Sunday, June 24, 2018

Paris to the Moon

I just finished Adam Gopnik's marvelous book of essays about life in Paris, Paris to the Moon, and think I have a new favorite writer.

Gopnik is a New Yorker writer and in this book he writes about the five years he and his wife lived in Paris with their young son in the mid-1990s. He is a marvelous writer--the flow and richness of the language, his story-telling skills, and his focus on the little things that make up a life together make this an absolute joy to read. This was my bedtime reading for the past few months, wherein a read just a few pages or a short chapter each night to savor the experience.

I loved exploring neighborhoods, trying new foods and recipes, making friends, hanging out at the Ritz, and dealing with French bureaucracy along with Gopnik.

Here are my tweets in which I quoted the book while reading it:

“Not really liking it much is a precondition of art criticism of all kinds.”  
“...religion depends on being able to find the holy in the ordinary.” Jean-Philippe Derenne, as quoted by Adam Gopnik in Paris to the Moon
“...good cooking is made up of familiar things done right.”
“ We breathe in our first language, and swim in our second.”

As you can see, Gopnik has a lovely turn of phase. I've added a few of his books to my GoodReads want-to-read list, with The Table Comes First: Family, France, and the Meaning of Food high on the list!

Counting down to my vacation to France, starting in Paris in 31 days!



  1. My daughter read this years ago and left her copy here... where it continues to languish on the shelves. You've inspired me to pull it down and add to my stack of Paris in July possibilities!

    1. It is a great candidate for Paris in July.

  2. This sounds very food I tend to like Nonfiction books about culture. I also think that the essay is an underappriated style. I think thaf my wife would really like this book as she likes works that center on France.

  3. I really liked this book, too!

  4. Oh this is so up my ally... im going to loom for it and put it on my Paris in July list too.

  5. I love it when I find a new favorite writer! It is so exciting to think of all the books you have now to look forward to trying. :)

    Also: "We breathe in our first language, and swim in our second" love that quote! So true. And sometimes the swimming is laborious or dog-paddling.

  6. You are so well-prepared for Paris in July this year! What fun to be going there other than on an imaginary voyage.

    best... mae at

  7. Hi Jane,
    I'm very excited about your trip to France! Naturally, I hope you'll keep us all informed about whatever fascinates or fascinated you on this trip. No pressure!! If I were you, I would not want to blog about it during the trip, but perhaps after??

    I'd love to have my "European Book Group" give this a try. But, after reading only two books set in Europe (Iceland and Provence), they have now told me that they want a book set in Australia! "What's so sacred about Europe?" they say.

    Duh. When I announced at a friends group dinner that I was wanting to launch a book group with the European theme, they were all for it. I haven't given up, and will suggest this book as an idea for them to try. And I have an Australian book that will interest them, I think. It's the memoir about the woman who solo adventures from east to west across Australia with camels. Just can't remember the title at the moment.

    Happy Preparations for Your Trip!


  8. Hi Jane, Never read Adam Gopnik but your review has me very iterested. I enjoy books where a journalist who has lived in a country for years ends up writing a book about the experience. Year's ago I read Hendrick Smith's book The Russians he had been the NYT bureau chief in Moscow for a few years and his book has stayed with me. I am fascinated by France too, particularly tne 1920's and the expat world on the left bank. Have a great time on your vacation!

  9. Thanks for stopping by my blog and reading the Paris in July posts. I'm glad you liked this book, too. He's such a terrific writer and really gives you a feel for what it's like to be an ex-pat in Paris. Isn't Paris in July fun! Oh, and you are going to love it! (We're going in October!)

  10. I've had this on my TBR for SO long. My library has a copy. I should read it.

  11. We ended our trip in Paris and started our trip in London then took the "chunnel" over. We visited Monet's Giverny at the end which was worth doing. I think I will have to read Gopnik's book! Although Paris is terrific -- I sort of liked the countryside the best. Wow so beautiful. The North was just as nice as the South.