Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Paris Letters” as Want to Read:
Paris Letters
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Paris Letters

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  4,802 ratings  ·  674 reviews
“How much money does it take to change your life?”

Unfulfilled at her job and unsuccessful in the dating department, Janice MacLeod doodled this question at her desk. Then she decided to make it a challenge.

Over the next few months, with a little math and a lot of determination, she saved up enough to buy two years of freedom in Europe.

But she had only been in Paris for a
Paperback, 272 pages
Published February 4th 2014 by Sourcebooks (first published January 1st 2014)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Paris Letters, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Ginny Yes. They are in black and white and are beautiful.
A Walk in the Woods by Bill BrysonInto the Wild by Jon KrakauerEat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth GilbertInto Thin Air by Jon KrakauerIn a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson
Favourite Travel Books
1,748 books — 4,010 voters
A Year in Provence by Peter MayleAll the Light We Cannot See by Anthony DoerrMy Life in France by Julia ChildA Moveable Feast by Ernest HemingwayMadeline by Ludwig Bemelmans
Life in France
247 books — 63 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.84  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,802 ratings  ·  674 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Mar 22, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: irritating
There is a certain type of story which I love love love (love love). It involves a woman, usually a journalist or a writer, moving to Paris and falling in love, both with the city and with the man of her dreams. These stories always involve lots of cheese and bread, amusing descriptions of adapting to French life (the kitchens are so small! Women are so good at wearing scarves!) and, always, at the end there is a moment when the journalist/writer realises she is perfectly, truly happy. My favour ...more
Apr 19, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't really know what to expect when I opened this book (I never read the synopsis). The title is what drew me to it. I read it in 1.5 days. Paris Letters made me feel happiness and hope, it gave me inspiration, encouragement and advice. I found it enjoyable because I can really relate to Janice, I love art, painting, letter writing and adventure. I could actually see myself doing what Janice has done. It really inspired me. At the moment I'm stuck completing my degree, not earning much mone ...more
Jan 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Maybe it was because I read most of Paris Letters while on a quick jaunt (48 hrs!) to Paris. Or, maybe it is because I'm between jobs and dream of running away and doing something entirely different. But, I really enjoyed this book, which read like a fantasy, but was in fact the author's reality. I will use some of what I learned as a future Paris travel guide and some as a guide for life.
Katie Lawrence
Jan 08, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed, nonfiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Unhappy because she only gets two weeks off work per year from her once-a-dream-job-no-longer-is-job, a 30-something decides to sell all her things, quit her job and move to Europe a la Eat, Pray, Love. It sounds like the makings of a good story, but the difference here is that Janice Macleod isn't the tortured, heartbroken soul that Elizabeth Gilbert was. There was no colossal break-up or some other tragic event that spurred her into action. No, Macleod is just incensed because she only gets tw ...more
Shelleyrae at Book'd Out

With a single suitcase in hand, former Californian copywriter Janice Macleod abandons her stultifying career and heads off to Europe sharing her journey in this memoir, Paris Letters.

Thirty four and single Macleod realised that despite her successful career as middle management in an advertising agency affording her a (more than) comfortable lifestyle, she was dissatisfied with her life. In 2010 inspired by The Artist's Way written by Julie Cameron and a comment from a colleague, Janice began m
Felicia (Little Prairie Library)
This was a lovely adventure, and totally inspiring to the artist lurking inside. Maybe someday I will quit my job, but probably only visit Paris.

Re-read May 2016 - I enjoyed this just as much upon a second read. I love everything about this book; her journey into minimalism and being frugal to get out of debt, travelling to Paris, learning French, embracing her artist-self, and falling in love. I really hope that Janice MacLeod will write another book soon, I want to know more of her story!
Feb 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
Have you ever wanted to leave your crappy job and just get away? That's the dream for many of us and Janice MacLeod's "Paris Letters" is not only a way to escape from the daily drudgery of office life, it's a kick in the pants to actually do it yourself.

MacLeod's story starts off with her time working a job she doesn't like, failing in the dating department and wishing for a life somewhere else. By cutting costs and following her dream we see that not only is it possible to live the dream, it's
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Jan 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: france

There are lots of reasons that you shouldn’t bother reading this review of Paris Letters if you really want to read an honest review. I can’t write honest reviews of books that are set in Paris. I can’t write honest reviews of books that have illustrations. And this book has both. I love wholeheartedly books about Paris. Even awful ones. I love wholeheartedly books with illustrations. Even awful ones. Paris Letters is set in Paris and Paris Letters has illustrations.

I loved Paris Letters.

So you’
Nov 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
I love memoirs, and I love France, so this book was right up my alley. I didn't know when I started the book that there would also be a sizeable section at the beginning of the book on uncluttering, which is also something I love. The author starts paring down her possessions in preparation for quitting her day job and having an adventure. Happily, reading that section coincided with my husband being out of town, so I was free to let the inspiration of the book spur me to pull everything out of ...more
Sep 21, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: culture-travel
Its a Parisian sex and the city. Bit delusional. Its a good view into the head of the type of woman I dislike. "Why did you change the floor of MY apartment after I told you not to?, Her answer: because it makes me happy and I want to be happy"

The book starts of well, I think it falls apart once she meets the guy and it becomes a chick flick.
3.5 stars
*** Review rewritten ***
I saw this book on sale and picked it up just because I found the blurb and cover interesting. I was not disappointed with my choice. I wish I could relocate to a different country and start my life all over again, make new friends and find a new profession (I have already done it once :) ). If you love to travel, you should definitely read this book. The author talks about her trips to Paris and also about her UK and Italy trip. I felt like packing my bag and ca
Lauren K
Mar 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
“How much money does it take to change your life?”

That’s the question that prompted Canadian copywriter Janice to completely overhaul her life, make a plan and work at her dream to pay for her own European sabbatical. Working in a corporate firm, Janice is fed up with her job and dreams of packing up her home, submitting her resignation and jumping on a flight to Europe for an adventure. She realises there’s a lot of hard work ahead of her to get to that point but she admirably commits to her go
Mina De Caro (Mina's Bookshelf)
Read the full article complete of photos and photo contest details on MINA'S BOOKSHELF

What a delightful read! A memoir, a travel log, a romance, a self-help guide, all rolled into one exquisite and delicate confection. I breezed my way through Janice MacLeod's graceful, intimate, and humorous writing, almost oblivious to the fact that what I was reading was a piece of non-fiction. Paris Letters, in fact, hardly reads as a biography as it features all the
Jun 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
sebuah catatan: dilarang membaca ini bila kamu sedang mengalami kebosanan dalam pekerjaanmu karena dijamin kamu pasti bakal pengen ikutan resign juga T_T

saya mengira tadinya akan dikecewakan sama buku ini. tapi ternyata enggak. saya suka cerita di tiap bab-nya. semacam membaca diary dan berdialog dengan diri sendiri gitu. dan ah, di buku ini pun membahas seni beberes juga ya. marie kondo lofers memang ada dimana-mana.

seperti yang sudah saya jabarkan di catatan pertama, setelah membaca ini
Sep 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
A charming, well-written and well-illustrated memoir that reads as entertainingly as a novel. This book will make you stop and think about your own life and where it's headed. And quite possibly make you wish it were headed in the direction of Paris.
Jill Kleis
Jan 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2014
I've read a lot of memoirs set in Paris, and this one is now among my favorites. A delightful story of falling in love with a man, a city, and her true self.
Camille Maio
Mar 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was an exceptional memoir about Paris, better than many out on the market. I appreciated the authors practical and relatable way that she saved to quit her job and travel through Europe while she decided what to do next. But in Paris, she found unexpected love, and what unfolded in that was charming and compelling. I can't wait to read her follow-up!
Rhiannon Johnson
Jul 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Read my entire review here:

What a dreamy story. Who wouldn't love to take a two year sabbatical to Paris? *sigh* The love story is sweetly awkward and there is just enough divulged to be funny and romantic but not over-the-top fiascos like Bridget Jones. The most swoon-worthy parts were the descriptions of the parks, people, and the pastries. The title Paris Letters had me thinking that there would be a long distance love story of some kind at the beginni
Lizzie Harwood
Feb 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I loved this. What a sweet read. And funny. And simply wonderful. Ms. MacLeod-Lik has a special voice to her prose that's charming and inviting. I'd love to read the next installment about where her life takes her from here. I'm recommending this to my Canadian mom who is also from Ontario. Wonderful positivity.
Feb 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful and inspiring tale. Beautifully written and full of the same passion and vibrancy for life that one would expect to find on the streets of Paris. Can't recommend it enough. It truly uplifted my spirit and made me want to get out there and make some positive changes in my life.
Jan 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Such a great story, told with humor and care. I felt like I was reading letters from a very good friend, there to share with me her insight on life, love, work, and of course Paris.
Jan 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Oh how I loved this book! Janice does an amazing job of weaving her life from junk mail writer to artist in Paris, including a love story that feels like it's own true life romance novel.

One of the things I truly appreciated is that she shared HOW she did it, from a practical point of view and that included taking a while before jumping on a plane. She had a plan! Made active choices! And followed her dream, and her heart. So inspiring!

I read this via Kindle, and I also really appreciated that
May 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nice read. Now, in saying that, I don't mean to be smug or condescending but as I was finishing this one, I was simultaneously finishing Adam Smith's "The Wealth of Nations". So, as you can imagine, I've been waiting for the opportunity to be smug AND condescending. And, you know, it is just as satisfying as I pretended to not imagine it would be.

I read "Paris Letters" to "prime the pump", if you will, a term I invented a few days ago, for an upcoming trip to, you'll never guess, Paris. You can
Danielle Wells
Oct 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I have discovered that I love to read memoirs about travel and lifestyle. Because of that and my great love for Paris, I found this book to be extremely appealing. It's a slow meander through someone's Journey 2 her dream of travel and exiting the corporate world for good. Along the way she finds love, adventure, a new career and a new way of living. If you liked Julia Child's my life in France you would enjoy this!
Karen O'Brien-Hall
Jan 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
“How much money does it take to change your life?”
Janice McLeod sat at her desk doodling this question on her notebook. In her mid 30s, a successful copywriter, Janice is nonetheless dissatisfied with her life. You see she has always wanted to be an artist.
Deciding that $100 per day in savings is needed to allow her to take a year away from work; she sets about saving that amount. I found it very interesting how Janice went about doing just that, successfully I might add.
Starting out small, she
Feb 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: france, paris, travel
In this book Janice takes us with her on a journey, but it is not just her physical journey from Canada/US to Europe, but also her journey of discovering what is important in life. Do possessions and money really make you happy or is it love, friendship and freedom? Janice is a firm believer in it being the latter and I have to agree with her. She isn’t happy with her life, but rather than stick with routine she sets about organising herself to save the funds to travel and paint in Europe. She h ...more
Feb 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I read a lot of books about Paris. I love studying the French culture and people's experiences in living in France, particularly expats. Paris Letters is one such book. It is the author's story, of how she quit her copy editing job, sold her possessions in California, and planned for a year of travelling Europe only to find love in Paris with a French-Polish butcher. Her story may sound a bit far fetched (really? quitting your job and bumming around Europe), but she writes about it in a way that ...more
Aug 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I really loved this memoir! Not only was it about Paris, which is one of my new favorite places since we visited this summer, but it was also inspiring. I don't have any desire to quit my job and move to Europe (at the moment), but the idea that we should live our lives doing exactly what we want rather than what we think we should is so compelling. In addition, the way that Janice decluttered her life in preparation for leaving everything behind really hit home for me, since I am literally kept ...more
Stephanie Turk
Sep 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
To leave daily responsibilities behind and move to Paris for a year? Ooh La La. What a life!
Paris Letter was such a delightful travel memoir, and is a reminder to all of us that life is what you make of it. It reminds us to live like those in Europe: to work is merely a way to afford life, but does not define how you live! Paris Letters is such a breath of fresh air- I truly felt like I was experiencing life alongside her and felt far removed from the hustle and bustle of my daily life. I could
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
The Book Travelers: June 2016 -- Paris Letters, by Janice Macleod 8 3 Jun 20, 2016 09:51AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Seven Letters from Paris
  • The Venice Experiment: A Year of Trial and Error Living Abroad
  • A Family in Paris: Stories of Food, Life and Adventure
  • Pancakes in Paris: Living the American Dream in France
  • We'll Always Have Paris: Sex & Love in the City of Light
  • We'll Always Have Paris: A Mother/Daughter Memoir
  • Tout Sweet: Hanging Up My High Heels For A New Life In Rural France
  • Forever Paris: 25 Walks in the Footsteps of the City's Most Illustrious Figures
  • French Illusions: My Story as an American Au Pair in the Loire Valley (Book 1)
  • Mediterranean Summer: A Season on France's Côte d'Azur and Italy's Costa Bella
  • Paris, Paris: Journey into the City of Light
  • Paris, I Love You but You're Bringing Me Down
  • Le Road Trip: A Traveler's Journal of Love and France
  • Confessions of a Paris Party Girl
  • My Grape Escape
  • A Town Like Paris: Falling in Love in the City of Light
  • My (Part-Time) Paris Life: How Running Away Brought Me Home
  • Best Foot Forward
See similar books…
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »
“...the only way to happiness is to find people with whom you can eat, drink and laugh. That is everything” 15 likes
“Immediately, I had the unpleasant realization that I was, in fact, living my dream life, but it was a dream life I had created after I graduated university when I didn’t know any better. I grew up; my dreams did not.” 5 likes
More quotes…