AAPA member Harriet Welty Rochefort, author of “French Toast” and “French Fried”, continues her probing into the French way of life with her third book on the subject: “Joie de Vivre: Secrets of Wining, Dining, and Romancing Like the French” (St. Martin’s Press, Oct. 2012).

Analyzing the various forms that French expressions of joie de vivre take, she comes up with a few theories of her own.  For one thing, she writes, French joie de vivre doesn’t always turn up where you think it might. The French, she reports, find great “joie de vivre” when they squabble and shrug (which to Anglo-Saxons is basically inconceivable… mais bon). Unlike Americans for whom the “pursuit of happiness” is written into the constitution, the French don’t see joy or happiness as a birthright. Rather, they are happy – and surprised – when it comes.  Joie de vivre, she says, isn’t t even necessarily filled with joy.  A French person would rather have a chagrin d’amour than no amour at all, she says.

For Publishers Weekly: “Rochefort makes it hard to argue with a philosophy that advocates slowing your pace, being fully engaged by what’s in front of you and incorporating four-course meals into your week.”

Visit Harriet’s website at www.harrietweltyrochefort.com<http://www.harrietweltyrochefort.com>.