Here are three recent favorites from the hardcover shelves. My bias is that I like my non-fiction fictionalized. That is, I like a good story well-told. With Paris 2000 plus year old history, this is a tall order for a manageable book, but one of these stands out as one of my favorite books of 2007, and I’ll likely re-read it. It was that good.
“Seven Ages of Paris” (Alistair Horne) -What a book, what a story, what writing. This is the one to buy if you love Paris and have always wanted to know its history. The book is eponymously named after seven ages of Paris. While it shortchanges World War II and beyond, it’s a lot of history in an accessible volume. Each tale within the larger story is compellingly related and Paris-lovers will enjoy reading tons of trivia that doesn’t seem trivial during the reading. Horne is a helluva a writer and story-teller. I’ll read this again.
this book reads like a minimally organized pastiche of historical snippets commonly acccessible to any grade school student researching Paris. The entire text is compsed in jejune paragraphs as if the author himself couldn’t even stay interested enough to sustain any intellectual progression of thought.