As much as I love reading, I've never joined a book group. For me, reading is such an intensely personal and transporting experience--a good book can take me to so many different places in time and emotion--that I prefer to revel in it as my own private pleasure. I do, however, love to trade recommendations with fellow book lovers. So while thinking of what titles to highlight this month, I asked a few friends, Francophiles all, to share their favorite tales of Paris. First up, Janis Goodman tells how Hemingway seduced her with his classic memoir of The Lost Generation in Paris of the 1920s.
A Moveable Feast
As someone who had grown up reading literary excess, I was entranced by the spareness of Hemingway's prose, which managed simultaneously to convey so much. When I read A Moveable Feast, Paris came alive for me for the first time, freed of all the clichés I’d been fed throughout childhood. Woven throughout and imbuing the spell of Paris was his nostalgia for lost youth, lost love, spent passions. The city became a real, living place. If I’d had a daughter, I would have named her Hadley, after Hemingway’s first wife, with whom he shared those early years, and whom he lost when they were over.
Janis and I met through our fun and feisty Movie Diva film group. She has a Ph.D in public policy and women's psychological development, an adorable prince of a pup named Snippet and a love of all things French. When not in Paris she and her husband are active supporters of Philadelphia arts and culture, such as
"Use the good china for breakfast."