If I had to visit Paris with a traveling companion other than my wife, my choice might very well be author David Downie.
Reading Downie's A Passion for Paris: Romanticism and Romance in the City of Light(St. Martin's Press, 2015) is like strolling the city's boulevards with a funny, well-read, and wildly enthusiastic devotee. While many of us simply accept the notion that Paris is the world's most romantic city (guilty), Downie decided to ask "why?" His answer is a hybrid travel narrative, memoir, and history lesson that brings such notable Parisians as Baudelaire, Hugo, Balzac, and Sand into the dialogue as if they, too, are accompanying you.
Speaking of strolling the boulevards of Paris... When you put the book down and are ready to dive into the real Paris, you may want to book one of Downie's custom walking tours at Parisparistours.com.
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