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L'Appart: The Delights and Disasters of Making My Paris Home

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3.63  ·  Rating details ·  1,061 Ratings  ·  198 Reviews
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 a
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Hardcover, 368 pages
Published November 7th 2017 by Crown Publishing Group (NY) (first published 2017)
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Deanna
Nov 30, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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-
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Ang
Jul 24, 2017 rated it it was ok
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
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Randal White
Jul 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, travel
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!) ...more
Maggie
Oct 02, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dnf
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
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Danielle
Sep 27, 2017 rated it liked it
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
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Beverly Swerling
Jan 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
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
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Mary
Mar 07, 2018 rated it liked it
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 ...more
Holly
Jan 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio, 2018-reads
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
Michelle
Nov 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir
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
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Mister Moose
Oct 27, 2017 rated it did not like it
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.
Lucy Burdette
Dec 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
delightful read for Paris lovers and foodies and anyone crazy enough to attempt renovations in France!
Melissa
Nov 26, 2017 rated it liked it
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).
Maya
Nov 09, 2017 rated it it was ok
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
Feb 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
http://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
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Wendy Greene
Dec 28, 2017 rated it it was ok
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
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Onceinabluemoon
Dec 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Kalen
Sep 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017-reads
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
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Holly LaDue
Feb 02, 2018 rated it liked it
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 ...more
Angela
Jan 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
E
Nov 18, 2017 rated it liked it
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.)
Neil Plakcy
Aug 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
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.
Cody
A delightful take on the adventures and follies of an American abroad--one that left this reader with quite an appetite!
Leith Devine
Oct 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
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
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Renay Russell
Mar 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
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
Jul 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
“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
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Sally
Nov 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Barbara
Feb 17, 2018 rated it liked it
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.
Rosey
Aug 16, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: own
I loved Sweet Life in Paris but this one bogged me down. The extreme details of the renovation and the repetition between chapters was off putting and too much for me. I liked that there are recipes but the lack of cooking was disappointing. Not as good as his previous books. His fraught tale of getting an apartment definitely takes some of the shiny charm out of the dream of moving to Paris.
Laura
Jan 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed reading about the trials and tribulations Lebovitz went through to buy his Paris home, but it did drag on longer than was 100% necessary. Still, a funny look at French culture and homeownership from the eyes of an American expat.
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David Lebovitz is a sought-after cooking instructor with an award-winning food blog (davidlebovitz.com). Trained as a pastry chef in France and Belgium, David worked at Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California for twelve years. He now lives in Paris, France, where he leads culinary tours of the city.
More about David Lebovitz
“Speciàl" is one of those elusive French words that means something (or someone is...peculiar. The use of it is one of the rare times that the French are noncommittal about their opinion.” 0 likes
“Spécial" is one of those elusive French words that means something (or someone) is...peculiar. The use of it is one of the rare times that the French are noncommittal about their opinions.” 0 likes
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