(1) A book each day, even if it is simply a picture book. #bookaday
(2) At least one big book, over 400 pages. #bigbooksummer
(3) I will devote my July reading to Paris in July books.
Sometimes I think I've read every good book set in Paris. But, of course, that is impossible, as new books are always being written. I took about thirty ebooks with me when I went to Paris last winter, and I finished a lot of wonderful stories including The President's Hat and Zola's L'Assommoir and Champagne Baby. What am I thinking about reading in July? I'm thinking about some classics, some picture books, children's middle-grade fiction, nonfiction, and cookbooks. Do you recommend any of these? Do you know of others I should read?
The Ambassadors by Henry James
"Lambert Strether, a mild, middle-aged American of no particular achievements, is dispatched to Paris from the manufacturing empire of Woollett, Massachusetts. The mission conferred on him by his august patron, Mrs. Newsome, is to discover what, or who, is keeping her son Chad in the notorious city of pleasure and to bring him home. But Strether finds Chad transformed by the influence of a remarkable woman. And as the Parisian spring advances, he himself succumbs to the allure of the 'vast bright Babylon' and to the mysterious charm of Madame de Vionnet."
Camille by Alexandre Dumas
"Men of great wealth bought her love. She gave it to only one. Marguerite Gautier, the greatest beauty in Paris, was known to all as "the Lady of the Camellias" because she was never seen without her favorite flowers. She was luxuriously kept by the richest men in France, who thronged to her boudoir to lay their fortunes at her feet. She lived violently, spending herself and her money in reckless abandon. She had many lovers, but she never really loved-until she met Armand Duval. Realizing that her only assets in life were her face and figure, Marguerite had learned how to make men pay. But what happens to a cool, calculating beauty when she herself suffers the wound of love?"
Giovanni's Room by James Baldwin
"In the contemporary Paris of American expatriates, liaisons, and violence, a young man finds himself caught between desire and conventional morality."
The Paris Hours by Alex George
A Dash of Magic by Katherine Littlewood
"Twelve-year-old Rose Bliss and her siblings track down magical ingredients in Paris so Rose can compete in a baking challenge against her evil aunt and win back the family's magical cookbook."
French Exit by Patrick deWitt
"From bestselling author Patrick deWitt, a brilliant and darkly comic novel about a wealthy widow and her adult son who flee New York for Paris in the wake of scandal and financial disintegration. Frances Price - tart widow, possessive mother, and Upper East Side force of nature - is in dire straits, beset by scandal and impending bankruptcy. Her adult son Malcolm is no help, mired in a permanent state of arrested development. And then there's the Price's aging cat, Small Frank, who Frances believes houses the spirit of her late husband, an infamously immoral litigator and world-class cad whose gruesome tabloid death rendered Frances and Malcolm social outcasts. Putting penury and pariahdom behind them, the family decides to cut their losses and head for the exit. One ocean voyage later, the curious trio land in their beloved Paris, the City of Light serving as a backdrop not for love or romance, but self destruction and economical ruin - to riotous effect."
Painting Pepette by Linda Ravin Lodding
"In 1920s Paris, after Josette and her stuffed-animal rabbit Pepette encounter famous artists who try and paint Pepette's portrait, Josette realizes she is the perfect person to do the painting."
French Pastry Murder by Leslie Meier
"Tinker's Cove is abuzz with excitement when Norah, the queen of daytime TV, comes to town and selects Lucy and her pals to be featured in her "Women Who Make a Difference" episode. In recognition for their charitable work, the ladies and their husbands are awarded a dream vacation in Paris, complete with classes at Le Cooking School with renowned pastry chef Larry Bruneau. But their bon voyage is cut short when Lucy discovers the chef in a pool of blood on the second day of class. . . Lucy always dreamed of visiting Paris, but with Chef Larry on death's doorstep and Lucy and her friends detained for questioning, she's worried she'll be trading in her luxury accommodations for a sojourn in the bastille. If she's going to enjoy her vacation, she'll have to unpack her sleuthing skills and clear her name. Lucy's search for the truth takes her from the towers of Notre Dame to the gardens of Versailles and a dozen charming bistros in between. But will she be able to track down a killer more elusive than the perfect macaron?"
Five French Hens by Judy Leigh
"The best days of your life might be still to come... When 73-year-old Jen announces that she is going to marry Eddie, a man she met just a few months previously on a beach on Boxing Day, her four best friends from aqua aerobics are flabbergasted. The wedding is booked and, when the groom decides to have a stag trip to Las Vegas, the ladies arrange a hen party to beat all others -a week in the city of love, Paris. From misadventures at the Louvre, outrageous Parisian cabarets, to drinking champagne with a dashing millionaire at the casino, Paris lives up to all their hopes and dreams. But a week can change everything, and the women that come home have very different dreams from the ones who got on the plane just days ago. Funny, fearless and with a joie de vivre that reminds you to live every day like it's your last."
Bees in the City by Andrea Cheng
"Lionel wants to save Aunt Celine's bees. He feels the solution is the rooftop gardens and window boxes of his apartment neighbors in Paris."
A Confectioner's Tale by Laura Madeline
"On August 21, 1911, the unfathomable happened–Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa vanished from the Louvre. More than twenty-four hours passed before museum officials realized she was gone. The prime suspects were as shocking as the crime: Pablo Picasso and Guillaume Apollinaire, young provocateurs of a new art. As French detectives using the latest methods of criminology, including fingerprinting, tried to trace the thieves, a burgeoning international media hyped news of the heist. No story captured the imagination of the world quite like this one. Thousands flocked to the Louvre to see the empty space where the painting had hung. They mourned as if Mona Lisa were a lost loved one, left flowers and notes, and set new attendance records. For more than two years, Mona Lisa’s absence haunted the art world, provoking the question: Was she lost forever? A century later, questions still linger. Part love story, part mystery, Vanished Smile reopens the case of the most audacious and perplexing art theft ever committed. R. A. Scotti’s riveting, ingeniously realized account is itself a masterly portrait of a world in transition. Combining her skills as a historian and a novelist, Scotti turns the tantalizing clues into a story of the painting’s transformation into the most familiar and lasting icon of all time."
Dinner in French by Melissa Clark
"New York Times star food writer Melissa Clark breaks down the new French classics with 150 recipes that reflect a modern yet distinctly French sensibility."
Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. Each Tuesday That Artsy Reader Girl assigns a topic and then post her top ten list that fits that topic. You’re more than welcome to join her and create your own top ten (or 2, 5, 20, etc.) list as well. Feel free to put a unique spin on the topic to make it work for you! Please link back to That Artsy Reader Girl in your own post so that others know where to find more information.