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Paris Letters and A Paris Year

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Happy Tuesday, My Lovelies!  I want to share with you two books by my new creative role model, Janice MacLeod.

Paris Letters is her first book, so I'll review it first.

According to Goodreads:

“How much money does it take to change your life?”

Unfulfilled at her job and unsuccessful in the dating department, Janice MacLeod doodled this question at her desk. Then she decided to make it a challenge. 

Over the next few months, with a little math and a lot of determination, she saved up enough to buy two years of freedom in Europe.

But she had only been in Paris for a few days when she met a handsome butcher (with a striking resemblance to Daniel Craig)—and never went home again.

A love story in the vein of Almost French and Lunch in Paris, Paris Letters (February 4) is a joyful romp through the City of Light, and an inspiring look at what can happen when we dare to create the life we want.

Realizing that her Parisian love affair would be forever, MacLeod began her own business on Etsy, creating beautifully-illustrated letters from Paris inspired by artists like Percy Kelly and Beatrix Potter. She now paints and writes full-time, bringing beautiful things to subscribers around the world and reviving the lost art of letter-writing.

My Reivew:

Part love story and part travel journal, this memoir captivates my imagination.  I absolutely love MacLeod's courage and determination to make it as an artist.  Her business model is genius: Who doesn't love getting fun snail mail?  After reading her book, I visited her Etsy store.  She offers several types of subscriptions to her monthly letters.  I have ordered one of her letters plus her book plates for both books.  I can't wait to receive them!  I highly recommend this book to all romantics, artists, and entrepreneurs.  

This is an example of one of her letters.  You can order specific back letters, and subscribe for either one month, three months, six months, or twelve months.  Janice paints Parisian scenes with watercolors and uses ink to enhance the illustrations and write the letter.  She photocopies the monthly letter and personalizes each letter to the recipient.

You may link to her Etsy store HERE

Her second book is entitled A Paris Year.

According to Goodreads:

Part memoir and part visual journey through the streets of modern-day Paris, France, A Paris Year chronicles, day by day, one woman's French sojourn in the world's most beautiful city. Beginning on her first day in Paris, Janice MacLeod, the author of the best-selling book, Paris Letters, began a journal recording in illustrations and words, nearly every sight, smell, taste, and thought she experienced in the City of Light. The end result is more than a diary: it's a detailed and colorful love letter to one of the most romantic and historically rich cities on earth. Combining personal observations and anecdotes with stories and facts about famous figures in Parisian history, this visual tale of discovery, through the eyes of an artist, is sure to delight, inspire, and charm. 

My Review:

This book should be required reading for anyone planning a trip to Paris.  I find this book fascinating, and I love MacLeod's photos and illustrations.  The book literally looks like a visual journal or daily diary.  I discovered so many interesting things about Paris that could only be shared by someone who has lived there.  For example, there is a thing in Paris called carriage green. What is it, you ask? Get the book and find out!  Chock-full of history, festivals, landmarks,  and anecdotes, I couldn't help but plan my next trip to the City of Light.  And thanks to A Paris Year, I've decided what time of the year I'd prefer to go as well as which places in the city are "must sees."  A Paris Year is insightful in what it's like living the expat life.

I wanted to share a couple of pages from the book so you can get an idea of the format of the book.  It literally starts with January and ends with December, just like a diary.  I turned to my birthday, and I was fascinated reading about Stamp Day.

 Here is a video that shows how Janice MacCleod creates her art:

You can follow Janice on her blog HERE.

How cool is this?  Truly, I am so inspired.  I would love to do something like this.  I love sending and receiving snail mail, but NO ONE would enjoy reading letters from Birmingham, Alabama.

I think Paris Letters are so much fun.  I can't wait to receive mine!

Until next time...

Ricki Jill


  1. I think I would love both of those, Ricki! You do such a nice job reviewing books and I have always enjoyed anything I read that you recommended.
    She sounds like a delightful author. xo Diana

  2. What a delightful story! I will check her out, what a fairy tale! I hope you are packing your bags :)

  3. Hi,
    I have her second book on hold at the library. I loved her first.
    I think her idea is so fun. I would love to get a letter from Alabama. :-) I enjoy your journal post on IG.
    Be sure to share your first Paris letter.

  4. I need to find both books.

    Thanks for telling me about them.

  5. I would love to read both these books. It would have been nice to have them to read before we went. I've been four times but an itching to go back. There is so much to see and do. It would be nice to not always be in a hurry. We never stayed more than four days each trip and that is not long enough.Thanks for sharing these books. I am intrigued.


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I'm Ricki Jill. Welcome! I'm honored that you're reading my blog. I enjoy sharing my creative lifestyle @ The Bookish Dilettante. For more information about my blog, please read the Start Here page. Thank-you for stopping by, and I hope you'll consider following me via email.

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