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Condition: Used: Good
Comment: The item shows wear from consistent use, but it remains in good condition and works perfectly. All pages and cover are intact (including the dust cover, if applicable). Spine may show signs of wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting. May include "From the library of" labels.
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Lunch in Paris: A Love Story, with Recipes Paperback – February 7, 2011

4.1 out of 5 stars 230 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this pleasant memoir about learning to live and eat à la française, an American journalist married to a Frenchman inspires lessons in culinary détente. Bard was working as a journalist in London and possessed of the wonderful puppy-dog enthusiasm of young Americans when she first met her husband-to-be, Gwendal, a computer engineer from Brittany. Soon he had the foresight to put her name on the gas bill of his Parisian apartment in the 10th arrondissement, and they were destined to marry—and cook together. Her memoir is really a celebration of the culinary season as it unfolded in their young lives together: recipes for seduction (onion and bacon); getting serious over andouillette; learning to buy what's fresh at the Parisian markets (four and a half pounds of figs); surviving a long, cold winter in an unheated apartment; and warming up their visiting parents over profiteroles. Bard throws in some American recipes that feel like home, such as noodle pudding, and comforting soups for a winter's grieving over the death of the father-in-law. Bard carefully observes the eating habits of her impossibly slender mother-in-law for tips to staying slim (lots of water and no snacking). Bard keeps an eye to healthful ingredients (Three Fabulous Solo Lunches), and, as a Jewish New Yorker, even prepares a Passover seder in Paris, in this work that manages to be both sensuous and informative. (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

“I slept with my French husband halfway through our first date,” begins Bard, a Paris-based American journalist, and she goes on to describe falling in love with both Gwendal, her Brittany-born amour, and with her adopted city, where she learns to shop for and cook delectable meals on a tiny two-burner stove (instructions for preparing the dishes close each chapter). Bard lacks the culinary chops of other recent romance-and-recipe memoirists in the increasingly crowded genre, such as New York Times food writer Amanda Hesser, whose Cooking for Mr. Latte (2003) also chronicled her path to marriage. And while Bard does include numerous, cinema-ready glimpses into her relationship with Gwendal (when she finally moves in, the adorable way he welcomes her feels pulled from a romantic comedy), both the love story and the food story feel slightly muted next to what seems to be the book’s deepest undercurrent: how to build an adult life that reconciles societal pressure, personal ambition, cultural dissonance, and true happiness. --Gillian Engberg --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Back Bay Books; Reprint edition (February 7, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316042781
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316042789
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (230 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #28,028 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Marianne O. Schmidt VINE VOICE on January 8, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I can not say enough wonderful things about this book. I confess that I am a sucker for all things French, and any book that tells me about Paris, food and the French is a book I will treasure. I didn't read the chapters in order, necessarily, and that is what I really loved about it. Although there is a chronological time line, you can read it out of order and enjoy it just as much as if you had done it the way most people do. The chapters really stand on their own, and the writing was delightful. It was tender, sassy, and kind, but honest. Ms. Bard clearly loves France, but she doesn't hold back from offering critiques either. I like her honesty, and I like that it was tempered with affection and humor. These are the stories that a friend would tell you, and make you laugh and think about, long after the covers are closed, and the book is sitting on a shelf. This is not a book that will, or should, sit on a shelf. It is part philosopher, part lover, part friend, and part chef. I loved the fact that the recipes are generally simple and good, and things that the French themselves eat, and are not show off or Haute Cuisine. Ms. Bard fell in love with a guy and with France, and she got both. Hats off to her. She made me feel like part of the family with her stories; this book is infectious and really invades your consciousness, and makes you want to read it. I would definitely give her high marks for voice, style and content. The only disappointment with my copy of the book, was the binding. The first time I opened it, one of the pages nearly fell out. I felt that the publisher let us down by putting up with such shoddy workmanship. I love this book enough to buy copies for my daughter and daughter-in-law, but I will warn them to handle it with care!Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I'm a francophile who devours anything and everything I can get my hands on that is about French culture. I was delighted to receive an advance copy of this book since it sounded exactly like the kind of book I love, one that combined two of my favorite pastimes -- food and France. While I enjoyed this book, I didn't find it very substantive, and for that reason would give it 3 1/2 stars.

While the book was interesting, it seemed much too self-indulgent in places. Memoirs, of course, are nothing if not self-indulgent, but Bard's recounting of her relationship with her husband seemed to draw out scenarios that didn't quite merit the attention that she gave them. I did enjoy the intermingling of her stories with the recipes that inspired each narrative, and found it to be a creative (if not original) play on the memoir genre.

The book itself is light-hearted and fun, although it is also tinctured with darker elements, such as Bard's revelations about her father's manic depression. Having lived in France for a year when I was about Bard's age, I could also relate to her descriptions of French culture and the French mode de vie. Overall, I would recommend this book if you're looking for a light read.
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Format: Hardcover
I read this book as I love to take a free trip to France, and that the author did for me. I like to dine in France, and that she did---allowing my to vicariously experience restaurants and dining experiences, her images are detailed and wonderful. The recipes thrown in were a joy, and I even made some. The ones I made reproduced very nicely. I may try one or two more.

But, there was a major turn-off. It was cheapened by some chapters being a Sex-in-the-City romp. The first paragraph she tells how she slept with her husband on the first date. While this is ordinarily fine and can make for fun reading, it is not okay in a memoir. She insists she is not the type, but then the reader is repeatedly informed of the size of the authors breasts on way too many occasions for me to take her seriously as a grown up.

In one chapter,you are charmed by her sincere husband and her sincere emotions of falling in love with him, some lovely childhood memories, and I start to think what a lovely intelligent, sensitive person this is. Then, in the next minute, she is off for a wild Sex-in-the-City romp with her college friend, throws in some cleavage comments, has a wild party with fashionistas.

I love many parts of the book, but I am equally turned off by many other parts of the book. I was VERY ambivalent. This inconsistenty of a delicate, well meaning sensitive protagonist being young and going through some growth pains while living abroad was all good. The lovely images of France are all good. But, then the wow-girl-check-me-out-sex-in-the-city turns she takes,too-much-intimate-gratuitous personal exposure, makes this for me a very inconsistent bumpy experience. Quality, then Cheap Goods, Quality, then Cheap Goods.
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Format: Paperback
There are so many wonderful books along the lines of this one, from The Sharper the Knive the Less You Cry, to David Lebovitz's The Sweet Life in Paris, and I have loved every one of them. So, I was really excited when I heard about this one. What doesn't sound good about a book peppered with food, romance and Paris? Unfortunately, this book failed to live up to my expectations.

Bard seems to wish to write about how the joys of life in Paris encouraged her to move past the goal-oriented value system that she learned in the U.S.A. However, she, or rather her ego, keeps getting in the way. I almost threw the book down in disgust when, within the first 50 pages, she not only referred to herself in the third person but used it as adjected, as in, "That's so Elizabeth." Ugh. Really? This is not an isolated incident. After that, the reader has the immense pleasure of hearing her reference to her Ivy League education, but nothing about what that experience was like. Then, the reader is repeatedly told that the writer is thin, while also being told that the writer can't fit into any of the average clothes sizes, and that the best way to deal with this is to eat more. The latter might have been more entertaining if the writer had had more of a sense of humor about herself. Again and again, these little bits of ego stand in the way of what probably was an enchanting time in her life.

Overall, I got the sense that this book really didn't have the strong hand of an editor in it. The book seems unsure as to whether it's a collection of stories with recipes (loosely) tied to them or the story of a woman's journey into post-college adulthood. When I was reading it, I wondered if the book was based on a blog, and the editor had just printed the whole thing out and not bothered to encourage any real sense of order.
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