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Stuff Parisians Like: Discovering the Quoi in the Je Ne Sais Quoiby Olivier Magny
Synopses & Reviews
If youand#8217;re looking for the best biscuit to dunk in your tea, the ideal temperature at which to serve real ale or the perfect pasty for your trip to the seaside, you either
A)and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;Have been desperately seeking a book exactly like this one or,
B)and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;Have secretly become British without realizing it.
If you chose A, congratulations, you are an Anglophile! And, if you chose B, donand#8217;t panic. With the help ofand#160;Stuff Brits Like, you will soon discover the joy of these and many more delightful British peculiarities and can develop an upper lip as stiff as any youand#8217;ve seen onand#160;Downton Abbey.
British native Fraser McAlpine set out to do for his countrymen what Stuff Parisians Like did for their neighbors across the channeland#151;offering a guide to their particular tastes and eccentricities with all the cheeky wit you might expect from the people who gave you Noand#235;l Coward and Eddie Izzard.
You may know to say football instead of soccer and crisps instead of chips. You may even know why taking the piss is more fun and less unsanitary than it sounds. But with Stuff Brits Like, youand#8217;ll be ready for the next pub quiz in no time.
"'Tepid city for a tepid people' is this satirical survey's sniffy verdict on what is apparently the world's dullest cultural epicenter. Magny, the sommelier at a Paris wine-tasting school, nods at felicitous urban stuff (Berthillon's ice cream shop, the Place des Vosges), fashion dogmas, and quirky idioms (putain — 'whore' — is the all-purpose intensifier in his Euro-trashy circles), but these are rare respites in a comprehensive attack on Parisians' rancid characters and deluded mores. The author insists that Parisian women are sexless and uptight, that Parisian men all seem gay, and that both sexes are haughty, nasty, neurotic, hypocritical, and maddeningly hard to fire. What they really like, it seems, is pretentious conversation, feigned angst that passes for intellectual depth, being coddled by bureaucracy while longing for more entrepreneurial climes, and feeling superior to tourists. At the heart of Magny's critique is his boredom with Paris, its lack of a singles' scene and dearth of 'cool bars' and 'fun clubs' — a complaint that sets up a self-serving plug for his own wine bar. This book is essentially a party boy's snide polemic against a city that values intelligence and seriousness. Photos. (July 5)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
The idiosyncrasies of language can tell us a lot about a culture. In this delightful book, Clotilde Dusoulier, creator of the award-winning food blog Chocolate and Zucchini, delves into the history and meaning of fifty of the French languageand#8217;s most popular food-related expressions.
Accompanied by beautiful watercolor illustrations by artist Mand#233;lina Josserand, Edible French explores whimsical turns of phrase such as:
Tomber dans les pommes (falling into the apples) = fainting
Se faire rouler dans la farine (being rolled in flour) = being fooled
Avoir un cand#339;ur dand#8217;artichaut (having the heart of an artichoke) = falling in love easily
A treat of a read for Francophiles and food lovers alike, Edible French is the tastiest way to explore French cultureand#151;one that will leave you in high spiritsand#151;or, as the French say, vous donnera la pand#234;che (give you the peach).
In the tradition of the New York Times bestseller Stuff White People Like, a tongue-in-cheek homage to Parisians.
To be mistaken for a Parisian, readers must buy the newspaper Le Monde, fold it, and walk. Then sit at a café and make phone calls. Be sure to order San Pellegrino, not any other kind of fizzy water. They shouldn't be surprised when a waiter brings out two spoons after they order le moelleux au chocolat- it is understood that the dessert is too sinfully delicious not to share. Go to l'île Saint-Louis-all Parisians are irredeemably in love with that island. Feel free to boldly cross the street whenever the impulse strikes-pedestrian crosswalks are too dangerous. If they take a cruise on the Seine, they will want to stand outside, preferably with their collar popped up. If they want to decorate, may we suggest the photographs of Robert Doisneau? To truly be cool in Paris, own an iPhone, wear Converse sneakers, and order sushi. And as they stroll through the Luxembourg Gardens, remember-they can't go wrong wearing black.
About the Author
Olivier Magny is a sommelier, an entrepreneur, and a Parisian (not always in that order). He lives in Paris, France.
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