Without giving too much of the story away, the author decides to change the course of her life. In doing so, many unexpected gifts occur along the way. In the day and age of social media and the internet, it is such a gift to receive a letter in the mail. This can be done through Paris Letters Press on Etsy here. I must admit I was waiting for the mail to come every day since I signed up….. Of course, how can one read a letter from Paris without having some French wine?
Not the sweet one, but the dry version from Provence. If you know of someone who would appreciate getting a beautifully illustrated letter in the mail, this is perfect!
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If I were ever to go to Paris, I would bring this book as my guide. Janice goes through each day of the year detailing the sights, activities, and the nuances of Paris. I received 3 things from this experience. Mary, oh how I love this post. And I signed up to receive the letters, can hardly wait for one to arrive. If I had not found you, I would not have found Janice. I have also ordered her books. I do so love your blog and I am thrilled to have found you. I will have to look up the Western Cape Wine Lands…. Thank you for commenting on my blog. I love to hear feedback as it encourages me to keep going!
Hey hey hey. Thanks for your kind words about Paris Letters. I definitely have the travel bug and because of that I did enjoy parts of this book. It was fun to read about Janice's adventures in Paris and during her other travels. This book reminded me of many other fictional and non-fictional accounts of people who escape their jobs, move to another country and find love, how is it that that always seems to happen?
I suppose people probably wouldn't want to read a book about someone who tries to restart their life and struggles or fails… but to me that se I definitely have the travel bug and because of that I did enjoy parts of this book. I suppose people probably wouldn't want to read a book about someone who tries to restart their life and struggles or fails… but to me that seems more realistic. I wish more time had been spent on the difficulties Janice faced - being in a relationship with someone she couldn't communicate with well, how she navigated moving away from her family and friends, any struggles she faced financially.
tranquility du jour #325: paris letters
Instead, many of these details are glossed over in favor of a more fairy tale-esque story where the author doesn't mind the language barriers, or at least doesn't find them to be too much of a difficulty. She seemingly leaves her family and friends without a second thought - writing to them occasionally, but otherwise not really mentioning them. Even the financial difficulties Macleod faced are painted in a creative, but easily solved light as she realizes she could paint letters to people on Etsy, starts doing it and is almost instantly successful.
I imagine many people will enjoy this read for escapism, but to me it all came off as a bit too easy and unrealistic. A quick, light read that admittedly did make me want to up and move to Europe, but also made me think about all the difficulties that would come with that decision too. May 25, Shannon rated it did not like it Shelves: audiobooks , read-in , nonfiction , biography-memoir. Unhappy because she only gets two weeks off work per year from her once-a-dream-job-no-longer-is-job, a something decides to sell all her things, quit her job and move to Europe a la Eat, Pray, Love.
It sounds like the makings of a good story, but the difference here is that Janice Macleod isn't the tortured, heartbroken soul that Elizabeth Gilbert was. There was no colossal break-up or some other tragic event that spurred her into action. No, Macleod is just incensed because she only gets tw Unhappy because she only gets two weeks off work per year from her once-a-dream-job-no-longer-is-job, a something decides to sell all her things, quit her job and move to Europe a la Eat, Pray, Love. No, Macleod is just incensed because she only gets two weeks off work per year from her assistant director copywriting job.
And her beach side adjacent apartment in Santa Monica and California-dreaming life in general just isn't cutting it anymore. If she sounds entitled, spoiled, and a bit bratty, it's because she is. And if I sound annoyed and a little peeved it's because I am. I just didn't get this chick's story.
Mainly because there was no story. She's the type of person who was a vegan in LA because Alicia Silverstone convinced her to be, but as soon as she spied a cute butcher in Paris, all views on veganism were gone. I'm not a vegan, but in the words of Abe Lincoln, "Whatever you are, be a good one. At first this didn't bother me. But by the 8th or 9th time of her gleaning wisdom from revelations and conversations that she was having with the fictional karate master from The Karate Kid, I began to wonder if perhaps she shouldn't check herself into a psych unit instead of traipsing around Europe.
Apparently she's a blogger I have no idea what the url is and I don't plan to find out which probably explains why I just didn't get or like this book I refuse to call it a memoir. Don't get me wrong, I read plenty of blogs but this book was written very self indulgently as if it were a blog post.
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Works on a blog in real time, not in audiobook form. Also, I listened to this on audio. It was narrated by Tavia Gilbert which probably didn't help my feelings toward the book.
As any avid listener of audiobooks knows, some narrators work for you and some don't. Tavia Gilbert is firmly filed under my do-not-listen-read-instead list of narrators. With a single suitcase in hand, former Californian copywriter Janice Macleod abandons her stultifying career and heads off to Europe sharing her journey in this memoir, Paris Letters. Thirty four and single Macleod realised that despite her successful career as middle management in an advertising agency affording her a more than comfortable lifestyle, she was dissatisfied with her life.
In inspired by The Artist's Way written by Julie Cameron and a comment from a colleague, Janice began m With a single suitcase in hand, former Californian copywriter Janice Macleod abandons her stultifying career and heads off to Europe sharing her journey in this memoir, Paris Letters. In inspired by The Artist's Way written by Julie Cameron and a comment from a colleague, Janice began making plans to reinvent her life.
A year later she quit her job and took off to explore Europe. Paris Letters is a record of Janice Macleod's journey which includes brief treks through Scotland and Italy before she decides to settle in France, having met a French-speaking Polish butcher on the streets of Paris and fallen in love. Having found happiness but needing a way to fund her prolonged stay in Paris, she takes inspiration from artist Percy Kelly and his illustrated letters to his penpal. Utilising an Etsy store front begins creating and selling letters adorned with her watercolour paintings of Paris scenery quickly amassing over 1, subscribers.
By the end of , Janice is engaged to Christophe, has a book deal and is living her dream. In many ways this is an inspirational memoir of a woman who has changed her life for the better, in others I feel that Paris Letters is somewhat disingenuous. It could be that I'm jealous.
While I do admire Macleod's commitment to her goal, which was achieved with some sacrifice and hard work, few would have the opportunity to emulate her success and the author fails to acknowledge her privileged position. It's also clear that Macleod always intended to write a book about her experience she has previously co-authored two books but it would be mean spirited to begrudge the author her success, and happiness.
Paris Letters is a charming memoir, an inspiration for office drones everywhere and ideal for Francophiles who dream of escaping the daily grind to live in City of Light. View 2 comments. May 16, Felicia rated it it was amazing Shelves: read , non-fiction , memoir , favourites , favourites , creative-inspiration , snail-mail.
This was a lovely adventure, and totally inspiring to the artist lurking inside. Maybe someday I will quit my job, but probably only visit Paris. Re-read May - I enjoyed this just as much upon a second read. I love everything about this book; her journey into minimalism and being frugal to get out of debt, travelling to Paris, learning French, embracing her artist-self, and falling in love. I really hope that Janice MacLeod will write another book soon, I want to know more of her story! Feb 09, Bianca rated it really liked it.
Have you ever wanted to leave your crappy job and just get away? That's the dream for many of us and Janice MacLeod's "Paris Letters" is not only a way to escape from the daily drudgery of office life, it's a kick in the pants to actually do it yourself. MacLeod's story starts off with her time working a job she doesn't like, failing in the dating department and wishing for a life somewhere else.
By cutting costs and following her dream we see that not only is it possible to live the dream, it's Have you ever wanted to leave your crappy job and just get away? By cutting costs and following her dream we see that not only is it possible to live the dream, it's magically unpredictable once you get there. Once in Paris life, and love, intervene and change everything she thought she knew.
Sure, the premise seems like something out of the next romantic comedy, but once you read it you realize how human she is. She's swept up into a romance that she openly admits seems like a horrible idea, but she goes with it. Admitting her concerns and showing that the relationship, though extremely adorable at times, isn't perfect creates a kind of bond between reader and author. By seeing her faults, the essential humanity of her story, we see that pursuing a dream can be rewarding, but that it also comes with a heaping helping of reality. Throughout the book we get to read her Paris Letters, the ones that she created for her Etsy followers to help fund her travels.
The detail in the painted letters makes the book feel like an adult picture book at times. You know an illustration will be there at the end of the chapter, and you eagerly await turning the next page to see what masterpiece it will be. I think I'm particularly drawn to this story because I can relate to the author so much; I don't like my office jobs, I don't want to live where I'm living, I'm not dating a man resembling the latest James Bond Reading this book when I was feeling particularly low about all of this actually gave me the boost I needed.
I immediately took her money-saving advice and give myself daily reminders about the goals I have. Following a dream isn't easy, or perfect, as MacLeod can attest to, but it's an adventure we all deserve. Jan 04, Deb Readerbuzz Nance rated it really liked it Shelves: france. And this book has both. I love wholeheartedly books about Paris. Even awful ones. I love wholeheartedly books with illustrations. Paris Letters is set in Paris and Paris Letters has illustrations.
I loved Paris Letters.
A Paris Letter
I apologize. View all 3 comments. Nov 05, Lua rated it really liked it Shelves: my-wlm-books , ccpl , travel-memoirs. I love memoirs, and I love France, so this book was right up my alley. I didn't know when I started the book that there would also be a sizeable section at the beginning of the book on uncluttering, which is also something I love. The author starts paring down her possessions in preparation for quitting her day job and having an adventure.
Happily, reading that section coincided with my husband being out of town, so I was free to let the inspiration of the book spur me to pull everything out of I love memoirs, and I love France, so this book was right up my alley. Happily, reading that section coincided with my husband being out of town, so I was free to let the inspiration of the book spur me to pull everything out of our closets and start organizing.
This delayed my reading the rest of the book for a couple of days, but was nevertheless a good thing.
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Loved hearing about her visits to some of my favorite places like Shakespeare and Co and the good food she finds. I can tell that I'll enjoy looking at MacLeod's blog online, and hearing more about her as time goes on Sep 21, Carlos rated it liked it Shelves: culture-travel.
Its a Parisian sex and the city. Bit delusional. Its a good view into the head of the type of woman I dislike. Dec 03, Ash rated it liked it Shelves: adventure-travel , ebook , memoir-biography , read , france. I was not disappointed with my choice. I wish I could relocate to a different country and start my life all over again, make new friends and find a new profession I have already done it once :. If you love to travel, you should definitely read this book. The author talks about her trips to Paris and also about her UK and Italy trip.
I felt like packing my bag and ca 3. I felt like packing my bag and catching the first flight available to Europe after reading this book. She talks about the yummy food she had in Paris, about famous personalities and writers who spent their days in Paris, about French people, language and I found it all really fascinating to read.
The writing was good and it kept me interested. I did not get bored nor did I feel like keeping the book aside while reading. It had me engrossed and I enjoyed reading and learning more about France. I loved the idea of painted letters a lot and this book had many such letters.
I loved reading these letters, one letter at the end of each chapter. The author got inspired from some paintings by Percy Kelly that she saw in UK. I had no idea about this painter. I want to get hold of a book which has a collection of his painted letters, if and when I visit Europe. I want to try it out myself someday too as I love to paint. I am now planning to frame this letter and hang it on the wall.
The painting is too beautiful! Janice is really talented and I am not surprised that she was able to switch her career easily to become an artist once she moved to Paris. I showed this letter to my husband and even he loved it. She has a pretty handwriting. My Paris letter from Janice - The author maintained a journal that helped her plan her travels and also life. I am now considering having a journal of my own.
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I want to start writing in a journal daily or at least weekly. She also had a blog where she wrote all about her plan, so she was a blogger before she became an author. I also liked the part about her uncluttering and simplifying her life before she moved from California. She gave a lot of tips on how to save money for your travels. I found that section informative. We are all artists, and each day is a canvas. Could it really be that simple?
A student loan, a car, a credit card, a bookie, whatever. The author only talks about the good stuff happening to her and never about the difficulties and challenges she faced. So it sounds almost like a fairy tale where she just happens to meet a perfect man in a new country, she never had any trouble with her finances, in settling in an unknown country all alone, or in staying away from family so far. I mean, it is a wonder that some random guy in a random country did not turn out to be a psychopath or a robber or a rapist.
I would have preferred it if it was more realistic and had less of the author praising her perfect man for pages together. I wish she had concentrated more on her Paris experience than her romance. But still it is a good one time read and anyone who is interested in travel or France should read this book. I enjoyed reading it. Mar 26, Lauren K rated it it was amazing Shelves: memoir , travel , paris , read Working in a corporate firm, Janice is fed up with her job and dreams of packing up her home, submitting her resignation and jumping on a flight to Europe for an adventure.
She de-clutters her home, her mind and some of her emotional baggage; saves up a lot of cash to allow for 2 years of travel and is finally able to buy her tickets and depart. Her first stop is Paris and despite her battle with the language and the customs she slowly begins to fall in love with the city… and the handsome butcher on Rue Mouffetard. Oh how I loved this book. With my European honeymoon still fresh in my mind, it was a joy to envision the places that Janice peruses during her time in Paris.
I was also excited to recognise Rue Mouffetard where Janice meets Christophe. My husband and I stopped at one of those chicken stands and purchased a bag of those yummy baked potatoes dripping with chicken juice I know it sounds pretty gross… but it was delicious! I could completely relate with her about the struggle to learn a foreign language. After taking a one-week Italian language class with my husband in Rome last year I felt completely overwhelmed by even attempting a conversation with a native speaker.
Like Janice I could speak it and read it but as soon as someone spoke to me I was completely baffled as to what they were saying! Unlike me however, Janice perseveres and her extended break in Paris allows her to practice and learn and develop her confidence in the French language. The love story between Janice and her handsome, Daniel-Craig look-alike butcher was so lovely to see unfold. How on earth do two people who speak different languages fall in love? Well, Janice and Christophe manage to do just that and they get along perfectly fine!
What I also found really interesting was the letter-writing business that Janice founds to fund her stay in Paris. She combines her love of art; writing and Paris into a job that she loves that can be shared with subscribers around the world. What a great idea! I think this book was just good timing for me… while I sat at home on the back patio, listening to the rain patter on the tin roof and eating vegemite toast I could be transported into charming Paris. Feb 03, Mina De Caro Mina's Bookshelf rated it it was amazing Shelves: netgalley , biography , autobiography , memoires , travel , cultural-france.
What a delightful read! A memoir, a travel log, a romance, a self-help guide, all rolled into one exquisite and delicate confection. I breezed my way through Janice MacLeod's graceful, intimate, and humorous writing, almost oblivious to the fact that what I was reading was a piece of non-fiction. Paris Letters, in fact, hardly reads as a biography as it features all the alluring traits of a modern fairy-tale: a heroine on the run to escape the 'ogre' her dreary every-day life routine , a false hero her ex boyfriend , a quest in foreign lands her journey to self-discovery through France, Scotland, and Italy , a Prince Charming, and a 'happily ever after'.
Occasionally fashioned in epistolary form and light-hearted in its essence, Paris Letters is the perfect Valentine's Day read, a great fit for armchair travellers and lovers of Euro glam and all things French. Sep 26, Melissa rated it really liked it. A charming, well-written and well-illustrated memoir that reads as entertainingly as a novel. This book will make you stop and think about your own life and where it's headed. And quite possibly make you wish it were headed in the direction of Paris.
Jan 05, Jill Kleis rated it really liked it Shelves: read-in I've read a lot of memoirs set in Paris, and this one is now among my favorites. A delightful story of falling in love with a man, a city, and her true self. Mar 19, Camille Maio rated it it was amazing. This was an exceptional memoir about Paris, better than many out on the market.
I appreciated the authors practical and relatable way that she saved to quit her job and travel through Europe while she decided what to do next. But in Paris, she found unexpected love, and what unfolded in that was charming and compelling. I can't wait to read her follow-up! Jul 10, Rhiannon Johnson rated it it was amazing. What a dreamy story. Who wouldn't love to take a two year sabbatical to Paris? The most swoon-worthy parts were the descriptions of the parks, people, and the pastries. The title Paris Letters had me thinking that there would be a long distance love story of some kind at the beginning, but the author actually started a small business.
Her artistic abilities allow her to make an income sending hand-drawn or hand-painted letters telling subscribers about Parisian life. I loved this story. It is hard to believe it is non-fiction because it was so transportive.
It was really like a mini vacation! Feb 16, Lizzie Harwood rated it it was amazing. I loved this.