The Delights and Disasters of Making My Paris Home

Book - 2017
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"Bestselling author and world-renowned chef David Lebovitz continues to mine the rich subject of his evolving ex-pat life in Paris, using his perplexing experiences in apartment renovation as a launching point for stories about French culture, food, and what it means to revamp one's life. Includes dozens of new recipes. When David Lebovitz began the project of updating his apartment in his adopted home city, he never imagined he would encounter so much inexplicable red tape while contending with the famously inconsistent European work ethic and hours. Lebovitz maintains his distinctive sense of humor with the help of his partner Romain, peppering this renovation story with recipes from his Paris kitchen. In the midst of it all, he reveals the adventure that accompanies carving out a place for yourself in a foreign country--under baffling conditions--while never losing sight of the magic that inspired him to move to the City of Light many years ago, and to truly make his home there"--
Publisher: New York : Crown, ©2017.
ISBN: 9780804188388
Characteristics: 354 pages ;,22 cm.


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Jul 03, 2019

Less of a cookbook, less of a memoir, much less than a "I Love Paris" valentine, this is the story of a "nice guy" ex-pat and his horror story of buying and fixing up an apartment in Paris. It's delicious, nonetheless, but not like madeleines. More like bouillabaisse. Complex, a lot of work, but beautiful and satisfying. And not what you're expecting. At all.

If you've fixed up, flipped, remodeled, or otherwise upgraded your residence, you are going to cringe on every other page. He's so naive! He's so gullible and the contractors and subs all take so much advantage of him. Sure, he may have exaggerated the horror somewhat, but if you've worked with shady contractors, you know it's quite possible this is not far from reality. And if you enjoy David Lebovitz' writing, and have a soft spot in your heart for this sweet guy (heh, heh), the way people treat him really hurts deeply. People can be such jerks.

Even if you've never picked up one of his delightful sweet life in Paris cookbooks, it's a treat to read such an excellent telling of a remodel got awry. And even if you don't cook, you should read more David Lebovitz. He's so good at dropping you into a beautiful Parisian world, filled with light and crunchy, sweet and creamy treats. And interesting people. And a life you will never live but you will keep in your head as if these are your memories.

This memory, however, is better not being one of your own. Your bank account will thank you.

Jan 04, 2019

A comical tale of purchasing a home in Paris with mouth-watering recipes. I laughed and felt so sorry for David as he navigated the process of purchasing a home and the trials of renovation. It was a enjoyable and a quick read.

Dec 25, 2018

A cautionary tale, if you dream of living in France, as I do - but I agree with the NY Times reviewer that this could have been a much better book if trimmed to half the length.

There are moments of good humor, but many more moments of regrets and whining - plus a number of insignificant anecdotes or details that drag the story down.

I do like how "Daveed" loosely matched the recipes at the end of many chapters to the subjects covered. Now, if only he would realize that a book needs to be tighter and more focused than a blog!

May 31, 2018

Humorous account of trying to find and renovate an apartment in France. Any books by Americans in France are great--they usually show an appreciate of a wonderful culture--great style, food, wine, etc--while bemoaning the vagaries of their obsolete systems (the post office, for example) and inexplicable cultural traditions. If that's your cup of tea (or glass ofwine), I highly recommend it!

Apr 02, 2018

This book isn’t nearly as fun as I thought it would be. I started skipping pages ahead, then chapters, then skimmed to the end ...which I then didn’t read.

I think it would have helped tremendously if there were photos...how about some before and after? But...none.

AND...tell us how much you paid for the dumpy apartment.

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