French books, tea, puzzles and wine

When I decided to participate in Paris in July, I reserved books at the library, bought some French wine, ordered a few puzzles, and…visited Etsy! I only let myself order two things and one came this week all the way from France.

The Eiffel Tower shaped tea bags from Tea Heritage are adorable and tasty. What a fun way to add a little pizazz to my morning tea. They have all kinds of shapes and, as you can see, the shapes and tea sachets are a great size.
We finished our 1500 piece Ravensburger Paris puzzle last night! It was a fun one, although I had a hard time with the dark section on the right. My eyes aren’t what they used to be 😂

I also finished My Life in France by Julia Child and Alex Prud’homme, published 2006, 336 pages. I listened mostly but did like having the actual book so I could look through the pictures included throughout. I liked this so much more than I thought I would!

It’s about food, France, friends, foreign service, and fame late in the game. There were lots of names of people and places and, to be honest, I’m glad that I listened. If I had read it I may have become caught up in the details 🤣. As it was, I felt like I was listening to an accomplished and happy woman tell tales from her life to me and a group of friends and it worked.

Have you ever watched Julia on screen or tried one of her recipes? I haven’t but feel like I need to now.

I’m not saying that having friends drive you through some of the prettiest areas of France was a gift, oh wait, I am saying that! Look at the cover of today’s book an compare to my photo from our trip. 😍. We spent a day admiring the views and visiting small villages and it was a breath of fresh air. This was the Beaujolais area.

You Me Everything by Catherine Isaac (published 2018, 384 pages) is a great beach read. A single mother takes her 10 year old to France for 5 weeks so that he can spend quality time with a father he rarely sees. She’s leaving a scary situation with her mom, bringing a few friends, and harboring a serious secret. There are heavy topics, but they’re done with a light enough touch. I can’t say I loved any of the characters, but i enjoyed the audio.

I’m drinking a lovely Bordeaux, Chateau Moulin Lafitte. I love the lightness of the full bodied wine.

This was an impulse buy when I visited Barnes and Noble last month and I’m so glad I brought it home just in time for our (modest) vacation planning. It helped awaken the wanderlust 😁. So many gorgeous pictures. Paris had 4 pages of pics, this is just the first.

What’s the most exotic place you’ve ever visited?

And this book went perfectly with the postcard I received yesterday from Poland. I love the whole world in his hands photo. Zuzuka told me the last movie she saw was Birdy (Ptasiek in Polish).

What’s the last movie you saw? We just binged the rest of the final season of Bosch last night so we’re looking for a good movie next.
I listened to Jane Smiley’s most recent (Perestroika in Paris), told from the perspectives of a horse, a dog, a raven, two ducks and a few rats. These animals are living in Paris on their own and have loosely banded together. They understand and use money to pay for things 😒 The story meandered along at a snail’s pace, but the happy ending was nice.

I was completely the wrong reader for this one. I don’t usually care for these kinds of first person animal stories, but I wanted to try something different set in Paris and this was definitely that. I think Gage would have enjoyed it more than I did.

Make sure you visit Tamara at Thyme for Tea for more Paris in July posts.

21 thoughts on “French books, tea, puzzles and wine

  1. Deb Nance at Readerbuzz says:

    I was very disappointed with Perestroika in Paris. It didn’t feel like there was much of a story there.

    Oh my! I love the Eiffel Tower tea bags. That adds a little zing to your day.

    I love books like Destinations of a Lifetime. I call books of this sort “browsable books.” No one expects you to read all of the book at once, but they are lovely to linger over. With tea. Especially with tea from Eiffel Tower tea bags.

    • stacybuckeye says:

      The Destinations of a Lifetime was definitely looked at for a few days, but I did go through and read the short descriptions in one day. I’m ready to browse through it again already!

  2. gulfsidemusing says:

    My Life in France was an audio favorite years ago, but I did end up borrowing a print copy to look at the photos. I’d hoped to get to You Me Everything this month, but it doesn’t look like I’m going to…

  3. Diane says:

    Who would have thought there would be such a thing as Eiffel Tower tea bags? LOL
    That puzzle looks amazing and kudos to the 1,500 pieces challenge. How do you keep your cat (s) from not scattering the pieces?

    • stacybuckeye says:

      When it’s time for their dinner, Sammi starts knocking one piece off at a time to get our attention, lol. Seriously, this happens almost every day we have a puzzle up. Otherwise, they leave it alone.

  4. Mae says:

    “My Life in France” is a definite favorite book of mine. I’ve been cooking from “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” and its many sequels for all my cooking life, and it’s truly shaped the way I cook. I’m glad you liked the book.

    best… mae at

  5. Tamara says:

    Ok, you’ve all convinced me – its time to get some audible books going in my life, and start with Julia Childs…. I think I could go for longs walks and listen. And, of course, resting on the deck to watch the sunset with a special wine for Paris in July, might be one of the things I schedule for this last week… Thanks for sharing this Stacy. Inspiring.

    • stacybuckeye says:

      Oh, definitely listen, especially on long walks. Or when your making dinner! For the wine I called our local wine store and had the very wise owner choose two reds and two whites for me to pick up. That way I wasn’t flying blind. I still have one last bottle for this week 🙂

  6. Les in OR says:

    Great job on that puzzle. We do a lot of puzzles, but 1500 is a bit too large for me. We typically go for the 1000 piece puzzles.

    I read My Life in France (reviewed here) a few years ago and I liked it, but probably would have enjoyed it better had I listened to the audio. I’ve tried a couple of Julia’s recipes (from a cookbook with Jacque Pepin), which were pretty good.

    Wasn’t Bosch great? We’re happy to hear that there’s going to be a spin-off with Bosch, his daughter and Honey/Money. Should be good! Now we’re watching Season Four of Unforgotten.

    Have a great weekend!

  7. marmeladegypsy says:

    I love everything about Julia — her writing, her recipes, her television show. I don’t know how many bios I’ve read about her but I really enjoyed “My Life in France” because it felt quite personal. Do check out her TV shows, especially her early ones. There was no one like her on TV before — and I’m inclined to believe, since. Later she became more polished but it’s the early “The French Chef” episodes that are the real gem with her humor and style.

    LOVE those tea bags and bravo on the puzzle.

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