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by Santorini Dave • Updated: April 26, 2018
A few of my favorite Paris books that I pulled off my bookshelves.
Best Books about Life in Paris
- My Life in France
Magical memoir of Julia Child’s years in France. My favorite book about life in France as a foreigner.
- Paris to the Moon
Gopnik spent 5 years in Paris as a writer for the New Yorker. An inside look at life in France with his wife and young child. If you’re looking for the definitive Paris travel book then this is it.
- A Moveable Feast
Paris in the 1920s through Hemingway’s eyes. A classic.
- The Flaneur: A Stroll through the Paradoxes of Paris
A walk through the streets of Paris in search of beauty, culture, and knowledge.
- Me Talk Pretty One Day
A humorous take on life in modern Paris.
- I’ll Always Have Paris
Buchwald’s love letter to Paris based on his time there as a writer for the New York Herald Tribune.
- The Piano Shop on the Left Bank
A wonderful little book about Paris, pianos, and a few very special people.
- Paris in Stride: An Insider’s Walking Guide
Part travel guide, part inspiration. Wonderfully done.
Best Books about Paris History and Culture
- The Discovery of France
A fun and informative read on the origins of France. My favorite history of the country.
- Rimbaud: A Biography
The focus is the writer, not the city – but this book is so great it’s a must-read for Paris fans.
- Seven Ages of Paris
The most readable, exciting, and informative history of Paris.
- The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris
The story of the artists, writers, doctors, and adventurers that settled in Paris between 1830 and 1900. An exhilarating read.
- How Paris Became Paris: The Invention of the Modern City
A history of Paris development from chaotic alleyways to grand boulevards.
- Paris: The Novel
800 pages of easily digestible Paris history.
Best Books about Paris Food
- The Sweet Life in Paris
The story of an American chef in Paris, the ins and outs of French food, and over 50 recipes.
- Paris for Foodies: Your Ultimate Guide to Eating in Paris
The single best guide to restaurants and eating in Paris.
- Between Meals: An Appetite for Paris
The writer for the New Yorker recounts his eating adventures in Paris.
Best Paris Fiction
- The Paris Wife
1920’s Paris through the eyes of Ernest Hemingway’s first wife, Hadley Richardson. Historical fiction of the highest order.
- Le Divorce
A light-hearted but enjoyable novel about two sisters re-acquainting in Paris.
- The Elegance of the Hedgehog
The highly-acclaimed story of a Paris apartment building and its denizens.
Best Childrens Books about Paris
Brilliant. My favorite kids book ever.
- 13 Paintings Children Should Know
A good introduction to art and artists.
- Katie Meets The Impressionists
A great series on the master artists. Fun and informative.
- Adèle & Simon
A young brother and sister’s adventures through the streets and squares of Paris. Gorgeous pen-and-ink drawings.
- The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Stunning graphic novel (500 pages) about an orphan who lives in a Paris train station and has a mystery to solve. In 2011 it was made into the equally wonderful movie, Hugo.
- Madame Pamplemousse and Her Incredible Edibles
“In the city of Paris, on the banks of the river, tucked away from the main street down a narrow, winding alley, there is a shop.” – and from there the magic untwirls.