I was using any excuse to read books on Paris, guidebooks especially. Combining this with the Australian Women Writer’s Challenge is a win-win situation.
Paris: A guide to the city’s creative heart is a beautiful book to read and to look at, with photographs and descriptive language that take you on a journey of words along the laneways and boulevards of one the world’s most beautiful cities.
The author and photographer is Janelle McCulloch, who has written several books on architecture, travel and cooking, gardening and interior design. She has used her expertise gleaned from numerous trips to deliver an insider’s guide to one of the most beautiful and stylish cities of the world.
While it is recommended to take with you as a guide, I’d be reluctant to, as it is such a beautiful book and I am afraid it would get knocked about in my luggage. It is a coffee-table style book that is perfect to dip into to while away an hour or so curled up on the couch on a rainy afternoon.
The book is divided into two parts- the first part being a stroll through the arrondissements of Paris- a flaneur’s guide, with the second part a handbook to shops, galleries and museums, bookstores, fashion, fabric and accessories that you will find.
The descriptions of the arrondissements flow- Janelle writes beautifully and evocatively. The photos accompanying the chapters are exquisite, but I would much rather captions with the photos rather than captions at the back of the book.
The maps of arrondissements are hand drawn giving it a bespoke feel. Truly the book befits its subject matter.
It is a lovely gift for Francophiles, and for those who want to keep their memories of Paris alive!