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Bonjour, Happiness!

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3.46  ·  Rating Details ·  519 Ratings  ·  74 Reviews
French women didn't invent happiness. But they know a thing or two about joie de vivre--being alive to each delicious moment.

As a young girl, Jamie Cat Callan was fascinated by her French grandmother. Though she had little money, Jamie's grand-mère ate well, dressed well, and took joy in simple, everyday pleasures. As Jamie journeyed through France as an adult, she gained
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ebook, 240 pages
Published March 15th 2011 by Citadel (first published January 1st 2011)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Eustacia Tan
May 23, 2013 Eustacia Tan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
If I had to identify myself as a "country"-phile, I would probably use the word Japanophile. But, that doesn't mean books like these don't interest me! I've never really felt the whole "French women are somehow better" thing that the author seems to feel, but I am interested in a culture of women who have made such an impression that they are perceived as glamorous.

On the whole, I'm quite impressed with this book. I thought it was going to be a beauty and style secrets kind of book, but it tries
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Gabrielle
Feb 15, 2012 Gabrielle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012, non-fiction
Jamie Cat Callan's book, Bonjour, Happiness, was such a pleasant one to read. I picked it up because the title caught my eye and I figure everyone could use some more happiness in their life. And then last Monday I was having such a crappy day that when I finished reading Norwegian Wood I decided that Bonjour, Happiness would be next on the list. Maybe it could teach me a thing or two about how to avoid those kind of bad days or even if not how to avoid them, how to at least make them more toler ...more
Jen
Jul 19, 2011 Jen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sue
Jun 12, 2011 Sue rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A number of ideas presented but a very disorganized and scattered narrative. Overall, the book is a hyperbolic glorification of the author's paradigm of an idealistic French woman. . . with a rather odd sales pitch for Weight Watchers. In the final chapters, Callan begins to describe her own life's search for who she was and direction in her twenties while living in France and England. Here might lie an interesting story. However, as her 20-something self realizes she hasn't been true to herself ...more
Anna Lorraine Navarro
Jun 17, 2013 Anna Lorraine Navarro rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-faves
I SUPER LOVE THIS BOOK !!! I'm a little bit depressed at the time when I was reading this book, but this book made my days brighter; it inspired me A LOT!! It changed my view of life in general, this is a must read to those who like me have lost hope but still would want to help yourself stand up and face the world. Now I'm enjoying my life 'coz I completely learned what Joie de vivre means... and I'm living every moment of my life and every moment is simply perfect. Many Thanks to you Jamie Cat ...more
Sandra Soetanto
A writing based on the author’s experiences, observations and interviews, this book explains us on how French woman ‘invent’ their happiness in enjoying their daily life and worry less about things. The author especially compare the habit French women have with Americans (she is an American). Her simple writings, tips, and explanations invite the readers to take pleasure in present moments; and might be a gentle reminder for the women who has been drown in busy stressful moments in their life to ...more
Katie O'Sullivan
Mar 27, 2011 Katie O'Sullivan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was lucky enough to receive an advance copy of BONJOUR HAPPINESS, Jamie's second book about finding happiness the French way. While I enjoyed the first book, I really loved this one. I felt like I could relate to many of the simple, practical suggestions she made for finding joy and happiness in our everyday lives.

I would totally recommend this book, and am really looking forward to seeing Jamie speak this summer when she visits Cape Cod.
Lili
Mar 21, 2011 Lili rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lili by: Jamie Cat
Jamie does it again - although she's talking about the French, a lot of what she says explains why I was so happy in Colombia! Hopefully I'll be able to see her in person at the Bastille Day Event at Green Street Arts Center in Middletown CT this summer.
Iheartbooks Nugraeni
Cute book. light reading. After reading this, I want to look for a sweet-scented shampoo to be my signature scent.
Jackie
Vacation fluff. And that's OK.
Keila Gonzalez
Jan 21, 2014 Keila Gonzalez rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
won my free copy of "OOh, Lala" from Goodreads First Reads!
Thank you so much!
Kbtoy
Jul 27, 2012 Kbtoy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very sweet book that compares the American and French way of living.
Anne
Dec 26, 2016 Anne rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: france-french
Although not a fan of memoirs generally, I make an exception for those about time spent in France. This one had some interesting observations...now to make another trip to France myself to confirm them.
Laura
Feb 20, 2015 Laura rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: living-abroad
Bonjour, Happiness! is yet another of those 'live like the French' books that are so popular. Like many of the books in this genre it is a mixed bag.

The good - One thing I liked about the book is that Jamie Cat Callan seems to be a jolly and positive person. Her optimism comes through the page. I liked that fact that she thinks that you can improve your life no matter how old you are.

A lot of advice in this book is very good. Mainly value yourself, slow down and appreciate the little things. I
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Jennifer
Feb 13, 2015 Jennifer rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It’s a 350p book about enjoying the little things in life and how to be happy. She uses a lot of French references and quotes but this book really doesn't have a lot to do with France, just examples. The basic tone gets repeated over and over again, I get it, do what makes me happy, take a step back and enjoy the little things.
I’m still trying to understand why she made it French. She uses a lot of interviews which for the most part are pointless to me and just re-saying over and over again the
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Shawna Mason
Jun 17, 2015 Shawna Mason rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is my favorite ofJamie Cat Callan's books by far, probably because it is lifestyle based. It isn't just, "French women are..." She thoughtfully discusses what seems to bring JOY to the French (as an entire culture) and contrasts it with American ideology.

I'll be honest, I have become rather obsessed with reading about French Women after reading French Women Don't Get Fat by Mireille Guiliano. First it was food culture, all the cooking with fresh ingredients...the best I can afford to buy.
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M.
Jul 27, 2013 M. rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Reading about that elusive French chic or je ne sais quoi is my guilty pleasure. Such books are normally not highbrow, but pleasant enough to read and this is the case here too.
I think the author is a nice person, I liked her for many little things: for how she was trying to find her friend's apartment in Paris after an overnight flight, for the confession that she was wearing her sexy dress in her backyard only. I liked her way of brewing coffee. I liked her openness and positive attitude. How
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Cameron Toney
Its a character trait of mine that I cannot pass up a how-to-be-French book. I keep falling right into their warm and friendly embrace, and I feel no shame about this.
The advice in these sort of books is always the same- indulge in moderation in all things, be true to yourself, invest in good things, take joy in small things in life. Every how-to-be-French book I've read champions these qualities, with varying levels of specificity.
But its good advice, and leaves me feeling recharged, re-center
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Samantha Verant
May 09, 2013 Samantha Verant rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was lucky to receive an advanced reader copy of Jamie Cat Callan's delightful book Ooh La La: French Women's Secrets to Feeling Beautiful Everyday. Part memoir, part self-improvement guide, Jamie's charming voice sings off the page. Seriously, it's like reading a book written by your best friend-- one you go to advice for. From sex to lingerie to finding the perfect perfume, Jamie is honest and open, no subject taboo. While it's clear Jamie certainly has an affinity for all things French, and ...more
Bookworm
Eh. I read her first book and found this book to be more of the same. The author talks about what it is that makes French women French. It is, however, presented in a Francophile way--a little too shiny and clean for my tastes. I liked the mostly upbeat tone of the book and really appreciated the little focus on her own personal life. She mentions her past here and there, but not enough to become very annoying, thankfully.

The author discusses what women do, from flirting, to throwing dinner par
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Janet
May 28, 2011 Janet rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is basically "The Power Of Now" in nice lingerie. The secret of happiness is to enjoy the small stuff--no surprise, but always good to hear, especially interesting in its French cultural setting. It's epicurian, but not in the fake car-ad, Godiva chocolate way, but in the way Epicurus imagined--training oneself to enjoy the simple things, water, bread--not piggish consumption of luxury goods. I love Jamie Callan's enthusiasm and her openness--I used to teach with her at UCLA extension and t ...more
LemontreeLime
Very sweet! A little different direction than the previous book, and maybe a tad repetitive, but it was all done for the cause. The focus for this is quality of life, and actually enjoying it too. (reminds me of the phrase 'have your cake and eat it too.' which never made any sense to me because, well why else would you _have_ the cake in the first place if not to eat it?) But i digress... Anyhow, the French people seem to love their lives more, and Ms. Callan goes in search for the way, or the ...more
Margaux
Mar 09, 2014 Margaux rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, modern, humor
I have to say. Really? This was probably the most self-involved book I've ever read. I literally can't handle it. Every chapter starts out the exact same way: she met ___(Insert famous French person here)____ and that woman imparted some kind of self-actualizing advice. Like, "French women appreciate their perfume" and did you know "French people don't do plastic!"? Well they don't. And in case you forget, this author will tell you ten times.
Lynda Young
Sep 16, 2012 Lynda Young rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am fasinated with the differences between the North American way of life ..... We love lots of "stuff". Where the Europeans have a completely different view
My favorite book Was Entre Nous .....but Bonjour Happiness is a close second .
As I approach retirement I'm looking for a more simple life but lived with style.
Kathy
Aug 02, 2011 Kathy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ms. Callan takes an interesting tack in equating the French way of living with Zen Buddhism. There is a certain allure in the idea but still a bit of a stretch. I was surprised to find out that she is a year older than I, her writing seemed that of a much younger woman. I mean this in a good way, not critical and yet, the book is also a little unsophisticated in it's writing and presentation.
Leigh
Nov 20, 2011 Leigh rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are pieces of this book that are quite fun to read, but Callan was unable to keep my attention and make her prose interesting enough to help me finish this little book off. It lay on my nightstand for months untouched and then I would read a chapter or two here and there, but never felt compelled to get back to it very quickly.
Shaney
May 20, 2012 Shaney rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read this in one sitting, underneath the shade of a park tree. The book is more of a charming memoir, and when I finished the last page, I felt uplifted and hopeful. I copied a few of the recipes out of the book, and made a note to buy red cowboy boots, a crisp, white shirt, a nice red lipstick and better shampoo. There are some days I put a prime on books that can move me this way.
Sherry Conrad
A lighthearted little romp, but I totally disagree with the author's take that french women don't care about their size- they have more eating disorders than we do.

They also have huge self esteem issues, they are just better at pretending.

If you overlook these facts, the *lessons* the author learned from her grandmother and others are things that could help one feel better about themselves.
Staci
Sep 03, 2013 Staci rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Very foofy. Not my thing. There are way more interesting and better-written books out there on the subject of the French attitude and *je ne sais quoi.*. I'm sure many women will draw inspiration from this book, however, and what the author says is true. The SMILESMILESMILE delivery just put me off, though.
Diane
Mar 22, 2012 Diane rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I started off enjoying this book. Then it got into fashion (high heels and boots) and weight loss tips which kinda put me off. She kept refering to "your grandmother's pearls" which also put me off. The women she met in France were interesting. She writes with humor and had some good advice in finding happiness in the moment and to treasure the little miracles you find everyday.
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Jamie Cat Callan is the author of "Bonjour, Happiness!" and the wildly successful "French Women Don't Sleep Alone." Inspired by her beautiful and elegant French grandmother, Jamie has traveled all over France, interviewing hundreds of women to uncover their secrets to simple, authentic pleasures, including how to stay stylish at any age, how to enjoy more with less and how we too can find our joie ...more
More about Jamie Cat Callan...

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“Joie de vivre is about loving life, loving people, loving to be alive, feeling alive. It is about smiling, being in your heart, and being grateful for all the beautiful things in your life: being in good health, being able to hear, to see, to walk, being grateful for all the lovely and loving people...” 11 likes
“This is the essence of French joie de vivre. It is a gesture. An experience. It is the fleeting moment in time that can never be repeated and must be appreciated now before it flies away, gone forever.

It's about being present and alive to the ordinary moment. It's about friendship and the knowledge that nothing lasts forever. It is Zen. And for the Frenchwoman, I believe, it is the heart of happiness.”
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