Monday, May 6, 2013

Quiet Paris (With Special Reader Discount!)

(Image via Paris Imperfect)

With over 2 million residents and a whopping 42 million visitors each year, Paris tucks a lot of humanity into its 20 arrondissements. From the crowded Métro at 6pm to endless lines of people filing in and out of its landmarks, it's easy to feel overwhelmed in this city. (To note: I went to City Pharma one Tuesday afternoon and nearly had a panic attack from the masses of discount beauty-seeking women).

But Siobhan Wall sees beyond all that. The writer/photographer has the enviable job of traveling the globe in search of nooks and crannies of quiet and calm in the world's most famous cities. After gaining recognition for her books Quiet London and Quiet Amsterdam, Wall has taken on the City of Light with her third in the series, Quiet Paris.

Just looking at the cover makes me feel calm. Inside this petite book are hundreds of tips and addresses for Paris' most tranquil spots. But Wall reaches far beyond the obvious with Quiet Paris - in addition to secret gardens and hushed, historical libraries, Wall advises readers on the best quiet spots to stop for coffee or have a meal, peaceful hotels to find respite, and out-of-the-way boutiques that give an air of calm and will supply you with objects to continue your serene feeling all the way home.

"Walking around (Paris), I wondered whether we are now less familiar with losing our way and coming across places by benign accident rather than pre-ordained design, especially with the emergence of roaming technology," Wall writes in the introduction. Indeed, it has become too easy for us to avoid our fear and wander around a foreign city with our noses buried in guiding-light iPhones rather than getting lost and seeing what happens and where we end up. Quiet Paris celebrates those little spots we might otherwise miss, encouraging us to meander off the beaten path and tuck into the least-touristy places we can. As someone who regularly spends hours walking aimlessly, I can support that.

This lovely little book would makes a fabulous coffee table book or gift for a friend on his/her way to our fair city. Or even for that expat you know who's always complaining about tourists (that's all of us). You can buy Quiet Paris on Amazon, which I encourage you to do. But if you're in the UK and you wanna save a few bucks, Quiet Paris' publisher is offering Paris Cheapskate readers a special discount:
to order Quiet Paris at the special offer price of £10.00, call Bookpoint on 01235 400 400 and quote the code 46PARIS.


  1. sounds lovely! Any city needs this focus - must be heavenly for Siobhan to research her cities from this prism.

  2. Yes, It is a great job and I am gradually getting a bit fitter walking around cities. I do around 8 miles a day at the moment. It is difficult to stop finding quiet places, once you start, and when I went back to Paris for the launch recently, I heard of two other small gardens in Le Marais that I'd love to photograph. The great thing is that if you are in a quiet place, someone there invariably knows about another - so I have met some really lovely people on my travels, too. It was encouraging reading the nice review- thanks for that! Siobhan Wall

  3. Siobhan, thanks so much for chiming in! How interesting to hear your perspective, and I'm sure there have been a lot of unexpected side effects from this cool project. Good luck in your search for quiet places around the world.



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