Paris book recommendations? (fiction)

Jul 9th, 2010, 07:12 PM
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Paris book recommendations? (fiction)

In anticipation of my trip to Paris, I'm looking for some books to add to my ebooks list. I'm talking about books set in Paris or the like - not travel guides or nonfiction kinds of things. Novels that I can read in airplanes are what I'm looking for to help me get in the mood for Paris.

I've got Is Paris Burning on my list. Other recs?
Jun04ItalyHoneymoon is offline  
Jul 9th, 2010, 07:52 PM
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What about the Cara Black mysteries???

She has posted here on Fodor's.

Our friend, Mimi--Cigalechanta, is a big fan.

ThinGorjus is offline  
Jul 9th, 2010, 08:14 PM
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Love the Cara Black mysteries!
If you are a Marie Antoinette fan, I liked reading "Hidden Diary of Marie Antoinette" by Carolly Erickson. It is historical fiction. I also like the the non-fiction book "To the Scaffold" by the same author. I read these before two different trips and then had a Marie Antoinette theme to my trip.

I also liked "The Lady and the Unicorn" by Tracy Chevalier. It is a historical fiction about the "Lady and the Unicorn" tapestries that are at the Cluny museum. It was a fun read and made looking at them more meaningful.

There was a recent book called "Sarah's Key" by Tatiana de Rosnay. It is about the Holocaust and when the Jews were rounded up in Paris and taken to the camps. It was interesting to wander around the Marais and see the places mentioned in the book.

Diane Johnson has 3 books (I think) that take place in Paris. One is Le Marriage. Easy reads and good for the plane.

I know you aren't asking about biography but I really enjoyed Julia Child's "My Life in France". My next trip to Paris will be to visit places she liked to go to when she lived there.

I'm sure I will think of some more!
cls2paris is offline  
Jul 9th, 2010, 08:35 PM
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OMG, there is a thread about this. I've read so many. I'll look it up, and I will look at my collection of these books and post them.
TPAYT is offline  
Jul 9th, 2010, 09:32 PM
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A recent release that I'm just reading now: The Same River Twice.
grandmere is offline  
Jul 10th, 2010, 01:18 PM
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Here's some that I enjoyed:

"The Last Time I Saw Paris"--Elizabeth Adler
"Three Weeks in Paris"--Barbara Taylor Bradford
"Capturing Paris"--Katharine Davis

Now these were true stories, but read like novels:
"Blame It On Paris"--Laura Florand
"Almost French"--Sarah Turnbull
"A Month in Paris"--Candace Bacon

If I think of any more, I'll post.
TPAYT is offline  
Jul 10th, 2010, 02:30 PM
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I second the recommendation for Sarah's Key-- great book! Also The Elegance of the Hedgehog.
jeanned is offline  
Jul 10th, 2010, 03:33 PM
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Not fiction but very good/readable memoirs
Paris to the Moon
The Piano Shop on the Left Bank

Simenon's Maigret mysteries are excellent.
Vttraveler is offline  
Jul 10th, 2010, 04:25 PM
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If you are a 'foodie' at all you will enjoy, Lunch in Paris: A Love Story, with Recipes - Elizabeth Bard. Again non-fiction but a great story.
aussiedreamer is offline  
Jul 10th, 2010, 05:23 PM
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I always enjoy Georges Simenon's Maigret mysteries. They are very atmospheric ... and there are so many of them.
pavot is offline  
Jul 10th, 2010, 07:24 PM
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elsiejune---that is one of the links that I am working my way through. Many of those books take place in France but not Paris specifically and most of them are true stories, not the fiction the poster is looking for.

I have to add though that the true stories are not travel guides or history type books at all but current adventure stories of Paris and French life in general and I love reading them.
TPAYT is offline  
Jul 10th, 2010, 07:57 PM
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Jun04, IS PARIS BURNING? is nonfiction – the fascinating account of the ignominious Nazi exit from Paris at the end of WWII. German generals had the good sense to refuse Hitler’s orders to burn the beautiful city to the ground.

Of course, there is always Ernest Hemingway’s account of his days in Paris in the 20s – THE MOVEABLE FEAST and the romantic old film THE LAST TIME I SAW PARIS with Van Heflan and Elizabeth Taylor in her hay day!
latedaytraveler is offline  
Jul 11th, 2010, 05:48 AM
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The Book of Salt by Monique Truong is a novel narrated by Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas's vietnamese cook.

The knowledge of Water by Sarah Smith is set in 1910 Paris at the time of the city's Great Flood.

And there's always A Tale of Two Cities.
Vttraveler is offline  
Jul 11th, 2010, 07:24 AM
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Not a novel but well worth reading about the author's sojourn in Paris living and working at Shakespeare and Company:

"Time Was Soft There" by Jeremy Mercer

Not Paris specifically but I bought my daughter a "Monsieur Pamplemousse" omnibus she devoured while to/from and in Paris. By Michael Bond.

"Paris Passions" ... Watching the French Being Brilliant and Bizarre - Keith Spicer
ParisAmsterdam is offline  
Jul 11th, 2010, 08:14 AM
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I loved "The Sharper Your Knife, The Less You Cry" by Kathleen Flynn. It's about an American Woman who spends a year at the Cordon Bleu cooking school. It's an autobiography that it gives a wonderful view of the French character as she describes the many teachers and friends she makes during the year. It's a great fun read by an author who doesn't take herself too seriously and isn't afraid to laugh at her own mistakes. She was at the Cordon Bleu in 2003 so it's a fairly new view of Paris.
Celticharper is offline  
Jul 11th, 2010, 08:21 AM
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Thought of some more historical fiction -
"Dancing for Degas" is the story of the ballerinas at the Grand Opera and how Degas used them as his models. It is an interesting story of life in Paris in the early 1900s, especially for the ballerinas who came from poor families and saw this as the only way to make money.

"The Boating Party" is the story of the painting by Renoir. I liked learning about the life of a painter.

The sequel to "Chocolat" is called "The Girl Without a Shadow" and takes place mostly in Montmarte but elsewhere in Paris. Loved both of these books!
cls2paris is offline  
Jul 11th, 2010, 08:26 AM
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The movie, "The Last Time I Saw Paris" has Van Johnson in the lead, not Van Heflan.

The movie is based on a F. Scott Fitzgerald short story, "Babylon Revisited." Story is great, too.

swandav2000 is online now  
Jul 11th, 2010, 09:30 AM
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Cara Black "Murder in the Marais" for fiction

non-fiction: "A Moveable Feast" by Hemingway

non-fiction: "My Life in France" by Julia Child
MelJ is offline  
Jul 11th, 2010, 05:29 PM
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I love any of the books by Balzac, and Guy de Maupassant - some set in Paris, some in other parts of France. For good, easy reading "Le Divorce" is fun, by Diane Johnson.
Sue4 is offline  

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