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anyone recommend books to "pretend" visit France?

anyone recommend books to "pretend" visit France?

Old Jan 23rd, 2003, 02:57 PM
  #1  
Scarlette
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anyone recommend books to "pretend" visit France?

I'm still waiting for a chance to visit France, so since I love to read I've been substituting books for the real thing. Can you recommend some books that have to do with France? Can be fictional, historical, informative, etc. I'll devour anything I can get my hands on. So far I've really enjoyed reading Les Mis, and I want to read the Counte of Monte Cristo next. Any other classics I should read?

Thanks in advance!
Scarlette
 
Old Jan 23rd, 2003, 02:59 PM
  #2  
Patrick
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How about any of the Peter Mayle books, starting with "A Year in Provence"? Really pretend you're visiting or living there.
They're certainly a long shot away from the classics you mentioned, but quick and easy reads and the closest thing to being there.
 
Old Jan 23rd, 2003, 03:01 PM
  #3  
Michael
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Paris to the Moon by Adam Gobnik (sp?)
 
Old Jan 23rd, 2003, 03:08 PM
  #4  
Laurie
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If you do a text search here -Paris AND books -you'll get lots of threads with suggestions. There are also similar threads on movies. Enjoy!
 
Old Jan 23rd, 2003, 03:25 PM
  #5  
Scarlette
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Thank you! I wasn't sure if there was other threads on this, I'll go check now!
Scarlette
 
Old Jan 23rd, 2003, 03:26 PM
  #6  
starspinners
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Desiree by Annemarie Selinko

This is historical fiction, it was written in the early 1950's.
There is court intrigue and more.
The heroine is the daughter of a Marseilles merchant. She becomes Napoleon's fiancée and then years later becomes______ ,well, if you haven't read this one I won't give away the ending.
 
Old Jan 23rd, 2003, 03:26 PM
  #7  
Scarlette
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that should read "I wasn't sure if there *were*..."

(blush)
Scarlette
 
Old Jan 23rd, 2003, 03:41 PM
  #8  
Carol
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Check out your local library. I just finished watching "A Year in Provence" the FILM version of Peter Mayle's adventures. It was done by the BBC/A&E. What a hoot! He always gives as much insight into the British as he does the French.

Currently reading his "French Lessons-Adventures with Knife, Fork, and Corkscrew". Have a kleenex for wiping away the tears from howling and for "la bave" from drooling!
 
Old Jan 23rd, 2003, 04:15 PM
  #9  
mimi
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Hi Scarlette I finished a book yesterday called "from here you can't see Paris"by Michael Sanders.He spends a year in the Lot valley in a village of less then 200 to write about the booming restaurant in the old schoolhouse and describing the lives of the villagers. You'll learn how they make foie gras and about truffle hunting.
Now reading "Wild Heart"a bio of the victorian American who ran one of the great literary salons in Paris.
 
Old Jan 23rd, 2003, 04:22 PM
  #10  
Lucy_of_Oz
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I really loved reading the 'Paris: The Collected Traveler' which is a collection of different articles & stories of varying subjects all relating to Paris. Its part of a series although I'm not sure if there is one just for France. heres a link to it on Amazon...http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0609804448/qid=1043367647/sr=8-1/ref=sr_8_1/002-4785934-9851230?v=glance&s=books&n=507846
 
Old Jan 23rd, 2003, 04:57 PM
  #11  
Boots
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Hemingway's "A Moveable Feast" and the more current "Without Reservations, the Travels of an Independent Woman" by Alice Steinbach.
 
Old Jan 23rd, 2003, 04:59 PM
  #12  
Sue
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Go to the library and get what they have of Balzac - his novels are great - about 19th century France. Also, if you like biographies, find some on famous French people. I just read a bio. on Simone de Beauvoir, which was very good. Very enlightening as to what Paris was like during 30's and the war years of the German occupation.
 
Old Jan 23rd, 2003, 09:16 PM
  #13  
lynlor
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"Burdundy Stars" , a year in the life of a great French restaurant by William Echikson.

Willaim Echikson is a reporter that lived for a year in Saulieu and then wrote about Bernard Loiseau and his restaurant La Cote d'Or. This restaurant has three Micheln stars, but I think there are better restaurants, IMHO.

The book is interesting to me because it tells about the life of Bernard Loiseau, many of his employees, his wife and the interaction between all of these people. Also it tells about how he went about achieving his 3 Michelin Stars.
 
Old Jan 23rd, 2003, 09:21 PM
  #14  
lynlor
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The title should read "Burgundy Stars". I am sleepy.
 
Old Jan 24th, 2003, 05:37 AM
  #15  
Anthony
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Scarlette,

I agree with Mimi Taylor--"From Here, You Can't See Paris" by Michael Sanders, is an insightful book on a small village in Lot in southwestern France. Focused on the town's restaurant, it has the ring of truth about what the French are like. Another book is "A Home in France" by the late Ann Barry who had been a "New Yorker" contributor.

"Resistance and Betrayal", a true story of the activities of the heroic Jean Moulin, the Free French spy, is a fine work historical work.

The Peter Mayle books are enjoyable, light reading, good for an introduction to Provence.

On the classical side consider works by de Maupassant (on Normandy), Zola (on Paris).

Anthony
 
Old Jan 24th, 2003, 06:34 AM
  #16  
ron
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Have to agree with the suggestion of anything by Peter Mayle. His books are great. I have read them all and loved each one. My Live As A Dog is especially good.
 
Old Jan 24th, 2003, 06:46 AM
  #17  
lynny
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I like Edmund White, especially the Flanneur, in which he describes walking through different areas of Paris. It is subtitled "A stroll through the Paradoxes of Paris" and his commentary is wonderful.
 
Old Jan 24th, 2003, 08:00 AM
  #18  
Ira
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All of the books by M F K Fisher.
 
Old Jan 24th, 2003, 09:49 AM
  #19  
Goforit
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Just go fot it, travel and see it for real!
 
Old Jan 24th, 2003, 10:44 AM
  #20  
peggi
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I liked Paris to the Moon but if you have an interest in music, The Piano Shop on the Left Bank is a great read. Also, Of Wine & War, nonfiction about hiding French wine from the Nazis during WWII>
 

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