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Updated: July 7, 2021 See Also
A few of my favorite books about or set-in Paris.
Sidenote: My favorite movies about Paris are Midnight in Paris and Before Sunset. Both magical. 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.
An American author looks back at his childhood in Fontainebleau and his family’s weekend trips to Paris.
L’Appart: The Delights and Disasters of Making My Paris Home
Life in Paris through the eyes of a pastry chef (as he attempts to update his Paris apartment). Best Books about Paris History and Culture
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.
The Only Street in Paris: Life on the Rue des Martyrs
The former Paris Bureau Chief of the New York Times’ evocative exploration of the history and inhabitants of one street in Paris.
The Bonjour Effect: The Secret Codes of French Conversation Revealed
A funny (but affectionate) and engaging look at modern French culture and quirks.
The Discovery of France
A lively and informative read on the origins of France – its language and political geography. Quirky, but still my favorite history of the country. 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. See also his excellent first cookbook, My Paris Kitchen.
Mastering the Art of French Cooking
The widely-celebrated landmark cookbook, considered by many as the Bible of French cuisine.
Around My French Table: More than 300 Recipes from My Home to Yours
Great for first-timers to French cuisine, with approachable recipes written in a down-to-earth style.
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
A Place of Greater Safety
The best historical novel set in Paris, featuring the major players of the French Revolution. Simply fantastic.
The Paris Wife
1920’s Paris through the eyes of Ernest Hemingway’s first wife, Hadley Richardson. Historical fiction of the highest order.
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.
The Ladies’ Paradise
This chronicle of the rise of the world’s first department store is based on the story of the Bon Marche is and now a well-loved TV series.
This classic novel set in the French Revolution is a beast, but it’s worth the effort – especially for fans of the award-winning musical.
Paris for One & Other Stories
Sweet and simple romantic short story collection; the two most prominent ones are set in Paris. Best Childrens Books about Paris
Brilliant. My favorite kids book ever.
This is Paris
Classic children’s book filled with charming illustrations of iconic scenery and explanations of Parisian history and culture.
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. Read More