Posts tagged ‘David Downie’

WWW Wednesdays September 13


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WWW Wednesdays


JUST READ 9-13click on the covers to know more about them




UP NEXT 9-13


for some, no need of book blog,
Goodreads and Amazon reviews work

Drawing Lessons – women’s fiction
One Sip at a Time – travel memoir
= both tours have only 1 spot left!


  September book of the month giveaway
available on France Book Tours

and for another chance to win
Requiem in Yquem, a cool mystery around French wine!
Requiem in Yquem




The Frenchman





Book review: Paris, Paris – I love France #82


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Paris, Paris:
Journey into the City of Light

Paris Paris

In full compliance with FTC Guidelines,
I received this audiobook for free in exchange
for a fair and honest review.
I was in no way compensated for this post
as a reviewer,
and the thoughts are my own.
Paris, Paris:
Journey into the City of Light
David Downie
Narrated by Max WinterPub. Date: 2011
By Blackstone Audio
Duration:  9:58 hours

ISBN of the paperback:

Genre: Nonfiction/Travel
Audiobook Jukebox


This book counts for the following Reading Challenges:

     books-on-france-14   New author challenge 2014-Audio-Book-Challenge-Button


rating system


With all the nonfiction books I have recently read on Paris, you would think I know it all, and I would be rather blasée about it. Far from it! When I saw Audiobook Jukebox had Paris Paris available for review, I did not hesitate.

David Downie has been living in central Paris since 1986. His book is rich of all the walks he has been taking there, attentive to every detail around him. Honestly, I have found in this book information I had NEVER encountered any where else.

There’s a great balance between history, art, culture, and all kinds of anecdotes. I particularly enjoyed the way he highlighted what each recent French president changed in Paris, as far as architecture or city planning is concerned. This is an original and very interesting way of looking at the city of light, and I highly recommend it to any Paris lover.

My dream now would be to have a guided tour of Paris nooks and crannies with David and his wife Alison. David, if you are reading this review, let’s plan something!

My thoughts about the Audiobook production

No hesitation here: READ the book, don’t listen to it!
It started not too badly, but then I started noticing more and more weird ways of pronouncing French names. Honestly, if you are going to narrate professionally a book on Paris, aren’t you going to check with natives how to pronounce famous subway stations for instance, or Parisian neighborhoods? And be consistent about it? Why le Marais [the correct pronunciation rimes with the way Americans talk about valET parking] should suddenly turn into le “marI”, riming with the personal pronoun I?
The tone of voice was also often either dull or oozing ironic contempt, and I did not appreciate this too much.
Too bad for this author. I had actually tried to listen to his book on Burgundy, and gave up because of the narrator!
So I’ll definitely go back to David Downie’s books, he also has a tempting one on the Camino, the walk to Saint James of Compostella, but I will definitely NOT listen to them.

What do you think? If you know well another language, how do you react when professional narrators are not doing a god job in that language?
Are my expectations too high or what?
Let me know what you think!


 Swapping his native San Francisco for the City of Light, travel writer David Downie arrived in Paris in 1986 on a one-way ticket, his head full of romantic notions. Curiosity and the legs of a cross-country runner propelled him daily from an unheated, seventh-floor walk-up garret near the Champs-Elysées to the old Montmartre haunts of the doomed painter Modigliani, the tombs of Père-Lachaise cemetery, the luxuriant alleys of the Luxembourg Gardens and the aristocratic Île Saint-Louis midstream in the Seine.
Downie wound up living in the chic Marais district, married to the Paris-born American photographer Alison Harris, an equally incurable walker and chronicler. Ten books and a quarter-century later, he still spends several hours every day rambling through Paris, and writing about the city he loves.  An irreverent, witty romp featuring thirty-one short prose sketches of people, places and daily life, Paris, Paris: Journey into the City of Light ranges from the glamorous to the least-known corners and characters of the world’s favorite city. [Goodreads]



David Downie

You can visit his blog here,
and it has links to his author’s page
and other goodies






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2014: January wrap-up

Wow, 2014 started with a bang on the blogging front, with 8 books, and 6 of them were awesome!
If the weather had been less dreadful, I may have spent less time indoors, but life having been reduced to a dull black and white for weeks, with so many days too cold for me to dare go out, nothing else remains than devouring more books…

Here is what I read in January:

8 books, with 1893 pages, that is,  61 pages/day.

Among those, 1 was an audiobook: 9:58 hours, that is, an average of 19 mn/day.

1 fiction:

  1. We, by Michael Landweber upcoming review

2 historical fiction:

  1. Isabella Braveheart of France, by Colin Falconer
  2. Anvil of God, by J. Boyce Gleason 

4 non-fiction:

  1. Marie Antoinette’s Head, by Will Bashor
  2. God Matters, by Peter Vardy – upcoming review
  3. Paris, Paris: Journey into the City of Light, by David Downie – audiobook, upcoming review
  4. Heads Above Water, by Stephanie Dagg – upcoming review, at the end of February

1 historical mystery:

  1. The Kabbalist, by Yoram Katz – upcoming review

My favorites this month:

    The Kabbalist Marie Antoinette's Head


Reading Challenges recap

Audiobook: 1/12
Books on France: 5/24
Ebook challenge: 1/25
Historical fiction: 3/25
Japanese literature: 0/2 – starts in June
New authors challenge: 8/50
My Kind of Mysteries: 1/20
TBR challenge: 0/12
What’s in a Name: 1/5
Where Are You Reading?: 11/50 – to be finished in 2014
Australian Literature Month: 0/1

Total of books read in 2014 = 8

Number of books added to my TBR in January= 29


Blog recap

  1. 6 of the 8 books read this month were received for review

  2. 18 readers signed up for my Books on France Challenge, will you join too?

  3. I organized 6 giveaways this month. All the winners have been notified, I will soon post the list of the latest ones .
  4. France Book Tours completed 26 book tours, and there are 9 scheduled. If you are interested in reviewing books on your blog for France Book Tours, just fill in this short questionnaire. You can find all kinds of genre: historical fiction, romance, mystery, LGBT, nonfiction, etc.

Most popular recent book review

Becoming Josephineclick on the cover to access my review

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Books on France 2014 Reading Challenge

Book blog that brought me
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Caravana De Recuerdos

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Blog milestones

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How was YOUR month of  January?

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