Paris to the Moon. Adam Gopnik - Adam Gopnik I finished the book faster than I wanted to b/c I just could not stop reading. I have written alot about this previously so I will just try and summarize why one should read this book and why I give it 5 stars. It is intellectually stimulating. i don't always agree with the author's point of view but there is always something to consider in what he is saying. Secondly it doesn't just describe Paris' external beauty but also its inner beauty. Thirdly it gives a very accurate analysis of the French culture often juxtaposed the American culture. Much to ponder. Fourthly, it is terribly amusing to read if the reader has himself emigrated to a land with a "French culture". Finally, if one is going to visit Paris as a tourist, read this to know where to go to see some unusual spots. You will get a lot more out of your trip. Even with my stiffer demands for a five star book, this gets all 5. In the following are all my comments as I read throough the book.

So now I have reached page 196 and I am still loving it, but there is so much to think about that really one should read one chapeter at a time and then stop and think so that you really have time to absorb the thoughts. I am reading it too quickly. Each chapter is an essay on a different topic. It is just amazing that I like it so much since I don't like essays or short stories usually! He talks about "haute couture" and French cuisine and even these topics which usually have no interest for me were very, very interesting. His struggles with French keyboards made me laugh. You know the French have changed the position of just a few letters. Just aenough to make typing really a mess until your fingers have been re-educated. I can't imagine this not being a 5 star book - even though I have decided to be REALLY restrictive with 5 stars. There has to be some class for those books that are and will remain amazing months after you have read them. Along with the author, I hate Barney too - read the book and you will know what I am talking about.

The similarity between the French in Paris (which actually can be quite different from provincial French behavior) and the French speaking people of Belgium is amazing.. Half of the Belgians speak French and half speak Flemish, and these two cultures are VERY different. Oh, the phrase "C'est normal." is exactly the same here in Belgium. Also body language is identical. If you hear the words - "c'est normal" - BEWARE! Problems are ahead, and there is nothing you can do to alleviate them. The French speaker is saying loud and clear that there is absolutely NOTHING they can do to help you out from the problem that could very well occur. They are NOT responsible, it is the way of life. You hear it many times a day. There is so much in this book that captures the French way of looking at life, experiencing life. From my point of view, I like alot of it although some bits are infuriating. OMG, the bit about sports centers really made me laugh. I have had very similar experiences. And yes lotions are expunded as the ultimate answer to weight loss, not exercise. Every pharmacy advertises them. Christmas tree lights, girlander, yup, they are not strings but circles. This makes putting them on the tree so difficult. But this is the same everywhere in Europe, Sweden too! If you are born a Swede, you know how to deal with it. To an American it is the most idiotic system ever thought up. There is no way an American and a European will see eye to eye on this. I could go on and on, but if you want to see life from another perspective, read this book. If you are born in the US but have moved to a "French culture" you will laugh and laugh and laugh. I am on page 110 now, but GoodReads' "status box" is gone...... Anyhow you are allowed more space to write here than in the teeny status comment boxes. Back to the book. This is a good author - he writes for the New Yorker. Some people might be put off, but I love it.