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Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Latin Quarter by Margot Justes

I’m convinced that it’s time to go back to Paris, writing these blogs is a delight, but leaves me with a sense of longing to be there and revisit favorite places and discover new ones.

The Left Bank. The Latin Quarter. The collegiate pulse of Paris, and what a pulse it is.

The Latin Quarter so named because during the Middle Ages students attending the Sorbonne spoke Latin.

As in the rest of this remarkable city, the Latin Quarter has a vast architectural history and a history of political unrest, one worth mentioning was the 1968 student revolt, where even toilets were torn from the bathroom walls and destroyed.

This verve center never sleeps, the cafes are always brimming with students, and even now you get the sense of the bohemian life style.

To be sure you’ll hear discussions on the latest soccer scores, but you will also see games of chess being played, you’ll hear philosophical discussion, you’ll see students reading Voltaire, Zola, Rousseau and probably James Patterson while sipping their brew of choice.

The Sorbonne stands at the center, its creation dates back to 1253-see what I mean about history.

You’re in the intellectual center of Paris, but you’re also right smack in the urban center, vital and pulsing with life.

The Cluny Museum built on Roman Bath ruins, also known as the Middle Age Museum is filled with artifacts dating to the middle ages, among them exquisite illuminated manuscripts. You have the Pantheon that dates back to 1750, the Natural History Museum and also the Arab World Institute, a relative newcomer built in the 1980’s.

The Latin Quarter anchored (as it were) by Notre Dame, and the Seine at one end and the Luxembourg gardens at the other and so much in between.

Go off the beaten path, stray from Boulevard St. Michel and you may find yourself walking on uneven cobblestones, a maze of tiny streets that lead into others, one among many, is Rue de la Huchette, filled with beguiling multi national restaurants, just begging to sample their cuisine.

Till next time,
Margot Justes
http://margotsmuse.blogspot.com
www.mjustes.com
A Hotel in Paris ISBN 978-1-59080-534-3
Art brought her to Paris, then a stranger’s death changes her life.
Missing ISBN 978-1-59080-611 1
available on amazon.com

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Bundles of Books by Margot Justes

What a terrific title for a bookstore. It’s no secret that I loyally support independent bookstores. It’s a two way system, since I found quite a few support the small traditional independent publishers.

Bundles of Books (560 Crescent Blvd. Glen Ellyn, IL 60137 620/545-0069 requests@bundlesofbooks.us ) is just such a store. Books, books and more books, on three levels…all lovingly cared for by owner Rosemary and her very able assistant Dani.

I had a signing there last Saturday, along with our very own Morgan Mandel, Sherrill Bodine and Allie Pleiter. We were made to feel very welcome. Upon our arrival, tea, coffee, cookies and chocolate awaited us. Chocolate and romance go very well together. In fact romance and anything go well together, but I digress…

We were there for 4 hours and the time simply disappeared. We all sold a few books, caught up on the latest news, and generally had a fantastic time.

Bundle of Books has a very loyal following-the support seemed effortless, people walked in chatted, bought books and seemed very comfortable, as if at home visiting friends, who just happen to have shelves upon shelves of stacked books.

For the most part, Bundles of Books sells used books but you will find new books by local authors. I’m very grateful to have had the opportunity to introduce A Hotel in Paris.

Support for such a wonderful bookstore is the only way to keep it in business. So, if you’re in the area, even if it means going out of your way, please stop by and say hello and buy a book or two. I know I will be back.

Till next time,
Margot Justes
http://margotsmuse.blogspot.com
www.mjustes.com
A Hotel in Paris ISBN 978-1-59080-534-3
Art brought her to Paris, then a stranger’s death changes her life.
Missing ISBN 978-1-59080-611 1
available on amazon.com

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Printers Row by Margot Justes

Finally a week later, I can write legibly since my fingers have actually thawed from last Saturday. Okay, so I exaggerate-but it was cold, windy, and wet…and of course I was dressed for summer. Silly me.

Printers Row is exhausting, exhilarating and exciting. Many people stop by to say hello, browse and chat. Some even tell me they have a book in them-and I say-let it out.

Some others shy away from personal contact, but overall I found the attendees are readers, and more often than not will give a newbie a chance. I couldn’t ask for anything more.

While still others will stop by and say they don’t read-my response-really, and you’re at a literary festival?

The other comment I had heard a few times is ‘I don’t read fiction.’

To my way of thinking, it’s an incredible loss. Ideas, situations, plots, twists and turns, resolutions, the imagination necessary to create a work of fiction is never appreciated. A slant, a perspective on our ever changing society is never seen through the eyes of make believe for the non-fiction reader. The inspired descriptive process, the power of the creative word of fiction is completely obliterated.

In my humble opinion that is a tremendous loss, and very, very sad. Open the mind to exciting possibilities the world of fiction has to offer, a person might actually learn something.

Till next time,
Margot Justes
http://margotsmuse.blogspot.com
www.mjustes.com
A Hotel in Paris ISBN 978-1-59080-534-3
Art brought her to Paris, then a stranger’s death changes her life.
Missing ISBN 978-1-59080-611 1
available on amazon.com