I have recently been trying to experience more of the world and while I have begun traveling more I will forever be a bit of an armchair explorer. I find myself drawn to books that let me immerse myself in another place. Reading Why LA, Pourquoi Paris?, written by Diane Ratican and beautifully illustrated by Eric Giriat and Nick Lu, allowed me to visit not one, but two cities from the comfort of my own home.
Diane Ratican has a deep love and knowledge of Los Angeles and Paris which she shares in such a way that you feel as though you are sitting down with a close friend for a casual conversation about their fabulous travels. She compares these two large metropolitan cities through seven chapters that discuss architecture, art, culture, cuisine, sports, fashion, and the motion within these bustling locations. If you are like me and have not had the chance to visit either of these places, though they are on my travel bucket list, this acts as the perfect primer for understanding the characters of LA and Paris. Ratican provides you with lists of interesting locations that you could one day visit and even if you don’t think you’ll be traveling farther than your armchair the illustrations provided by Giriat and Lu provide will excite your imagination.
The vibrant and impressionistic works of Lu and Giriat blend perfect captions and quotes with images that if you framed them would look perfect in any room. As Ratican compares and contrasts the cities she loves the illustrators supply images that allow you to see the connections she is making in a delightful way. My favorite section of the book dealt with the cuisines of LA and Paris. I was surprised to learn how rich the history of food is for both of these cities and how Paris has in many ways been influenced by American cuisine in recent years. I also loved learning about and being able to see depictions of famous architecture from these cities. Connecting more modern Los Angeles architecture with centuries old Parisian buildings was fascinating to read. This edition of Why LA, Pourquoi Paris? has another added element that can draw in a variety of readers. Each page of text is run with one column in French and another column in English. While I am remarkably out of practice in my French reading skills I enjoyed being able to compare passages and find words that I recognized.
Why LA, Pourquoi Paris? is the perfect read for those who travel far and wide or find themselves traveling from the comfort of their living rooms. It will enchant you with wonderful images and fill your mind with delightfully interesting information about two major cities. You can order the special bilingual edition of Why LA, Pourquoi Paris?online today!
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