Joie: A Parisian's Guide to Celebrating the Good Life (Hardcover)
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Embrace the joy of Paris wherever you live with American expat Ajiri Aki, founder of the French lifestyle brand Madame de la Maison.
“More than being a terrific guide to the city, it’s a thoroughly comprehensive guide to better living.”—Chioma Nnadi, editor of Vogue online
The French are known for their joie de vivre—celebrating the simple things—a philosophy that tastemaker Ajiri Aki embraced all of her American life. As a child, she frequently tried to convince her Nigerian-Jamaican mother to pull out the fine china for everyday meals or when hosting friends. Her mother always said she was waiting for a special occasion, which sadly never came before she passed away when Ajiri was only twelve. Ajiri promised herself she would never hesitate to use her treasured pieces. When she moved to Paris, France, as an adult, she learned how central that idea is to French life, and she also began to absorb other essential lessons from her new friends: treat yourself to fresh flowers just because, take time to source the best baguette, and perhaps most importantly, enjoy être—just being.
In this beautifully photographed volume of everything French, Ajiri shares what she’s learned about living in Paris—from hosting the perfect apéro (happy hour) to lingering around town like a flâneur (loafer) to thrifting for antiques at the market. While exploring the prettiest cafes and shops, you’ll be inspired to reclaim your right to leisure as the French have, so you, too, can savor the spontaneous, joyful moments that happen every day.
About the Author
Ajiri Aki is the co-author of Where’s Karl? and has worked as a stylist and on fashion exhibitions for the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of the City of New York. After moving to Paris, Ajiri started her successful design business, Madame de la Maison, a rental company and online boutique. She still lives in Paris, now with her husband and two children.
“In Joie, the secrets to that enviable way of being—la belle vie Parisienne—are decoded in a language that we can all understand, with practical tips and philosophical musings that only locals are privy to. More than being a terrific guide to the city, it's a thoroughly comprehensive guide to better living.”—Chioma Nnadi, editor of Vogue online
“When seeking inspiration for how to live life beautifully, you have to look to someone whose aesthetic and very way of life not only inspires joy but is effortlessly beautiful and a thing of substance. Ajiri Aki is that person, and her book Joie is not only inspiring but a practical insight into French life as seen through her magnificently stylish eyes. A must-read for its visual impact as well as for Ajiri's engaging storytelling.”—Paula Sutton, author of Hill House Living
“Ajiri Aki's Joie is not only a visual and inspirational masterpiece, but a well-rounded window into the French way of life. Aki highlights the lessons that each reader can apply to their own lives with engaging storytelling, personal anecdotes, and practical advice. La belle vie, indeed!”—Lindsey Tramuta, journalist and author of The New Paris and The New Parisienne
“A true insider's guide to Paris. Ajiri Aki generously spills the secrets of everything from cheese etiquette to how to host an apéro. I loved seeing Paris—and Parisians—through her eyes.”—Pamela Druckerman, author of Bringing Up Bébé and There Are No Grown-ups
“Ajiri understands the nuances of a fabulous French life and the meaning of seizing beauty and joy with an equal amount of zeal.”—Jessie Kanelos Weiner, illustrator and co-author of Paris in Stride
“So many people are searching for joy and are unsure of where to find it, but Ajiri brings us front and center to the simplicity of joy in all the things and people around us. Ajiri reminds us we don't have to wait for ‘the right time’ to explore the things we love, and this book is an invitation to luxuriate in the beauty of life. Everyone needs this book.”—Yasmine Cheyenne, author of The Sugar Jar