Good reads for Paris

Aug 21st, 2018, 06:45 PM
  #1  
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Good reads for Paris

Soon I will be in Paris for a week - have been there many times and loved each and every visit. I am thinking now that I would like to begin reading, during the week before and continuing the week that I am there, a book, fiction or non-fiction, that is set in Paris. Anyone have any recommendations?

merci and au revoir,

sophia
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Aug 21st, 2018, 09:27 PM
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I recently read The Paris Winter, by Imogen Robertson. Very enjoyable and ties in a lot of history and art. Takes place around 1909, I think. I also liked To Capture What We Cannot Keep, taking place during construction of the Eiffel Tower.
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Aug 21st, 2018, 09:58 PM
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Paris to the Moon by Adam Gopnik.
The Sweet Life in Paris: Delicious Adventures in the World's Most Glorious - and Perplexing - City
by David Lebovitz if you are a culinary type.
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Aug 22nd, 2018, 02:16 AM
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Oh so many... Are you looking for a particular genre?

Detective/Mystery Check out the Amy Leduc series by Cara Black. Amy solves a crime in each arrondissement (I think Black still has two to write)

Take a deep dive into the Paris of Ernst Hemingway with "The Paris Wife" (Paula McClain) followed by Hemingways own version of the time "A Moveable Feast". Then follow it up with "Everybody Behaves Badly" (Lesley Blume) While you're here you can wander the streets Hemingway and the Lost Generation wandered and visit the same cafes. Although there are few ghosts still lingering there.

If you want a sense of Paris of the past, check out Emile Zola. I particularly liked "The Belly of Paris", about life in the old markets of Les Halles.

One of my favorites is "Sacre Bleu" by Christopher Moore. It will take you into Montmartre of the early 1900s and you'll spend time with Toulouse Lautrec, Picasso, Van Gogh as well as a host of other made up characters and you'll prowl the artist quarter and bawdy music halls.

Others you might like: "The Little Paris Bookshop", "Paris, Paris" (David Downie) is a great book of essays, each a vignet of a different part of Paris, "A Year in the Merde" (Stephen Clarke) - there is a whole Merde series.

And of course there are Tale of Two Cities, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Les Miserables...
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Aug 22nd, 2018, 03:58 AM
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I'd read about the Paris Sewers, you'll learn a lot about the City and it's histoire.

Then while you're in Paris, go and visit the Sewer Museum. It's by Pont D'Alma on the Left Bank......really fascinating.

Last edited by LancasterLad; Aug 22nd, 2018 at 04:02 AM.
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Aug 22nd, 2018, 04:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Sophia12 View Post
Soon I will be in Paris for a week - have been there many times and loved each and every visit. I am thinking now that I would like to begin reading, during the week before and continuing the week that I am there, a book, fiction or non-fiction, that is set in Paris. Anyone have any recommendations?

merci and au revoir,
.....à bientôt.....might have been better.
LancasterLad is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2018, 07:15 AM
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The sewer museum is closed for refurbishing. Not exactly sure how you refurbish a sewer museum.
Belinda is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2018, 07:53 AM
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The Piano Shop on the Left Bank by Thad Carhart
Luncheon of the Boating Party by Susan Vreeland
Vttraveler is online now  
Aug 22nd, 2018, 08:14 AM
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Paris, the Novel, by Edward Rutherdford
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Aug 22nd, 2018, 08:42 AM
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Another vote for Adam Gopnik, all-purpose intellectual at the New Yorker magazine. Paris to the Moon sees the city in part through the eyes of his little boy, now a full-grown adult since the material is two decades old. If any travel advice is dated, his affection for Paris is ageless.
Speaking of dated, Woody Allen's film Paris After Midnight was intentionally out of date when he made it in 2011. It embodies the American illusion that Paris only matters through the experiences of American ex-pats --thank you, Ernest Hemingway et al -- but is still good fun.
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Aug 22nd, 2018, 09:13 AM
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If you want to read about French Pi's written in French by French (and translated in English) :

I recommend Nestor Burma from Tardi (most if not all set in a specific arrondissement of Paris in the 50's)
Nestor Burma

Or of course, from the master Simenon, Commissaire Maigret (who fictionally lived on place des Vosges) but choose one that takes place in Paris.
https://www.penguin.co.uk/series/INS...ector-maigret/

More recent some Fred Vargas are in Paris too. Just finished a climate of fears where part of the investigation is about a company of people reenacting the meetings of the revolution committees (under Roberspierre).
Amazon Amazon
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Aug 22nd, 2018, 03:11 PM
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How about The Elegance of the Hedgehog? I really liked it and it's in Paris, but doesn't range far outside the apartment building where the characters live.

Edith Wharton's The Custom of the Country is set in Paris and other places, but there's a lot of Paris. Another Wharton: The Reef

Oh, a couple of favorites, get them wherever you can. Nancy Mitford's Dont Tell Alfred and even better, The Blessing. Those are my perfect Paris novels.

The Ambassadors by Henry James is great.

The House in Paris by Elizabeth Bowen. Like The Elegance of the Hedgehog, it's confined, but hey, it's in Paris.

My advice is to read Edith Wharton, or James' The Ambassadors and Mitford's The Blessing.
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Aug 22nd, 2018, 03:57 PM
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Amy Thomas Paris my Sweet: A year in the city of light
I am reading The Hotel on Place Vendome right now. Very interesting
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Aug 22nd, 2018, 04:17 PM
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The Paris Wife by Paula McLain
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Aug 23rd, 2018, 07:01 AM
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Fred Vargas having been mentioned, I will recommend "Have Mercy on Us All" (French title: Pars vite et reviens tard) which gives an excellent description of modern Paris. Obviously, anything you can find by a French author -- even in translation -- will give you a more authentic idea of French life than ridiculous novels that foreigners set in Paris (Da Vinci Code, anybody?).
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Aug 23rd, 2018, 09:26 AM
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Paris in Love by Eloisa James. The author and her family spend a year in Paris and she chronicals her experiences. Another enjoyable read (to me) is The Innocents Abroad by Mark Twain. It's not just about Paris, but the entire experience is hilarious.
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Aug 23rd, 2018, 09:28 AM
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Great thread! Thank you for starting this!
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Aug 23rd, 2018, 09:34 AM
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Memoirs of Montparnasse by John Glassco and That Summer in Paris by Morley Callaghan.
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