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Lessons From Madame Chic: The Top 20 Things I Learned While Living in Paris Paperback – November 17, 2011
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Top Customer Reviews
Based on Scott's time as a foreign exchange student in Paris as a young woman, she is now a mother of two young daughters, happily married and living in southern California, so she converses with her readers from a relatable platform. Immediately upon reading it again, I was reminded of another author who shares her insights and tips on living well with inspiration from the French - Mireille Guiliano. Scott's tips are weaved skillfully into her experiences and time with Madame Chic and her Parisian family, so much so that you feel you are having a conversation with a trusted, yet wiser girlfriend.
And the beauty of discovering her book was that it didn't have to end once I finished reading it. As the founder of the blog The Daily Connoisseur, readers are able to enjoy a regular dose of inspiration and YouTube video instructions on how to continually integrate the fine art of French living into their every day lives.
The re-released edition of Lessons from Madame Chic (279 pages) contains the same content I initially raved about in my review in April, but is now adequately accessorized with illustrations found throughout the entire book from the talented artist and designer Virginia Johnson.Read more ›
However, I could not help but think about how much easier it would be for Americans to have a better work-life balance if so many people I know didn't have to work overloaded jobs at 50 and 60 hours a week to keep from getting laid off, plus deal with 2-hour daily commutes, and bosses who complain vigorously if a person leaves one's desk for anything more than a trip to the restroom or the company microwave to warm a frozen lunch, never mind a refreshing lunchtime walk. This is why we have gyms and home exercise videos, to replace what the French people get naturally in the course of a day's business. Also, it would be easy to turn out beautiful, gourmet meals and have an uncluttered house if the working women I know only had to work part-time like the lady of the house for the French host family of the author. The habit of the Frenchmen to pick up after themselves is a big help to the uncluttered look of a house, as well. How gallant of them.
The big secret of the French weight control seems to be lots and lots of walking and stair climbing. We're just not set up for that. Things here are laid out in a spacious manner conducive to driving and many, many areas, both commercial and residential, are too dangerous to walk in, whether because of pit bulls, no sidewalks, or demographics. The neighborhoods compact enough to walk in for any food marketing are generally older, and simply not safe.Read more ›
Overall, this book is a good primer for those looking to bring refinement and simplicity to their lives. I agreed with many precepts and already utilize nearly all of her tips in my own life. Thus, I did not necessarily learn anything new from this book. However, for someone who has not traveled much or someone who wishes to give a book to someone looking for a more European/upscale lifestyle this book has much to offer.
For some however, this book many not resonate due to the banal advice. The grammatical errors and the colloquialisms detracted from Ms. Scott's overarching messages of elegance, grace, and formality as well. For instance, in the Kindle version, the word "tenant" is used when describing a Parisian lifestyle approach. From the sentence context, "tenet" would have been the correct word choice. These kinds of oversights can be easily forgiven when someone understands the spirit of the book. However, to me and other bibliophiles, this kind of mistake might be distracting. This is not to criticize Ms. Scott's efforts to make seemingly difficult lifestyle changes accessible; rather it is merely a comment or warning for readers who might be looking for sophisticated French cultural commentary or analysis.
On the whole, I enjoyed this book, and I have started reading Ms. Scott's blog The Daily Connoisseur as a result.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I'm looking into changing my lifestyle and this book is very useful when it comes to understanding how a mature, yet graceful woman's lifestyle. Read more
This is simply a fun and enjoyable book that got me to think a few new thoughts about wardrobe and style. Read morePublished 24 days ago by Livia
I had initially read the book to get home decorating ideas but wound up reading yet another book about how the French women are so impossibly chic and classy, and how we American... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Desert Rose
I have read many how to "be French". However this book incorporated examples and aspects of lifestyles that have never been answered. Read morePublished 1 month ago by mscott
This is the author's first book and what a treat - she did an outstanding job - hats off to you Jennifer! Read morePublished 1 month ago by AK
Poorly written, some ideas are good, but you can tell she's not a writerPublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
I love the advice given by Madam Chic. Reading about here adventures in Paris and how everything is so passionate about life make you want to live the same way. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Arlene Torres