While one of our lovely librarians vacations in Paris this week the rest of us are left here in the dreary fall weather to feel sorry for ourselves. And since I wasn’t quite envious enough I decided to read Lunch in Paris: A Love Story with Recipes by Elizabeth Bard. Now the Paris travel memoir/love story/ recipe book has been done to death, I know, and in some ways this book is not all that different but in other ways it is a breath of fresh air. Bard does fall for a Frenchman but she doesn’t necessarily fall for France or Paris for that matter. As a writer, art historian, and foodie she loves the idea of Paris but as a true blue New Yorker the slow walk through life that the French thrive on almost drives her nuts. When her father-in-law is diagnosed with stage IV cancer the cultural differences between her and her husband and his family are heartbreaking. As you watch her take back seat, after all this is not her father, and let them do things their way you feel her frustration and realize how different we face life’s challenges in our American culture. In the end this is a happy story about love, family, acceptance, and food (but of course) and an excellent departure from the “life is perfect over there” tradition.