Book review and giveaway: Bridges of Paris – I love France #147

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Bridges of France

Bridges of Paris

Bridges of France
by Michael Saint James

Hardcover: 280 pages
featuring over 350 original photographs

Publisher: Citron Bay Press; 1st edition (2015)

ISBN-13: 978-1928595502

Product Dimensions: 14 x 9.5 x 1.2 inches

This book counts for the following Reading Challenges:


 French Bingo 2015 logo New-Release-Challenge

Nonfiction 2015 New Authors 2015           


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Not many books can be displayed on your coffee table to touch the heart of the romantics and lovers of beauty among your guests, while at the same time providing them with great culture and French history. Bridges of Paris is one of those rare books that will accomplish exactly that.

I don’t think you can resist the beauty of this book, with its convenient size, 14 x 9.5 x 1.2 inches, and its hundreds of incredible pictures, most of them being full page, some as beautiful as real paintings.
Paris counts around 300 bridges, but 37 only over the Seine, and the author artist photographer focuses exclusively on these.

In a short introduction, he explains first how the book came to be: one day in Paris, he was asked which one of all Paris bridges was his favorite. A seemingly innocent question that launched him into a great adventure, lots of research, and gave birth ultimately to this beautiful product.

He also explains the structure of the book: he grouped the 37 bridges into 4 sets: Island Bridges, Palace Bridges, Downstream Bridges, and Upstream Bridges.

I wanted to capture each bridge in a fresh light, framing a varied cast of locals and étrangers (foreigners). I also wanted to find the best words to frame the resulting images.
My intent was always to capture the image from the bridge’s own point of view.

A chapter provides also the reader with a short historic panorama of Paris, focusing on its river and bridges. It includes many reproductions from historical documents and paintings.

Then for each of the 37 bridges, a small box tells you when it was first built; when it was opened in its current form; its length, width, number of arches, and it serves pedestrians and/or motor vehicle traffic.
There is also an aerial view of Paris with an arrow, showing you where this specific bridge is located.
The page or two on each bridge tell you what it connects, and about its history and sometimes its place in literature.
Each bridge is illustrated with several full-page pictures, taken at various times of day and night, in different weather. They offer full views and sometimes very fascinating details (of statues, columns, or for instance of faces for the Pont Neuf.)

You may be interested to know that if some bridges go back to the Roman times, the newest one was built in 2006. It also happens to be the only one named after a woman, the French philosopher Simon de Beauvoir. It is located near the new French National Library.

The book also contains an alphabetical index and an English-French bibliography.

VERDICT: Gorgeous coffee table book on Paris that will both delight your guests and teach them lots of fascinating facts on Paris history.


Bridges of Paris is a large-format coffee-table book, with over 350 original color photographs, which casts new illumination on the City of Light. The 37 bridges over the Seine River emerge as beautiful, historic destinations rather than unnoticed thoroughfares. The book features stunning portraits of each bridge as well as intimate riverside moments. Once you’ve experienced this river tour, you will never see Paris the same way again.

Living as a Parisian for a year, author Michael Saint James left his American lifestyle and spent his days and nights capturing images from over, on, beside and under the bridges of Paris. With over 30 years experience as a photographer, educator and world traveler, Michael immersed himself in French culture to search out his authentic artist self. The result is a visual treasure to share with everyone.  [provided by iReadBook Tours]


Michael St JamesMichael Saint James’ artistic pursuits include
award-winning book design, film editing,
and sound recording,
as well as his first love, photography.
Saint James is a world traveler,
having visited more than 50 countries
– doing everything from photographing penguins in Antarctica
to trekking the Himalayas.

As an educator with California teaching credentials,
he has taught media production and technology arts as well as photography,
art history and visual storytelling. He is an expert speaker on Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art.
Indeed, he walked in Vincent Van Gogh’s footsteps through the Netherlands, Belgium, and France
in order to immerse himself in that troubled master’s vision.
The father of two grown children, Saint James once owned a café in Berkeley, California.
He has bicycled from Las Vegas to Washington, D.C.
and is rumored to play a mean blues harmonica.

Connect with Michael:  Website Twitter  ~  Pinterest


with gorgeous pictures from the book

Where to buy the book:


 Win one of 15 print copies of Bridges of Paris.
(Open Internationally
Ends May 16.
Click on this link to enter the giveaway:

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16 thoughts on “Book review and giveaway: Bridges of Paris – I love France #147

  1. This looks great! The trailer is wonderful too. Nice to see views *of* the bridges and views *from* the bridges integrated so beautifully. Evokes any traveler’s memories of Paris, and beckons new visitors.


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  6. I haven’t read this book and don’t have a favorite bridge in Paris. This book would be nice to know more about them. I only remember just by hearing the “Pont Neuf” or the one with the lockets.


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  9. Great review. I won a copy of this book and it has arrived – same giveaway but entered through another blog. Your review has made me want to get stuck into it.


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