Paris in July Wrap Up

This will be a long post, but you can scroll to the end if you want to see my July favorites 🙂

In July I read 31 books and watched 3 movies. 24 were Paris related, 2 were Gage read alongs, 2 were for homeschool, 1 devotional, and 1 for a book tour.

Here’s a link to my Paris in July posts 1 2 3 4 5 6 I’m so thankful to Tamara at Thyme for Tea for hosting such a fun event!

Here’s a rundown of what I’ve read this last week…

Sunday was ‘work’ reading. I’ve set aside this week for homeschool prep and this book was a great reminder of what I like most about homeschooling. I thought our first year went well, but I was determined to find a full curriculum this year to make it easier on me. It was nice to remind myself that I am pretty good at making learning fun, if only I keep the expectations at bay. Trying to homeschool like regular school is where many of our struggles came from last year and committing to someone else’s curriculum takes away the flexibility I love so much.

The Call of the Wild + Free: Reclaiming Wonder in Your Child’s Education by Ainsley Arment is a great book if you’re thinking about homeschooling or if you’re already homeschooling but need a little encouragement.

Not to let a July day go by without a little French love, I drank several glasses of Cotes du Rhone while I read the book. And I’ve included a few pics of the beautiful city of Lyon.
My most vivid image of Joan of Arc is from Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, so obviously, starting at this level 4, 48 page book is where I needed to be. Now I feel liked I have some context relating to the saints Joan the Maid (as she called herself) heard. I’m still not exactly sure what to make of her. Mad skills, mad followers or just plain mad? A tragedy any way you look at it.

Any Joan fans out there? What do you like about her story?

Since were nearing the end of Paris in July I threw in a few photos from Lyon, which is obviously not Paris, but certainly closer than where I am now!

I thought I was going to love this book, Perfume: The Story of a Murderer. A dark story about a serial killer with the best nose in the world, what’s not to love? Well, quite a bit actually.

In 19th century Paris, Grenouille was born in a fish market to a mother who immediately threw him in the trash just like she had all the ones before him. He survived (his mother did not) but barely, managing an okay existence until his ability to identify any smell landed him as an apprentice to a perfumer. And then his obsession and killing began.

I was amused by the first chapter or two but really struggled to finish this one. I got lost in the writing and that may have been due to the the translation from German, but maybe not since the story also bored me. Even a random city-wide public orgy couldn’t save it 🤷🏻‍♀️
Let’s start with our pics from Montmartre. 11 years later and I still remember our afternoon spent there because I tasted my first crepe with Nutella and banana and it was glorious.

I read Sarah’s Key. It’s been around awhile but I’ve never had a desire to read it even with all of the positive reviews of it. Dual storylines, one in 1942 an one in the early 2000s, both in France. A heartbreaking time in history as the French police rounded up Jewish families. It took me a little while to warm to the current storyline, but I did. I really liked this one.

Sammi and I both have the same feeling about this one The Grand Odalisque. A stylish, sexy graphic novel about two and then three women who steal paintings from Paris museums. I’m sure this has a wide fan base, but not so much here. I do like the occasional graphic novel, I’ve read two manga already this month, but prefer more substance. I did like the look of the oversized hardcover though which is half the battle in a picture book for adults 😄
Two fantastic picture books today! I recommend them both. Let’s start with the newest one.

Begin with a Bee is a beautifully illustrated book with a full circle story sure to please and educate kids. It’s about the rusty-patched bumblebee, native to the United States (honestly I never really knew the significance of this) and the first bee species put on the Endangered Species list in 2017. The story of a year in the life of a queen bee followed by 2 pages of facts and what you can do to help convinced me that I need to purchase this one after I return this to the library.

A Map to the World is a timely one if you are watching the Olympics with your kids. The family is part of the Hmong community in Minnesota. No it’s not about gymnast Sunni Lee, but I was struck by the coincidence. This is fiction, but based on the author’s own experience. It was touching and sweet. I do wish that there’d been some additional information about the Hmong people at the end of the book.

And drumroll please…

We finished our 1000 piece Paris Night & Day puzzle and had a fun time with it. I’ve also included my five favorite reads of the month, two being non-fiction!

Notre-Dame: The Soul of France by Agnes Poirier

My Life in France by Julia Child

The Little French Bistro by Nina George

Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay

The Paris Wife by Paula McLain