A few weeks back, I spotted a fellow Francophile at the local coffee shop reading Lunch in Paris: A Love Story with Recipes.
I gently interrupted her to ask how she liked the book so far—she smiled and said that she enjoyed it very much since she was missing Paris after a recent visit. I asked her if she had pursued any other parisienne reading. When she shook her head, I quickly jotted down a few suggestions for further reading.
To say that I’ve read a decent number of books about Paris or France is an understatement. There can never be enough books on Hausmannian design, sparkling champagne and French fashion houses.
I have yet to pursue the more traditional literature on Paris in depth—Baudelaire, Hemingway and McCullough, of course—but here’s my recommended reading list so far for those in love with the Paris dream.
F is for France, a Curious Cabinet of French Wonders by Piu Eatwell. An alphabetical breakdown of quintessential trivia and fun facts about France. Eatwell cleverly lends her English sensibilities while explaining the French je ne sais quoi.
Paris My Sweet, A Year in the City of Light by Amy Thomas. A playful read that’s part dessert, part map—Thomas maps out the best patisseries in both Paris and New York—it’s a cute, quick novel to help you unwind from the ordinary hustle…
Love Life Style by Garance Dore. I had the pleasure of meeting Garance at a Fashionista meetup in the city before reading the book. A huge superfan of her illustrations and successful blog, I look to Garance as a true model for the modern woman.
My Paris Dream by Kate Betts. Another inspirational read for the fashion lover seeking a way to live in the City of Light—Betts shares her story of landing a position Fairchild Publishing and navigating her life between Paris and New York.
How to be Parisian Wherever You Are by Anne Berest, Audrey Diwan, Caroline de Maigret and Sophie Mas. An inspiring read to pass along to your girlfriends and keep in plain sight in your apartment at all times.
Paris, The Novel by Edward Rutherfurd. One of the longer novels on this list, Rutherfurd artfully curates a beautiful historical fiction for the reader to experience Paris in different time periods.
Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert (translated by Lydia Davis). I read this specific edition while I was at university and it is my favorite book for classic French literature. I kept my course notes on the novel, I love it so much.