If you are a foodie and Francophile, or if you like a rags-to-riches story, you should arm yourself with a strong cup of coffee and a croissant, curl up in an armchair, and tuck into Craig Carlson’s memoir, Pancakes in Paris. A bit like Gabrielle Hamilton of Blood, Bones and Butter, Carlson starts life treading the dysfunction of his family. Fending for himself from an early age set the stage for the herculean task he later took on: opening an American diner in Paris. With very little restaurant background and about as much French business acumen, but a lot of enthusiasm, Carlson set off to bring to Paris what they didn’t know they needed: good old American breakfast. With many bumps along the way, brushes with the law, and a severe lack of cash, Carlson brought American comfort food to the French. And since this takes place in France, there are loves lost and won along the way. Pancakes in Paris is a quintessential American tale, big and brash and filled with charm.
–Tracey T., Powells.com
If this doesn’t have you crooning the title to the tune of “April in Paris,” I don’t know what will. May I get pancakes with a side of crêpes? Find this book (and maybe some breakfast cookbooks and travel guides while you’re at it) at Powell’s and other independent bookstores. Please wash the syrup off your fingers before you browse.