A Bite Sized History of France by Stéphane Henaut and Jeni Mitchell
Written by husband and wife – he is French and she is American, this book is a thoroughly entertaining caper through the history of France via the medium of cooking, agriculture and the culture of food. We all know that the France is known for being a country of connoisseurs but it might surprise you to learn how they got that way. Historic trivia, regional peculiarities, customs and traditions are conveyed in a refreshingly congenial history. Well-researched and scrumptious from beginning to end. You’ll start to believe you are actually sitting at their dinner table chatting over a couple bottles of wine, a bubbling cassoulet, a warm baguette and some particularly smelly cheese.
July 2018 – The New Press
The Rain Watcher by Tatiana de Rosnay
From the author of the haunting book, Sarah’s Key, The Rain Watcher unfolds in Paris over days of unrelenting rain and flooding. The immediate members of the Malegarde family have converged to celebrate their father’s 70th birthday. The grown brother and sister have left their own loved ones for a short celebratory weekend that turns into days of surprising revelations, tragedy and finally love.
The characters are portrayed in their most fragile moments adding a unique poignancy to their individual narratives. This compelling story takes you into the Malegarde family’s deepest secrets and insecurities and I dare you to put it down.
October 2018 – St. Martin’s Press
Paris in the Dark by Robert Olen Butler
It’s 1915 and Chicago journalist Christopher Marlowe Cobb is in Paris writing about the war. While America isn’t in the war yet, plenty of Yanks have gone over to volunteer, and “Kit” is writing those who are working as ambulance drivers. A series of terrifying bombs aimed at Parisian civilians immediately arouses suspicions, not only because Cobb is a newspaper reporter, but he’s also an American spy.
Butler, who is a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, is obviously having a great deal of fun with this series. It is a pretty speedy read with a lot of the elements you might expect from an amateur undercover agent who is trying to do the right thing. Paris during WWI, idealistic Americans and first-rate dialogue makes this a pleasurable read.
I always tell people that Clayton "just" runs the business, I am the one who reads the books. We like to travel and no matter where we go, I've got books tucked in every piece of luggage, audio books downloaded on my phone and a batch of books on my Kindle.