Crazy About Paris
I visited Paris over nine years ago and was instantly enchanted by this magical city. No, I did not know French, and yes Parisians were pretty patient with my pathetic attempts to communicate. Luckily we had a funny tour guide who shepherded us around and wasn’t shy about telling us what to do and what to avoid.
Here are some of my favorite books about Paris and France…
Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris — Non-fiction
Somehow no matter how mundane the situation is, David Sedaris can infuse it with humor. This collection of 27 essays relays his challenges after he moves from New York to Normandy France. Sedaris faces the challenges of learning French and navigating the complexities of French manners and mores,all the while laughing most at himself.
The Paris Wife by Paula McLain — Fiction
A deeply evocative story of ambition and betrayal, The Paris Wife captures a remarkable period of time—Paris in the twenties—and an extraordinary love affair between two unforgettable people – Ernest Hemingway and the first of his four wives, Hadley Richardson. This fictionalized account of their relationship traces their whirlwind courtship and wedding, their lives in Paris and how they become the golden couple in a lively group of expatriates, including Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein, and Ezra Pound.
The Sweet Life in Paris : Delicious Adventures in the World’s Most Glorious and Perplexing City by David Lebovitz — Non-fiction
David Lebovitz worked for almost twenty years as a pastry chef and cookbook author before he realized his dream of moving to Paris to begin a new life. Of course Lebovitz falls in love with the city and shares his love affair with us.This book also contains more than fifty original recipes.
The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George — Fiction
This is an enchanting novel set in a floating barge along the Seine. A love letter to books, and to the complicated, sometimes broken people who are healed by them–it‘s the is the next best
thing to booking a trip to France. Monsieur Perdu calls himself a literary apothecary. From his floating bookstore in a barge on the Seine, he prescribes novels for the hardships of life. Using his intuitive feel for the exact book a reader needs, Perdu mends broken hearts and souls. The only person he can’t seem to heal through literature is himself; he’s still haunted by heartbreak after his great love disapp
The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery–Fiction
This books was an absolute sensation when it was first published in France. It provides a rich, bright characterization of the novel’s two heroines— 54-year-old Rene Michel, brilliant, secretive middle-aged concierge in a luxury apartment building and a precocious, suicidal 12-year-old building resident named Paloma Josse. A dramatic event finally brings them together, and you’ll stay riveted as their lives are both changed by a new arrival in their home.
Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosney — Fiction
On the sixtieth anniversary of the 1942 roundup of Jews by the French police in the Vel d’Hiv section of Paris, American journalist Julia Jarmond is asked to write an article on this dark episode during World War II and embarks on an investigation that leads her to long-hidden family secrets and to the ordeal of Sarah, a young girl caught up in the raid.
The Alice Network by Kate Quinn –Fiction
Two women—a female spy recruited to the real-life Alice Network in France during World War I and an unconventional American socialite searching for her cousin in 1947—are brought together in a mesmerizing story of courage and redemption.
1947. In the chaotic aftermath of World War II, American college girl Charlie St. Clair is pregnant, unmarried, and on the verge of being thrown out of her very proper family. She’s also nursing a desperate hope that her beloved cousin Rose, who disappeared in Nazi-occupied France during the war, might still be alive. So when Charlie’s parents banish her to Europe to have her “little problem” taken care of, Charlie breaks free and heads to London, determined to find out what happened to the cousin she loves like a sister.
1915. A year into the Great War, Eve Gardiner burns to join the fight against the Germans and unexpectedly gets her chance when she’s recruited to work as a spy. Sent into enemy-occupied France, she’s trained by the mesmerizing Lili, code name Alice, the “queen of spies,” who manages a vast network of secret agents right under the enemy’s nose.
Thirty years later, haunted by the betrayal that ultimately tore apart the Alice Network, Eve spends her days drunk and secluded in her crumbling London house. That is until a young American barges in uttering a name Eve hasn’t heard in decades, and launches them both on a mission to find the truth . . . no matter where it leads.