Paris Insights - An Anthology: Review by Bonnie Way
Paris Insights—An Anthology is a collection of short articles and interviews about Paris, compiled or written by Tom Reeves, an American who now calls "the city of light" home. Most of the articles are about three pages long, making them easy to read in short periods of time—such as when I needed a break from studying for classes or was sitting down to nurse Lilibet. The articles are accompanied by black and white photographs that help bring the topics alive.
The anthology is divided into five sections: "La Vie Parisienne," "Americans in Paris," "Churches and Cathedrals," "Tasty Treats," and "Paris, Past and Present." Each chapter is a reprint of an article from Reeves' newsletter, which grew out of his website and his desire to share the lesser-known parts of Paris with tourists.
In one chapter, "Wining and Dining with Juan Sanchez," we meet "an American expat with a passion for food and wine." He has a passion for local wines and, of the 400 wines that he sells in his store, says only five or six are not French. He also mentioned the intriguing concept of terroir: "the notion that wine is an expression of its soil and climate." He says this is what sets French wines apart from American wines.
My favourite articles were about the churches and cathedrals of Paris, though the black and white photos only gave a taste of the beauty of these buildings. The architecture of Europe is one of the reasons that I would love to travel there, and Reeves included bits of the fascinating history of each church as well as descriptions and other information. For example, in one church, the beautiful tile floor was preserved from destruction during the Revolution by being covered in plaster and straw.
I knew little or nothing about Paris before reading Reeves' books, and the tidbits of information I found here fascinated me. If my husband and I ever manage to make it to France, I'll be taking notes from this little book for places to visit.