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Eat, Walk, Write: An American Senior's Year of Adventure in Paris and Tuscany

Eat, Walk, Write: An American Senior's Year of Adventure in Paris and Tuscany [Kindle Edition]

Boyd Lemon
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

After a lifetime in southern California and three years in Boston, the author at age 69 retires from the practice of law and moves to Paris to eat, walk and write. He describes in vivid detail the challenges of learning French; dealing with the French bureaucracies, public and private; facing the charm and smugness of the Parisians; as well as the joys of experiencing the cuisine, neighborhoods, art and history of the world's most beautiful, vibrant city. After nearly a year he travels to rural northern Tuscany and revels in its scenic beautify, food and serenity until a shocking experience send him home to California.

About the Author

Boyd Lemon is a retired lawyer, having spent more than 40 years practicing in southern California. He moved to Boston to experience the east coast and begin his writing career while practicing law part time. He wrote his memoir, published by Outskirts Press, "Digging Deep: A Writer Uncovers His Marriages," about his journey to understand his role in the destruction of his three marriages. It has been in the top 1% of sales on Amazon. In 2010 he fulfilled a life long dream by moving to Paris. He experienced the joys of the cuisine, art and history of the most beautiful city in the world, while facing the challenges to a 69 year-old learning French and dealing with the French bureaucracies, public and private. From finding and renting an apartment to obtaining an alien residence permit, he met and conquered those challenges so that he could revel in the beauty of the city of his dreams. For a final month he relaxed and enjoyed the scenic beauty and food of the tiny villages of Monzone and Equi Terme in northern Tuscany. His primary means of transportation were walking and riding the Paris Metro. One of his greatest joys was experiencing the cuisines of France and Italy. He kept a detailed journal daily, from which his new memoir, "Eat, Walk, Write," was written. In the end, although he originally planned to stay for two years or perhaps indefinitely, he realized he needed a home near his children and grandchildren in California, so after a year he returned to live in Ventura, California. He continues to write daily and is working on a book about how to have the time of your life in retirement, which he is living.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 451 KB
  • Print Length: 191 pages
  • Publisher: Create Space (10 Dec 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #370,315 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Warts and all picture of real life in Paris 29 May 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
I clearly (if you have read my own book "Vic's Big Walk") do all three of the above - eating, walking, writing.

Also, I am what Americans politely call a senior. In fact I am a few months older than Boyd Lemon.

Although I have lived in France for many years I have never been to Paris, but my wife and I have a visit there scheduled for July.

And because one of my daughters lives in Italy, I am familiar with Tuscany.

So It seemed this book was tailor-made for me.

It is an excellent read. It give much information about Paris - about what to see, what to do as a visitor. It also, because Boyd went with the intention of staying for one or two years warns of many of the hurdles to jump or perhaps fall at if you are there as a resident rather than a visitor - most of these caused by French bureaucracy or the Gallic mindset.

Boyd paints a warts and all picture of real life in Paris. In addition he reveals much of himself, of his inadequacy with the French language, of his loneliness in a sea of foreigners, and glimpses of his life, complete with successes and failures, back home in the USA.

There are side trips to other places in France, to England, Spain and Portugal, and a confrontation with street crime.

There are other parallels between Boyd's life and my own so I shall be reading his other books. I highly recommend this one to anyone thinking of spending time in Paris, especially if they intend to be more than a casual visitor.
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3.0 out of 5 stars more of a diary than a memoire 19 Jun 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Lots of walking and eating, not much description of people or places.
Left me desperate for more info on the various places
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Format:Kindle Edition
I gather the author has put this together from his journal from his time in France and Italy with away trips to London and Amsterdam. He obviously enjoyed the food but found living in Europe a bit more challenging. Perhaps a bit more research on France and its way of life and the language would have been a starting point before moving there and although he fully admits he could not get to grips with the language, I found the constant referencing to his lack of it, tiresome and detracting. His reviews of the meals were excellent as well as his obvious enjoyment of the food markets, museums and art. There are some very glaring mistakes regarding place names, the worst being Portobello Street in London when it is Portobello Road, which should have been picked up before publishing. However, if you want a quick and unchallenging read, you will enjoy this.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars  22 reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I Too Love Paris and Tuscany 23 Feb 2012
By Gregory C. Randall - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have spent, collectively, maybe a month in Paris over the years. And the thought to live there has even crossed my mind. But Boyd Lemon's book, Eat, Walk, Write: An American Senior's Year of Adventure in Paris and Tuscany, has given me pause. Not the book, which is very readable and full of information, though at times wistful and thoughtful. It's the reality of spending a year where, unless you are fluent in French, you sort of live apart from the day to day life of the City of Light. As a tourist, this is one thing, as a resident, it is a whole other thing. Mr. Lemon's book is a delight to read and yet is a pensive and reflective block by block stroll through the streets of Paris. It is a must for anyone who wants to live in this magical city. It would add immensely to the book's value if there was list or appendix of the restaurants and places he visited. I made my own as I read. His descriptions of traveling through Spain and Portugal are also intriguing and tempting, all by train. But I believe he leaves the best part of the book to Tuscany; his meanderings and walks make me dream of spending a month there, in the winter, with a cozy fire and its warm and inviting people. They, unlike the residents of Paris, are some of the more enchanting reasons why northern Italy is so wonderful. More on Tuscany the Mr. Lemon, please.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ok but not great reading 9 Aug 2012
By Laurab - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I love reading books about people's experiences living abroad but I found this one a bit less interesting and engaging than others and without much humor. It was more of a "I went here, did this; or I ate here and ate this." There was not much of the interesting and sometimes humorous stories that people describe when living in another country/culture. It seemed that the author's difficulty with the language kind of hindered interactions with Parisians and left him a bit isolated with his thoughts.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magnifique! 24 Mar 2012
By Elysabeth N. Faslund - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
If you were to travel to Paris, plan to make a home there, or simply live for awhile...this book MUST be what you read, savor!
Apart from the problems encountered with banks, pay-per-minute cell phones, and the French classroom, etc., among countless others, this book is the essential "French Reality" told as only Boyd Lemon can. As far as the miniscule grammar/punctuation
errors, who cares? It's the high quality of the endearing storyline which will have you speechless from the beginning!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars OH, for a proof-reader! 28 May 2012
By Victoria Taylor Allen - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a delightful book, filled with interesting details of the author's year in Paris. He truly "tells it like it is" when dealing with day-to-day life in Paris and on his travels in the rest of Europe. I do wish, however, that this book could be put into a different edition, one that would be edited and proof-read. The numbers of errors in the spelling of French words is astounding and rather spoils the narrative. I know that the author states that he had a hard time with the French language, but surely, someone could have checked his spelling.

All in all a good read that could have been made even better by proofing and editing.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Richly-detailed Travelogue of One Man's Adventure in Paris 4 Feb 2012
By Tom Reeves - Published on
Many of us dream of leaving all behind and traveling to a distant land to experience first-hand another culture, to engage with its people, and, why not, to learn another language.

Boyd Lemon had precisely that goal in mind when he retired from the legal profession at the age of 69 and set off for Paris, where he planned to live for two years. He made careful plans, but when he arrived in the City of Light he quickly discovered that things did not quite work out the way he had hoped.

The account of Lemon's experiences in Paris unfolds as a richly-detailed travelogue giving fascinating insight into how a person's mind works when faced with decisions that must be made when things go wrong. For example, Lemon evokes our sympathy with his description of the frustration that he felt when he realized that learning French was going to be a far more daunting task than he had ever imagined. He draws us in further as he recounts how his expectation to gain fluency progressively declined and how he realized that he could still enjoy living in Paris and learn from his many experiences there without being fluent in the language.

Lemon's penultimate chapter entitled "Final Thoughts about Paris" provides helpful insight on the financial cost of moving there for a long-term stay.

Eat, Walk, Write would have benefited from a careful review by a professional editor, as there are numerous spelling errors (both in English and French) as well as occasional inadequate transitions from one paragraph to another. However, these oversights do not reduce the enjoyment of the book.

Readers thinking of traveling to Paris, whether for a few days or for a long stay, will benefit from reading this book. On the one hand, they will be inspired by Lemon's descriptions of the city, the restaurants that he dined in, the food that he ate, the museums that he visited, and the walks that he took. On the other, Eat, Walk, Write serves as a warning to those who think that they will learn the language rather quickly once they get there.
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