Memoir Mondays: Paris: A Love Story

I should probably be embarrassed to admit this (the excuse I’m going with is I’m but a naïve intern):

I had no idea who Kati Marton was before I picked up a copy of her latest book, Paris: A Love Story. That being said, it surprised me how genuinely moved I was by her fascinating memoir, to the point that I teared up next to a complete stranger while reading it on the bus ride home–and that almost never happens (books choking me up, not the crying next to strangers… unfortunately).

Marton, first of all, is amazing. She fought hard to become an internationally respected foreign news correspondent with ABC back in the 1970s when the term “sexual harassment” had not yet been coined; she eventually became bureau chief and went on to receive a Peabody Award. If you don’t live under a rock (like I apparently do), you might also recognize her name from previous bestselling titles, which include, Hidden Power: Presidential Marriages That Shaped Our History and The Great Escape: Nine Jews Who Fled Hitler and Changed the World). And if that wasn’t impressive enough, Marton is also a director on the Committee to Protect Journalists, and she serves on the board of directors of the International Rescue Committee, Human Rights Watch, the New America Foundation, and the Central European University. Oh and she’s also a member of the Committee on Foreign Relations, P.E.N. International, and the Authors Guild. No big deal.

Some of Marton’s achievements are mentioned in the memoir, but most aren’t. Instead,  Paris: A Love Story is an unexpectedly honest portrait of the few men that Kati has loved and lost throughout her life, set in the city where it all unfolded: Paris, the most naturally romantic setting a person could ask for. The story begins with Kati describing her reason for writing the memoir in the first place: the man with whom she has finally found enduring love and happiness, Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, has suddenly passed away. Paris: A Love Story is then the story of how she found Richard, why their relationship was so special, and how very much she’ll miss him.

This is a book for anyone who knows what it’s like to have loved and lost, be it with a partner or family or friends. It is also for anyone who has fallen in love with Paris, the city where Richard tells Kati she is most herself. Paris plays a constant and defining role in Kati’s life, beginning with her studies as a student in 1968, when France was in revolt, and then reappears ten years later, as the setting for her big career break as ABC bureau chief. Paris is also the city where she first falls passionately in love with none other than Peter Jennings, to whom she was married for 15 years. It was again in Paris, years later and after much heartbreak, that she and Richard discover and build the kind of relationship that I can only hope to experience myself one day. Finally, it is Paris that Kati returns to in the wake of Richard’s death. Her story is utterly and heartbreakingly romantic, in addition to being a compelling backstage remembrance of some of the most important historical events since the 1960s. The names of the people that populate Kati’s life are ones even I could recognize, some of which include Nelson Mandala, Hillary and Bill Clinton, Barbara Walters, President Obama, and Harrison Ford (just to name a few). Yet the most important character in this book is perhaps the city of Paris itself: Marton’s memoir is most definitely a love letter to her late husband Richard, but it is defined and inspired by the most romantic city in the world. I honestly can’t recommend this book enough.

Kati in Paris, 1978.

Learn more about the book.
Meet Kati in Toronto on October 4.
Watch Kati discuss Paris: A Love Story.
Like Kati Marton on Facebook.
Photos from Kati’s release party.

Royal Reads

In honour of Victoria Day approaching, we’re bringing you great books about royalty, crowns, romance and drama.

Four Sisters, All Queens

Marguerite, Eléonore, Sanchia, and Beatrice are the daughters of the countess of Provence. They’re also all queens of different countries in 13th century Europe. However, after their father’s death, they forget their creed of “family comes first,” and become rivals, all vying for same prize—the crown of Provence itself.

Find out more about the book from author Sherry Jones:

The Lady of the Rivers

Jacquetta, the Dutchess of Bedford, has the gift of second sight. When the throne of England comes under threat, it’s up to her to fight for her King, her Queen and for her own daughter Elizabeth. Part of the Cousins’ War series, which also includes The White Queen and The Red Queen, Philippa Gregory brings history to life in a story about adventure and passion. Preview the dramatic story.

Find out more about the book from author Philippa Gregory:

At the King’s Pleasure

Set in Tudor England, Lady Anne Stafford is in love with two men: her husband and King Henry VIII’s companion Sir William Compton. Her heart is torn when she realizes that she might have to choose between them. Peek inside the dramatic affair.

Queen by Right

Cecily Neville, Duchess of York, and her husband have gone through their share of tragedies and political challenges, but when King Henry VI is deemed unfit to rule, Cecily of York rises to the occasion to help her husband make the right decisions for both their family and country.

Find out more about the book from author Anne Easter Smith:

William and Kate

It’s hard to believe that it’s been over a year since the world watched the spectacularly glamorous wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. But there was much more going on behind the media frenzy and in the years leading up their engagement. This book details their pasts, how they found love, how their kept their romance a secret and much more.

Find out more about the book:

Knit Your Own Royal Wedding

For those of us who still can’t get enough of the royal wedding, here’s a book that’ll both feed your fixation and challenge your arts and crafts skills. We’ve seen plates, posters and even Pez dispensers, but now you can hand-knit your own wedding scene with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. The book comes complete with instructions and full-colour photos, great for both knitting aficionados and royal wedding enthusiasts alike.

Make this year’s Valentine’s Day your best ever!

Need ideas for the perfect date? Recipes for romantic dinners? Gift ideas for your significant other? We’ve got you covered. Check out these great books to make this Valentine’s Day your best one ever!

Fun & Creative Dates for Dating Couples

In Fun & Creative Dates for Dating Couples: 52 Ways to Have Fun Together, you’ll find ideas for all kinds of dates to celebrate your relationship with that special someone — romantic dates, inspiring dates, even dates that challenge you! From rock climbing and hot air ballooning to playing in the rain or volunteering for a worthy cause, you’ll have a hard time choosing which one to do first.

The Book of Sexy Games

The perfect Valentine’s Day charmer, this clever kit includes 10 games as well as a foldout game board to inspire your inner-Cupid. If you can’t decide what to play, then spin Cupid’s arrow and let it decide for you!

Gifts Cooks Love

Express your love with handmade gifts, one of life’s most precious commodities. Gifts Cooks Love offers something for every level of cook and tips on how to beautifully wrap your edible gifts. The 40 recipes featured in this book will be sure to please all palates.

Joy of Cooking

This is the ultimate cookbook that will help novice and pros alike make the most elegant meals from succulent steaks to fancy cocktails to decadent frozen desserts. In addition to having hundreds of recipes, The Joy of Cooking also includes cooking tips to ensure you make the most memorable meal ever!

The Good Wife Guide and The Good Husband Guide
The Good Wife Guide: A Little Seedling BookThe Good Husband Guide: A Little Seedling Book

These two guides make humourous gifts for brides-to-be or married couples on Valentine’s Day (as long as they have a great sense of humour!). They contain all the secrets to helping your special someone feel comfortable and content.

It may be cold outside….

But it’s hot between the pages!

I can think of no better way to spend my time during the winter months than curled up inside with a good book. With Valentine’s Day just around the corner we thought we’d treat all the romance novel lovers out there to a prize pack of romantic reads and some scented goodies from Glade to help set the mood!

Click on the image below and enter to win six romance novels ranging from paranormal to contemporary to historical. There’s something to suit every taste in our sexy prize pack!

For more info about the titles and authors featured in the prize pack click on the image above.

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