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Paris Reading Suggestions (not guidebook)

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Mar 10th, 2011, 07:04 AM
  #1
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Paris Reading Suggestions (not guidebook)

Hi all! My fiance and I will be heading off to Paris this summer for our honeymoon. I was wondering if the fodrites had any suggestions on books to read about Paris history/art/architecture to get excited for the trip! I'm a big fan of art and architectural history, as well as the lives of French royalty. Did anyone read a book that they just loved before a trip to Paris?
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Mar 10th, 2011, 07:55 AM
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The seven ages of Paris is good. Voltaire Almighty was a favorite of my husbands. For light reading I enjoyed the Cara Black mystery series. Started with Murder in the Marais.
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Mar 10th, 2011, 08:03 AM
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Antonia Fraser's book on Marie Antoinette was good.
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Mar 10th, 2011, 08:10 AM
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http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...-in-france.cfm

Here's a good selection. Many are in Paris.

Have a wonderful trip!
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Mar 10th, 2011, 08:16 AM
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I just finished: "Madame Tussaud" by Michelle Moran and found it fascinating. I can even send it to you if you email me!
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Mar 10th, 2011, 08:37 AM
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The "Seven Ages of Paris" looks interesting! Thanks for the link to the other fodors post, I hadn't found that. I was surfing Barnes and Noble and saw "Into a Paris Quartier", has anyone read that? It seemed like a little more of a light hearted take on Parisian history.
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Mar 10th, 2011, 08:37 AM
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http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...te-of-mind.cfm

Here's another thread that will "take you there"
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Mar 10th, 2011, 09:50 AM
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http://www.librarything.com/work/235945

One of the best books ever on Parisian architecture. A coffee-table book, but eminently readable.

For something completely different, I just yesterday finished reading John Baxter's We'll Always Have Paris: Sex and Love in the City of Light. Could not put it down.
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Mar 10th, 2011, 12:55 PM
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Hemingway's A Moveable Feast is very evocative of Paris at a specific point in time. It made me fall in love with Paris before I'd ever really seen it! I love the way he describes viewing the Cezannes on an empty stomach made the images sharper. It's a fast read.
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Mar 10th, 2011, 01:18 PM
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Paris to the Moon.
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Mar 10th, 2011, 03:03 PM
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Whether or not it's good writing is a matter of debate, but The DaVinci Code would get me in a Paris mood.

Between Meals, A.J. Liebling's collection of essays relating to Paris and food, would also be a great choice.

If you'd rather watch a movie, two good ones for getting Paris-fied are Before Sunrise, a decent romantic comedy, and Diva, a terrific crime-suspense film.
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Mar 10th, 2011, 03:13 PM
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Paris, the Biography of a City, by Colin Jones. Sarah's Key (Holocaust fiction). Suite Francaise (evcuation of Paris). My Life in France, by Julia Childes. Any number of books re the roundup of Jews by the French at le Velodrome d'Hiver. Is Paris Burning? Americans in Paris. A Town Like Paris by Bruce Corbett. Dancing for Degas. Paris Passions by Keith Spier. Why Sixty Million Fremchmen Can't Be Wrong. The Sharper the Knife, the Less You Cry(Le Cordon Bleue). Any of the Detective Maigret series by Georges Simenon.
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Mar 10th, 2011, 03:17 PM
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I'll second the Baxter book with some amusing photos.
A Corner in the Marais,
The Secret Life of the Seine,
A Place in the World Called Paris.
We'll Always Have Paris,American tourists since 1930,
The Lost King.

Movie suggestion, Ronin
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Mar 10th, 2011, 04:17 PM
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The Companion Guide to Paris by Anthony Glyn. And, somewhat off topic, Sarah Bakewell's recent How to Live, A Life of Montaigne in One Question and Twenty Attempts at an Answer now available in paperback.
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Mar 10th, 2011, 06:04 PM
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Yes, Diva! Very 80's, but so great... Ronin, too, for those great car chase scenes!

And thanks Bronxbomber for reminding me about Suite Française. I'd wanted to read it a while back but somehow it had fallen off my list.
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Mar 10th, 2011, 06:12 PM
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forgot to add The Elegance of the Hedgehog, it made me laugh,
it made me cry. I hope they release the film that they adapted from this book.
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Mar 11th, 2011, 07:42 AM
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Thanks all! I've added so many books to my cart at Barnes and Noble I don't think I'll be able to read them all before I leave
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Mar 13th, 2011, 03:41 PM
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I guess maybe you're not looking for any more suggestions, but just in case I would tentatively (because I haven't actually read it yet) recommend "Parisians" by Graeme Robb. Why recommend a book I haven't read, you ask? Because I absolutely loved his book "The Discovery of France" and I have every intention of reading "Parisians" as well, I just haven't quite got around to it (it's staring at me from my bookshelves instead...) Even if you think you know French history (or if you don't) he gives a completely new perspective on forgotten people and incidents, and really brings French culture alive in a new way. I will really have to get on to reading it now!
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Mar 13th, 2011, 04:18 PM
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Another vote for Ernest Hemingway's A Moveable Feast. I read it while I was living there, and unfortunately loaned it to a friend.
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Mar 13th, 2011, 04:23 PM
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The Piano Shop on the Left Bank
Luncheon of the Boating Party
Book of Salt by Monique Truong
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