Friday, June 22, 2012

Le Road Trip - Vivian Swift

Isn't this the perfect artist's studio?
This is author Vivian's desk (the cat is 1 of 9). I discover new books and authors when I see what you've bought on That's how I discovered

Vivian Swift's witty book, Le Road Trip.

In her own words she says:
I'm highly qualified as a travel writer.
This is me, in my passport photo, 1975, before my first trip "abroad". I stayed on the road for 20 years. In between my many years of foreign wanderings I worked as a receptionist, gift shop sales lady, luxury hotel concierge, clothing store manager, book shop clerk, office temp, retail jeweler, horologist, auction house executive, and Faberge expert. I've also worked as an au pair, a chamber maid, a jewelry historian, and in a factory making plastic bottles for bleach.

  Obviously, with all this job experience, I am very well-qualifed to be the boss of everybody. This meshes perfectly with my ability to be very judgemental. But I digress.

She came by on Wednesday to talk about creating her book, travel, watercolor and, and, and
A gorgeous map from Le Road Trip of her honeymoon jaunt through France, plus numerous witty tips and advice on how to thrive as a traveler.

There are hundreds of watercolor illustrations.
She even created her very own hand-written type font (at Fontifier for a mere $30).

Including encyclopedic bits of useful and useless but endlessly fun information. Vivian's voice is very tongue in cheek to say the least.
Three Truths on what to wear in Paris:
One, you are not Parisian and you will never be. Don't let that bother you.
Two: Parisians don't want to know you, no matter how well you dress, so you might as well be yourself.
Three: Deep down, Parisians are crazy jealous that they can't let loose like us crazy Americans.
There are no recipes in this book but there is everything else you might want to know about galavanting through France in a devil-may-care vagabond, spontaneous manner.
Le Road Trip is a book meant to be read front to back, back to front or open anywhere and be immensely amused and delighted.


  1. Carol...I can't tell you how many books I've bought because you featured them and this one is going on the looks so could do a book like this you know....

    bon weekend

  2. And don't forget her 1st book titled something like "When wanderers cease to Travel".

    1. I'll do her other book next week J.
      It's too much to cover in just 1 post.
      They are FAB aren't they!!

  3. This post is enchanting......captivated by the mini movies !!

  4. Debbie is absolutely right--I have bought so many of the books you recommend--Amazon should put you on commission!

    Thanks for this one,


  5. Lucinda2:19 PM

    Her work is wonderful!
    Thanks for the heads up
    she looks like a Vermeer painting herself!

  6. I love this post too..You had me from her passport photo..I think I had glasses like hers..:) Love your hair Mlle Vivian..the now one as I would love to let my locks go grey..but where does one start when it's long and not that much grey?
    Hopefully my day will come..
    Anyways..Yes Carol I agree.. you could do a charming book like this also..
    And thank you for this recommendation.I love the book to bits already.

    This is not a Kindle book..This is why I still buy real books:)

  7. Once again you have me going to the internet to buy another charming book about France. I was about to go broke until I found the Cara Black novels at the local library. This one with the watercolors is a must have, thanks so much for posting!

  8. Okay, I think I have another PB recommended book to purchase on Amazon!

  9. I love the ilustrations! Great drawings.
    Have a great weekend, Carol!

  10. Such a gorgeous, gorgeous book!

    (Is there a fine for luring so many of us to the shopping basket of that Great Bookshop on the Web???)


  11. Oh Carol (can you hear Chuck Berry?) yet again you've introduced me to an inspirational source.

    What about today's NYC heat...surely there will be nothing like this in Paris?


    1. Paris is NOT immune to high heat.
      AND there is not much AC to speak of there on the Metro or anywhere.
      Fans are the M.O. for people or else St. Tropez...

  12. I had discovered Le Road Trip at Barnes & Noble in NH. She is so honest & out there in her writing. I like, even better, When Wanderers Cease to Roam, even though it's not about France. I can see how you & she would connect, because you too are going to have one hell of a wonderful book. PS I gave a shout out to your blog in my latest, just written post.)

  13. Honestly? My favorite part of this whole post was the kitty. :)
    Eat Cake

  14. This looks wonderful. I love all the Art in it. You do find the best books to read. Thanks for sharing. :)Great post as usual.

  15. Ordered and I can't wait for it it arrive.

    1. Yay!!
      you won't be sorry Jojo
      Only delight awaits you : )

    2. I'm finishing Paris in Love now and I've started adding post-it flags and highlighting sections. Love, love, love! Thanks to your recommendations my summer reading is of to an incredible start!

  16. Gorgeous post Carol and what a gal is Vivian and not just because she has a cat in a basket on her desk!!! hit the road and stayed on it for 20 years Brava Vivian....what a wonderful life.
    Carla x

  17. Wow! Incredible!
    I LOVE LOVE LOVE it. And she has her own typeface???

    Carol, please do a book, so I can interview you, review it on my blog AND buy and feel inspired.

    On second thoughts, now I want to do a book as well... off I go to Amazon.

    Merci pour la inspiration dearest Carol x

  18. This looks delightful! I hadn't seen it, thank you, Carol, for sharing!

  19. I like her comments on Parisian mind... not false actually ... !

  20. Carol, I must echo ColorLiving's thoughts. . . .create a book!

    1. Of course I am working on it ...for like 3 years and I finally got it right but have much to do...


  21. I like this girl....she is a star!

  22. Just when I think I"ve broken my Paris/French addiction at Amazon, you feature this delight so my cart will have one more item today!

    Beautiful work!!

  23. It looks like a delightful book...

    But when are you going to do your own??

  24. Lois Bender, GardenSpiritsNY11:48 AM

    KINDRED SPIRITS.... Carol and Vivian, you make traveling "a tour de force" of experience.....
    traveling, journaling and blogging all about it .... it's a treasure chest of discoveries...
    So much to enjoy........L'Esprit des Artistes!

  25. LOVE this post. I too admire Vivian's intrepid travel skills and artistic style. Can't wait to read. You both are so inspiring.

    I just took my cat Lili with me on an 8-week road trip of coastal Oregon. She was great until decided she loved a certain oceanfront hotel room and didn't want to leave. I had to take a queen size bed apart...mattress and box springs against the wall to get her out! Then put all back together...and after running to a local dinner for bacon/bait failed. Quelle morning! Then caught in horrific coastal storm on endless narrow twisting road sang 'Tura Lura Lura' (or Too Ra Loo Ra Loo Ral) for an hour to quiet her! Thought my life was going to end on a blinding hairpin turn with me and the cat flying over the 1,000' drop in a rented Jeep and into the sea singing 'an Irish Lullaby.' Travelers....gotta love 'em. ;)

    1. parisbreakfast2:00 PM

      Le Road Trip Author Vivian (owner of NINE cats) will LOVE this story - must be the story of every day of her life...

  26. Geri, NJ1:37 PM

    I've been away for some time and rather than enjoy your posts on my phone, I decided to let them accumulate ~ so I've just spent a lovely time enjoying two weeks' worth of your posts comfortably at my desk. Where to begin...The haunting Macaron Movie music is playing in the background while I've thoroughly enjoyed everything from lunettes (my fave: Floridan Jazz, of course, since I was visiting in Miami after all!), books and film synopses, as well as the fun repost on eclairs, and the best of all, your awesome paintings. This was fun...glad to be back...

    1. I MISSED YOU Geri,NJ currently in Miami of all places
      ! ! !
      Love your comments :)

    2. Geri, NJ5:05 PM

      Oh! Thank you so much! (merci beaucoup??)

    3. Email me some time G
      Are you an optometrist in Somerset NJ?
      mystery Woman!

  27. I can't thank you enough for the wonderful post you did for my book. Readership of my blog was tripled on Friday and it was a KICK to see the leap in Amazon ratings -- all b/c of Paris Breakfasts, and your loyal and erudite readers!


  28. Just ordered my book:) I had found it on and put it in my wish list..It's now temp out of I bought it online at Chapters..Excited to get it:)

  29. I have to take - very politely - exception to Valerie's 'rule' that Parisiens don't want to know you! The only time i have been in Paris sans boyfriend on the last day of our visite, I had been sitting at a tres petite cafe table for only deux minutes before a charming young man asked if he could sit next to me and after a lovely discussion in his very bad English and my only slightly better French on music and life etc, he paid for my cafe au lait and i had to rush off to meet a friend....malheureusement :P (next time i am leaving the boyfriend at home altogether lol) so I think Parisiens can be VERY friendly ;0


Love hearing from you