BOOKS for La Belle Paris?

Jun 7th, 2001, 03:37 AM
  #1  
bookworm
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BOOKS for La Belle Paris?

I'm looking for some, preferably fiction, books about Paris and France. Anything goes, but I like classics (gotta have me edjucashun!) and "light literature".

 
Jun 7th, 2001, 07:00 AM
  #2  
elaine
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I like

Les Miserables

The Count of Monte Cristo

Hemingway's A Moveable Feast
(it's not fiction, at least not officially, but it reads like fiction, wonderful about Paris in the 20's--I like to look for the places he mentions on my map of Paris)

Of course, A Tale of Two Cities

All of Peter Mayles's books about Provence (again, not strictly fiction, except for one)





 
Jun 7th, 2001, 08:04 AM
  #3  
Kathy
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Dear Bookworm,
I second Elaine's suggestions, which were excellent.

A few of my own "faves" include:

Assassin of Paris

Brassai: The Eye of Paris

Down & Out in Paris & London by George Orwell

I'll Always Have Paris by Art Buchwald

Man Ray: Paris/L.A.

Paris France by Gertrude Stein

Rat Man of Paris by Paul West

Under the Roofs of Paris by Henry Miller

And..before it was a film, before it was a play, it was a book, written as a series of letters between 3 characters...Les Liaisons Dangereuses by Laclos.

You may need to go to an out-of-print book search service (like Harvest or Eureka) to find Is "Paris Burning?".

Happy Reading & Traveling,
Kathy
 
Jun 7th, 2001, 08:06 AM
  #4  
s.fowler
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Also "Le Divorce" by Diane Johnson -- great Paris background as well as French cultural mores...
 
Jun 7th, 2001, 08:51 AM
  #5  
mimi taylor
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Kiki' Paris, books by Henry Miller, anais nin. Violet Laduc, Janet Flanner,The Secret Life of the Seine, Paris Notebooks by M. Gallant, This must be the Place by M. Cody Bing Genuises Together by McAlmon,Exiles by M. Arlen. Hemingway's Movable Feast.
 
Jun 7th, 2001, 09:36 AM
  #6  
Shanna
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If you're interested in some old sniping about the Parisians, read Balzac or Zola. Both had low - very low - opinions of them. But makes for some interesting reading. A bit depressing, so find something funny to read afterward.
 
Jun 7th, 2001, 09:42 AM
  #7  
mimi taylor
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let me add Zola's THE LADIES PARADISE and THE BELLY OF PARIS
 
Jun 7th, 2001, 09:43 AM
  #8  
elvira
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I love mysteries, so:
Maigret stories by Simenon
Murder in .... by Clara Black
Coq au Vin by Charlotte Carter
Masquerade by Walter Satterthwait
Elliot Paul mysteries and non-fiction

Other books:
Anybody Who Was Anybody - biography of Gertrude Stein
Three Musketeers
Scarlet Pimpernel
Hunchback of Notre Dame
Desiree

 
Jun 7th, 2001, 09:54 AM
  #9  
Carol
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Diane Johnson's latest--Le Mariage. Not as great as Le Divorce but still a terrific read.
 
Jun 7th, 2001, 09:57 AM
  #10  
carol
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And a truly wonderful recent non-fiction book about what it's like to be an American family living in contemporary Paris by New Yorker writer, Adam Gopnik called "Paris to the Moon."
 
Jun 7th, 2001, 10:10 AM
  #11  
Capo
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I love "The Ruins of Paris" by Jacques Reda. From a website description of it...

"In France, Jacques Reda's prose writings are passed back and forth between friends with the enthusiastic secret-sharing that one associates with fan clubs. Membership requirements include a taste for precise, tenderly ironic prose, polished to a delicacy of finish rarely attained by contemporary French writers." (Times Literary Supplement)

Jacques Reda leads us through the arrondisements and suburbs of Paris and beyond in a journey that moves to the rhythm of walking, of trains, of the hopeful tempo of upbeat jazz. This is the first translation of Reda's prose into English.

P.S. to Carol, I had the chance to see and hear Adam Gopnik at the Northwest Bookfair here in Seattle last fall. He's a very literate, and funny, speaker.
 
Jun 7th, 2001, 10:23 AM
  #12  
BTilke
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My two favorite books on Paris are:

Is Paris Burning? A gripping, very detailed, nonfiction account of the Nazi occupation of Paris and subsequent liberation. Lots of photos plus maps of all the places in Paris that had been mined by the Nazis and were supposed to be blown up (but weren't, thankfully!)
and
It Isn't All Mink by Ginette Spanier. An autobiographical tale of growing up as an upper bourgeoisie in Paris (and later London), then being in constant flight and danger during WW II, and then emerging to become the "directrice" of the famous House of Balmain fashion empire during its 1950s heydays. Very moving and entertaining, again loaded with lots of photos.

Both books are out of print but can be found pretty easily through Internet searches.
BTilke
 
Jun 7th, 2001, 10:26 AM
  #13  
BTilke
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I forgot to add Bel Ami by Guy de Maupassant. One of my all time favorite novels. A sharp but often amusing look at the world of journalism, politics, and adultery in Paris in the latter half of the 19th century. Funny how little things have changed...easily found in English translation.
BTilke
 
Jun 7th, 2001, 10:51 AM
  #14  
Capo
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BTilke, do you recall if Is Paris Burning? explains why all the places in Paris that had been mined by the Nazis and were supposed to have been blown up, weren't?

I'd heard a story explaining why in a television program about D-Day and the liberation of Paris and wondered if it's the same as what might be in that book.
 
Jun 7th, 2001, 10:54 AM
  #15  
ilene
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Paris to the Moon - Adam Gotnik (sp?) - from series of articles in the New Yorker
 
Jun 7th, 2001, 11:01 AM
  #16  
Ursula
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"Au Bonheur des Dames" by Emile Zola. He was inspired by the department store Le Bon Marché, the oldest one in Paris!
Sorry, do not know about the English title. Also "Le Ventre de Paris" where Zola speaks about "Les Halles" (whole sale market for fruit, vegs, meat, seafood, etc.) now in Rungis.
 
Jun 7th, 2001, 12:09 PM
  #17  
BTilke
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Capo,
My copy of the book seems to be AWOL in our apartment at the moment, but from what I remember, the Nazi general in charge of Paris during the Occupation basically didn't want to be remembered as the man who destroyed the City of Light, especially after he figured he was on the losing end of the war.
BTilke
P.S. FYI, Is Paris Burning? (the title refers to a cable Hitler sent to Paris asking that question) should not be confused with Paris is Burning, which is about New York's gay community...
 
Jun 7th, 2001, 12:25 PM
  #18  
Book Chick
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Yes, Capo & TBilke, you are right. The general was a Nazi, but couldn't bring himself to destroy what he regarded as the most beautiful city in Europe.

Bookworm, check out Swann's Way by Marcel Proust, The Mandarins, & Germinal. Great Lit'rachur!

BC
 
Jun 7th, 2001, 12:31 PM
  #19  
Capo
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Thanks, BTilke. That kind of squares with what I heard.

On the program I saw, it said that the Nazi general in charge of Paris was extremely loyal to Hitler, and would've obeyed any orders Hitler gave. However, he had recently paid a visit to Hitler, and concluded that Hitler was going mad (if not there already) so when Hitler's order came to blow up monuments, bridges, buildings, etc. in Paris, he decided to disobey them.

It also said that the then-mayor of Paris had taken this general into a room with a sweeping view of Paris and appealed to him, saying something to the effect that "Although you have the power to destroy all this, you will demonstrate even more power by saving it."
 
Jun 7th, 2001, 12:38 PM
  #20  
SharonG
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"Me Talk Pretty Someday" by David Sedaris. He did a series of NPR reports last summer about living in Paris and they were hysterical.
 

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