Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Ten Great Books Set in Paris

Lessons in French
"It’s 1989, the Berlin Wall is coming down, and Kate has just graduated from Yale, eager to pursue her dreams as a fledgling painter. When she is offered a job as the assistant to Lydia Schell, a famous American photographer in Paris, she immediately accepts. It’s a chance not only to be at the center of the art world, but to return to France for the first time since, as a lonely nine-year-old girl, she was sent to the outskirts of Paris to live with cousins while her father was dying. As Kate rediscovers Paris and her roots there, she begins to question the kindness of the glamorous people to whom she is so drawn as well as her own motives in wanting their affection. In compelling and sympathetic prose, Hilary Reyl perfectly captures this portrait of a precocious, ambitious young woman struggling to define herself in a vibrant world that spirals out of her control."

All the Light We Cannot See
"From the highly acclaimed, multiple award-winning Anthony Doerr, the beautiful, stunningly ambitious instant New York Times bestseller about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II."

The 6:41 to Paris
"Cécile, a stylish forty-seven-year-old, has spent the weekend visiting her parents in a provincial town southeast of Paris. By early Monday morning, she's exhausted. These trips back home are always stressful and she settles into a train compartment with an empty seat beside her. But it's soon occupied by a man she instantly recognizes: Philippe Leduc, with whom she had a passionate affair that ended in her brutal humiliation thirty years ago. In the fraught hour and a half that ensues, their express train hurtles towards the French capital. Cécile and Philippe undertake their own face to face journey—In silence? What could they possibly say to one another?—with the reader gaining entrée to the most private of thoughts. This is a psychological thriller about past romance, with all its pain and promise."

The Elegance of the Hedgehog
"We are in the center of Paris, in an elegant apartment building inhabited by bourgeois families. Renée, the concierge, is witness to the lavish but vacuous lives of her numerous employers. Outwardly she conforms to every stereotype of the concierge: fat, cantankerous, addicted to television. Yet, unbeknownst to her employers, Renée is a cultured autodidact who adores art, philosophy, music, and Japanese culture. With humor and intelligence she scrutinizes the lives of the building's tenants, who for their part are barely aware of her existence."

The Paris Wife
"Hadley Richardson is a quiet twenty-eight-year-old who has all but given up on love and happiness—until she meets Ernest Hemingway. Following a whirlwind courtship and wedding, the pair set sail for Paris, where they become the golden couple in a lively and volatile group—the fabled “Lost Generation”—that includes Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, and F. Scott Fitzgerald. Though deeply in love, the Hemingways are ill prepared for the hard-drinking, fast-living, and free-loving life of Jazz Age Paris. As Ernest struggles to find the voice that will earn him a place in history and pours himself into the novel that will become The Sun Also Rises, Hadley strives to hold on to her sense of self as her roles as wife, friend, and muse become more challenging. Eventually they find themselves facing the ultimate crisis of their marriage—a deception that will lead to the unraveling of everything they’ve fought so hard for."

Anna and the French Kiss
"Anna can't wait for her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a good job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. So she's not too thrilled when her father unexpectedly ships her off to boarding school in Paris - until she meets Etienne St. Clair, the perfect boy. The only problem? He's taken, and Anna might be, too, if anything comes of her crush back home. Will a year of romantic near-misses end in the French kiss Anna awaits?"

A Moveable Feast
"Ernest Hemingway’s classic memoir of Paris in the 1920s...(and) published posthumously in 1964, A Moveable Feast remains one of Ernest Hemingway’s most enduring works. Widely celebrated and debated by critics and readers everywhere...A Moveable Feast brilliantly evokes the exuberant mood of Paris after World War I and the unbridled creativity and unquenchable enthusiasm that Hemingway himself epitomized."

Suite Francaise
"Beginning in Paris on the eve of the Nazi occupation in 1940. Suite Française tells the remarkable story of men and women thrown together in circumstances beyond their control. As Parisians flee the city, human folly surfaces in every imaginable way: a wealthy mother searches for sweets in a town without food; a couple is terrified at the thought of losing their jobs, even as their world begins to fall apart." 

Between Meals: An Appetite for Paris
"New Yorker writer A.J. Liebling recalls his Parisian apprenticeship in the fine art of eating in this charming memoir."

"Poor Miss Clavel! In 'an old house in Paris that was covered with vines,' Miss Clavel oversees the education of 12 little girls, the littlest of whom is the mischievous Madeline."

How many of these have you read? 

For a complete list of stories I've read 
set in seventy-one countries around the world, 
take a look here.

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

Each week we will post a new Top Ten list that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It's a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.


  1. I loved All The Light We Cannot See and Anna and the French Kiss! Pretty sure I've also read Madeline, once upon a time. All the books on your list have such pretty covers, and I'm tempted to put them all on my TBR. :)

    Agnes @ Haphazard Bookshelves

  2. Cool list of books! I haven't read any of them... Although, I've heard of many of the titles you've mentioned in your post! I want to read Letters From Skye.

    Here's a link to my TTT post for this week: http://captivatedreader.blogspot.com/2016/07/top-ten-tuesday-ten-books-set-outside-us.html

  3. I've read the Madeline and A Moveable Feast but have The Paris Wife and Anna's French Kiss on my TBR. Between Meals sounds like a book I must find! I think I'd love it. Great list!

  4. I feel like I'm the only person who hasn't read All The Light We Cannot See. That needs to change and fast! ;) Great Top Ten! :D
    My Top Ten Tuesday!

  5. I've read five and of those I absolutely loved four of them. Now I must get to Suite Francais...it has been on my TBR pile for so long.

  6. I´ve read The elegance of the hedgehog, The Paris wife and A movable feast.
    tank you for an interesting list!

  7. Yay Madeline! I enjoyed these books as a kid!

    Here's my Tuesday Post

    Have a GREAT day!

    Old Follower :)

  8. I've read four, and had one other on my TBR list. Now I have a couple more!

  9. A good choise of books in France. I have read 'All the lights we cannot see', wonderful book. The Paris Wife I liked as well and the fantastic The Elegance of the Hedgehog. A moveable feast is interesting. All of hem seem tohave something to speak for them.

  10. The Paris Wife was sooo good - I actually forgot I was reading historical fiction on that!

    Check out my TTT.

  11. Oh dear- I've read one of these books- Madeline! Not that I haven't intended to read the others. That old TBR (Paris or not) never gets any easier.

  12. Thanks for visiting my TTT a

    What a lovely list. I have read "Madeline", "All the lights we cannot see" and "Suite Française" but there are a few more on my TBR list. And a few new ideas. Thanks a lot.

    Marianne from
    Let's Read

  13. I've read about 4 of these, but I'm curious to read Lessons in French.

  14. The Elegance of the Hedgehog was the first book I posted on eight years ago. I loved it then and still do. Suite Francis set me to reading all of Nemirovsky. I have a review copy of the Paris Wife and am now motivated to read it.


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