L'Appart
Bestselling author and world-renowned chef David Lebovitz continues to mine the rich subject of his evolving ex-Pat life in Paris, using his perplexing experiences in apartment renovation as a launching point for stories about French culture, food, and what it means to revamp one's life. Includes dozens of new recipes.When David Lebovitz began the project of updating his apartment in his adopted home city, he never imagined he would encounter so much inexplicable red tape while contending with the famously inconsistent European work ethic and hours. Lebovitz maintains his distinctive sense of humor with the help of his partner Romain, peppering this renovation story with recipes from his Paris kitchen. In the midst of it all, he reveals the adventure that accompanies carving out a place for yourself in a foreign country--under baffling conditions--while never losing sight of the magic that inspired him to move to the City of Light many years ago, and to truly make his home there.

L'Appart Details

TitleL'Appart
Author
ReleaseNov 7th, 2017
PublisherCrown Publishing Group (NY)
ISBN-139780804188388
Rating
GenreNonfiction, Autobiography, Memoir, Cultural, France, Travel, Food and Drink, Food, Biography

L'Appart Review

  • Deanna
    January 1, 1970
    Not sure if I’m giving this 3 stars because I want it to be at least 3 stars, or if it actually belongs there. Ok, I’ll say it does. It doesn’t belong in my collection of 2 star reads. But I was disappointed. I enjoy his blog writing and enjoyed his earlier memoir well enough. This one lacked a sense of the personal. It’s perhaps unfair to compare it to Frances Mayes’ Tuscany memoirs, which are rich in personal reflection and inner life while depicting lush territory and agonizing ex-pat-making- Not sure if I’m giving this 3 stars because I want it to be at least 3 stars, or if it actually belongs there. Ok, I’ll say it does. It doesn’t belong in my collection of 2 star reads. But I was disappointed. I enjoy his blog writing and enjoyed his earlier memoir well enough. This one lacked a sense of the personal. It’s perhaps unfair to compare it to Frances Mayes’ Tuscany memoirs, which are rich in personal reflection and inner life while depicting lush territory and agonizing ex-pat-making-a-home challenges. Different writers, perhaps different aims. But I would have been a lot more engaged in the angst and successes of the Parisian home-making journey if it hadn’t felt superficial. While I sympathized with the recounting of the all the woes, I didn’t empathize even though I wanted to. He just didn’t feel real on these pages. The problems were real enough, but he and his partner felt flat, as though he didn’t want to reveal their story, only talk about what happened to them. It didn’t help that I have a sense of him from his other writing. Here, I mostly felt tired from the recounting. I wish an editor had encouraged a deeper path with this, because I would love to read a do-over of this book. The story is there, it just didn’t come through for me. I will read future books and continue to enjoy his blog. This one just didn’t quite hit home.
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  • Ang
    January 1, 1970
    There's good material here, I think. But this needed a MUCH tighter edit. There's a LOT of repetition of phrases, and even of little anecdotes. And while I understand that Lebovitz is a noted recipe author, the recipes tacked onto the chapters didn't flow AT ALL with the story. If you're going to include recipes, talk about them in the chapters. And be consistent: either all chapters have recipes or all don't. The book really doesn't flow because of the inconsistency. Thanks to the publisher and There's good material here, I think. But this needed a MUCH tighter edit. There's a LOT of repetition of phrases, and even of little anecdotes. And while I understand that Lebovitz is a noted recipe author, the recipes tacked onto the chapters didn't flow AT ALL with the story. If you're going to include recipes, talk about them in the chapters. And be consistent: either all chapters have recipes or all don't. The book really doesn't flow because of the inconsistency. Thanks to the publisher and to NetGalley for the ARC.
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  • Randal White
    January 1, 1970
    Will blow away your House Hunters International fantasy! Lebovitz is an American chef and cookbook author who moved to Paris to advance his career. I have read his previous books, and he is a talented and engaging author. This particular book is about his search for, purchase of, and renovation of a home in Paris. And what a great story it is!I found myself surprised at the difficulty in even locating a property for sale in Paris (House Hunters International makes it look so easy and fun on TV!) Will blow away your House Hunters International fantasy! Lebovitz is an American chef and cookbook author who moved to Paris to advance his career. I have read his previous books, and he is a talented and engaging author. This particular book is about his search for, purchase of, and renovation of a home in Paris. And what a great story it is!I found myself surprised at the difficulty in even locating a property for sale in Paris (House Hunters International makes it look so easy and fun on TV!). Upon finally finding the property, the author experienced the infamous Paris bureaucracy in the purchase of it. And then, just when you think it should all be smooth sailing, the real trouble begins in the renovation stage! I cannot believe what Lebovitz went through. His stamina and perseverance are amazing. I am sure that I would have gave up many times, escaping back to the safety of the United States. Kudos to him for his overcoming of all the obstacles thrown at him. I found the book to be fascinating, and could not put it down. I literally devoured it in two evenings. The author is very engaging, writes extremely well, and manages to keep the reader "pulling for" him. I highly recommend this book, even if it does lay to rest my "House Hunters International" fantasy of moving to France!
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  • Maggie
    January 1, 1970
    I really liked David Lebovitz's first book set in Paris so I was looking forward to reading this advanced copy. Unfortunately I did not enjoy this book and found it very forced. Lebovitz recounts his adventures in buying an apartment in Paris. He starts off by telling us that looking for an apartment in Paris is different than looking for an apartment in the U.S. Then he tells us buying an apartment in Paris is different from buying an apartment in the U.S. We hear the same about buying flooring I really liked David Lebovitz's first book set in Paris so I was looking forward to reading this advanced copy. Unfortunately I did not enjoy this book and found it very forced. Lebovitz recounts his adventures in buying an apartment in Paris. He starts off by telling us that looking for an apartment in Paris is different than looking for an apartment in the U.S. Then he tells us buying an apartment in Paris is different from buying an apartment in the U.S. We hear the same about buying flooring, stoves, dish drainers etc. For more than 10 chapters it is a constant whine. Then he starts in on the French language and how difficult it is to ask for things when you don't have a full grasp of the language. This is when I felt he stretched the story to make it more funny or interesting but it comes across as a big whine and very 'ugly American'.He has a French boyfriend who I would imagine would have helped him out with the language issue. To be honest I only read a little over half of this book because when his struggle with the language made buying a sink difficult because the word for dish drainer is similar to the word for a woman's halter top; he commented and I quote: "The only connection I could see between the two was they both had racks". I was done and DNF'd it. The one star I gave the book is for the recipes after every couple of chapters.
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  • Danielle
    January 1, 1970
    I have one of David's previous books, "The Sweet Life" but I haven't gotten around to reading it. So this is my first book that's been written by him. I am a total sucker for all things French and especially Parisian, so of course I was thrilled to read a memoir set in Paris.Overall, I thought the book was okay. L'Appart is all about the trials and tribulations of buying and renovating a Paris apartment when you are an American. Of course I, like countless others, would gladly move to Paris but I have one of David's previous books, "The Sweet Life" but I haven't gotten around to reading it. So this is my first book that's been written by him. I am a total sucker for all things French and especially Parisian, so of course I was thrilled to read a memoir set in Paris.Overall, I thought the book was okay. L'Appart is all about the trials and tribulations of buying and renovating a Paris apartment when you are an American. Of course I, like countless others, would gladly move to Paris but this book has me thinking otherwise. Most of the book focuses on David having to deal with a shady contractor and the endless workings on his apartment. Sometimes it got hard for me to want to read the endless ways things went wrong. I know it must have been awful for him but it really doesn't make for fun reading when nothing goes right. And it doesn't matter whether it's in Paris, France or in some small town in the US, renovations rarely go smoothly. I was kind of frustrated that David let the lazy work go on for as long as he did. I ended up skimming some pages after awhile.I did like some of the recipes that are at the end of almost every chapter. And even though it got to be too much somewhat, I did like seeing what it takes to buy an apartment in Paris. So it wasn't complete l'amour for me but I didn't hate it either.*Book received through the Amazon Vine Program*
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  • Nora|KnyguDama
    January 1, 1970
    Ką reiškia kraustymasis, naujų namų apyvokos daiktų paieškos, interjero kūrimas, namų atmosferos auginimas tikrai žinau. Lygiai taip pat žinau ką reiškia ieškoti gerų darbininkų, meistrų gebančių laiku ir pagal tavo skonį atlikti pavestus darbus. Galiu galvą guldyti, jog didžioji dalis iš savo pačių patirties žinote apie ką aš kalbu. Be rūpesčio, nerimo ir nervų joks kraustymasis ar remontas visoj pasaulio istorijoj tikrai neapsiėjo. O dabar dar šiek tiek pasunkinkime užduotį. Įsivaizduokit, jog Ką reiškia kraustymasis, naujų namų apyvokos daiktų paieškos, interjero kūrimas, namų atmosferos auginimas tikrai žinau. Lygiai taip pat žinau ką reiškia ieškoti gerų darbininkų, meistrų gebančių laiku ir pagal tavo skonį atlikti pavestus darbus. Galiu galvą guldyti, jog didžioji dalis iš savo pačių patirties žinote apie ką aš kalbu. Be rūpesčio, nerimo ir nervų joks kraustymasis ar remontas visoj pasaulio istorijoj tikrai neapsiėjo. O dabar dar šiek tiek pasunkinkime užduotį. Įsivaizduokit, jog įsikurti ir pasidaryti gerą remontą jums reikia kitoje šalyje. Čia jūs kalbos gerai nežinot, mat statybų terminologija tikrai ne kiekvienam vadovėlyje yra, tautos kultūra ir tempai skiriasi nuo įprasto jūsų gyvenimo, galima apgaulė, vagystė, nekokybiškumas tyko už kiekvieno kampo. Kiek ilgai tvertumėte? Aš, tikriausiai, neilgai... Tačiau David Lebovitz ištvėrė visus vargus, sunkumus ar netgi absurdiškus remonto nuklydimus, mat jo svajonė gyventi ir turėti nuosavą butą Paryžiuje buvo didesnė.Žinomas virtuvės šefas, kelių knygų autorius dievina Prancūzija. Jo specialybė - konditeris, o Prancūzija juk visų skanumynų gimtinė! Kelis metus David gyveno išnuomotame bute, tačiau pribrendo laikas nuosavam. Visgi metė gyvenimą San Franciske, darbą prestižiniame restorane ir atvyko į Paryžių kurti maisto šedevrų ir rašyti apie tai knygą. Tačiau David parašė ne tik receptų knygą. Į "Apartamentą" jis sudėjo visus savo komiškus vargus renkantis, o vėliau remontuojant nuosavą butą. Visų pirma, Paryžiuje nėra vienos, vientisos svetainės ar kito šaltinio kur būtų galima peržiūrėti visų mieste parduodamų butų sąrašą. Turi papasakoti savo lūkesčius agentui, o jau jis siūlo variantus. Dėkui Dievui, tai David pavyko. Atėjus laikui pradėti remonto darbus ir užvirė visa košė... Lebovitz labai nuosekliai, pasitelkdamas taiklų humorą papasakojo visus tautų skirtumus, prancūzų darbų ypatybes ir visa tai kas jį varė į nevilti. Visų pirma: kalbos nemokėjimas. Vos viena raidė ne taip ištarta ir žodžių prasmė tampa visiškai kitokia. Tik pagalvokit ko įmanoma prisidirbti ko nors ne taip paprašius meistro... Nelygiai nupjautos kėdžių kojos, rozetės kvailiausiose vietose, langai taip pat ne tie... O kur dar neaiškūs mokesčiai neaišku už ką. Aš jau seniai būčiau galvą pametusi, jei man reikėtų tvarkytis su tuo, su kuo reikalų turėjo autorius kurdamas savo namus."Apartamentas" - labai smagi knyga. O tie kas turi panašios patirties supras, užjaus ir vistiek juoksis iš autoriaus ir kuriozinių situacijų į kurias jis pateko. Skaitant labai jaučiasi David Lebovitz meilė Prancūzijai. Ta meilė man priminė ilgai santuokoje išbuvusių porų jausmus: daug dalykų erzina, pabosta, kartais net nervina, tačiau pykt labai negali - myli ir taškas. Prie visų patarimų kaip sėkmingai (nežinia ar tai išvis įmanoma) įsirengti namus Paryžiuje, knygoje apstu ir įdomių faktų apie paryžiečių kultūrą. Pavyzdžiui: didžiausias nemandagumo ženklas turguje - pačiam rankomis rinktis ir leisti vaisius ar daržoves. Atrodo mums tai įprasta, joks pardavėjas dėl to nepyksta. Na, o ten ir pavarytas šalin gali būti... Taip pat, kiekvieną skyrių apjungia koks nors patiekalas, kurio receptą pabaigoje randame. Kuomet David su savo partneriu lankėsi IKEA parduotuvėje, eilėje pralaukė keturias valandas, pavargo, susipyko ir vėl susitaikė - skanavo firminius IKEA mėsos kukulius. Taigi net jų ir jų padažo receptas knygoje yra! (Vyras pamatė tą receptą, tai jau vakarienė mūsų namuose kaip ir aiški... :D ) Knyga tikrai patiks dievinantiems Paryžių, maistą, nebijantiems daug kitos kalbos žodžių tekste. Tie kas norės veiksmo, nuotykių, kažkokių intrigėlių to čia neras. Tai ramus, bet juokingas pasakojimas apie žmogaus kovą su tautų skirtumais, bei savo kantrybės taurės tikrinimą.
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  • Mister Moose
    January 1, 1970
    I'm sorry to say so but this is a terribly dull book, and I'm frankly amazed that a good editor didn't collar the writer and get him to tell a better and less willingly self-involved story.
  • Beverly Swerling
    January 1, 1970
    Obviously my friends and family know I adore memoir in general and chef/food/cookery memoir maybe most of all. I got two such for Christmas. (Will review the second shortly.) The author of L'Appart is David Lebovitz whose blog, Living the Sweet Life in Paris, is one of the best food sites on the net, and I am a frequent visitor and a faithful reader of his newsletters. Add to that the fact that I too was an American expat for many years, and I've bought and remodeled property in a foreign langua Obviously my friends and family know I adore memoir in general and chef/food/cookery memoir maybe most of all. I got two such for Christmas. (Will review the second shortly.) The author of L'Appart is David Lebovitz whose blog, Living the Sweet Life in Paris, is one of the best food sites on the net, and I am a frequent visitor and a faithful reader of his newsletters. Add to that the fact that I too was an American expat for many years, and I've bought and remodeled property in a foreign language, not once but three times, and you'll know I was predisposed to love this book.I almost did. Bottom line, I didn't love it, but I liked it a lot.David, or Daveed as his Paris friends (and enemies) have it, moved to Paris a decade before the misadventure he describes in these pages: buying an appartment in Paris, and having it remodeled to suit the needs of an American (a dryer and a large refrigerator and a decent shower being must-haves). Just finding and acquiring the property--he settled on the up-and-coming but not yet fashionable eleventh arrondissment--took a couple of years, complicated by their being no such thing as multiple listing services, nor real estate agents with any interest in hustle. But at last he acquired a large two level space and set about hiring a contractor. I was with him 100 percent up to that point. What seems hard to believe given that he'd been doing things the French way for some time, and had a French partner (a long time relationship but not one where they shared a roof), is that he hired the first guy who was recommended by a friend and began paying him upfront - definitely not how one operates in France, or with contractors anywhere else, come to that. But that's what he did. There followed a long and so-awful-it's-funny series of disasters, detailed here in Lebovitz's easy-going and disarmingly frank writing style. Spiced up with his knowledge of food and cooking/baking, evocation of Paris markets, and a recipe at the end of each chapter. It all ends happily, though apparently at great expense.I read the book in an afternoon (snowing and cold and huddling under a duvet reading about someone else's troubles was exactly what I needed) and enjoyed it enough to give it four stars. If this kind of thing is to your taste (as it is mine) you'll probably enjoy it as well. But I felt cheated by the lack of pictures -- a glaring ommission since his excellent photography is one of the reasons his blog is so terrific -- and a little more creative effort to entwine his food and food philosophy with the saga would have gotten me to go for five. That latter complaint may be a bum rap. Lebovitz is about straightforward and down-to-earth baking and cooking so expecting a more cerebral approach to that aspect is probably my hang-up not his. But the pictures...I suspect the publisher is the reason for there absence; including photography considerably increases the cost of making a book. But they sprang for endpapers (also an expensive extra in publishing) and he's got a wide following which probably wouldn't be put off by an extra couple of bucks on the price. Maybe it's something to do with the labyrinthine legal system in France. Or Lebovitz's unwillingness to give up still more of his privacy. In any case, it seems to me a bad decision. But read the book and decide for yourself.
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  • Mary
    January 1, 1970
    This was described to me as "the book that will ruin your House Hunters International Fantasies", and boy, did it ever! Leibovitz does a great job taking you through the process of procuring– and creating– his Paris home, which is alternatively delightful and, well... a little boring. I love foodie and travel memoirs, but this one was just too much home reno to be a home run for me. Still, I found his writing engaging and his Parisian food and lifestyle/culture bits totally immersive and fun. If This was described to me as "the book that will ruin your House Hunters International Fantasies", and boy, did it ever! Leibovitz does a great job taking you through the process of procuring– and creating– his Paris home, which is alternatively delightful and, well... a little boring. I love foodie and travel memoirs, but this one was just too much home reno to be a home run for me. Still, I found his writing engaging and his Parisian food and lifestyle/culture bits totally immersive and fun. If you're a Francophile with home reno-fever, this is the book for you. Thanks to Blogging for Books for the review copy!
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  • Holly
    January 1, 1970
    More David Lebovitz on life in Paris. L'Appart concerns exactly what the title suggests - his experiences in buying and renovating a Paris apartment. It's a years-long process that he occasionally regrets embarking on, but it's told with humor and interesting details and portraits of real estate agents, builders, and contractors. He is completely taken advantage of by all of these parties, and the building contractors are so awful - so lazy and hostile, even - that I was feeling actual physical More David Lebovitz on life in Paris. L'Appart concerns exactly what the title suggests - his experiences in buying and renovating a Paris apartment. It's a years-long process that he occasionally regrets embarking on, but it's told with humor and interesting details and portraits of real estate agents, builders, and contractors. He is completely taken advantage of by all of these parties, and the building contractors are so awful - so lazy and hostile, even - that I was feeling actual physical anxiety by the later chapters. C'est incroyable! I am glad that this was not read by the author, because I don't know how he could have relived his trauma - yes, I'd call it trauma! - by rereading the book for an audio production. Instead, reader Matthew Halstead strikes just the right tones of fatigue, worry, incredulity, and at the end, anger, all without displaying rancor. I enjoyed this more than The Sweet Life in Paris because this memoir didn't try as hard to be amusing or to cover everything about French life; it felt less forced, and the subject matter was more focused (recipes notwithstanding, and the dishes usually had something to do with the prose).
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  • Michelle
    January 1, 1970
    As charming as it is informative, L’appart offers a chef’s eye view of the beauty and bureaucratic madness that is France.After moving from San Francisco to Paris, Lebovitz spent a decade living in a tiny top-floor flat with a magnificent view of the City of Light. When he finally decided to buy his own place, he had no idea what he was in for. In this fresh, funny memoir, sprinkled with insider knowledge about Paris life (sales only happen once a year, for example, and baguettes always come wra As charming as it is informative, L’appart offers a chef’s eye view of the beauty and bureaucratic madness that is France.After moving from San Francisco to Paris, Lebovitz spent a decade living in a tiny top-floor flat with a magnificent view of the City of Light. When he finally decided to buy his own place, he had no idea what he was in for. In this fresh, funny memoir, sprinkled with insider knowledge about Paris life (sales only happen once a year, for example, and baguettes always come wrapped in tiny paper "because excess is ground upon in France"), Lebovitz chronicles his attempt to buy and remodel a Paris apartment amidst miles of red tape and misunderstandings. Each chapter ends with a recipe, which, for the culinarily untalented among us, may prove as daunting as dealing with the Parisian real estate agents and electricians. Even if you can't imagine pulling off a pain perdu caramelise, you'll be happy to learn that pain perdu got its name because it "takes lost (Peru) bread and turns it around, making it something marvelous."Leibovitz’s love of his adopted city, as well as his passion for the bounty of the Parisian marche, comes through loud and clear. An utter delight.
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  • Lucy Burdette
    January 1, 1970
    delightful read for Paris lovers and foodies and anyone crazy enough to attempt renovations in France!
  • Melissa
    January 1, 1970
    Lebovitz's roller-coaster tale about purchasing and then renovating an apartment in Paris does not inspire me AT ALL to ever buy property in a foreign country. The US is bad enough. It unfortunately also made this a rather repetitive book and the recipes Lebovitz included at the end of almost every chapter didn't always feel connected to the chapter (and complicated, these are not for inexperienced cooks).
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  • Maya
    January 1, 1970
    Love his writing and his recipes and was so excited for this book, but reading for chapters on end about his largely self-induced renovation nightmares made me want to tear my hair out. Not for me.
  • M. Sarki
    January 1, 1970
    https://msarki.tumblr.com/post/170569...Hard to imagine a cookbook being a truly interesting read, or even a memoir detailing the purchase and renovation of a Paris metal shop into a home. Every bit of the construction process is examined and revealed including the frustrating search for the appliances to go into it. But David Lebovitz makes his story a joy to read. Just enough humor and despair to make his book pleasurable. Even the recipes at the end of almost every chapter tell a story even t https://msarki.tumblr.com/post/170569...Hard to imagine a cookbook being a truly interesting read, or even a memoir detailing the purchase and renovation of a Paris metal shop into a home. Every bit of the construction process is examined and revealed including the frustrating search for the appliances to go into it. But David Lebovitz makes his story a joy to read. Just enough humor and despair to make his book pleasurable. Even the recipes at the end of almost every chapter tell a story even though this pastry chef uses way too much sugar for my taste. Lebovitz is obviously unaware or ignorant of recent nutritional education on the evils of added-sugar. It soon becomes obvious that progress in a remodeling project is excruciatingly slow in Paris, and the chef takes great pains to spread this experience as jam on toast. But even as frustrating as the construction appears to be there is always the hope for eventual completion and satisfaction to come in his new home. Eager each morning to open the book for that day’s reading made it easy to become intimate with this pastry chef and his French partner of many years. Every character introduced ends up developed to the degree warranted and it makes the story riveting and exciting in its own way. Though a memoir, the book resembles a novel. Well worth the time and days spent listening to a most enjoyable tale and learning something in the process about relationships, culture, and renovation.It is impossible to imagine the countless and exhausting problems Lebovitz encountered during his renovation project. The French, in general, certainly do seem woefully inept and inconsiderate when taken into account the ridiculous errors made and the craftsmen’s refusal to accept any responsibility for these problems. How Lebovitz survived the ordeal goes beyond reason and I cannot imagine there not being some permanent mark on his fragile psyche going forward. By the end of the book the reader as well has become exasperated and quite irritated with those feelings being the only negative present in an otherwise charming and tasteful tale. But friendships, and their professional connections, eventually prevail.
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  • Wendy Greene
    January 1, 1970
    After having read Lebovitz's "The Sweet Life in Paris," I couldn't wait to read "L'Appart." Sadly, it was a disappointment, though only in part because it's just not a very good book. Let me explain: I adore Paris, speak French fluently, work with French expats and have a fairly good understanding of the charms and foibles of the French. I have seen how "soupe au lait" French people can be. They can have a tendency to blow a gasket if they feel they have been wronged and, to say the least, hell After having read Lebovitz's "The Sweet Life in Paris," I couldn't wait to read "L'Appart." Sadly, it was a disappointment, though only in part because it's just not a very good book. Let me explain: I adore Paris, speak French fluently, work with French expats and have a fairly good understanding of the charms and foibles of the French. I have seen how "soupe au lait" French people can be. They can have a tendency to blow a gasket if they feel they have been wronged and, to say the least, hell hath no fury like a French person scorned. A recent experience with someone from France, who has lived in North America for thirty years or so, has made me rethink ever wanting to go back to a country I had once loved so much. Sadly, Lebovitz's experience buying and renovating his apartment in Paris has confirmed my recent experience. The book is nothing more or less than a litany of woes, and nastiness. It is not a pleasant read, even though he does take a page and a half to explain at the absolute end of the book why he still loves Paris. In a book that's over 300 pages long, it's not very convincing. So that's my own personal reason for not having enjoyed the book very much.Then there's the book itself. As mentioned above, it's more or less one long whine about how this poor, naive American, who only wanted a nice home with a great kitchen, was taken for an expensive, horrific ride by the worst people France has to offer. I don't blame Lebovitz, and I understand his disbelief and hurt at being treated so poorly, but it makes for a very depressing read. Whereas "The Sweet Life" was full of charming and hilarious experiences, "L'Appart" just makes you want to flee in horror.
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  • Onceinabluemoon
    January 1, 1970
    Have had a fabulous armchair week in France, from the last Christmas in paris, Paris in the present, to alice waters coming to my senses, wrapping up with her old employee David's latest book. I find him delightfully funny, sprinkled with munchable pages was a perfect end to a French holiday. He is the antithesis to me paying through the nose for endless snafus and headaches, he must have the blood pressure of a sloth, I was having panic attacks with all his concessions, I am sure there is much Have had a fabulous armchair week in France, from the last Christmas in paris, Paris in the present, to alice waters coming to my senses, wrapping up with her old employee David's latest book. I find him delightfully funny, sprinkled with munchable pages was a perfect end to a French holiday. He is the antithesis to me paying through the nose for endless snafus and headaches, he must have the blood pressure of a sloth, I was having panic attacks with all his concessions, I am sure there is much to be learned for picking your battles! He is always a five star read for me.
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  • Kalen
    January 1, 1970
    Interesting read. The eGalley didn't have any photos--I hope that the print edition will and/or the Lebovitz will create a portion of his website for some. I found a few "before" pictures but would like to see the apartment in all of its before and after glory. I don't know how Lebovitz had the stomach for this whole process but it made for interesting reading for someone with no emotional or financial involvement.I'm not really much of a Francophile. My experience in France consists of a full e Interesting read. The eGalley didn't have any photos--I hope that the print edition will and/or the Lebovitz will create a portion of his website for some. I found a few "before" pictures but would like to see the apartment in all of its before and after glory. I don't know how Lebovitz had the stomach for this whole process but it made for interesting reading for someone with no emotional or financial involvement.I'm not really much of a Francophile. My experience in France consists of a full eight hours of wandering around Paris like a giddy touriste Américain so I don't know the answer to my question: Will Franophiles like this book? I honestly don't know. While I would love to go back to Paris to spend more time there rather than simply buzzing past the Louvre and saying, "Look, honey, it's the Louvre!" this book didn't want to make me spend *that* much time there and certainly not as a place to live. Lebovitz definitely loves Paris--it is clear--but he doesn't paint a very flattering picture of Paris (beyond the pastry and chocolate....) Maybe those who have an affinity for Paris and for France will interpret it differently. Still, I really enjoyed the book and now my husband's cocoa-dusted almonds from Maison Georges Larnicol really *are* on borrowed time.
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  • Holly LaDue
    January 1, 1970
    I don't think this was the intended consequence per se, but this book made me squirm and shudder so often. Like many, I've played with the fantasy of what it would be like to pick up and move to France. This book pretty much squelches any desire to do so. Lebovitz writes with great detail the horrors of the bureaucracy and irrationality prevailing in his chosen City of Light, in such a way that left me appreciative of US customer of service, banks, etc. If I had been editing this book I would've I don't think this was the intended consequence per se, but this book made me squirm and shudder so often. Like many, I've played with the fantasy of what it would be like to pick up and move to France. This book pretty much squelches any desire to do so. Lebovitz writes with great detail the horrors of the bureaucracy and irrationality prevailing in his chosen City of Light, in such a way that left me appreciative of US customer of service, banks, etc. If I had been editing this book I would've edited out some of the repetition and condenses the story a little.
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  • Angela
    January 1, 1970
    I’m a diehard francophile who has read many books about the expat experience in France. This one describes the unbelievable ride that David Lebovitz had renovating a Paris apartment. “Welcome to my nightmare” comes to mind. There are some sharp insights on culture and language, and — though the intensity and layers of frustration made me feel his pain — there are some good laughs as well. The book hits home in a special way (she said sarcastically) if you’ve had a reno nightmare of your own. Bon I’m a diehard francophile who has read many books about the expat experience in France. This one describes the unbelievable ride that David Lebovitz had renovating a Paris apartment. “Welcome to my nightmare” comes to mind. There are some sharp insights on culture and language, and — though the intensity and layers of frustration made me feel his pain — there are some good laughs as well. The book hits home in a special way (she said sarcastically) if you’ve had a reno nightmare of your own. Bonus: a few favorite recipes.
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  • E
    January 1, 1970
    Bummer. I really enjoyed the author's other books on life in Paris. But this one, basically takes you through the pain of his search to buy an apartment in the city and the bureaucracy plus challenging behavior that makes it even more complicated and frustrating than in the US. As someone who recently-ish went through the sale and purchase of a new home in a challenging market - I just didn't get a lot of joy out of this (nor think it was very funny.)
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  • Ann Mah
    January 1, 1970
    At once witty and wistful, this tale of French home ownership and renovation had me crying tears of hilarity and frustration. David is a charming narrator and while this story could have been a flimsy fairytale, it quickly veered into the horror genre ;)
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  • Neil Plakcy
    January 1, 1970
    Lively and enjoyable, for the most part, though there was a bit too much of looking forward to doom and gloom in the renovation, which spoiled some of the anticipation. Haven't tried any of the recipes but they look just as yummy as the ones in his blog.
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  • Cody
    January 1, 1970
    A delightful take on the adventures and follies of an American abroad--one that left this reader with quite an appetite!
  • Leith Devine
    January 1, 1970
    I've been reading David's blog for years, and this glimpse into his life in France was funny and revealing....and it has great recipes too!When the book starts, Davis has been in Paris for several years, renting an apartment. He decides it's time to buy, and descends into the Parisian world of bureaucracy, red tape, and unwritten rules that an American from California could not possible understand. Fortunately, he has his partner, a native and fearless Frenchman to help him through some of the r I've been reading David's blog for years, and this glimpse into his life in France was funny and revealing....and it has great recipes too!When the book starts, Davis has been in Paris for several years, renting an apartment. He decides it's time to buy, and descends into the Parisian world of bureaucracy, red tape, and unwritten rules that an American from California could not possible understand. Fortunately, he has his partner, a native and fearless Frenchman to help him through some of the rougher parts of the negotiations and eventual acquisition to his dream apartment. The journey as described is alternately frustrating and funny, and gave me an opportunity to know David Lebovitz as more than just an outstanding chef.I enjoyed this book very much and highly recommend it. Thanks to Crown Publishing and NetGalley for the ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Renay Russell
    January 1, 1970
    I thought this was a pretty good read - and I made the lemon yoghurt cake from the recipe in the book and it was great!
  • Diane Young
    January 1, 1970
    “When I started looking for an apartment, I had no idea what I was doing or what I was getting into- just like how I decided to move to Paris. I just did it, then learned the steps along the way, aka, the hard way.” After spending years in Paris, David Lebovitz (a cookbook author) decides to finally make the City of Light his permanent home. Following his (mis)adventures in renovation, readers get an inside look at the outlandish behaviors of his contractor and the odd Paris traditions that may “When I started looking for an apartment, I had no idea what I was doing or what I was getting into- just like how I decided to move to Paris. I just did it, then learned the steps along the way, aka, the hard way.” After spending years in Paris, David Lebovitz (a cookbook author) decides to finally make the City of Light his permanent home. Following his (mis)adventures in renovation, readers get an inside look at the outlandish behaviors of his contractor and the odd Paris traditions that may ultimately ground any dreams to move to the city.With quirky details such as the way real estate works in Paris (did you know once you list your property with an agency, you’re not allowed to sell it for more than it’s asking price? And if someone offers you the listed price, you must accept it?), Lebovitz doesn’t leave anything behind. He shares every struggle he faced. He was a fish out of water and not in control of the entire situation. And in addition to the renovation details, Lebovitz also includes a few of his recipes in the book since he's a pastry chef and cookbook writer. It’s a smart move because I’ve since checked out his blog (everything looks insanely delicious) and looked at his cookbooks on Amazon. “I clearly had no business moving to a foreign country, let alone buying an apartment in one. My head had been in the stars. And now everything had been ruined- all that I had invested in Paris, not just financially, but emotionally, was in this apartment, and it was a complete désastre.” L’Appart is very conversational- it’s like you’re catching up with your friend David in a café and he’s giving you an update on his renovation process. But it’s not HGTV with problems quickly solved- Lebovitz didn’t have three relatively nice properties with only minor paint color changes to manage. The apartment- not even zoned as an apartment to begin with- needs a complete overhaul and we’re along for the ride.Learning customs, phrases and recipes, L’Appart is a great read for any Francophile. It’s an eye-opening and grounded look into a real renovation in Paris and Lebovitz doesn’t leave any details behind. While it may damper your Paris dreams, it’s an extremely close look at a renovation process without having to manage one yourself.I received a copy of David Lebovitz’s L’Appart in exchange for an honest review. L’Appart is available to purchase on November 7, 2017.
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  • Sally
    January 1, 1970
    Poor David!A terrifying, funny and educational book. A lamb to the slaughter by venal contractors. A happy ending to a story which had me groaning in sympathy and laughing out loud.
  • Beth
    January 1, 1970
    Chef and cookbook author Lebovitz decides to buy an apartment in Paris, after living there for about 10 years, an expat from San Francisco. This sounds like the stuff of dreams, but his venture takes on a nightmarish quality. The process to buy his apartment is convoluted and takes about 10 months with various setbacks - he is even required to provide a urine sample to obtain a bank loan. Then he embarks on a large remodeling project which is fraught with problems. This book is a little bit "A Y Chef and cookbook author Lebovitz decides to buy an apartment in Paris, after living there for about 10 years, an expat from San Francisco. This sounds like the stuff of dreams, but his venture takes on a nightmarish quality. The process to buy his apartment is convoluted and takes about 10 months with various setbacks - he is even required to provide a urine sample to obtain a bank loan. Then he embarks on a large remodeling project which is fraught with problems. This book is a little bit "A Year in Provence" meets "The Money Pit" as Lebovitz deals with unreliable contractors, trying to obtain supplies (like a French farmhouse sink that doesn't exist in the country), surreal trips to Ikea, and frequent delays. Interspersed with recipes, the book is well written with gentle humor and insight into the French way of doing things.
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  • Barbara
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 l'appart is an entertaining memoir of baker David Lebovitz's brave adventure of purchasing and renovating a Parisian apartment. Unfortunately, Lebovitz hired an ineffective and lying contractor to "help" him create his dream home. The strange (from an American point of view) bureaucracy of the French system only compounds David's problems. A nice treat for the reader are the many recipes within the book. I personally made his recipe for Swedish meatballs and I can't recommend it enough.
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