Sunday, November 10, 2013

it's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It's Monday! What are you reading? is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey. For this meme, bloggers post what they finished last week, what they're currently reading, and what they plan to start this week.
My comments are not meant to be recaps of the story lines as I include a link to Goodreads for their synopsis of the book. I am merely stating how I felt about the book without giving any spoilers.

This week I am also linking this post to An Accidental Blog, Dreaming of France.


Paris Times Eight: Finding Myself in the City of Dreams

Other than enjoying reading about a city I love, Paris, and my home town, Toronto where the author grew up and worked for the Globe and Mail, this book was quite boring. Considering she is a reporter the writing is rather pedestrian. She is self-absorbed and not terribly interesting, never sees her own shortcomings and everything is someone else's fault.
She is also a snob about Paris, I am glad I never had to visit that incredible city with her.
There are grammatical errors as well as timing issues.
I ended up googling the author who continues to write for the Globe and Mail. She also writes a personal blog which I have to admit reads better than her book.

The Perfume Collector

An inheritance from a mysterious stranger . . .
An abandoned perfume shop on the Left Bank of Paris . . .
And three exquisite perfumes that hold a memory . . . and a secret

London, 1955: Grace Monroe is a fortunate young woman. Despite her sheltered upbringing in Oxford, her recent marriage has thrust her into the heart of London's most refined and ambitious social circles. However, playing the role of the sophisticated socialite her husband would like her to be doesn't come easily to her—and perhaps never will.

Then one evening a letter arrives from France that will change everything. Grace has received an inheritance. There's only one problem: she has never heard of her benefactor, the mysterious Eva d'Orsey.

So begins a journey that takes Grace to Paris in search of Eva. There, in a long-abandoned perfume shop on the Left Bank, she discovers the seductive world of perfumers and their muses, and a surprising, complex love story. Told by invoking the three distinctive perfumes she inspired, Eva d'Orsey's story weaves through the decades, from 1920s New York to Monte Carlo, Paris, and London.

But these three perfumes hold secrets. And as Eva's past and Grace's future intersect, Grace realizes she must choose between the life she thinks she should live and the person she is truly meant to be.

Illuminating the lives and challenging times of two fascinating women,The Perfume Collector weaves a haunting, imaginative, and beautifully written tale filled with passion and possibility, heartbreak and hope.

Situated in Paris and London during WWII and the early 1950s we alternate chapters between the two cities and periods.
I also didn't know very much about the art and chemistry of making perfume.
I loved Eva and would have liked to know even more about her life. Grace was interesting as she described her life married to an obnoxious husband in London.

The Vatican Pimpernel: The Wartime Exploits of Monsignor Hugh O'Flaherty

Monsignor Hugh O'Flaherty is an unsung hero in his native Ireland. During the German occupation of Rome from 1942 to 1944, he ran an escape organization for Allied POWs and civilians, including Jews. He placed thousands in safety and was known as 'the Pimpernel of the Vatican'. When the Allies entered Rome he had saved over 6,000 lives.


  1. I hate it when Paris books are disappointing! The cover of that one is so pretty too, such a shame you found it boring.

  2. I like the way you handle talking about books! I always struggle with how much to say. I have to say I enjoyed the Globe&Mail author's blog too. Thanks for two nice discoveries today.

  3. This book sounds like it would be so good. I'm disappointed that it fell flat. I'm also a little worried that the author sounds like me -- a journalist who writes a blog and decides to write a book about travel in France, the self absorbed part too! Thanks for playing along today. Here’s my Dreaming of France meme
    I wish I'd known you were in Columbus.we could have met up. Alyce from At Home With Books lives near me too.

  4. Hi Jackie, I agree with Paulita, The book sounds great and something I would read, Why not , it is about Paris , but I think if I come across it for free I might give it a try .. thanks for the review. Interesting that Grace's surname is Monroe , so is my Maiden name , but mine is Munro . Are you on Facebook at all . Thank you for such a kind offer of postcards, amazing , thank you so much. I am trying to find out out to email you. Mine is Take care Anne

  5. I enjoyed The Perfume Collector -- especially all the interesting things about perfume development.


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