Thursday, January 22, 2015

Book Review: "That's Paris!: An Anthology"

Ah, Paris.

Just the word evokes images that inspire the very essence of Europe, in all its splendor and insouciance, the laissez-faire lifestyle, the casual beauty, the easy unassuming atmosphere. From sunlit cafes to iconic architecture to some of the most unique social mores and some of the oddest laws in existence, the city of Paris is nothing if not wholly spectacular.

Welcome, then, to That's Paris: An Anthology of Life, Love and Sarcasm in the City of Light, to be released in Kindle edition on February 2 (print edition published just this month) by Velvet Morning Press.

Featuring essays, anecdotes, and personal stories, the anthology is an absolute triumph whose success lies in its ability to convey the dozens of facets that, together, comprise the sparkling gem that is the City of Light.

Some of the contributions are tongue-in-cheek, like "(Mis)Adventures at Sacre-Coeur" by Amy Lynne Hayes, who writes about the time she visited Paris with her ex and his new girlfriend (talk about awkward!).

Some contributions are self-deprecating, as are "The French Table, a Test of Mettle" by Audrey M. Chapuis (about her experience with French cuisine) and "Signs, Signs, Everywhere Signs" by Vicki Lesage (a roll-on-the-floor-in-sympathetic-laughter treatise of an odder aspect of French culture).

Some of the writing represents the more ridiculous ("This One Time in Paris" by Sarah del Rio) and some of it, the miraculous ("Half Past Midnight" by Didier Quemener). Often, the works are both touching and heartbreaking ("A Scoop of Henry" by Cheryl McAlister, or "Love Unlocked" by Adria J. Cimino, or "Les Urgences" by David Whitehouse).

Regardless of perspective or style, however, all of the additions to the anthology (of which there are many more, by an array of gifted authors) are powerfully insightful and eye-opening. Picture Paris in a thousand different ways, through a thousand different lenses, and you have imagined what That's Paris! achieves in a microcosm.

I sighed, chuckled, cried, and laughed until I cried as I read my way through the collection, one story at a time like one bite after another of a superb multifaceted meal, brilliantly prepared and impeccably served.

You'll never look at Paris the same way again. I promise.

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Author: Various
Title: That's Paris!: An Anthology of Life, Love and Sarcasm in the City of Light
Publisher: Velvet Morning Press

ASIN: B00S684MJS (Kindle)
Purchase here:

ISBN: 978-0692340110 (print)
Purchase here:

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this anthology from the editor in exchange for an honest, though not necessarily positive, review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.


  1. Thanks for the review, Eleanore! So glad you enjoyed the variety of the stories, and I'm pleased one of mine made you laugh :)

    1. My pleasure! I laughed over many of the stories; there are so many genuine emotions represented in all the contributions!


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