Saturday, May 3, 2008

Meme Time -- some Paris reading

IndigoAlison tagged me with a meme that requires me to

1. Pick up the nearest book.

2. Open to page 123

3. Find the fifth sentence.

4. Post the next three sentences.

5. Tag five people, and acknowledge who tagged you.

Well, here's the problem. Equidistant from my computer monitor (in other words, both are "nearest") are two books. One has a pink cover and belongs to the genre commonly known as ChickLit. This will not enhance my academic reputation.

Here are the lines I would prefer to offer you, from Alistair Horne's Seven Ages of Paris, a book which does not have a pink cover:

With the defeat of the Fronde, continuing peace and security at large had seemed to remove all direct military threat to Paris, and this now led Louis to undertake a still more sweeping alteration to the face of the city. With its population now bursting out of the confines of the old crumbling walls of Philippe Auguste and Charles V (which had become the dumping ground for all sorts of city rubbish and ordure), Louis decreed the levelling of the existing ramparts. In their place, he laid out long and straight promenades which came to be known as "boulevards" -- a corruption of the German word Bollwerk, meaning a bulwark or rampart.

But if I value honesty, you get these sentences, from Kirsten Lobe's Paris Hangover (If I read chicklit, it has to be Paris/France-connected; I generally prefer mysteries as my fun reading):

I offer you an example of Le Bon Alexandre and a romantic evening dining at the exquisite jewel box of a restaurant, Laperouse. (I must explain, this is one of the oldest restaurants in all of Paris, splendidly romantic, where you can reserve private dining rooms that look out over the Pont-Neuf. In fact, in the 1700s men of smart society used to secretly take their mistresses and courtesans there, and the mirrors on the walls are quite famous for the 'scratchings.'

Now I'm supposed to end at three sentences, but I'll bet you want to know that The scratch marks were made by women who received diamonds at dinner and would run them over the glass to confirm they were real.

Hmmm, do you think I'll be testing out a diamond at a very fancy dinner when I'm in Paris later this month?

So let's find out what Thomas is reading over at The Sunday Best. And what about my new internet friends, Cybill, and Nancy, and Mardel (I really, really have to update my blogroll -- I don't even have LBR listed there yet and I read her daily!). And what about one knitter -- how about Jillian, over at Sknitty?


  1. Hmmm, all the books on my bookshelf are about the same distance from me! Ack! :)

  2. Wow, from someone who can't manage to read at all these days, it's inspiring to hear that the literary mater even *has* a book from the chick lit genre in her dwelling! Of course, you could pass it off as belonging to one of the kids, donated at the last weekend home.

    But really, enough lit snobbery! We are not our booklists, or so said that Salon article last week! !!!! ::))

  3. Jillian: So you'll be making a revealing choice, no? ;-)
    and Dana, life's too short for book snobbery, right? I remember being so pleased, years ago, when one of my brightest, highest-achieving Phd-candidate friends let me know she shared my addiction to the TV show Friends, for the same reason -- good writing and guaranteed belly laughs! I've always got the latest InStyle magazine around and often have a mystery novel for bedtime reading to balance the heavier lifting I do for my teaching/scholarship. It's all about balance, right? (and during my days with little ones, it was about escape and pleasure, something just for me)

  4. materfamilias, it's meme season and I've tagged you for another one. At your leisure, of course!

  5. As I am reading this at work (yes, work) there is literally (ha ha!) no books around me whatsoever. So I will wait until another time to quote.

  6. Thank you, I should have guessed the Parisian influence! I will do your Meme soon after the hit squad have been.

  7. Thomas: At your leisure, absolutely.
    Alison: Yes, good luck with your inspectors!


I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

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