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“This may be the most original cross-species love story I’ve ever read. Part travelogue, part recovery memoir, and one hundred percent compelling.” —Gwen Cooper, author of the New York Times bestselling Homer's Odyssey: A Fearless Feline Tale, or How I Learned About Love and Life with a Blind Wonder Cat “[An] epiphany-provoking gem of a story, skillfully crafted, vivid and “This may be the most original cross-species love story I’ve ever read. Part travelogue, part recovery memoir, and one hundred percent compelling.” —Gwen Cooper, author of the New York Times bestselling Homer's Odyssey: A Fearless Feline Tale, or How I Learned About Love and Life with a Blind Wonder Cat “[An] epiphany-provoking gem of a story, skillfully crafted, vivid and rich with feeling.” —Richard Blanco, Presidential Inaugural Poet and author of The Prince of los Cocuyos: A Miami Childhood “A stunning, exceptional memoir from a woman who truly understands and appreciates birds . . . A captivating, heart-warming tale and a delightful, inspiring read.” —Joanna Burger, author of The Parrot Who Owns Me: The Story of a Relationship An avian expert and poet shares a true story of beloved birds, a remarkable grandfather, a bad-girl youth—and an astonishing redemption Nikki Moustaki, author of The Bird Market of Paris, grew up in 1980s Miami, the only child of parents who worked, played, and traveled for luxury sports car dealerships. At home, her doting grandmother cooked for and fed her, but it was her grandfather—an evening-gown designer, riveting storyteller, and bird expert—who was her mentor and dearest companion. Like her grandfather, Nikki fell hard for birds. "Birds filled my childhood," she writes, "as blue filled the sky." Her grandfather showed her how to hypnotize chickens, sneak up on pigeons, and handle baby birds. He gave her a white dove to release for luck on each birthday. And he urged her to, someday, visit the bird market of Paris. But by the time Nikki graduated from college and moved to New York City, she was succumbing to alcohol and increasingly unable to care for her flock. When her grandfather died, guilt-ridden Nikki drank even more. In a last-ditch effort to honor her grandfather, she flew to France hoping to visit the bird market of Paris to release a white dove. Instead, something astonishing happened there that saved Nikki’s life.


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“This may be the most original cross-species love story I’ve ever read. Part travelogue, part recovery memoir, and one hundred percent compelling.” —Gwen Cooper, author of the New York Times bestselling Homer's Odyssey: A Fearless Feline Tale, or How I Learned About Love and Life with a Blind Wonder Cat “[An] epiphany-provoking gem of a story, skillfully crafted, vivid and “This may be the most original cross-species love story I’ve ever read. Part travelogue, part recovery memoir, and one hundred percent compelling.” —Gwen Cooper, author of the New York Times bestselling Homer's Odyssey: A Fearless Feline Tale, or How I Learned About Love and Life with a Blind Wonder Cat “[An] epiphany-provoking gem of a story, skillfully crafted, vivid and rich with feeling.” —Richard Blanco, Presidential Inaugural Poet and author of The Prince of los Cocuyos: A Miami Childhood “A stunning, exceptional memoir from a woman who truly understands and appreciates birds . . . A captivating, heart-warming tale and a delightful, inspiring read.” —Joanna Burger, author of The Parrot Who Owns Me: The Story of a Relationship An avian expert and poet shares a true story of beloved birds, a remarkable grandfather, a bad-girl youth—and an astonishing redemption Nikki Moustaki, author of The Bird Market of Paris, grew up in 1980s Miami, the only child of parents who worked, played, and traveled for luxury sports car dealerships. At home, her doting grandmother cooked for and fed her, but it was her grandfather—an evening-gown designer, riveting storyteller, and bird expert—who was her mentor and dearest companion. Like her grandfather, Nikki fell hard for birds. "Birds filled my childhood," she writes, "as blue filled the sky." Her grandfather showed her how to hypnotize chickens, sneak up on pigeons, and handle baby birds. He gave her a white dove to release for luck on each birthday. And he urged her to, someday, visit the bird market of Paris. But by the time Nikki graduated from college and moved to New York City, she was succumbing to alcohol and increasingly unable to care for her flock. When her grandfather died, guilt-ridden Nikki drank even more. In a last-ditch effort to honor her grandfather, she flew to France hoping to visit the bird market of Paris to release a white dove. Instead, something astonishing happened there that saved Nikki’s life.

30 review for The Bird Market of Paris: A Memoir

  1. 4 out of 5

    Bonnie

    My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars ​’Birds had filled my world the way blue filled sky, with a wholeness so natural that an existence without them seemed a perverse impossibility.’​ The Bird Market of Paris​ is​ a memoir detailing the author’s experience growing up in the 1980’s in Miami, Florida. ​Her parents traveled frequently for business so Nikki spent the majority of her time being raised by her grandparents. Her grandfather, whom she called Poppy, became a close companion to her at an early age My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars ​’Birds had filled my world the way blue filled sky, with a wholeness so natural that an existence without them seemed a perverse impossibility.’​ The Bird Market of Paris​ is​ a memoir detailing the author’s experience growing up in the 1980’s in Miami, Florida. ​Her parents traveled frequently for business so Nikki spent the majority of her time being raised by her grandparents. Her grandfather, whom she called Poppy, became a close companion to her at an early age and was the one that shared his lifelong accumulation of bird knowledge with her. He taught her how to properly care for them, how to identify them and most importantly how to appreciate them and love them. He also told her the most vibrant stories of his travels across the globe, but the one story that stood out most for her was his descriptions of the Bird Markets in Paris and she vowed to go there someday to experience it firsthand. I adored the small stories within these pages. The story of how her Poppy would get her a dove every birthday and that they would release it thus ensuring another year of peace until the next birthday dove. The story of how Nikki obtained Bonk, a baby lovebird that caused her desire to care for all the featured creatures to grow. This part of the tale reminded me greatly of a favorite memoir of mine, Wesley the Owl, which details the tremendous bond that develops between bird and human. Other stories weren’t quite as ebullient though. The story of the devastating hurricane that ravaged her house causing her an all-consuming guilt over the deaths of many of her birds that never quite dissipated. And when she lost her grandfather and her alcoholism quickly earned the upper-hand. The stories themselves were compelling enough but it was the authors’ skillful writing that truly captivated me. ​The Bird Market of Paris is a​n incredibly poignant memoir ​that explores Moustaki’s deep adoration for her grandfather, for birds and her unfortunate decline into alcoholism. The ravaging effects it had on her were thoughtful,raw and brutally depicted​. ​Nikki Moustaki’s story is an intensely affecting and emotional tale that is quite unforgettable. I received this book free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Carol

    The Bird Market of Paris by Nikki Moustaki is a story of a young woman with her struggle with alcoholism and her passion for birds. I am a bird lover so I immediately picked this book and was not disappointed. The experiences that she tells of are stark and raw. Alcohol took over her life. In contrast to that she has a beautiful memories of her grandfather, Poppy and his countess telling about the bird markets of Paris. Bird loving ran in her family for generations and she loves them with all he The Bird Market of Paris by Nikki Moustaki is a story of a young woman with her struggle with alcoholism and her passion for birds. I am a bird lover so I immediately picked this book and was not disappointed. The experiences that she tells of are stark and raw. Alcohol took over her life. In contrast to that she has a beautiful memories of her grandfather, Poppy and his countess telling about the bird markets of Paris. Bird loving ran in her family for generations and she loves them with all her soul. Her Poppy used to celebrate her birthday by buying a dove (actually a pigeon) and letting her release it to the wild. When her birds died, he taught her how to have a funeral for it, just like my father did. Poppy had lived around the world but the place he loved the most was Paris, especially the bird market. There you can hear the calls of many birds and see unimagined colors. Bonk was the bird that she was attached to the most. Reading about this female lovebird makes on my Winky when I was growing up. I have loved many birds in my life but that was my first love. To people would who are not familiar with pet birds, each one has a distinctive personality that attaches itself to your heart. This is a deeply poignant memoir that will make you feel so sad for the author yet you know that only she can bring herself out of the struggle and maintain victory over alcohol. I was attracted to this book because I love birds but even more I am inspired by people who make the decision to stop an addiction and succeed one day at a time. I received this Advance Reading Copy from the LibraryThing but that in no way influenced my thoughts or feelings in this review.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Sharon

    From the first page, I was charmed by this memoir. Nikki Moustaki writes about her loving relationship with her grandfather, Poppy, and how he introduces her to the world of birds. His most frequent tales are of the Paris Marché aux Oiseaux, the bird market. However, Poppy is a teetotaler and Nikki becomes enamored of alcohol ... eventually becoming an alcoholic. Still, she manages to look after her birds ... until Hurricane Andrew, during which she loses all but about a dozen of them and heads f From the first page, I was charmed by this memoir. Nikki Moustaki writes about her loving relationship with her grandfather, Poppy, and how he introduces her to the world of birds. His most frequent tales are of the Paris Marché aux Oiseaux, the bird market. However, Poppy is a teetotaler and Nikki becomes enamored of alcohol ... eventually becoming an alcoholic. Still, she manages to look after her birds ... until Hurricane Andrew, during which she loses all but about a dozen of them and heads further into the bottle to assuage her guilt. Moustaki writes frankly about her battles with drinking, and the moment in which she decides to try sobriety instead. It's not an easy road, with many a backslide ... and even her birds are affected. Highly recommended for fans of memoirs, and Francophiles.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Sharon Huether

    I won this free book from Goodreads First-Reads. A beautifully written story of a young girls love of birds and the good influence of her grandfather; her battle with alcohol and finding her freedom.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Ed Morgan

    An excellent story about a young woman facing the world, dealing with tragedy, and learning from both the good and bad times of life.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jeanne

    I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway. It is a beautifully written memoir, a love story really. I found it captivating and read it in one day.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Pamela Barrett

    Nikki’s fascinating memoir of her childhood relationship with her grandfather Poppy, her early interest in birds and writing, and then her downward spiral into alcoholism is craftily put together. Poppy was a well known fashion designer in Miami, Florida, whose stories about living in Cairo, Egypt and Paris, France captivated young Nikki; but it was his love for birds that ignited her fervor for them and directed the course of her life. By the time she hit her 20’s, she was successfully breeding Nikki’s fascinating memoir of her childhood relationship with her grandfather Poppy, her early interest in birds and writing, and then her downward spiral into alcoholism is craftily put together. Poppy was a well known fashion designer in Miami, Florida, whose stories about living in Cairo, Egypt and Paris, France captivated young Nikki; but it was his love for birds that ignited her fervor for them and directed the course of her life. By the time she hit her 20’s, she was successfully breeding exotic birds, rescuing and bringing back to health many others, and beginning a lucrative career writing about them. She was given an enviable job as an editor for a Publishing House in New York. Sadly, memories of an earlier tragedy kept popping up and she used alcohol to edit out the dark memories. Her drinking destroyed her job and everything she held dear, including her beloved birds. I loved the way Nikki writes about her thought process as she justifies her drinking and her honest look at the messiness of her life—the black outs, the ugliness of the next day, and lost relationships. As an ex-addict I know these truths, and highly recommend The Bird Market of Paris to anyone struggling with addiction. Even if you never walked this road, and don’t know anyone who has, you’ll enjoy Nikki’s writing and the look inside her life with Poppy who designed for some very famous women of his time. This is definitely a 5 star memoir.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jackie

    You can learn a lot about birds by reading this book. You can learn a lot about growing up. And you can learn a lot about the devastating effects of alcohol addiction. My heart broke reading this memoir.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jolene

    Nicole loves her grandpa Poppy. Monsieur Moustaki has been telling her about the bird market of Paris all her life. After Poppy passes away, Nikki goes to Paris to see whether the bird market can help her tap into the hope and lightness that she enjoyed with her grandfather. Perhaps the greatest compliment doled out about the place is that in Paris museum-quality art pieces are set outside so that even the pigeons are able to perch on them. Before she gets to Paris, Nikki recounts her alienation Nicole loves her grandpa Poppy. Monsieur Moustaki has been telling her about the bird market of Paris all her life. After Poppy passes away, Nikki goes to Paris to see whether the bird market can help her tap into the hope and lightness that she enjoyed with her grandfather. Perhaps the greatest compliment doled out about the place is that in Paris museum-quality art pieces are set outside so that even the pigeons are able to perch on them. Before she gets to Paris, Nikki recounts her alienation from everyone except her Corfiote refugee grandparents, Poppy and Nona--her parents are too busy living their adult lives and trying to get ahead financially, she has few friends from school, and as an adult alcohol consumes her days, leading to outbursts and meltdowns that make her hard to get along with. Throughout it all, she mothers a brood of birds, who become her de facto companions. This memoir also features a riveting and personal account of the 1992 Hurricane Andrew, which I narrowly escaped with my immediate family, but some relatives were in Florida at the time and it should be remembered with Katrina and Sandy in terms of the amount of devastation wrought.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Alison

    This was a very well written story. The Author Nikki, who grew up in Florida, was best friends with her Grandfather, Poppy who taught her to love Birds, and how to care for them. Mainly love birds, but some other parrots as well. The birds became quite an obsession with her, to the point of Isolation at times. She gives us great detail on the care, breeding etc of the birds, which was interesting. On her Birthdays she and Poppy, had a tradition, which of course included a bird, a dove that they This was a very well written story. The Author Nikki, who grew up in Florida, was best friends with her Grandfather, Poppy who taught her to love Birds, and how to care for them. Mainly love birds, but some other parrots as well. The birds became quite an obsession with her, to the point of Isolation at times. She gives us great detail on the care, breeding etc of the birds, which was interesting. On her Birthdays she and Poppy, had a tradition, which of course included a bird, a dove that they would release each year. She always asked him, “where does my birthday dove go” and he would reply, “She goes to the heavens, and becomes a star to watch over you when I cannot be there myself”. I loved the thought of that tradition. The authors life is full of ups and downs from the joy that the birds and her Grandfather brought her, but also the lows of alcohol abuse, and low self esteem. She was a writer and after having won some money from a grant from The National Endowment for the Arts decides to go to Paris and visit The bird market her grandfather had always talked about. While there she learns a bit more about herself.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Inge

    I really have to stop reading this kind of biography. No story here. She even managed to make Paris sound boring. Only part worth reading was the one where they had to flee the hurricane. Synopsis: Girls grows up with lots of love, cries a lot, likes birds, goes to school, cries a lot, drinks, goes to NY, cries a lot, drinks to excess, people want to help, cries a lot, drinks to excess, goes to AA, cries a lot, starts drinking again, goes to Paris, cries a lot, French people making fun of her, c I really have to stop reading this kind of biography. No story here. She even managed to make Paris sound boring. Only part worth reading was the one where they had to flee the hurricane. Synopsis: Girls grows up with lots of love, cries a lot, likes birds, goes to school, cries a lot, drinks, goes to NY, cries a lot, drinks to excess, people want to help, cries a lot, drinks to excess, goes to AA, cries a lot, starts drinking again, goes to Paris, cries a lot, French people making fun of her, cries a lot.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Virginia

    This really shouldn't have taken me so long to read but unfortunately life kept getting in the way. An easy to read memoir that I found interesting enough however nothing was extremely dramatic or compelling. I could definitely relate to Miss Moustaki and I'm sure other readers will be able to also. Totally loved her passion and knowledge for her birds and her ability to get her life back on path. * Received in exchange for a review This really shouldn't have taken me so long to read but unfortunately life kept getting in the way. An easy to read memoir that I found interesting enough however nothing was extremely dramatic or compelling. I could definitely relate to Miss Moustaki and I'm sure other readers will be able to also. Totally loved her passion and knowledge for her birds and her ability to get her life back on path. * Received in exchange for a review

  13. 5 out of 5

    Gina McDonald

    I really liked this book. I don't think it's for everyone, it was different from what I've read, and I loved that. Animal lovers especially might enjoy this one. But the story also involved living with grief. I really liked this book. I don't think it's for everyone, it was different from what I've read, and I loved that. Animal lovers especially might enjoy this one. But the story also involved living with grief.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Angela Teague

    A very special book about birds, the loving relationship between a girl and her grandfather, the incomprehensible demoralization of addiction and the amazing spiritual experience that leads to hope. Loved it!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Urso

    Couldn't put this down. Finished in a matter of hours. It's a story about recovery and soul-searching, but ultimately, a wonderful tribute to a doting grandfather. I cried at some parts. Very touching work. Couldn't put this down. Finished in a matter of hours. It's a story about recovery and soul-searching, but ultimately, a wonderful tribute to a doting grandfather. I cried at some parts. Very touching work.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Sheryl Hughes

    Not much of a bird lover but somehow got wrapped up in this heartwarming story of a TRUE bird person.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Trenchologist

    I'm stacked with memoirs as part of my just-read-it-2021 challenge, so I'm going to see if I can laser through the entire pile of memoirs in one go with no breaks for a Betty or other subject nonfic. Memoirs show up a lot at the dollar store and book sales, and so I've wound up with several. More than I'd have if I sought out nonfic titles wholly on my own (not to denigrate them). * * * I love birds and going birding and tending to bird features in my yard to draw them in. Reading this I realized I'm stacked with memoirs as part of my just-read-it-2021 challenge, so I'm going to see if I can laser through the entire pile of memoirs in one go with no breaks for a Betty or other subject nonfic. Memoirs show up a lot at the dollar store and book sales, and so I've wound up with several. More than I'd have if I sought out nonfic titles wholly on my own (not to denigrate them). * * * I love birds and going birding and tending to bird features in my yard to draw them in. Reading this I realized there's a whole different subset of bird lovers who want to own them, be companions with them--and not a lot of overlap for the two of us [me, the author]. Totally fine, but as I read I pondered that distinction, and her idea of having & loving birds in her life versus mine. I knew exactly how she meant with the joy of watching and being around birds, but couldn't relate to her near-obsessive care and keeping of them. The other thing reading this did was make me anxious. There's a vagueness but also a forward propulsion to the prose and the structure. You can tell Moustaki is a poet without having to crack open an edition of her poetry--the most evocative lines and moments read more like poetry than anything. Giving you the feeling, the rhythm and sense-memory, the layered imagery to deconstruct; all there. But it made for disjointed going as a narrative. It seemed to me her first addiction was to birds and other creatures. And despite her grandparents' doting care, an addiction to being needed but also an overwhelm of misguided hyper-empathy in those she acquired. Her voracious acquisition of them upset me, even though she took pains to say they were cared for and enjoyed by her parents. Her stalking of pet stores and buying someone's (probably loved) pet parrot at a vendor show, sold in a weak moment because they hadn't sold anything else, but she'd done well slinging t-shirts--awful. It felt feverish. She seemed to me at turns too vulnerable, too spoiled and bratty. She endured bad things but also shoved a lot of bad onto other people. She made so many unreasonable demands of the world--of others, circumstances, endurance of tolerance--and just enough people kept coming through with grace to help her onto the next stage of life. How lucky she was in so many things, and if you're petty infuriatingly such; jobs that didn't fire her outright, writing and mentors that kept her afloat while pursuing degrees, enough monetary support from home to have a safety net. How fortunate she was to have a grandfather and relationship with him like she did. I wanted to be able to suggest to her she needs therapy, to not be so hard on herself, but also to notice something other than her own reflection in the pool for once. There were glimpses of other things that made me piqued, wide-eyed, adding to my anxiety because I kept thinking they were leading far worse places than they did. But they also kept me wondering why they were included (her grandfather's affair which I mostly felt she simply needed to divulge to *someone*, the 'couch drunk' house guests, the sense that her parents were mostly absent from her life, her blackout clubbing) other than she sat down and stream of consciousness let loose with strong memories, her grandfather the thread, culminating in Paris. Her feeling of being a loner, the parents' absence, and being bullied in school could have been leaned into for how she went so headlong into birds, into caring for the animals she saw as most needy, but that was left as a veiled hint, never solidly connected. What a letdown Paris was. But I allowed and took it from her vantage point at the time, full of misery and alcoholism and the grief-stricken frenzy of trying to fix everything with one-singular-event. I felt sorry for her airplane mates, the family who housed her, the people she encountered. All shoved briskly aside, likely in the events at the time and certainly in her narrative, in service to her "this will cure me" goal. Her being in Paris made me like her less. The extraordinary chain of events in Paris are the remarkable ways that life takes your innermost plans and desires and enacts them for you. Maybe as you wanted, not at all as your perfect scenario envisioned, but if you're smart you'll take the gift- the hint- the moment and embrace it. Learn or let go, and move forward.

  18. 5 out of 5

    SundayAtDusk

    As a die-hard bird lover, I really wanted to like this memoir. But as it turned out, I wasn't crazy about the book because there were too many birds in it! This is not only a story about an addiction to alcohol, but also a story about an addiction to birds. Nikki Moustaki ends up with so many pet parrots from rescuing, buying and breeding that I did not want to keep on reading about all those birds. She was a pet store junkie, a breeding junkie and possibly a vet junkie. Interestingly, it was he As a die-hard bird lover, I really wanted to like this memoir. But as it turned out, I wasn't crazy about the book because there were too many birds in it! This is not only a story about an addiction to alcohol, but also a story about an addiction to birds. Nikki Moustaki ends up with so many pet parrots from rescuing, buying and breeding that I did not want to keep on reading about all those birds. She was a pet store junkie, a breeding junkie and possibly a vet junkie. Interestingly, it was her avian vet who suggested she needed psychiatric help, or at least a whole different type of life. This memoir, however, really doesn't tackle the bird addiction, only the alcohol addition; when it was pretty obvious one reason the author drank so much was because of her bird addiction. She ended up with some severe psychological problems, which apparently she conquered when she gave up drinking. Obviously, she has also given up birds, because her current web page shows she only has two dogs, and is now involved in dog rescue work. So, what happened to all the birds and other animals she acquired in this book? Yes, she talks about the death of some of them, including those during Hurricane Andrew, and mentions re-homing some parrots, but what about all of the countless others? Parrots normally live a long, long time. Like many memoirs by drinkers or ex-drinkers, this one does not lack in self-absorption or self-pity. The latter clearly demonstrated by the author's drawn-out story about her ninth birthday. It does lack, though, as other reviewers have pointed out, much information about the bird market of Paris. Her trip to the market at the end of the book was pretty much a fiasco due to her drinking and mental problems. The trip also reminded her of her adored deceased grandfather, who introduced her to the fascinating world of birds; and, like many alcoholics, she did not deal with death well. When her grandfather was dying, she left him, using school as an excuse. When he was buried, she was not there, using school as an excuse. By the time the book ended, I felt like I had read a somewhat interesting and exhausting story by a complex and often childish person, with a most intriguing grandfather. Her grandfather, fashion designer Soli Moustaki, not only had a most unusual life, he was a Greek Jew, too. He also believed that if "a pet died in the home--that a tragedy originally intended for humans had taken the animal instead". I had to laugh when I read that, because I believe something similar to that, although only involving animals, and I had never read or heard about someone else believing that sort of thing. But that's what happens when you hang around birds a lot--you come up with all sorts of unique thoughts. Alcohol obviously does nothing for those thoughts, except distorts them in a way that makes them bizarre. Nikki Moustaki's grandfather did not drink. Too bad she didn't follow his example. Although, it may have been better if she had not followed his example of acquiring birds. But, whatever, Ms. Moustaki is responsible for her life and all of her decisions and all of the pets she acquired over the years, not her grandfather or her parents. (Note: I received a free ARC of this book from Amazon Vine.)

  19. 5 out of 5

    Adrienne Hugo

    I read The Bird Market of Paris because I was learning about Le Marché aux Oiseaux in Paris while preparing a French lesson for some young girls. They wanted to learn more, and so I Googled the topic and stumbled upon Nikki Moustaki's book. This book is a memoir and, I believe, a very loving tribute to the author's grandfather whom she called Poppy. I was very touched by their close relationship and Poppy sounds like a remarkable man in addition to being a fantastic grandfather. I was less inter I read The Bird Market of Paris because I was learning about Le Marché aux Oiseaux in Paris while preparing a French lesson for some young girls. They wanted to learn more, and so I Googled the topic and stumbled upon Nikki Moustaki's book. This book is a memoir and, I believe, a very loving tribute to the author's grandfather whom she called Poppy. I was very touched by their close relationship and Poppy sounds like a remarkable man in addition to being a fantastic grandfather. I was less interested in the birds and even less interested in the author's struggles with alcoholism, although those topics would be important to many readers. I kept reading to find out how her eventual trip to Paris' Sunday bird market would change her life, as the book's summary suggested. I'm glad that I persisted because it is an astonishing conclusion.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Clare

    The honesty of the author makes this a riveting read. Not only is this about a deep tenderness for birds but it also delves into the influence of family, self-forgiveness, and the effects of alcoholism. At times terrifyingly truthful, occasionally humorous, sometimes melancholy, but overall tender, this memoir was gripping on many levels.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Brynn Johnson

    Really enjoyed this book, I found I related well to the author except for her niavitte knowledge on birds outside of parrots and farm birds (wouldn’t know how to train a raptor species). This book is really about how the author grew up and defeated alcoholism and the deep relationship with her grandpa

  22. 5 out of 5

    Ginna

    I was a bit sad this book wasn't really about the Bird Market of Paris, it was mostly about raising birds in Florida (very interesting) and being an alcoholic (not very interesting) and only a few scant pages about Paris. I was a bit sad this book wasn't really about the Bird Market of Paris, it was mostly about raising birds in Florida (very interesting) and being an alcoholic (not very interesting) and only a few scant pages about Paris.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Dallas

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Loved the Birds, her Grandfather & bond they shared - not so much the descent into alcoholism, but the climb out was really good

  24. 4 out of 5

    Mad Leon

    Some sections on the care and habits of birds were interesting, but the book did not meet my expectations, probably because of the emphasis on alcohol abuse problems. Only average.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Helen Washington

    All the best memoirs are honest and don't skim the surface or sanitize the details. This was such an interesting love story between a grandfather and granddaughter and birds. A true page-turner. All the best memoirs are honest and don't skim the surface or sanitize the details. This was such an interesting love story between a grandfather and granddaughter and birds. A true page-turner.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Laurie

    Loved this book. Not what I expected. Very little about Paris, lots about birds but the story the author tells is what makes it such a lovely read.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Tali

    Amazingly written, had to give up 3/4 through because I'd sob too hard with every read Amazingly written, had to give up 3/4 through because I'd sob too hard with every read

  28. 4 out of 5

    Marcy Butler

    An absolute delight from the very first page. This book has skyrocketed to my Top 5 for several reasons. First, Nikki Moustaki is relatable. We are generally the same age and the pop culture references and generational-isms make sense and recall my own memories. Second, I have a fascination with birds that, while my own knowledge of our avian friends amounts to a brief moment of the lifetime Nikki has spent with them, seems deeper ingrained in my soul now that I've read these pages. Third, the h An absolute delight from the very first page. This book has skyrocketed to my Top 5 for several reasons. First, Nikki Moustaki is relatable. We are generally the same age and the pop culture references and generational-isms make sense and recall my own memories. Second, I have a fascination with birds that, while my own knowledge of our avian friends amounts to a brief moment of the lifetime Nikki has spent with them, seems deeper ingrained in my soul now that I've read these pages. Third, the honesty in which she writes of her own personal struggles and losses within her family, animals, and addiction evokes an empathy that brings real tears and anguish. I felt ripped wide open when the anguish over decisions made about her birds rendered her immobile. I mourned as she did. I had to put down the book to compose myself for a day even though it was a quick read. But it is undeniably worth it. The joy weaved throughout this memoir is more than enough to allow for hope and laughter. The heartwarming relationship between Nikki and her Poppy highlights the importance of family and relation between our generations. Honestly, to speak simply, I feel as if I personally know Nikki Moustaki. I feel that I've learned an amazing amount about the birds I love so much. I feel a longing for the familial bonds that are so prominent throughout this book. I feel that my already overflowing love for my animals has somehow expanded. Not to mention that the poetic style of Ms. Moustaki's writing flows beautifully and with great ease. This will be my go-to recommendation for any reader who has a love for animals, especially our feathered friends that soar as gracefully as this book has into my heart.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Susie James

    Wow -- "The Bird Market of Paris", a memoir by Nikki Moustaki that I won via Goodreads and that officially comes out in February -- is as engaging a memoir as I've ever read, and though I've been referred to from time to time as a poet, I've never received a $20,000 grant as a result of early effort! I have never been an alcoholic, either! Oh, when this very talented writer comes to realize her alcoholism though she had sought help for her deep grief over the death of her beloved grandfather ins Wow -- "The Bird Market of Paris", a memoir by Nikki Moustaki that I won via Goodreads and that officially comes out in February -- is as engaging a memoir as I've ever read, and though I've been referred to from time to time as a poet, I've never received a $20,000 grant as a result of early effort! I have never been an alcoholic, either! Oh, when this very talented writer comes to realize her alcoholism though she had sought help for her deep grief over the death of her beloved grandfather instead, she weaves a story that's hard to read ... but it's very plainly sketched. I picked up my "advance reader's edition" in due course and could hardly put it down. I said right out that this was the first book I'd read about a bird fanatic! Of course this overkill with the lovebirds and other kinds of birds that the author gets into is symptomatic of a spiritual and emotional unrest I think that finally does erupt in her compulsive drinking, blackouts, denial. I was so happy that even though she was only able to visit the "bird market of Paris" with Poppy's spirit, this experience did culminate in a bit of that "closure" we're told of. I giggled many times during the course of my own reading experience -- and one of those times involved, say, the saving of a trapped pigeon at the Moulin Rouge. Ooh, la la!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    I received a free copy of this book through the GoodReads First Reads giveaways. The Bird Market in Paris by Nikki Moustaki was a great book. I am partial to this book since I had birds growing up, but only one at a time, not like the author. Nikki seems to me to be a lost soul in search of something missing in her life, but I’m not sure that she ever found that missing piece. As she grew older, she was consumed by alcohol which created an illusion that she was happy, at least some of the time. I I received a free copy of this book through the GoodReads First Reads giveaways. The Bird Market in Paris by Nikki Moustaki was a great book. I am partial to this book since I had birds growing up, but only one at a time, not like the author. Nikki seems to me to be a lost soul in search of something missing in her life, but I’m not sure that she ever found that missing piece. As she grew older, she was consumed by alcohol which created an illusion that she was happy, at least some of the time. I felt that this was a very personal book and placed the reader into a glass room of the author’s soul so you could witness all her self-destruction, but all the while you are banging on the glass walls of this room saying “no don’t do that” and can’t be heard. My heart ached for the author through her childhood and especially after when she was alone in New York. I felt that this book was part of Nikki’s recovery process and I hope maybe it will help someone else seek out help who may be in a similar place in life.

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