Sunday, March 21, 2010

What to Read? What to Read? Suggestions for a Visitor to France?

It is definite. I will be going to France this summer. Woo hoo!

Now comes a very important question:  What should I read?

I want to read books set in France. Books with French authors. Books with
French characters. Nonfiction or fiction. Good books.

So, I come to you, the greatest readers on earth. What do you recommend?
Suggestions? Ideas?

Photo by craigfinlay


  1. You definitely need to read Paris To The Moon. Even if you weren't going to France. It is a wonderful, wonderful book.

    I'm so envious! It's been years since I was there, since I bought my wedding dress, in fact, in 2001. The woman who helped me said, "This is um...very beautiful. You just have the need of, how do you say, microfibre?" Thanks. I know I could use control top panty hose. ;)

  2. Don't trust us. Pick up a copy of 100 GREAT FRENCH BOOKS by Lance Donaldson-Evans. The essays are great, and you'll want to read every book he discusses.

  3. Oooh, jealous! I've only been to Paris once, but I would love to go back.

    For French books... Suite Francaise? The Vampire Lestat? Chocolat? Labyrinth? The Three Musketeers? All very good.

  4. I will order 100 Great French Books today, but I love personal recommendations.

    I've read Suite Francaise (one of the best books I've ever read!) and I adored Paris to the Moon. I'll add the other recommendations to my wish list.

  5. Not that you'll have to read all of them before you go this summer to France, but I will recommend Marcel Proust's In Search of Lost Time. No, I haven't read all of them, but I've started and when I think French authors, his name is the one that comes to mind almost immediately.

  6. It seems like I've been on a French reading spree lately. Recently finished Sarah's Key (for my book club) and Julia Child's My Life in France. For a good graphic travel memoir, I'd suggest French Milk. I love Zola - currently reading The Ladies' Paradise, but Theresa Raquin was a favorite last year. Hemingway's A Moveable Feast is on my April list, and Paris to the Moon waits on the tbr shelf. Have fun!

  7. I love reading about France in the early part of the 1900s. I'd recommend Hemingway's A Moveable Feast and Morley Callahan's The Summer in Paris - the talk about the same events of the expats in Paris in the 20s.

    I also second reading Julia Child's My Life in France.

  8. I don't have any recommendations, but what a lovely trip. Have a great time!

  9. I was going to recommend Paris to the Moon too - it offers a great perspective on the city from an American.

    Enjoy the trip!!

  10. Congratulations!!!
    My favorite French book is A VERY LONG ENGAGEMENT by Sebastian Japrisot, set just after World War I. it's a love story about a young woman trying to find her missing fiance. I hope you have a wonderful time!!

  11. Forget the books. Rent French Kiss with Meg Ryan and Kevin Kline!! :)

    Bellezza, let's pack our bags and tag along! No, really. :)

  12. Reading about France is what I like to do most. So here's a list of favorites:
    About Paris and/or Food:
    MFK Fisher, As They Were (or anything else by her)
    A.J. Liebling, Between Meals: An Appetite for Paris
    Julia Child, My Life in France (three others have suggested it, and I heartily approve. It is wonderful)

    Edmund White, The Flaneur
    Susan Vreeland, Luncheon of the Boating Party (a wonderful fiction about the creation of the painting of that name)

    France by French writers:
    Anything by Colette
    Marcel Pagnol, My Father's Glory and My Mother's Castle
    also by Pagnol, Jean de Florette and Manon of the Springs

    There are probably a few more at by blog in the bookshop.

    Bon voyage,

  13. Ooo France!

    Lucky duck!

    Fab pic!

    Happy Blog Hoppin' Friday!
    Tales of :)

  14. most of mine were already listed but if you're looking for something a little lighter, how about Le Divorce?

  15. How exciting that you are going to France! Have a fantastic time! I can't think of any French books at the time, but I'll let you know if I do. Thanks so much for stopping by my blog and following :)

  16. Have a wonderful trip! Because I love lists and I love books about France, I have a French Connections list on Rose City Reader. You should be able to find some ideas there.

    And please feel free to suggest additions!

  17. I have a few French favorites: Balzax and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie; the Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery -about middleclass French snobbery :) - and a mystery series by Car Black, all set in Paris. Her latest is Murder in the Palais Royale and her most famous is Murder in the Marais (historical mystery). Enjoy the city of lights!

    Book Dilettante

  18. Found the answer to my question here. Have fun in France! :D

  19. Have you thought of Julie and Julia? ;) I admit I only saw the movie but it's fun material for bloggers!

    A beautiful book by the famous French author is Une Mort Très Douce, about the death of her mom. But you might want to read something more uplifting?

    La Petit Prince, by Saint Exupery?

  20. The one book that comes to mind is French Dirt by Richard Goodman. I don't think it's been suggested yet. Your trip this summer sounds great! I haven't been to Paris since 1980 and would love to go back some time. Aloha from Rob


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