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Paris, My Sweet: A Year in the City of Light (and Dark Chocolate) PDF, ePub eBook

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Paris, My Sweet: A Year in the City of Light (and Dark Chocolate)

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Paris, My Sweet: A Year in the City of Light (and Dark Chocolate) PDF, ePub eBook Part love letter to New York, part love letter to Paris, and total devotion to all things sweet. Paris, My Sweet is a personal and moveable feast that’s a treasure map for anyone who loves fresh cupcakes and fine chocolate, New York and Paris, and life in general. It’s about how the search for happiness can be as fleeting as a sliver of cheesecake and about how the life yo Part love letter to New York, part love letter to Paris, and total devotion to all things sweet. Paris, My Sweet is a personal and moveable feast that’s a treasure map for anyone who loves fresh cupcakes and fine chocolate, New York and Paris, and life in general. It’s about how the search for happiness can be as fleeting as a sliver of cheesecake and about how the life you’re meant to live doesn’t always taste like the one you envisioned. Organized into a baker’s dozen of delicacies (and the adventures they inspired) that will tempt readers’ appetites, Paris, My Sweet is something to savor.

30 review for Paris, My Sweet: A Year in the City of Light (and Dark Chocolate)

  1. 4 out of 5

    CC

    I'm having terrible luck with books lately. For every good one I read, I'm stuck wading through five awful ones. Such was the case with this vapid memoir. After leading a charmed life growing up in a Connecticut beach town, going to school in Boston, living with a boyfriend in San Fransico, and backpacking through New Zealand, ad-copywriter Amy Thompson ends up in New York. She loves her job, her friends, her apartment and her easy life. Because she's spent a semester abroad in Paris, and also g I'm having terrible luck with books lately. For every good one I read, I'm stuck wading through five awful ones. Such was the case with this vapid memoir. After leading a charmed life growing up in a Connecticut beach town, going to school in Boston, living with a boyfriend in San Fransico, and backpacking through New Zealand, ad-copywriter Amy Thompson ends up in New York. She loves her job, her friends, her apartment and her easy life. Because she's spent a semester abroad in Paris, and also gone there for vacation, she says YES! when her ad firm recruits her to be the token English-speaking person in their Loius Vuitton Paris offices. Once there, she makes her way through bakeries and chocolate shops, eating. I'm giving this two stars because the concept was appealing -- though the writing spoiled it. The main problem is the self-absorbed narration. It's not so much what she says -- because, hey if that's your life more power to you -- it's how she says it. The book reads like a teenager's diary, not the thoughts of a money-making, successful, 37 year-old woman. It was all me, me, me! Why isn't someone giving me exactly what I want at every given moment?! And when she wasn't whining, she was bragging about how fabulous her life was. The prose isn't up to par with the subject matter -- there's little sense of discovery or wonderment. Each tale of a treat or bakery is no different than the last. You have no sense of where you are or what's important about this tart, or this shop. She doesn't paint the picture. The New York descriptions were a little better. You do get a feel for those streets. Yet, even there, she's disparaging the NY "Carrie Bradshaw" wanabes, while failing to realize she sounds just like them: 1) She literally whines when asked to write copy at her Paris job because in NY that was the assistant's job! or 2) She's astounded -- astounded! -- at the fact that there are not thousands of Frenchmen falling all over themselves to ask her out. This cluelessness carried through every aspect of the book. I felt compassion for her when she faced a medical crisis in Paris and was desperate to find an English-speaking doctor. But, alas, in the next paragraph she admitted her own doctor in NY had recommended a prescription for this very issue before she left, but she didn't bother, "because she had to pack and say goodbye to her friends!!" Well, hell, it isn't really a medical crisis if it's of your own making. I haven't read anything this self-centered in really long time. And what kills me is it could've been really good!! ARRRGGGGHHHHH!!!!!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Reid

    Much like the macarons of which she is so fond, this book is sweet, light, airy, insubstantial and, in the end, not really all that satisfying. It is a very personal memoir that nonetheless doesn't go very deep, by which I mean that Thomas shares some of her conflicts and issues, but at the end of the day we don't understand who she really is any more than when we began. My sneaking suspicion is that she is far from the shallow person this would seem to imply and has chosen to share only so much Much like the macarons of which she is so fond, this book is sweet, light, airy, insubstantial and, in the end, not really all that satisfying. It is a very personal memoir that nonetheless doesn't go very deep, by which I mean that Thomas shares some of her conflicts and issues, but at the end of the day we don't understand who she really is any more than when we began. My sneaking suspicion is that she is far from the shallow person this would seem to imply and has chosen to share only so much with us. This is her right, of course, but makes for a less than compelling memoir. Not being as much of a sweet freak as she is (and being one of the few people in the world who doesn't particularly care for chocolate, which Thomas speaks of as a heroin addict does his drug), the frequent digressions into descriptions of deserts, pastries and such became boring to me. But it would be a bit disingenuous of me to complain about this—it is, after all, what the book is about; she makes no bones about that. One thing I do most certainly share with her is a love of Paris and the parts of the book where she celebrates this wonderful city made me nostalgic in a sweet, yearning way. Still and all, this is a delectable confection and not one I would have chosen to pass up. Hey, I'm as much a sucker for a good macaron as the next guy!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Malarie

    This book was SUCH a let down. I've wanted to go to Paris and love chocolate, so I thought this would be a fun, vicarious read. I couldn't have been more wrong. This book is the most self indulgent, snobby book I have ever read. Really, the biggest existential dilemma you have is whether to stay in Paris or go back to New York? Really? You didn't fill your anti-anxiety prescription because you had other more pressing issues, like packing, to deal with? All that aside, I was lost and confused dur This book was SUCH a let down. I've wanted to go to Paris and love chocolate, so I thought this would be a fun, vicarious read. I couldn't have been more wrong. This book is the most self indulgent, snobby book I have ever read. Really, the biggest existential dilemma you have is whether to stay in Paris or go back to New York? Really? You didn't fill your anti-anxiety prescription because you had other more pressing issues, like packing, to deal with? All that aside, I was lost and confused during the descriptions of this baker in New York and that whatever-the-French-word-in-italics in Paris and how they all lead this grand moment of complete closure. I really liked the book at first, then I kept reading and just when you thought the author couldn't get more detatched from reality she did. I didn't feel as though I got really know the author and had a SUPER hard time feeling any sort of compassion for her and her "to stay in the most beautiful city ever at a job i love" or "to go back home and be in a culture i feel comfortable in". There is so about that that bugs me I can't even begin. If you're looking for a good brain rot book, this is your ticket. It's complete fluff and no filler. An easy summer beach read that'll make you want to drown yourself.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Bonnie

    Interested in more of my reviews? Visit my blog! *sigh*… Paris. And pastries. :) What could be better? ‘I guess it goes to show that you just never know where life will take you. You search for answers. You wonder what it all means. You stumble, and you soar. And, if you’re lucky, you make it to Paris for a while. Here’s what happened when I did.’ On top of tales of wonderful sweets, the author shares her own personal story about finding her way in a foreign place, gaining a new perspective on life Interested in more of my reviews? Visit my blog! *sigh*… Paris. And pastries. :) What could be better? ‘I guess it goes to show that you just never know where life will take you. You search for answers. You wonder what it all means. You stumble, and you soar. And, if you’re lucky, you make it to Paris for a while. Here’s what happened when I did.’ On top of tales of wonderful sweets, the author shares her own personal story about finding her way in a foreign place, gaining a new perspective on life and simply learning to be thankful for what life dishes out to you. It was quite a delightful surprise that I enjoyed immensely; am so glad that I requested this book. Despite my attempts to read this only on a full stomach, I still ended up with one serious sweet tooth by the end of this book (or even by the end of each chapter…or page). The author describes in extreme detail the sweets she eats, and makes each and every one of them sound positively heavenly. ’…her signature pretzel-covered, sea-salted caramel that had crackly, salty pretzel bits coating the 66 percent cocoa shell and creamy caramel center.’ Oh… my… gosh. Who makes these and how can I buy some of these goodies? Apparently her name is Rachel Zoe Insler, owner of Bespoke Chocolates. I was drooling so heavily over the descriptions I went so far as to try and find her online… only to find that her business had actually closed earlier this year. I was one seriously sad puppy. (If I had simply kept reading I would have realized the author spoke of the business closure at the end of the chapter haha). At the end of each chapter, she also tells where to find some of the best cupcakes, macarons, truffles, etc. in New York and Paris. Definitely made me want to take note and write down more than a few for when I eventually make it to each city. I found myself using Google Translate often and searching for Frenchie terms that I had no idea the meaning (Vélib’ is a bicycle sharing system, fish are sold at poissoneries, and there are twenty arrondissements (or districts) of Paris. I think normally this would have irritated me having to stop every few minutes to figure out what exactly I’m reading, but being that I personally have a crush on anything Paris and cannot wait to go there personally someday, having to search for unknown items and words was actually quite a fun experience for me. I also quite enjoyed taking a look at the author’s two blogs Sweet Freak© and God, I love Paris. If she didn’t do a good enough job in her book describing all the delicious goodies, the pictures she posts on both blogs are bound to get you. Sure makes this gluten-free girl quite sad (but has me definitely contemplating getting off my butt and at least trying to find and modify recipes for goodies that I can eat too. Inspiration! :D)

  5. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl

    Paris My Sweet is Amy Thomas’s memoir of her moving to Paris for a job. Although, it was not just for any job. Amy was offered a job working for famed designer, Louis Vuitton. She wrote ad copies. Thus the journey begins for Ms. Thomas. I could tell from this book just how much Ms. Thomas really loved (obsessed) over all things sweet. If I had to name a place to visit to indulge your sweet tooth, than Paris would instantly come to my mind. I am jealous of Ms. Thomas getting to call Paris her hom Paris My Sweet is Amy Thomas’s memoir of her moving to Paris for a job. Although, it was not just for any job. Amy was offered a job working for famed designer, Louis Vuitton. She wrote ad copies. Thus the journey begins for Ms. Thomas. I could tell from this book just how much Ms. Thomas really loved (obsessed) over all things sweet. If I had to name a place to visit to indulge your sweet tooth, than Paris would instantly come to my mind. I am jealous of Ms. Thomas getting to call Paris her home and try out all some of the best pastries, cheeses and breads. Ms. Thomas did a nice job of describing in detail, all the wonderful foods she sampled. As I was reading this book, my mouth was watering. While, I did enjoy reading about Ms. Thomas’s experience in Paris and learning about the different sweets, I also grew tried after a while. It was like Ms. Thomas was repeating herself with every chapter, just that the food item being featured was different. I found myself skimming over the chapters and than finally flash forwarding towards the end of the book. Highlights of this book are the More Sweet Spots on the Map. These were usually inserted at the end of each chapter. Ms. Thomas would than explain a shop, ingredient or something else. I did learn lots from these little features. Finally I have to agree that the Macaroons you can pick up in the grocery stores are “fakes”. They are not the real deal. If you were to ever try a “real” one, than you would love them.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Arielle Walker

    WARNING: do not read this without some chocolate, croissants or cookies close to hand. Oh my goodness. Every page is filled with descriptions of the most delectable, divine sounding viennoiseries, chocolats et gâteaux (view spoiler)[Pastries, chocolates and cakes (hide spoiler)] that can possibly be imagined. As if I didn't want to go to France enough already! There are a few negatives. Being a memoir, the plot-line isn't super exciting - or even existent, really. This is someone's life, and the WARNING: do not read this without some chocolate, croissants or cookies close to hand. Oh my goodness. Every page is filled with descriptions of the most delectable, divine sounding viennoiseries, chocolats et gâteaux (view spoiler)[Pastries, chocolates and cakes (hide spoiler)] that can possibly be imagined. As if I didn't want to go to France enough already! There are a few negatives. Being a memoir, the plot-line isn't super exciting - or even existent, really. This is someone's life, and the point of the book is to talk about the food in Paris and New York (or more specifically, the "sweets"), not to have cliffhangers or intense characters etc. Some of the timeline gets confused, and quite often the author goes off onto a tangent, or repeats herself. Also I would have appreciated if the frequent French words and sentences were actually translated (even in a table at the end of the book) rather than left to be understood through context. It's not hard to work out the meaning, but as I'm learning French it would have been a nice and simple way to pick up a few phrases. Still, this super sweet book does exactly what it's supposed to. It also made me eat an entire bar of chocolate in one go, and then go out and have une pain du chocolat avec un chocolat chaud.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Carly Findlay

    Did not finish. This was promising, a light read about food in Paris. And then the author used a disability slur - the R word - two chapters in. A good writer should be able to not rely on ableist language and punching down for a laugh. The auditor is a privileged woman. I couldn’t go on.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kathryn

    I am such a sucker for books about Paris or France and I definitely have a sweet tooth, so I thought I would love this book. But while I enjoyed it, I wasn’t caught up in a Parisian swirl of ecstasy over it. I could relate to the author’s sense of displacement (when she was in Paris, she ached for New York, when she was in NY, she yearned for Paris) and enjoyed some of her descriptions of sweet treats and their locales. But this was where it fell down for me - it was a literary sugar overload - I I am such a sucker for books about Paris or France and I definitely have a sweet tooth, so I thought I would love this book. But while I enjoyed it, I wasn’t caught up in a Parisian swirl of ecstasy over it. I could relate to the author’s sense of displacement (when she was in Paris, she ached for New York, when she was in NY, she yearned for Paris) and enjoyed some of her descriptions of sweet treats and their locales. But this was where it fell down for me - it was a literary sugar overload - I felt like I was putting on 2 or 3 kilos just reading it!! And after a while, it all became a bit passé. It was almost as much about NY cafes and patisseries and bakeries and cupcakeries etc as it was about those in Paris. For people living in or travelling to either NY or Paris, it would be great to look up which of these places are still around. But much as I have a sweet tooth, I don’t think I would be trying all of these different places if I went to either city - one or two would probably be enough!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    This book made me really, really hungry. If I gain 10 pounds from binging on sweets, it is squarely to blame on this book. I really enjoyed the author's vivid descriptions of Paris, as well as how she tied key phases of her time to specific treats. However, I thought it ended rather abruptly. She went on for several chapters about her internal struggle between Paris and New York, and then the ending is just "and then one day I decided and that was it." Overall a fairly quick and enjoyable read t This book made me really, really hungry. If I gain 10 pounds from binging on sweets, it is squarely to blame on this book. I really enjoyed the author's vivid descriptions of Paris, as well as how she tied key phases of her time to specific treats. However, I thought it ended rather abruptly. She went on for several chapters about her internal struggle between Paris and New York, and then the ending is just "and then one day I decided and that was it." Overall a fairly quick and enjoyable read though, especially if you have a sweet tooth!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Clare

    A waste of paper. I thought this would be a food memoir, but it's a early mid-life crisis book with excessive name dropping and very little self analysis. And not a single recipe. A 35 y.o. woman gets to work for Louis Vuitton in Paris and then talks about all the chocolate she eats there while struggling with fertility and eating lots of food and buying luxury items, while still pretending she's 25. (Here's a hint, Amy, all the expensive things you buy will seem a waste once your kid smears pea A waste of paper. I thought this would be a food memoir, but it's a early mid-life crisis book with excessive name dropping and very little self analysis. And not a single recipe. A 35 y.o. woman gets to work for Louis Vuitton in Paris and then talks about all the chocolate she eats there while struggling with fertility and eating lots of food and buying luxury items, while still pretending she's 25. (Here's a hint, Amy, all the expensive things you buy will seem a waste once your kid smears peanut butter on them. And you are able to blow your money on "It" items because you have no kids, or a mortgage, or a car. But you got a book out of it.) Terrible as a food memoir, terrible as a personal growth memoir, terrible as a cookbook, acceptable as a Paris guide book to chocolate.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Allison (The Allure of Books)

    Paris, My Sweet: A Year in the City of Light (and Dark Chocolate) by Amy Thomas is a really enchanting memoir, y’all (or is it primarily a travelogue? I don’t know…you tell me. Pin a tail on the genre). The super accessible writing style and charming chocolate addiction of Amy Thomas won me over immediately. It is really ironic that I decided to pick up a copy of Paris, My Sweet at all. I actually spent three days in Paris a few years ago and was less than impressed. Of course, three days didn’t Paris, My Sweet: A Year in the City of Light (and Dark Chocolate) by Amy Thomas is a really enchanting memoir, y’all (or is it primarily a travelogue? I don’t know…you tell me. Pin a tail on the genre). The super accessible writing style and charming chocolate addiction of Amy Thomas won me over immediately. It is really ironic that I decided to pick up a copy of Paris, My Sweet at all. I actually spent three days in Paris a few years ago and was less than impressed. Of course, three days didn’t really give the city a fair shake to impress me. All I got to do was the cliched touristy things. But, I was intrigued by Amy Thomas’ background and the mention of chocolate – so I let myself be lured. I’m oh-so-glad I did! I’ve already used the words charming and enchanting – but allow me to just go ahead and say them again. Paris, My Sweet is nothing if it is not those things. Foodies: take note. Even if you have less than zero interest in reading a book about a woman living in Paris, this is still a book for you. Chocolate isn’t our author’s only obsession. Seriously! Her orgasmic description of biting into a fresh baguette had me eyeing even my Sara Lee sandwich bread longingly. Also, you will be insanely jealous of Amy Thomas in the first few chapters. From a life she loves in NYC to a dream job in Paris? Yeah. We can all feel free to hate her. On top of all that, she goes and writes an incredibly creative and witty novel. Now you can really hate her. (But then you have to feel bad when her love of two cities causes an identity crisis later in the book and you’re reminded she really is just human…) Following her around the streets of Paris on her rented bicycle is an experience. Her down-to-Earth writing makes her feel like a friend that is showing you around. The things she is interested in (food, beautiful landscapes, people) are things I’m interested in. Paris, My Sweet might be non-fiction, a memoir and a travelogue – but it felt more like a personal letter. I’m so glad that she is also a blogger! Just another level I can relate to her on. I promise you guys – you will not regret letting Amy Thomas give you her Parisian tour in Paris, My Sweet. Grab a postcard of the Eiffel Tower and a few bars of chocolate and prepare to be transported! I might not have fallen in love with Paris when I visited, but I fell in love with Amy Thomas’ Paris!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance

    (I’ve read so many great books about Paris during this wonderful month of Paris in July that I’m a little nervous about mixing up my plots. Paris My Sweet is yet another one.) Amy Thomas (get ready for the swell of covetousness that is about to overtake you) goes to Paris to write ad copy for Louis Vuitton. That’s an actual job, people. And the job is in Paris. But if you have read a single moving-and-starting-over book about Paris then you know the sad truth is that even in Paris one has trials. (I’ve read so many great books about Paris during this wonderful month of Paris in July that I’m a little nervous about mixing up my plots. Paris My Sweet is yet another one.) Amy Thomas (get ready for the swell of covetousness that is about to overtake you) goes to Paris to write ad copy for Louis Vuitton. That’s an actual job, people. And the job is in Paris. But if you have read a single moving-and-starting-over book about Paris then you know the sad truth is that even in Paris one has trials. Even if one is making one’s living writing ad copy for Louis Vuitton. Even if one is living in an amazing apartment with a view of Sacré-Cœur. Even if one works from an office on the Champs-Élysées. Even if one spends one’s after work hours perusing the wonderful sweet shops in Paris. Yes, poor Amy Thomas can’t find a decent French boyfriend. We all have our trials. Fortunately, she finds consolation in the amazing sweets and she shares all that deliciousness in this little memoir. Read it. It is yummy.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Roberta

    This book, the few chapters I read, made my teeth ache, mostly from grinding them in irritation. The writer blathers on like an amped up teenager and seems to have no notion that there is anyone in the world except for her. The book did not seem authentic at all. It seemed like a clever gimmick to attract those who love Paris and dessert that just didn;t deliver. For me, a good book draws me in, shows me something new or something in a way I hadn't seen it before. In this case, you never really This book, the few chapters I read, made my teeth ache, mostly from grinding them in irritation. The writer blathers on like an amped up teenager and seems to have no notion that there is anyone in the world except for her. The book did not seem authentic at all. It seemed like a clever gimmick to attract those who love Paris and dessert that just didn;t deliver. For me, a good book draws me in, shows me something new or something in a way I hadn't seen it before. In this case, you never really see anything because the writer is always in front of you shouting, "Look at moi".

  14. 5 out of 5

    Divya Deepak Rao

    Amy Thomas chases after billowy croissants, discovers the best veinnoiseries, indulges in heavily drenched baba au rhums, rhapsodizes about Pain Perdu, debates over Ladurée & Pierre Hermes, surrenders to sinful hot chocolate whilst scarfing down orange madelines & fastidiously crafted gateaux. (Oh Mon dieu!!!) She teaches you a thing or two about Parisian desserts as she takes you on an intrepid beau voyage to boulangeries, patisseries, cupcake boutiques even. A "sweet" romance, with an Amy Thomas chases after billowy croissants, discovers the best veinnoiseries, indulges in heavily drenched baba au rhums, rhapsodizes about Pain Perdu, debates over Ladurée & Pierre Hermes, surrenders to sinful hot chocolate whilst scarfing down orange madelines & fastidiously crafted gateaux. (Oh Mon dieu!!!) She teaches you a thing or two about Parisian desserts as she takes you on an intrepid beau voyage to boulangeries, patisseries, cupcake boutiques even. A "sweet" romance, with an endearing scattering of the French language. The sucre freak in me is forever coveting a read such as this. However, almost parallely, she permits the reader to be wholly seduced by the charm Paris so generously renders, as she surrenders to the vivacity & nonchalance of the City of Lights. Many many miles away an obvious cringe painted my face as the pages stopped turning. This escape was a good one, as all escapades to Paris are meant to be I assume:)

  15. 5 out of 5

    Marg

    Last year I very nearly tormented myself due to the strength of my longing, palpable longing, to renew my acquaintance with Paris. I read books, watched movies, participated in blogging events. I am pretty sure I dreamed of Paris. This year, I have managed to back away from that a little bit, which is probably a little more mentally healthy, but I very nearly had a relapse reading this book! This book is the story of blogger turned author Amy Thomas swapping her fabulous life in New York for fabu Last year I very nearly tormented myself due to the strength of my longing, palpable longing, to renew my acquaintance with Paris. I read books, watched movies, participated in blogging events. I am pretty sure I dreamed of Paris. This year, I have managed to back away from that a little bit, which is probably a little more mentally healthy, but I very nearly had a relapse reading this book! This book is the story of blogger turned author Amy Thomas swapping her fabulous life in New York for fabulous life in Paris for a year. Amy has a self confessed sweet tooth and so a lot of the focus on the book is about finding the best French desserts on offer. The food descriptions in this book are fabulous. I was certainly left wishing that I had a cupcake or a cookie, a macaron or one of those delectable little cakes that seem to be popular in Paris by my side as I read through the pages. One of the differences between this book and others, is that not only does Thomas talk about the new experiences that she is having in Paris, she also compares and contrasts those experiences with her New York memories. For example, in one of the early chapters she talks about how cupcakes are crossing the Atlantic from New York to Paris, but also that macarons have made the opposite journey and where to find the best of each in both of those cities. If you had the good fortune to be heading to either city, you could use the author's experiences as a guide to finding some of the best indulgences, especially seeing as there are handy maps and also lists of websites, contact phone numbers, addresses etc for many of the places that were mentioned in both cities. There was a point where I was a little concerned about the direction the narrative was taking when Thomas started lamenting her lack of a love life. Whilst I have no doubt that it was a very real preoccupation, I wasn't sure that I wanted to read yet another I moved to Paris/Tuscany/choose-your-own-destination and had a fabulous life and fell in love with a fantastic guy too! Fortunately, that was a short aberration! One thing that I did think the author did a great job of was in explaining the feelings that come when you are living overseas for an extended period of time. I spent five years living in the UK, and I could totally relate to the feelings of knowing that you were lucky to be able to live where you are, but also wishing you were back at home some times too. And then when you do go back, you miss your life in your new location! It's like you are living in two places, never fully in either one! Even when I returned home, it took about 18 months to feel like I was fully at home again, and then within six months of finally achieving that feeling I ended up moving to a different city in Australia. If you have a sweet tooth, if you want to live vicariously through the eyes of Amy Thomas as she spends time in both Paris and New York, then this may be a good choice for you. She certainly had me wishing that I could spend even just a couple of weeks in Paris exploring some of the culinary highlights! Rating: 4/5

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sandie

    Amy Thomas fell in love with Paris on a trip in her late teens. She dreamed of living there, and after years of work in the advertising field, she was offered a dream job. She could take a contract to work on the advertising of Louis Vuitton, but would have to move to Paris and work there. Amy jumped at the chance as it was her dream come true. Amy's other passion was quality desserts. She had, as a side interest, created a blog about sweets and where to find the best ones in New York. She dreame Amy Thomas fell in love with Paris on a trip in her late teens. She dreamed of living there, and after years of work in the advertising field, she was offered a dream job. She could take a contract to work on the advertising of Louis Vuitton, but would have to move to Paris and work there. Amy jumped at the chance as it was her dream come true. Amy's other passion was quality desserts. She had, as a side interest, created a blog about sweets and where to find the best ones in New York. She dreamed about expanding this with all the wonderful new sweet shops and French confections she would find in Paris. Amy spent her first weeks there touring the famous shops and discovering new ones. Paris My Sweet combines both the story of Thomas's two years in Paris and her love of anything sweet. Each chapter talks about an issue common to those starting a new job, moving to a new city, or being a woman on the cusp of middle age who is still single and adventurous but starting to wonder about love, marriage and children. Each chapter also features a category of sweet such as the madeline or cupcakes or macarons. At the end of each chapter is a page outlining the best places to find that category of sweet, both in New York and in Paris. Paris My Sweet will appeal to a wide variety of readers. It is great travel writing. Foodies will be thrilled to read about the variety and intensity of flavors available in the dessert category as well as the guide to the best places to find specific categories. Overall, the book will appear to women working on finding their place in the world, finding that mix of work and family/love that works for them. Throughout the book, Thomas is revealed as a woman questioning her life but ultimately satisfied with her choices, a woman with a zest for life and who loves to share with others. This book is recommended for all these categories of readers.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Sabrina

    Yes, I know. This isn't really a romance but it is a love letter to Paris and New York and after my first trip to Paris last Fall I've been fantasizing about going back. I LOVED Paris and tried to soak up every second of time while I was there. So when this book came to my attention I just had to read it and I thought I would share it with you even if it isn't my typical book to review. Amy Thomas writes in such a way that even though I spent an idyllic week in Paris, I could so easily see the n Yes, I know. This isn't really a romance but it is a love letter to Paris and New York and after my first trip to Paris last Fall I've been fantasizing about going back. I LOVED Paris and tried to soak up every second of time while I was there. So when this book came to my attention I just had to read it and I thought I would share it with you even if it isn't my typical book to review. Amy Thomas writes in such a way that even though I spent an idyllic week in Paris, I could so easily see the nuances of the city and the People that were both amazing and that later made her feel lonely. She picked up and conveyed so well those small little things that can throw you off in Paris. For instance, it just felt so alien to me not to smile at everyone I met and walked past on the street. I love Amy's inclusion of instances of how Parisians reacted to her smiling since I had the same experience. But what really drew me to this book, and I think you will love, are the amazing descriptions of the perfect desserts to be had all over Paris and their sometimes up to par counterparts in New York. You can read Amy's love of fine pastry and the work that goes into each small bite on every page. I mean this is the ultimate guide to eating in Paris (and New York) and you can bet I'll be using this as my sweet tooth guide the next time the hubby and I make it to Paris. A few of the places she includes in the book are ones we actually managed to find when we went and it was fun to relive the experience we had there. Others, I wish we had found! If you've ever wanted to go to Paris, or if you've been before, I think you'll enjoy this book that includes not only so much detail on Sweets in Paris, but also a taste of life living in the city as a foreigner and the awe that is discovering this city over and over.

  18. 5 out of 5

    SOS Aloha

    Good Americans, when they die, go to Paris. - Thomas Gold Appleton Amy Thomas treats us to a culinary tour of both New York and Paris as she moves from the former to the latter. Along the way, she exposes us to cultural references from the perspective of a single woman leaving the security of her NY friends to embrace a dream. I expected a light hearted tour of Parisian bakeries, confectionaries, and even bistros. As I dined on Thomas’ descriptions of macarons, I realized there is more to this bo Good Americans, when they die, go to Paris. - Thomas Gold Appleton Amy Thomas treats us to a culinary tour of both New York and Paris as she moves from the former to the latter. Along the way, she exposes us to cultural references from the perspective of a single woman leaving the security of her NY friends to embrace a dream. I expected a light hearted tour of Parisian bakeries, confectionaries, and even bistros. As I dined on Thomas’ descriptions of macarons, I realized there is more to this book than just a crispy “cookie”. Thomas’ story is stuffed with a robust crème that represents the challenges she encountered to live her dream. Having lived overseas as single woman, I appreciated Thomas’ humor as she rented a six story walk up, practiced with a French tutor, and found solace in the culinary delights offered by Paris. An obvious comparison is Carrie Bradshaw in SEX IN THE CITY (disclaimer: Thomas does not cross the threshold of spiciness in the fictional series). Both are writers. Both ponder the challenges of “life in the city”. Bradshaw ran off to Paris for an affair with Mikhail Baryshnikov while Thomas moved to Paris to have an affair with its culture. Just as Bradshaw made her life personal to the viewers, Thomas makes her life personal to the reader. I found myself admiring Paris landmarks, riding the Vélib’ (bike) over cobbled stone streets, and nibbling on luxurious confections. Thomas’ story has universal appeal as she fulfils a fantasy while reality moves forward. Thomas ends each chapter with a list of places to procure the delicacies she referenced in both NYC and Paris. Recommended read for those who enjoy eating good food, traveling to world capitals, and seeking out dreams. The publisher provided an ARC for this review.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Patty

    This is a light, frothy memoir about one woman's divided love for two great cities and decided passion for anything sweet. I was expecting it to be a younger woman's tale and was somewhat surprised to find it the story of a woman in her mid-thirties. Maybe I am just old but her seeming so lost at that age did not resonate with me; I had been married for 14 years by this age and well settled into my career although about to get the health shock that would alter my life in unimaginable ways. The s This is a light, frothy memoir about one woman's divided love for two great cities and decided passion for anything sweet. I was expecting it to be a younger woman's tale and was somewhat surprised to find it the story of a woman in her mid-thirties. Maybe I am just old but her seeming so lost at that age did not resonate with me; I had been married for 14 years by this age and well settled into my career although about to get the health shock that would alter my life in unimaginable ways. The stories were very personal and I do commend Ms. Thomas for putting herself out there like that. I, too, love Paris and would love to return some day. I also love sweets but prefer to make them myself but I have found myself struck dumb by the beauty of the creations in a fine patisserie. But looks can be deceiving and sometimes this book fails to deliver - at least it did for me. It became a bit repetitious and seemed to be a series of essays loosely strung together with an overlay of spun sugar binding them together. Each chapter is written around a specific treat and her observations of her life and trials at that time are tied to that treat. It gets old after the first few treats - as too much sugar will. Perhaps this is a book best read a snippet at a time so each cookie, cake or cup of hot chocolate can be savored for itself rather than gorging on every sugary sweet under the sun. Ms. Thomas' writing is engaging and her way of describing a cake can make your mouth water.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Laurel Wicke

    I am set to chaperone the 7th grade trip to France in just a couple of weeks and downloaded this one to my Kindle to get me in the mood. (My plan is to eat my way through the country, thank you very much.) For this purpose, this book was just the right thing. Amy Thomas' memoir of her two years in Paris writing ad copy for Lois Vitton revolves almost entirely around pastries, chocolate, and baguettes...well, and crepes, and tarts, and cake, and macaroons, and puddings, crumbles, souffles...I mea I am set to chaperone the 7th grade trip to France in just a couple of weeks and downloaded this one to my Kindle to get me in the mood. (My plan is to eat my way through the country, thank you very much.) For this purpose, this book was just the right thing. Amy Thomas' memoir of her two years in Paris writing ad copy for Lois Vitton revolves almost entirely around pastries, chocolate, and baguettes...well, and crepes, and tarts, and cake, and macaroons, and puddings, crumbles, souffles...I mean ALL of the delights France offers the palette. And at the back she lists her favorite spots in Paris for all of her favorite treats. Did I mention I'm taking my Kindle along on the trip. Yup. And I've been dieting just for that purpose. (No joke.)

  21. 4 out of 5

    Mom

    This book was a light read, for the most part I enjoyed it. I always considered myself a lover of sweets but this book almost made me swear off sweets for life! I know, I was forewarned by the title but I just couldn't get the full effect until I read it. It was a fun read in part because I felt like I was in Paris with her and I've always wanted to visit there. However, since I don't speak French, I was left in the dark with a lot of detail and meaning to what she was referring. I was surprised This book was a light read, for the most part I enjoyed it. I always considered myself a lover of sweets but this book almost made me swear off sweets for life! I know, I was forewarned by the title but I just couldn't get the full effect until I read it. It was a fun read in part because I felt like I was in Paris with her and I've always wanted to visit there. However, since I don't speak French, I was left in the dark with a lot of detail and meaning to what she was referring. I was surprised to find the age of the author, I felt like it was written by someone much younger.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Beth Knight

    A fun book for when an escape from reality is needed! If you enjoy dessert you just may enjoy this book.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Sharla

    While I absolutely adore the description of desserts and sweets, I find Amy a touch too...something. I don't click with her in anyway and almost find her to be whiny for a 36 year old. But oh, the sweets, I could read her descriptions for all eternity.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Joan Stroh

    This was a light summer read and part of the appeal of this book was remembering my time in Paris. It was very charming and gave great sweet shop recommendations to visit if in NYC or Paris

  25. 4 out of 5

    Katie K.

    The memoir, Paris My Sweet, written by Amy Thomas is a book that takes a look at Amy’s life as she maneuvers through her new home, Paris, France. Her whole life, Amy has always been intrigued with the city’s people, style, and culture. Then, when she gets offered a job to work for Louis Vuitton in Paris, France, she is ecstatic to have the opportunity. However, throughout her journey, there are some bumps in the road. To name just a few, there is a severe language barrier between her and all tho The memoir, Paris My Sweet, written by Amy Thomas is a book that takes a look at Amy’s life as she maneuvers through her new home, Paris, France. Her whole life, Amy has always been intrigued with the city’s people, style, and culture. Then, when she gets offered a job to work for Louis Vuitton in Paris, France, she is ecstatic to have the opportunity. However, throughout her journey, there are some bumps in the road. To name just a few, there is a severe language barrier between her and all those she meets, so she is having a very difficult time making friends. In addition, she is away from all of her friends and family back home, so she often feels a strong sense of loneliness. Although there are some down sides to living in a whole new continent, Amy does try to make the best of it and enjoy her experience. She is a self-proclaimed “sweet-freak” and has her own blog where she dishes about the newest bakeries and the hottest sweets to try. So, in each chapter, you learn about a new pastry Amy tried while in Paris, how it’s made and where the best place to get it is. The in depth look at French culture is fascinating to learn about in Amy Thomas’ whirlwind story that is Paris My Sweet. There is no definite plot in the memoir, Paris My Sweet so, in my experience, it took me a while to find something that appealed to my interest. But, in chapter 12 (the second to last chapter of the book) Thomas wrote something that really made me think. She was out to dinner with a couple of her new Parisian friends when she asked the question, “Do you believe in fate?”(240). From this, a whole debate began about whether or not fate truly exists. Everyone had a different opinion. Some thought that fate couldn’t possibly exist because if it did, we wouldn’t have any control over what was happening in our life, while others thought your instant connections with people you had just met or the concept of being in the right place at the right time aren’t under your control; that some higher power has to have to do with these life-changing events. As I read the whole conversation, I really started to question if fate is existent. All the opinions I was hearing were resonating with me and spoke to me all in a different way. Do we really have control over what happens in our lives or is everything already planned out for us and we’re just riding the wave? When I chose this book to read, I didn’t think that it would become this deep and thought-provoking; but it was, and I’m glad it did, because it really pulled me back in when I was becoming bored with the rest of the events. Overall, with the exception of Chapter 12, I wasn’t too impressed with Paris My Sweet. I realized that I need a book with a plot line, and this just didn’t fit the bill. It wasn’t going anywhere, and to be honest, the ending was quite pathetic. However, Paris My Sweet wasn’t all bad. I truly did enjoy the little inserted French vocabulary here and there and tips of where to go if you’re ever looking for a bakery in Paris. That is why I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in French culture. Although a memoir, I would consider “Paris My Sweet” to be more of a travel guide to France and less of an intriguing look into the life of an American in Paris. This is what I was expecting but didn’t get. The “travel guide” portion, I did appreciate and was interested to read. If you’re like me, and want to visit Paris someday it is exciting and helpful to see what the city is really like. But, the actual “memoir” portion didn’t live up to my expectations. Thomas mostly complained about how she couldn’t find a boyfriend or fit in anywhere. It got exhausting and frankly, extremely annoying. So, if you are looking for a book that has a plot line and actually goes somewhere in the end, this is not the book for you, but if you are looking for an in depth look at the French culture and tips of where go, this would be an amazing guide to keep in your back pocket. All in all, I have to say that the memoir, Paris My Sweet by Amy Thomas did make my mouth water, but didn’t touch my heart.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Niamh

    Adding to the list of wanderlust style memoirs that I absolutely adore, this book holds a ménage a trois between Amy, New York City and the city of subject, Paris. Amy moved to Paris to work for a luxury fashion brand and whilst there, gets to indulge in her love of sweets, pastry and patisserie. Whilst listening to it made me feel ridiculously hungry, it is less of a memoir about her time in Paris, and more about cake and such. There's little that we actually learn from this memoir, but I enjoy Adding to the list of wanderlust style memoirs that I absolutely adore, this book holds a ménage a trois between Amy, New York City and the city of subject, Paris. Amy moved to Paris to work for a luxury fashion brand and whilst there, gets to indulge in her love of sweets, pastry and patisserie. Whilst listening to it made me feel ridiculously hungry, it is less of a memoir about her time in Paris, and more about cake and such. There's little that we actually learn from this memoir, but I enjoyed the elements of it that indulged in the wonder of European food and just how life-changing food can truly be on one's life. It's no 'Bella Figura', but it's an interesting look all the same.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    Reading this memoir, it’s easy to fall in love with Paris as Amy Thomas sees it. She has a way of describing food not just as the fuel the body needs to survive but rather as something to be savoured and revered. As a lover of all things sweet and a desire to travel all over the world, at times it felt like this book was speaking directly to me. Amy Thomas, a thirty-five year old career woman who enjoys the single life in New York City gets the opportunity to live in Paris for a year. With the he Reading this memoir, it’s easy to fall in love with Paris as Amy Thomas sees it. She has a way of describing food not just as the fuel the body needs to survive but rather as something to be savoured and revered. As a lover of all things sweet and a desire to travel all over the world, at times it felt like this book was speaking directly to me. Amy Thomas, a thirty-five year old career woman who enjoys the single life in New York City gets the opportunity to live in Paris for a year. With the help of a Vélib, Amy travels all over Paris and experiences all the chocolate shops, bakeries and pastry stores that the City of Light has to offer. This book is part memoir, part guidebook. At the end of each chapter Thomas gives a brief selection of venues in both New York City and Paris that offer some of the delicacies mentioned previously in the chapter. There are a lot of French terms mentioned in story. I was over eager and looked up what they meant only to find a definition of sorts in the next paragraph. Whilst some may say there was too many foreign terms, I appreciated the chance to indulge my inquisitive side and felt better educated by the end of it. D’accord? Amy as a narrator is fantastic. She’s romantic and shows Paris off in a way that you the reader can tell it’s a place she treasures. The beauty of the food and the city are written about with such passion and detail that I could almost believe I’d been there. At the same time, she doesn’t gloss over the negatives – like the pigeons and the unsmiling locals. She describes it in it’s whole. I also liked her attitude towards life – she’s practical and doesn’t take her situation for granted. I love how brave she was to take this chance and I also adored that despite the indulgence of the food, she doesn’t take it for granted. Whilst reading this book I kept going online and sneaking peeks at Thomas’ blog, SweetFreak. Between the pictures there and the way the chocolates, cupcakes and other delicious morsels were written about, I was in food heaven. It’s a good thing that window shopping (so to speak) is fat-free. It was enough to both make me extremely hungry and at the same time dissatisfied with all the food options I had in my house. I was craving a Pain au chocolat from Paris, a banana cupcake from New York or another of other sweets that I’d just read about. If I lived in New York or Paris (or was planning a trip to either city in the future) I’d be including at least one or two of the stores Amy Thomas wrote about!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Molly Jean

    This book is as light and airy as the French pastries the author writes about. I don't know how anyone could expect it to be anything else. It was a very enjoyable romp through not one, but two great cities, equally famous for their cuisines and ways of life. Although the author is about the same age as Elizabeth Gilbert and is undergoing a certain amount of soul searching, I thought this book was also nearly (and blessedly)completely free of the self indulgent BS and whining so heavily ladled o This book is as light and airy as the French pastries the author writes about. I don't know how anyone could expect it to be anything else. It was a very enjoyable romp through not one, but two great cities, equally famous for their cuisines and ways of life. Although the author is about the same age as Elizabeth Gilbert and is undergoing a certain amount of soul searching, I thought this book was also nearly (and blessedly)completely free of the self indulgent BS and whining so heavily ladled out in "Eat, Pray, Love". Bottom line: I like Amy Thomas. I would love to split a chocolate chip cookie with her, in either Paris or New York. Split a bowl of pasta with Elizabeth Gilbert? No way. However, I have one rather significant nit to pick with the author and that is her all-too-frequent use of the term "Frenchie"...it was like fingernails on a blackboard...am I the only Goodreads reader who was annoyed by this? Although not textbook derogatory (certainly not as bad as "Frog"), it is borderline dismissive to my old ears and certainly not very respectful. Just call them the French, or a Frenchman or a Frenchwoman. But please, for an author who professes to love almost everything French, I would think she could have come up with a less childish and more grownup moniker to refer to the very people who created the culture, cuisine and city she loves. So Amy, please knock it off. It annoyed me so much I am taking my rating down one star from three to two. Alors, tant pis.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Colette

    I had high hopes for this book because I love all things sweet and have always wanted to go to Paris. (The closest I got was the Charles DeGaulle Airport.) I was able to over look this line: "...but it wasn't long before we became inseparable and I got to learn more key traits from my corn-fed friend from Iowa." Was it necessary to add that bit about corn??? I realize it's a book about food, but still it annoyed me. When I got to this line when she talks about her parents traveling to Europe for I had high hopes for this book because I love all things sweet and have always wanted to go to Paris. (The closest I got was the Charles DeGaulle Airport.) I was able to over look this line: "...but it wasn't long before we became inseparable and I got to learn more key traits from my corn-fed friend from Iowa." Was it necessary to add that bit about corn??? I realize it's a book about food, but still it annoyed me. When I got to this line when she talks about her parents traveling to Europe for the first time to visit her and her brother: And being devotees of the Fox News channel, I knew leaving U.S. soil for the first time (especially for France, Zut Alors!) made them more then a little anxious. I'm not a fan of that channel, but my parents watch it and I have on occasion. It just bothered me that the author threw that remark in. Why blame a news channel for them feeling anxious? Why not just say they were anxious about leaving the country? The descriptions of the bakeries and chocolate shops were wonderful, and I can tell that the author really has a joy for all things sweet. I loved seeing her struggle to adjust to life in Paris, and her descriptions of New York City. Both of my sisters have lived in NYC (the village and Tribecca) and adored it, so I loved seeing the city in a different way. It's unfortunate that I let one line ruin an otherwise delightful read, but c'est la vie. Also posted on my blog: A Buckeye Girl Reads

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jasmine Marie {#thebookishmama}

    WARNING! DO NOT READ IF YOU ARE HUNGRY! Or even remotely craving any kind of sweet... because you will be hungry, so hungry that you will contemplate, "Just how expensive can it be to travel to Paris just to eat?" (The answer to that is: WAY OUT OF MY BUDGET!) Oh, and you probably don't want to read it right before bed either, because you will inevitably crawl out of bed to go digging through your pantry for something sweet and it will (also inevitably) not be satisfying enough because alas, you WARNING! DO NOT READ IF YOU ARE HUNGRY! Or even remotely craving any kind of sweet... because you will be hungry, so hungry that you will contemplate, "Just how expensive can it be to travel to Paris just to eat?" (The answer to that is: WAY OUT OF MY BUDGET!) Oh, and you probably don't want to read it right before bed either, because you will inevitably crawl out of bed to go digging through your pantry for something sweet and it will (also inevitably) not be satisfying enough because alas, you do not have have delicious little French delicacies waiting for you in your pantry. I'm sorry Oreos, you just don't hold a candle to macaroons. And if you are a pregnant woman (like I was a couple years ago) and OBSESSED with pastries, you might as well stop reading this review right now. Seriously. I really enjoyed this book. What's not to love about Paris? Or at least the idea of Paris? This book is everything I hoped Julie & Julia would be (but wasn't) and more. I loved all the descriptions of the wonderful sweets and it definitely created a lot of cravings in my life during the month or so I read this book. Not good for my waistline. The great thing about this book is that it is so much more than just about the food. You care about Thomas during her two years in a new country and at a new job. It is a light, sometimes airy, but overall sweet story. For more reviews from the bookish mama, please click here.

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