Author Webpage

Be sure to stop by my author page from time to time

In the meantime, while you're here, pull up a chair, pour yourself a cup of coffee or a cuppa tea, have a piece of pie and always feel free to speak your mind, and your heart, here at Meanderings and Muses.

Monday, February 25, 2019

Hidden Gardens of Paris

If you're like me you're first reaction to "Hidden Gardens of Paris" might be to scratch your head and wonder how could anything be hidden in Paris?  I mean, come on . . . 

But because I'm curious about all things Parisian, I picked up Susan Cahill's book.

"Hidden Gardens of Paris - A Guide to the Parks, Squares, and Woodlands of the City of Light" is a delight.

And while I'm sure you've all heard of Luxembourg Gardens 

Photo by Don Barley

and Tuileries Garden 

photo by Don Barley

have you heard of Square Georges Cain or Square Santiago du Chili?  They're both located in Central Paris.

Susan Cahill shares 40 of these quiet green havens with us, all broken down by areas and highlighted with a map.  A small sampling seeing as how there are, I believe, over 400 of these green spaces.   

"Hidden Gardens of Paris," all on its own, makes a unique travel guide for planning your days of walking through Paris, knowing there are spots to stop, rest, breathe and think about the fact that you're actually in Paris.  And instead of hearing the Paris traffic, you're hearing birds sing and you're smelling - really smelling - the flowers.

Marion Ranoux's photographs coupled with Ms. Cahill's stories and brief bits of history about the gardens makes this a perfect little jewel of a book to sit down with if you're planning a trip to Paris, or simply dreaming of one.

Bertrand Delanoë, former Mayor of Paris (2001-2014) added over 100 new acres to its existing 400 green spaces.  

"Present mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, was elected in 2014 with the intention to improve the city's green spaces as a part of her platform. CNN reports that Hidalgo has made good on her initiatives, and both private and public enterprises have risen to the challenge of making Paris rich in biodiversity as well as cultural capital. In 2016, her administration launched Parisculteurs, a campaign that is working to cover 247 acres of rooftops and walls in Paris with greenery by 2020."

From "Hidden Gardens of Paris" - "The best way to get to know Paris is to walk.  . . . You come to understand what those who do not move beyond the posh city center cannot: Paris is ordinary, scruffy, individualistic, bizarre, broken, endlessly inventive, secretive, tender, haunted with history, generous with pretty squares away from the boulevards. . . .  Coming to feel at home in the outdoors of this living, breathing city - getting to know the hidden gardens of Paris - you'll find there are many ways to smell the roses, the sweetness of the world you've walked your way into, beautiful in the vastness of memory."

Sunday, February 17, 2019


We, this people, on a small and lonely planet
Traveling through casual space
Past aloof stars, across the way of indifferent suns
To a destination where all signs tell us
It is possible and imperative that we learn
A brave and startling truth
And when we come to it
To the day of peacemaking
When we release our fingers
From fists of hostility
And allow the pure air to cool our palms
When we come to it
When the curtain falls on the minstrel show of hate
And faces sooted with scorn are scrubbed clean
When battlefields and coliseum
No longer rake our unique and particular sons and daughters
Up with the bruised and bloody grass
To lie in identical plots in foreign soil
When the rapacious storming of the churches
The screaming racket in the temples have ceased
When the pennants are waving gaily
When the banners of the world tremble
Stoutly in the good, clean breeze
When we come to it
When we let the rifles fall from our shoulders
And children dress their dolls in flags of truce
When land mines of death have been removed
And the aged can walk into evenings of peace
When religious ritual is not perfumed
By the incense of burning flesh
And childhood dreams are not kicked awake
By nightmares of abuse
When we come to it
Then we will confess that not the Pyramids
With their stones set in mysterious perfection
Nor the Gardens of Babylon
Hanging as eternal beauty
In our collective memory
Not the Grand Canyon
Kindled into delicious color
By Western sunsets
Nor the Danube, flowing its blue soul into Europe
Not the sacred peak of Mount Fuji
Stretching to the Rising Sun
Neither Father Amazon nor Mother Mississippi who, without favor,
Nurture all creatures in the depths and on the shores
These are not the only wonders of the world
When we come to it
We, this people, on this minuscule and kithless globe
Who reach daily for the bomb, the blade and the dagger
Yet who petition in the dark for tokens of peace
We, this people on this mote of matter
In whose mouths abide cankerous words
Which challenge our very existence
Yet out of those same mouths
Come songs of such exquisite sweetness
That the heart falters in its labor
And the body is quieted into awe
We, this people, on this small and drifting planet
Whose hands can strike with such abandon
That in a twinkling, life is sapped from the living
Yet those same hands can touch with such healing, irresistible tenderness
That the haughty neck is happy to bow
And the proud back is glad to bend
Out of such chaos, of such contradiction
We learn that we are neither devils nor divines
When we come to it
We, this people, on this wayward, floating body
Created on this earth, of this earth
Have the power to fashion for this earth
A climate where every man and every woman
Can live freely without sanctimonious piety
Without crippling fear
When we come to it
We must confess that we are the possible
We are the miraculous, the true wonder of this world
That is when, and only when
We come to it.

   - - Maya Angelou

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Let me give you a gun by Leslé Honoré

Leslé Honoré

Let me give you a gun
Because you have the right
To bear arms
Go ahead
Murder babies
In Sandy Hook
And teenagers
In Parkland
And music lovers
In Vegas
And employees
In Aurora
And children on the streets of Chicago
Let me give you guns
You don’t have to do much
Just give me some money
I don’t care if you are
Just bring me green
And I’ll give you ammo
And pay my lobbyist
To cover your government
In blood drenched bills
And arrange for the NRA
To meet your president
In a hotel
And make his video of urination on a
Russian prostitute
Look like a Disney short
Let me give you guns
Because it’s your American birth right
Like baseball and apple pie
And racism and genocide
Like hate and capitalism
Let me give you guns
And when you weep over
Your 1st graders
Bullet holes bigger than golf balls
And your high school students
Swimming in the blood of their peers
And co workers hiding behind desks
Like they are in battleground trenches
I’ll give you
Thoughts and prayers
This is a war zone
But the idiot that hate elected
Calls a national emergency
For a border crisis that doesn’t exist
And ignores the chalk outline drawn
Around this entire country
Let me give you a gun

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

My Paris Reading List

UPDATED - 6/22/2019
- new sections at bottom - 
Paris Blogs
Shopping for Vintage

This list keeps growing, there's no way every single book about Paris will ever be included.

For that reason, here are a few suggestions for your further reading pleasure, 

a list of mysteries set in France can be found at the wonderful Stop, You're Killing Me webpage

Wikipedia has an entire list of novels set in Paris -

Here's a BEST OF list from The Guardian   -

Another list (fiction and non-fiction) set in or relating to Paris can be found here

Buzzfeed has a list of 40 books they believe will make you want to visit France  -

I have always been fascinated by the Paris of the 1920's.  Here's a list for you if that's something that interests you also -

You get the idea.  

There are many (MANY) lists out there of "best" books set in Paris.  Have fun finding them and coming up with your own.  

Do your research and find a hundred beezillion books to keep you happy until you finally get to The City of Lights.  But be prepared, 'cause once you go and return, you'll want more Paris books.  Once you're hooked on all things Paris (especially books) - you're hooked.  

Photo by Paris Photographer Geneviève Thomas of My Joli Coeur Photography      

In the meantime - 

Have Fun!

* * * * * 

The following started out as a list of books I would read over the years while dreaming of a trip to Paris.  It was started a very long time ago.

My "obsession" with Paris isn't anything new, it's just one of those dreams I've had for as long as I can remember.  

When I knew my dream really was finally coming true and a date was set to leave, I started looking for more and more "Paris Books."  I discovered an amazing number of newer novels, along with memoirs, guide books, architecture books, photo journals, etc etc etc

Being a lover of lists, I've continued adding to it.  

And it will grow.

And grow

and grow . . . 

The list contains fiction and non-fiction. Classics and women's lit, romance and mysteries - it's a total hodge-podge, which is exactly what I read.

If you love Paris, been there or not been there, think of this as a great place for you to start your Paris reading 😍  and discover more as your go along.  

This Little Black Book of Paris (from Peter Pauper Press, but can also be found in many indy bookstores).  I love it, and it has come in very handy (besides just being plain ol' fun).

prendre plaisir

Our favorite map (so far) is Michelin's Paris Par Arrondissement.  Having a list of places to see by Arrondissement, along with this map works out wonderfully well.



The Ingredients of Love by Nicolas Barreau

One Evening in Paris by Nicolas Barreau

The Paris Architect by Charles Belfoure

Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans

Mistress of the Ritz by Melanie Benjamin

Death in Paris by Emilia Bernhard

Aimée Leduc Series by Cara Black

LETTERS FROM PARIS by Juliet Blackwell

The Paris Key by Juliet Blackwell


A FRENCH PIROUETTE by Jennifer Bohnet

The House in Paris by Elizabeth Bowen

Paris Still Life by Rosalind Brackenbury

The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown

THE LIGHT OF PARIS by Eleanor Brown



PARIS BY THE BOOK by Liam Callanan

The Little Paris Patisserie by Julie Caplin


The House by the Lake by Ella Carey

From a Paris Balcony by Ella Carey

Haunting Paris by  Mamta Chaudhry

Paris, Rue des Martyrs, Adria J. Cimino

A Year in the Merde by Stephen Clarke

In the Merde for Love by Stephen Clarke

THE RACE TO PARIS by Meg Waite Clayton

The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris by Jenny Colgan

Cousin Bette, by Honoré de Balzac

A Paris Affair by Tatiana de Rosnay

The House I Loved by Tatiana de Rosnay

Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay

The Rain Watcher by Tatiana de Rosnay

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

The French Girl by Lexie Elliott

IT'S NOT LOVE, IT'S JUST PARIS by Patricia Engel

THE DRESS THIEF by Natalie Meg Evans

A Gown of Thornes by Natalie Meg Evans

The Milliner's Secret by Natalie Meg Evans

PARIS ECHO by Sebastian Faulks


A PARIS APARTMENT by Michelle Gable

I'll See You in Paris by Michelle Gable

THE DESIGNER by Marius Gabriel

The Parisians by Marius Gabriel

Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris by Paul Gallico

Hidden in Paris by Corine Gantz

The Mysterious Bakery on Rue de Paris by Evie Gaughan



The Bridal Chair by Gloria Goldreich

Paris Out of Hand by Karen Elizabeth Gordon

The Paris Secret by Lily Graham

Paris by Julian Green

THE NIGHTINGALE by Kristin Hannah

Goodbye, Paris by Anstey Harris The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway

Claris by Megan Hess

Claris' Fashion Show Fiasco by Megan Hess

The Paris Writers Circle by Norma Hopcraftt

A Week in Paris by Rachel Hore

The Paramour's Daughter by Wendy Hornsby (this is the 7th in the Maggie MacGowan series, but the first focusing on Paris. For background, I recommend reading the previous books. It's not necessary, but it's one of my favorites series by one of my favorite authors).

Disturbing the Dark by Wendy Hornsby (the 10th in the Maggie MacGowan series - and she's back in France)

Number 7, Rue Jacob by Wendy Hornsby (the 11th in the Maggie MacGowan series)

A Bouquet of Rue by Wendy Hornsby (the 12th in the Maggie MacGowan series)


Goodbye, Paris by Anstey Harris

Les Misérables by Victor Hugo

The Hunchback of Notre-Dame by Victor Hugo

The Ambassadors by Henry James


Enchantress of Paris by Marci Jefferson

The Lost Girls of Paris by Pam Jenoff

All the Flowers in Paris by Sarah Jio 

Le Divorce by Diane Johnson

THE BONES OF PARIS by Laurie R. King

A Garden Wall in Provence by Carrie Jane Knowles

The Red Notebook by Antoine Lauraine

P.S. FROM PARIS by Marc Levy

APRIL IN PARIS, 1921 by Tessa Lunney

French Short Stories 1 / Nouvelles Francaises 1: Parallel Text (Penguin Parallel Text) (French and English Edition) edited by Pamela Lyon

The Last Collection - A Novel of Elsa Schiaparelli and Coco Chanel by Jeanne Mackin

The Confectioner's Tale by Laura Madeleine

Paris-Chien: Adventures of an Expat Dog by Jackie Clark Mancuso

The Paris Wife by Paula McLain

Dragonfly by Leila Meacham

Paris for One by JoJo Moyes

Abundance: a Novel of Marie Antoinette by Sena Jeter Naslund

Paris Spring by James Naughtie

The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer

Down and Out in Paris by George Orwell

Hugo Marston Series by Mark Pryor (another favorite series by another favorite author).


The Little Antique Shop Under the Eiffel Tower by Rebecca Raisin

Kiss Me in Paris by Catherine Rider

The Paris Winter by Imogen Robertson

One Way Ticket to Paris by Emma Robinson

Follow Me Through Paris by Jill Robinson and Michel Delacroix

Paris: The Novel by Edward Rutherfurd

Le Petit Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

The Age of Light: A Novel by Whitney Scharer


The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Seltzer

The Collector's Apprentice by B. A. Shapiro

THE MURALIST by B. A. Shapiro

PARIS, HE SAID by Christine Sneed

FRENCH LESSONS by Ellen Sussman

The Paris Secret by Karen Swann



ELEGANCE by Kathleen Tessaro

Letter from Paris by Therésè

Eloise in Paris by Kay Thompson

The French Escape by Suzie Tullett





We'll Always Have Paris by Sue Watson

Paris, 7 A.M. by Liza Wieland

French for Girls by JP Wright

The Belly of Paris by Emile Zola

The Ladies’ Paradise by Emile Zola


Paris Peasant by Louis Aragon & Simon Watson Taylor

Walking Paris Streets with Eugene Atget

A Place in the World Called Paris by Steven Barclay

Lunch in Paris: A Love Story, with Recipes by Elizabeth Bard

The Bonjour Effect by Julie Barlow and Jean-Benoit Nadeau

The Most Beautiful Walk in the World: A Pedestrian in Paris by John Baxter

Montparnasse by John Baxter

Paris Brassai

A Paris All Your Own - Bestselling Women Writers on the City of Light edited by Eleanor Brown

Contributing authors include Paula McLain, Therese Anne Fowler, Melissa Shapiro, Jennifer Coburn, Maggie Shipstead, Lauren Willig, Cathy Kelly, Rachel Hore, Meg Waite Clayton, Ellen Sussman, M. J. Rose, Susan Vreeland , Megan Crane, Michelle Gable, J. Courtney Sullivan, Julie Powell, Jennifer Scott, AND our very own Cara Black. Edited by Eleanor Brown.

Shakespeare and Company by Sylvia Beach

The Madeleine Project by Clara Beaudoux

My Paris Dream by Kate Betts

Five Hundred Buildings of Paris by Kathy Borrus and Jorg Brockmann

Paris to the Past: Traveling through French History by Train by Ina Caro

F. Scott Fitzgerald: The Paris Years by Paul Brody

Paris Sketchbook by Jason Brooks

Hidden Gardens of Paris: A Guide to the Parks, Squares, and Woodlands of the City of Light by Susan Cahill

Parisian Charm School: French Secrets for Cultivating Love, Joy, and That Certain je ne sais quoi by Jamie Cat Callan

The Piano Shop on the Left Bank: Discovering a Forgotten Passion in a Paris Atelier by Thad Carhart

Pancakes in Paris by Craig Carlson

Flâneur: The Art of Wandering the Streets of Paris by Federico Castigliano

My Life in France by Julia Child

Permanent Parisians: An Illustrated Guide to the Cemeteries of Paris by Judi Culbertson & Tom Randall

100 Places in France Every Woman Should Go by Marcia DeSanctis

Old-Fashioned Corners of Paris by Christophe Destournelles

Forever Paris: 25 Walks in the Footsteps of Chanel, Hemingway, Picasso, and More by Christina Henry de Tessan

City Walks: Paris, Revised Edition: 50 Adventures on Foot City Walks by Christina Henry de Tessan

The Hare with the Amber Eyes: a Hidden Inheritance by Edmund de Waal
The Best of Doisneau: Paris by Robert Doisneau

Paris Pop-Up by Ehrhard Dominiq

A Passion for Paris: Romanticism and Romance in the City of Light by David Downie

Paris, Paris: Journey Into the City of Light by David Downie and Allison Harris

UN, Deux, Trois: First French Poems Selected by Opal Dunn

Flâneuse: Women Walk the City in Paris, New York, Tokyo, Venice, and London by Lauren Elkin

The 500 Hidden Secrets of Paris by Marie Farman

The Little Book of Paris by Dominique Foufelle

Secret Paris by Jacque Garnce & Maude Ratton

Eugene Atget: Paris by Jean Claude Gautrad

Paris Mansions and Apartments 1893 by Pierre Gelis-Didot

Americans in Paris: Life and Death under Nazi Occupation by Charles Glass

Americans in Paris: A Literary Anthology by Adam Gopnik

Paris to the Moon by Adam Gopnik

The Hemingses of Monticello: an American Family by Annette Gordon-Reed (much of the story, although not all, is set in Paris) 


City Trails - Paris by Helen Greathead

Shakespeare and Company: A History of the Rag & Bone Shop of the Heart edited by Krista Halverson

EVERY FRENCHMAN HAS ONE by Olivia de Havilland

A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway

Eating and Drinking in Paris: French Menu Translator and Restaurant Guide by Andy Herbach

Paris Is Always a Good Idea by Renee Herrington

Paris: Through a Fashion by Megan Hess

F. Scott Fitzgerald's Taste of France by Carol Hlker

La Vie en Rosé: A Very French Adventure Continues by Jamie Ivey

Paris under Water: How the City of Light Survived the Great Flood of 1910 by Jeffrey Jackson

Paris in Love by Eloisa James

The Little Pleasures of Paris by Leslie Jonath & Lizzie Stewart

Paris Reborn: Napoléon III, Baron Haussmann, and the Quest to Build a Modern City by Stephane Kirkland

A Day with Picasso by Billy Kluver

French Milk by Lucy Knisley

Karl Lagerfeld: Paris Photo by Karl Lagerfeld

My Paris Kitchen by David Lebovitz

L'Appart: The Delights and Disasters of Making My Home in Paris by David Lebovitz

That's Paris: An Anthology of Life, Love and Sarcasm in the City of Light edited by Vicki Lesage

Man Ray's Montparnasse by Herbert R. Lottman

A PARIS YEAR by Janice MacLeod

PARIS LETTERS by Janice MacLeod

A Writer's Paris A Guided Journey for the Creative Soul by Eric Maisel

Pop-Up Paris (Lonely Planet Kids) by Andy Mansfield

BEMELMANS The Life and Art of Madeline's Creator by John Bemelmans Marciano

Paris: A Love Story by Kati Marton

A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle

Toujours Provence by Peter Mayle

Encore Provence: New Adventures in the South of France by Peter Mayle

Provence by Peter Mayle

Provence from the Air by Peter Mayle

Provence A-Z by Peter Mayle

The Hotel on Place Vendome: Life, Death and Betrayal at the Hotel Ritz in Paris by Tilar J. Mazzeo

The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris by David McCullough

Paris: Panarama Pops by Sarah McMenemy


60 Million Frenchmen Can’t Be Wrong: Why We Love France But Not the French by Jean-Benoit Nadeau and Julie Barlow

ROOFTOPS OF PARIS by Fabrice Moireau and Carl Norac

Quiet Corners of Paris Unexpected Hideaways, Secret Courtyards, Hidden Gardens by Jean-Christophe Napias

History of France by John Julius Norwich

Inspired by Paris: Why Borrowing from the French is Better than being French by Jordan Phillips

Paris: Beautiful Designs on the Street Cornery by PIE Books

American Expatriate Writing and the Paris Moment by Donald Pizer

FRANCE IS A FEAST: The Photographic Journey of Paul and Julia Child by Alex Prud'homme & Katie Pratt

Gail Albert Halaban: Paris Views by Gail Albert Halaban and Cathy Rémy

Remembrance of Things Paris: Sixty Years of Writing from Gourmet by Ruth Reichl

Spectacular Paris - Rizzoli Classics

Paris in Love by Nichole Robertson

Paris in Color by Nichole Robertson

Literary Paris by Nichole Robertson

The Paris Journal by Nichole Robertson and Evan Robertson

French Toast: An American in Paris Celebrates the Maddening Mysteries of the French by Harriet Welty Rochefort

How to Read Paris: A Crash Course in Parisian Architecture by Chris Rogers

Paris by John Russell

Hats by Madame Paulette: Paris Milliner Extraordinaire by Annie Schneider

The Only Street in Paris: Life on the Rue des Martyrs by Elaine Sciolino


Impressions of Paris: An Artists's Sketchbook by Cat Seto

Paris Flea Market Style by Claudia Strasser

Paris in 500 photos 500 Photos by Maurice Subervie

Paris: An Architectural History An Architectural History by Anthony Sutcliffe


Living Well Is the Best Revenge by Calvin Tomkins

Almost French: Love and A New Life in Paris by Sarah Turnbull

Everybody Was So Young: Gerald and Sara Murphy: A Lost Generation Love Story by Amanda Vaill

Seven Letters from Paris: A Memoir by Samantha Vérant

Quiet Paris by Siobhan Wall

PARIS IN STRIDE, AN INSIDER'S WALKING GUIDE by Jessie Kanelos Weiner and Sarah Moroz

Atget: Postcards of a Lost Paris by Benjamin Weiss

Our Paris: Sketches from Memory by Edmund White

The Guide to the Architecture of Paris by Norval White

New ! ! !

Paris Blogs I enjoy -



Cooking classes!


Or just reading and dreaming . . .

AND - here's an extra little bonus.

My Parisian friend, Geneviève Thomas of My Joli Coeur Photography ( sent me a list of places to shop for all things vintage!  Yay!!!  

If you're planning a trip to Paris, and if you're a lover of vintage clothing, like I am, be sure you take this list with you.


Flea market - Saint-Ouen (Saturday / Sunday / Monday)
Métro 4 - Porte de Clignancourt - Métro 13 - Garibaldi - Bus 85
Start with a coffee at Café Le Voltaire (in front of the bus stop 85 « marché aux puces »)
You will find there a cash machine
Marché Vernaison : 99 rue des Rosiers -  93400 Saint-Ouen -
Laure de Villoutreys : vintage clothes & curiosities - Allée 6 Stand 101
Lili et Daniel : Pearls & haberdashery - Stand 6 - Allée 1
Francine Dentelles : vintage clothes - stand 121/123 - Allée 7
Liberty’s : Art Deco pacotille jewels - Allée 3/5 Stand 105
Anélia Vintage : Allée 7 Stand 140 bis
Tenenbaum : Allée 3 Stand 144
Marché Dauphine : 132-140 Rue des Rosiers - 93400 Saint-Ouen -
Falbalas : vintage clothes - Stand 254 / 284
Marché Le Passage : 18 rue Jules Vallès
Chez Sarah : best collectionneur to see haute couture dress from 1900 to 1960

Shops in Paris :

Mamie Blue : 69 rue de Rochechouart – 75009 Paris
Chez Poupoule : 21 rue Rodier – 75009 Paris
Retro Chic : 57 rue Condorcet – 75009 Paris
Casablanca Paris : 17 rue Moret – 75011 Paris
20 sur 20 (Jewels) : 3 rue des Lavandières Sainte-Opportune - 75001 Paris
Dobdeck (jewels Art Déco, Art Nouveau) re-issue : 87 rue Monge - 75005 Paris -
Gallé, Tiffany, Guimard, Majorelle, Klimt, Mucha, T. de Lempicka, Le Verrier
Belle de jour : 7 rue Tardieu 75018 Paris -
Vintage re-issues : atomizers, perfume bottles, scent bottles, french vintage perfumes

Photo by Paris Photographer Geneviève Thomas of My Joli Coeur Photography