Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Bridges of Paris

Bridges of Paris by Michael Saint James
Citron Bay Press, May 15, 2015
Hardcover review copy, 280 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1928595502
Bridges of Paris is a large-format coffee-table book, with over 350 original color photographs, which casts new illumination on the City of Light. The 37 bridges over the Seine River emerge as beautiful, historic destinations rather than unnoticed thoroughfares. The book features stunning portraits of each bridge as well as intimate riverside moments. Once you’ve experienced this river tour, you will never see Paris the same way again.
Living as a Parisian for a year, author Michael Saint James left his American lifestyle and spent his days and nights capturing images from over, on, beside and under the bridges of Paris. With over 30 years experience as a photographer, educator and world traveler, Michael immersed himself in French culture to search out his authentic artist self. The result is a visual treasure to share with everyone.
My Thoughts:

Bridges of Paris by Michael Saint James is a very highly recommended absolutely gorgeous collection of 355 photographs in a large format coffee table book. Everyone who has walked through my living room has been totally enraptured for weeks by the photographs in this book.

Michael Saint James includes all the information and organization I could possibly wish for along with the photos. You need to visit his website for a taste of the book, photos, and the list of bridges. He opens with an introduction and then a historical panorama of the building of the bridges. The bridges are organized by Island Bridges, Palace Bridges, Downstream Bridges, and Upstream Bridges. Included are maps of Paris, an index, bibliography Then we get to the pages and pages of luscious photographs.

At the beginning of each section you will see a satellite map showing and naming all the bridges. Then the individual bridge is named again on another satellite map at the opening of the section for that specific bridge. Vital statistics are included: when the first bridge in this location was built, when the current bridge was opened, the length, width, how many arches, and what the bridge is used for  -pedestrians and/or traffic and a brief history. It is absolutely an ideal way to present and organize the information and the photos of the bridges.

I went through and bookmarked individual photos I loved or found stunning and found that I could show you several that are on the website for Bridges of Paris

Oh, just look at every bridge in the Island Bridges section
I loved the Pont Saint-Michel photo.
Pont Alexandre III
Pont de l'Alma
Petit d'lena (the gateway to the Eiffel Tower)
Passerelle Simone-de-Beauvoir (a visually dynamic new bridge for pedestrian traffic)
There is one small photo of the author crossing the first bridge on the Seine near Source de la Seine in Burgundy that  found delightful, although it's not officially a bridge in Paris.

Truly Bridges of Paris captures la joie de vivre (the joy of life).

Just a note in passing: Normally review copies are rather plain. The covers may not be final yet, sometimes photos and maps are simple noted with a place holder. I usually file them out of sight on a bookcase near my desk before reading them. I was surprised to receive an exquisite review copy of
Bridges of Paris, with an impressive cover photo and then full of pages of gorgeous color photographs. I immediately placed it on my coffee table, with the thought that such a beautiful book with such sumptuous photographs was meant to be shared. It was a magnet for everyone who walked in to the room and I lost count of the number of times I heard the words "gorgeous photos!"

Disclosure: I received an advanced reading copy of this book from the publisher and iRead Book Tours for review purposes. 

iRead Book Tour stops

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