s story is the fact that, at 22 years old, she finds herself facing an important and scary moment of her life: she’s getting ready to leave college to finally enter her adult life. I believe many readers will, as myself, relate to her fears
All in all, a very pleasant read with a lot of heart (and food!)
The Sweet Life in Paris by David Lebovitz
Pages : 260
Genre : Non-fiction, Memoir, Recipes
My Rating :
What it’s about :
Moving to Paris to build a new life, american pastry chef and cookbook author David Lebovitz realizes this is, indeed, a different life France has in store for him. Through memories and recipes, combined with good humor, the author shares his experience of adapting to a new culture.
My Thoughts :
One thing is for sure : when reading The Sweet Life in Paris, you’ll get hungry. Better stack a bunch of cookies and a good cup of coffee by your side for the trip!
From the simple “chocolate mousse” to the decadent “cinnamon meringue with espresso-caramel ice cream, chocolate sauce and candied almonds”, Lebovitz punctuates each chapter with delicious recipes. Most of them will put your sweet tooth in appetite, though there are also a few more meaty recipes to make sure you don’t overdose on sugar, such as “pork ribs” and “warm goat cheese salad”.
The recipes weren’t the only part of the book I enjoyed though. Lebovitz narration is honest and funny and takes you right into the Parisian life. I loved revisiting the city through his eyes, which was a much different point of view from the one of a tourist, like me a year ago (and hopefully, soon again!) It’s less about the architecture, the art, the landmarks, and more about the gastronomy and the cultural differences. Oh,and the language barrier, of course.
I do think the book could have been shortened a bit. Not that it was really long from the start, but because I found there was some repetition in the narration, and sometimes between the chapters.
Whether it’s because you want to experience a bit of the Parisian life, because you’re hungry for new recipes, because you love to travel and learn about other cultures, or simply because you already enjoy David Lebovitz’s amazing blog, The Sweet Life in Paris is a sweet way to feed both your heart and your stomach.