The Seine: The River that Made Paris

Elaine Sciolino
May 13, 2021
★★★★★ (+26.90%) 🛈

This is a wonderful book, more for the format than the topic.

First, the topic – it’s about a river. The Seine starts in southern France and flow northward through Paris to the English Channel. The book is all about this river.

(I wasn’t actually interested in the topic, but there was a “Buy Two, Get One Free” sale, so I basically got a third book for free. This was the most interesting third one I could find.)

But it’s the format I loved. The author came up with chapters that each deal with a specific aspect of The Seine. Like, she considered it was a jewel and identified each facet of it. She asked herself, what all the individual topics you need to think about to really understand The Seine.

Each chapter is one of these topics. Variously –

The author does a lovely job keeping each chapter self-contained and centered around a particular topic, or aspect of the river. One imagines her making a “chapter list” then just writing an individual chapter a day or something. In every chapter, you know exactly what she’s talking about, so it’s easy to stay focused, and easy to pick up where you left off.

The resulting... gestalt, genuinely gives you a feel for the river. It’s peaked my interest in visiting, and I feel like I have a...360-degree view of the river, to over-use a hackneyed phrase.

This is item #15 in a sequence of 515 items.

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