Book Club : January 2017 Bonjour Kale

Book Club 2017 Bonjour Kale 

Book Club 2017 Bonjour Kale 

Welcome to the Every Day Parisian Book Club! I had the idea last year when I read The Paris Wife and I wanted to share the books that I was reading and make this site more of a community. So I figured why not make a book club? The idea is simple. Each month I will announce a book club choice that has a Francophile theme to it. Read it along with the online community and at the end of the month, I hope to share in a discussion. My hope is that you will encourage your friends to read along with you. 

My selection this month is Bonjour Kale by Kristen Beddard. Kristen and I were introduced by a mutual friend Lindsey Tramuta from LostinCheeseland Kristen moved to France with her husband not knowing the language and without a job. The reason I chose this selection is not just because it’s the new year and kale is good for you. I will leave you to decide if you eat kale or not. Bonjour Kale is a love story, a memoir of an expat, part cookbook (kale recipes) and also shares the story of Kristen bringing Kale to Paris. 

For those of you who have dreamt of moving to Paris or who have moved to a city without knowing the language, you will instantly connect with Kristen and her challenges. You will be cheering her on as she finds her place in the city of Lights. As Kristen navigates the language and life in Paris she also finds her purpose in her new city. Each chapter finishes with a recipe using kale in traditional and nontraditional ways. 

Since I know Kristen personally, I thought it would be fun to create a Q and A about the book as well as life after the book. She was kind enough to say yes! Please email me questions [email protected] that you would like to ask Kristen as you read the book and I will put them all together in one post towards the end of the month for Kristen to answer. 

This month I am encouraging you to put down your phone on your train commute to work and stop scrolling before you go to bed. Pick up Bonjour Kale, be inspired by Kristen Beddard’s story. 

There are a few ways to get your hand’s on Bonjour Kale this month. You can pick it up at your local library, borrow from a friend, download it on your kindle ($2.99) purchase the hard copy from Amazon. 

I am giving away one copy of Bonjour Kale At the end of this post comment below with your recommendation for next month’s book club pick with a French/Paris theme. I will choose a winner on Monday and ship out the book in time for you to read before the end of the month. 

Kristen Beddard Author of Bonjour Kale 

Kristen Beddard Author of Bonjour Kale 

My hope is to collect all 12 Book Club books and do a HUGE giveaway as a bonus at the end of 2017. Thank you so much for being a part of this community! I am excited to make this year more about bringing people together and growing this community offline. 

For those of you in Chicago, there will be a meetup towards the end of the month. You are welcome to bring the book and we can discuss in person! 

bonjour kale @rebeccaplotnick

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  1. Bonjour, Rebecca — I stumbled upon this post shortly before you rebooted the EDP book club for 2024 (so glad about that!) and the red and blue Italian ceramic coffee cup and saucer in the photo at the top really drew my eye. Where did you find that pattern, or do you own it? The only similar pattern I could find online was a photo taken at La Colombe Coffee Roasters in Philadelphia. Thank you for sharing anything you remember about this Italian ceramic cup and saucer set!

  2. Dear Rebecca, Thank you for doing this book club. I only just finished your first suggestion, Bonjour Kale, but I LOVED it and learned too much to list here. It fed my "art self" and elevated my thinking about what beautiful food can do and the rewards of hard work and not giving in to depression when things get hard. Excited to start the Little Paris Bookshop Thank you for blogging.

    • Hi Jackie,

      Your email came at perfect timing. Thank you! I have been on a Kale kick since January and I have Kristen to thank for it 🙂 I am so happy you love it! It’s hard to not give into depression when things get tough but it sounds like you found a way to get you out. I can’t wait to hear what you think of the next book! Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment! xoxo

  3. Hello. I live near Toronto ON and love to read almost anywhere. I take a book with me when I am out and about so if there is a wait anywhere I can read a few pages. I have not been to Paris but enjoy reading about the city and dream of going there one day. I am looking forward to your latest selection.. a book shop in Paris has so many possibilities. Cheers!

    • Hi, Trudy! I hope Canada isn’t too cold for you right now. Thank you so much for reading. I hope you get the chance to visit Paris soon! The book is a sweet read and will transport you to France for a bit.

  4. Hello! I’m Jessica from Kansas City. I’ve been to Paris three times (once by myself, once with my mom post-graduate school, and then on my honeymoon) and everytime I fall even more in love with it. I do most of my reading in the evenings before bed, or weekend mornings when my husband is still asleep. I’m currently reading "Bringing Up Bebe", as we are expecting our first little one in May!

    • Hi Jessica,

      Congratulations on the new baby! That is so exciting. I would love to know what you think of "Bringing up Bebe" my sister has two little ones so I just started the book as well. Paris continues to surprise you so it’s easy to visit each time and fall in love again.

  5. Hi, I am from Loomis, California. I live in a community called Clos du Lac, which tries very hard to resemble the country residences in Provence. I love anything and everything French, which is why I was drawn to your blog. I do most of my reading in bed prior to sleep, but if I am deep in a really good book – any part of the day will do. Thanks for asking…

    • Hi Susan! Your community sounds so charming. What a beautiful place to live. I am so happy you found the blog and I am so grateful for the follow. Thank you! What has been your favorite book you have read recently?

  6. Hello! I’m a college student attending Miami University in Oxford, OH. I studied abroad in Luxembourg for a semester and got to travel all over Europe. Paris was one of my all time favorite cities! I love your blog because it makes me think that I can feel a little bit of Paris everywhere I am! I actually got to visit Shakespeare & Company – that was a dream come true, I wish I could read there forever. But when I’m not so lucky to be there, I love to read in coffee shops and little nooks in big armchairs! Merci!

    • Hi Kristen,

      I know Miami well as I originally from Cincinnati. Thank you so much for following the blog. I am so happy it brings Paris into your life. You are very lucky to visit Shakespeare and Co. It’s such a lovely bookshop where you could get lost for hours and not realize how much time has passed.

  7. I like to read on my balcony in the morning with my espresso and cat Soffi curled up on my lap.. dreaming of having this moment in Paris one day… oo la la!! Merci..

    • Jacqueline, thank you so much for following! I hope that you get the chance to have that moment in Paris. It’s worth the wait.

  8. Bonjour!!! I follow from San Diego, California. My favorite place to leisurely read is in my bed, usually before bed. If I need to read for work, a quiet desk or table wherever is best for me 🙂 Merci for the giveaway! [email protected]

    • Hi Lauren! Thank you for following from San Diego. Have you read anything you couldn’t put down lately?

  9. Greetings from Newport, RI. I am looking forward to "The Little Paris Bookshop". A little Paris bookshop would be the best place to read any book, the smells, the quiet rustling… 🙂 At home, I read on my porch and on the beach when all of the tourists have gone. With my Oliver (dog) and Leila (cat) on my lap and shoulders and with coffee or wine beside me, I am lost in the pages of my latest escape.

    • TJ,

      This sounds like the perfect setup. I can imagine sitting on the porch with you on the beach. I have never been to RI before but it sounds lovely. Thank you so much for following. You make me want to close the computer and read right now. xo

  10. Bonjour, I live in Las Vegas, Nevada and I have always loved reading. I especially like to read in the middle of the day, after lunch before my little nap time. It relaxes me!😀

  11. I enjoy reading books anywhere. My favorite place, however, when weather permits, is to take my book, a wedge of brie, a baguette and a bottle of white wine to the picnic area of my apartment complex. I sit in the "porch swing" and read to my heart’s content.

    • Carolyn, you and I would make great friends. My diet consists of cheese, bread, and a little wine 😉 A good book is a perfect compliment. Thank you so much for reading!

  12. I adore reading books everywhere. On the tube in London, on the plane while travelling, standing by a bookshop shelf…but my very favourite is waking up on a Sunday morning, making a tea and flipping through the pages. Hope to receive a copy, thank you so much! Elizabeth ([email protected])

  13. Hi Book Club members, I am still waiting on my copy of the book from the library, decided against the kindle as I prefer to have the book in my hands especially if there are recipes in it. Not sure when the discussion will commence, but I read quickly so I am hoping to be ready in time. I think some of you were meeting in Chicago, lucky you!
    Rebecca, can you let me know how and when the discussion will take place and also if you have decided on next months book so I can get it organised asap, thanks!

    • Hi Sandra!

      I prefer book copies over the kindle too! No worries, take your time. There are recipes in here and I can’t wait to hear what you think. I am not sure if you will be awake when we meet it will be 3pm Chicago time. I am going to do a live post on instagram if you are up for joining us.
      Next month’s book might be easier to get your hands on a copy. We will make the final decision tomorrow at the meetup but I have a good idea of what is coming next. Keep you posted!! xo

  14. Hey,

    First of all thank you for this terrific idea of starting a Parisian Book Club 🙂
    I used to be a bookworm, reading everywhere I could, but it seems like these days are gone now, not because I don’t have a time to read anymore, simply because I am straggling to find an interesting book which I wouldn’t put away until I’ll finish it.
    I am hoping to find that kind of book here as I am obviously in love in Paris and France.
    I have been visiting this city regularly twice or three times a year for the past 10 years now and yet I am not bored nor I have seen everything. Always eager to discover new places,shops,museums,restaurants,parks….
    Every single time it is a new experience for me I feel so lucky I can do it so often!

    The book I would like to recommend and it is written by one of my favorite author Dan Rhodes is called "This is Life"
    Although the book is not about Paris it’s story is based there.I need to worn you though,you either love it or hate it nothing in between. I know the people who gave up after reading few pages and people who read it from start to the end on the same day. Bare in mind that the story is quite complicated and utterly unlike anything else you’ll read but – "if you love Paris, the movie Amelie, dark humor, art and quirky characters, you’ll probably enjoy this book" – that’s how one reader summed it up 🙂

    Well, it would be interesting to hear what do you think about this book 😉
    Meanwhile I hope you didn’t have much trouble with understanding my English which in fact isn’t my first language.

    Greeting from England


    • Hi Anette,

      I am so happy you found me! Thank you for your sweet comment. I completely understand wanting to find a book that you can’t put down. The hope of this Book Club is to have a list of great reads that you will always have another book to read that will fill you and keep you company and maybe inspire you at the same time. Have you started "Bonjour Kale" yet? I think it’s a fun read.

      Thank you for your book recommendation. I will take a look and put it on the list!

      Your English is great and way better than my French 😉


      • Hahaha thank you 🙂
        I’m so glad that you are able to understand my English 🙂

        I haven’t started the book yet but hopefully will do it soon 🙂

        Have a lovely week

        Anette xx

        • Anette,

          Read at your own pace and what works best for you! I hope you enjoy it 🙂

          I hope you had a lovely weekend and stayed warm.


  15. It’s not out in the US yet, but I am truly loving "Flaneuse" (which I picked up in September at Shakespeare and Co.) It has inspired me to try to get out and walk more, even in cold cold Chicago. I also enjoyed a podcast I listened to last night with Lisa Anselmo who wrote "My Part-Time Paris Life."

    • Oh, can I borrow your copy?! Do you know when it is coming to the US? I would love to read it and it could be a great book club pick. Thank you! I will check out the podcast too. That sounds like a good listen when I am packing orders 🙂

  16. My suggestions are: books,baguettes and bedbugs by Jeremy Mercer and the piano shop on the left bank by TE Carhart.

  17. I actually have two suggestions for the book club:
    The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George
    A Paris Apartment: A Novel by Michelle Gable

    • Both great suggestions! I added them to the list. I haven’t read either but have heard great things. Thank you!

  18. So many great recommendations both here and on Facebook. Do we have a date for the Chicago meetup? I’m totally interested.

    • Hi Jennie! It’s the last weekend in January. Let me know if Saturday or Sunday works best. I know time is precious so I want to try to accommodate everyone’s weekend schedules.

  19. In honor of Saint Valentine’s Day, I recommend Paris, My Sweet: A Year in the City of Light (and Dark Chocolate) by Amy Thomas. Also continues on the Paris food theme. Melissa E. Welch

    • Melissa, great suggestion! Amy Thomas is super sweet! I loved her book and did a giveaway with her last month. I will add her to the list. She has a new book coming soon you should keep your eye out for 😉

  20. I have been thinking of starting a book club myself with like minded friends. You can never read enough books and you can never have enough time in Paris.

    • exactly! I hope you will join and encourage your friends to read along too. It is a great resolution to have.

  21. Flirting with French: How a Language Charmed Me, Seduced Me, and Nearly Broke My Heart by William Alexander

  22. Oh I’d love to read this book! I’m addicted to French/Paris themed books and could recommend quite a few. One That I really like a lot is "Lessons from Madame Chic: 20 Stylish Secrets I Learned While Living in Paris" by Jennifer L. Scott.

    Bisous from @Titite_Parisienne

    • Thank you so much, Annika! I am so happy you are excited to read the book. I can’t wait to hear what you think.

      I will check out your book suggestion. It sounds like a great read!


  23. Where to start? There are so many I love! Congratulations on your idea Rebecca – it is fabulous and I am so glad that Sandra (a fellow booker and Perth-ite) told me about it so I could join. I recently read My (Part-Time) Paris Life – How Running Away Bought Me Home by Lisa Anselmo. It is a wonderful study of Paris, and the experiences of trying to move there, but also provides great insight into how grief can impact on your life. Having also lost my mum well before I was ready, I really identified with the journey that Lisa went on. Thoroughly recommend it. Looking forward very much to being a part of your book club.

    • Hello Lou! I am so happy to have you hear and thanks to Sandra for telling you about the club. I am loving your suggestion and will add it to the list. Thank you so much! I hope you and Sandra can meet over coffee and discuss the book. Please send in questions for Kristen for later this month if you have them 🙂

  24. Hi Rebecca and fellow bookers,
    Greeting from Perth, Australia. What a good idea, will get it on my kindle asap.Look forward to the book chat later in the month.

    I have just finished ‘To Capture What We Cannot keep’ by Beatrice Colin.

    Set against the construction of the Eiffel Tower, this novel charts the relationship between a young Scottish widow and a French engineer who, despite constraints of class and wealth, fall in love. Set in Paris in 1887…..

    • Hello Sandra from down under. Thank you so much for joining. It’s a reasonable price on the kindle 😉 Your book suggestion sounds fascinating I haven’t heard of this title. Thank you so much for your suggestion!

      Best wishes and enjoy the book!

  25. Love your New Years resolution and think I will do the same. I will go and get this novel tomorrow and start reading it. I have enjoyed every book I have read by expats and authors who just needed to get away and do something different. Just to mention a few Paris letters, Lunch in Paris & Picnic in Provence, Seven Letters from Paris & my last recent book was Paris is Always a Good Idea. Loved everyone & can highly recommend them.

    • Hi Jane! Thank you! I am so happy to have you join. I really hope you enjoy reading the book. An expat perspective is always an interesting one. Paris has had some great authors over the years and the city provides so much inspiration. I loved Lunch in Paris and need to reread it. Thank you for all of your great suggestions! I hope you enjoy the book.

  26. I know you’ve mentioned it in a prior post so I’m not sure if you would want to do it for a book club but Paris, My Sweet. I’m embarrassed to admit that I bought the book but have yet to read it so book club may be the push to read it! I love your comments about putting down our phones and reading before bed. And I’m in Chicago so I would love a local meet up!! 🙂

    • Hi Emily! You have to come to the meet up at the end of the month. It will be the last weekend of the month. Still figuring out the location. Is there a day that works better for you? I want it to work for everyone’s schedules and I know time is precious. Paris, My Sweet is a favorite of mine. I actually did a giveaway last month with Amy Thomas. She is super sweet in person and has another book in the works 😉 I hope you take the time to read it and you can see what she is up to now!

      • The last weekend in January is perfect!! Sunday afternoons are typically best for me on the weekends, but I’m free both days that weekend so either would work 🙂 Yay, I’m so excited for this year, this is going to be fun!

        • Yes! So excited to meet you! I will keep you posted on the location and time once it’s all sorted out. xo

  27. As a fellow Chicagoan now in So Calf, I’ve been in love with anything French since I was ten. That’s another story. I am recommending a book that has been on my list for a while. It is by Muriel Barbery called The Elegance of the Hedgehog. I love that it is by a women and about women/females as main characters. It was on The NY Times best seller list around the time President Obama was first elected. Busy years and busy time for me but always associate the two.

    Here’s a blurb:
    Renée Michel is the dumpy, nondescript, 54-year-old concierge of a small and exclusive Paris apartment building. Its handful of tenants include a celebrated restaurant critic, high government officials and members of the old nobility. Every day these residents pass by the loge of Madame Michel and, unless they want something from her, scarcely notice that she is alive. As it happens, Renée Michel prefers it that way. There is far more to her than meets the eye. PAloma Josse also lives in the building. Acutely intelligent, introspective and philosophical, this 12-year-old views the world as absurd and records her observations about it in her journal. She despises her coddled existence, her older sister Colombe, and her well-to-do parents, especially her plant-obsessed mother. After careful consideration of what life is like, Paloma has secretly decided to kill herself on her 13th birthday.
    These two characters provide the double narrative of The Elegance of the Hedgehog. OMG!!!! References to Hunt for Red October and privilege and mystery and many characters to learn about and from. I’m excited. Et vous?

    • I love your enthusiasm for the book! Thank you for the excerpt I will look into it! You are lucky to be living in Cali and escaping the brutal cold we have here in Chicago!

  28. The Sweet Life in Paris and Lessons in French are my suggestions. Really looking forward to this book club – off to do some more reading now! 🙂

    • I love the Sweet Life in Paris. I need to see if David Lebovitz wants to join in on the book club fun!! Enjoy your reading! xo

  29. I would like to join this book club. I read "Picnic in Paris" by Elizabeth Bard. I really enjoyed it. I’ve never been to Paris but would love to go.

    • Jill, I am so happy to have you join! "Picnic in Paris" is a great one. I might reread it soon. I hope you get the chance to get to Paris. Until then the book club and blog are great ways to keep Paris in your life 🙂

  30. Paris, I Love You, But You’re Bringing Me Down – Rosecrans Baldwin
    Heard this is a fun, brilliant insight into the minds of the French! I also happen to know the author’s father…:-)

    • Hi Lori! Where is the author from? I haven’t heard of this book but I will look it up 🙂 Thank you for the suggestion!

    • a great read! I have it on my kindle. I need to see if David wants to participate in the book club 😉 Thank you!

  31. Ooo what a love idea! I’m def up for joining in! Just before our trip to Paris last year I read a fabulous story of love, loss & growth called The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George. I was intrigued that it was written from a gentlemans perspective which love stories often don’t seem to be. I can’t wait to see what other books will follow in the coming month! Thank you Rebecca.

    • Thank you, Rach! I love how you explained the synopsis a bit. This will definitely go on the list. What a beautiful story! Thank you so much for joining! I am so happy you are here!

  32. Yesterday I just finished "Paris, He Said" by Christine Sneed. It’s a light, fun read. What I really appreciate about the book is that the author lives in Evanston, IL, so I loved reading a local author. Something you might appreciate for the Chicago roots!

    • Abby that’s so cool! I love that! I will check it out. I hope you will have a chance to join the Chicago meetup later this month.

  33. Loving the theme totally on board with reading more in 2017. I am suggesting Paris Rebel Quarter or In a French Kitchen.

    • Yes! Thank you! I really hope we can grow this throughout the year. 12 books is a big accomplishment or whatever you have time for over the next 12 months 🙂

  34. J’aime beaucoup cette idée! Je suis francophile à coeur. 🙂

    I have "The Bonjour Effect" by Jean-Benoît Nadeau & Julie Barlow and "The Light of Paris" by Eleanor Brown on my list. I’ve also been curious about "When in French" by Lauren Collins and "Picnic in Provence" or "Lunch in Paris" by Elizabeth Bard.

    J’attend le prochain choix avec impatience!


    • Hello Lauren! So many great suggestions! I have read "Lunch in Paris" and really enjoyed it. I need to reread it so maybe in the coming months it will be on the list! Thank you so much for all of your great picks.

      Happy New Year!


    • Have you traveled solo before? I am hoping to make it to Provence this year so that is a great suggestion.

      Thank you!

  35. I’d choose ‘Paris Trance ‘ by Geoff Dyer

    Luke moves to Paris and, with his new love and the other expatriate couple from whom they become inseparable, wanders the Eleventh Arrondissement where clubs, cafés, banter, and ecstasy now occupy Gertrude Stein’s city "which is not real but is really there."

    An outstanding book .

    • Hi Anthony! I haven’t heard of this one but it sounds so good! Thank you for the suggestion. I hope you enjoy Bonjour Kale!

  36. Time Was Soft There: A Paris Sojourn at Shakespeare & Co. Not as on trend for 2016/2017 but one I really loved.

    • Hi Kat. It’s okay to not be on trend 🙂 Thank you for the suggestion! I am so happy to have you join.

  37. This is the first book club I’ve ever joined and it’s fitting that the subject matter is Paris! It’s serendipitous, I tell ya!

    My paris-themed book recommendation is Paris For One by JoJo Moyes. It’s light, cute, fun and adventurous.

    Thank you for this opportunity, Rebecca. I’m looking forward to diving in with you!
    -Missy in Austin, Texas

    • Hello Missy! I am so happy to have you join. I hope you enjoy the book suggestions. Your words are so kind!

      I will check out Paris for One. That sounds like a great read!

      Thank you so much!!


  38. Thank you for your endless work and commitment! I follow you daily from Italy. The books I would recommend are: ‘Les salons de la IIIe République’, by Anne Martin-Fugier, which tells the lives of great French women who ran their own ‘salon’ as an artsy, literary, political private club inviting all the people that ‘counted’…
    and a contemporary classic, ‘How to be Parisian’, by Caroline de Maigret.
    Keep doing your great job! Love, Sara

    • Sara, I love this book selection. It sounds so interesting. I will definitely check it out. Thank you so much for your kind words! It has been such a pleasure to write this blog and share my love of Paris with you all! Best wishes to you!! xo

  39. The only Street in Paris by Elaine Sciolino, it’s fascinating that so much life can occur and you don’t have to leave the block!

    • I have heard of it but haven’t had a chance to read it yet. I lived not too far from the street and walked down it often. I will check it out. Thank you!

    • Hi Donna! I am so happy you are looking forward to the book. I really enjoyed it and I hope you do too. Paris is lovely! Happy to have you here too!

  40. The Hotel on Place Vendome by Tilar J. Mazzeo – all about the Ritz!

    Lovers at the Chameleon Club: Paris 1932 by Francine Prose – fantastic novel about love, the resistance, art, fancy cars..

  41. The Sweet Life in Paris by David Lebovitz is funny and informative. My mom sent me The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George….I haven’t read it yet!

  42. I’m loving this idea!! I’ve recently read quite a few really good books. However, I recommend Letters from Paris by Juliet Blackwell.

  43. How about ‘Lessons from Madam Chic’ by Jennifer L. Scott?

    Life lessons this California girl learned while living abroad with a French family.

    • I may own that one actually! I don’t believe I have read it. Thank you so much for the suggestion!