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Best Books About France

Immerse yourself in the allure of France with this selection of distinguished books. These titles celebrate French heritage, cuisine, fashion, and art, having been consistently featured in the literary recommendations of renowned blogs and publications.

Recommendations from 43 articles, Barack Obama, PewDiePie, Dana Perino and 31 others.
100 books on the list
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All the Light We Cannot See book cover
All the Light We Cannot See
A Novel
Anthony Doerr - 2014-01-01
Goodreads Rating
Set against the backdrop of World War II, this beautiful and moving novel follows the intertwined lives of a blind French girl and a German boy. When Marie-Laure and her father must flee Paris for the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, they carry with them a valuable and dangerous jewel from the Museum of Natural History. Meanwhile, Werner Pfennig grows up enchanted by a radio he finds in a mining town in Germany, and becomes enlisted to track down the resistance. As their paths converge, they must try to be good to each other in the midst of the devastation of war. With stunning detail and captivating prose, this National Book Award finalist is a must-read for lovers of historical fiction.
My Life in France book cover
My Life in France
Julia Child - 2006-04-04
Goodreads Rating
Discover the inspiring story of a woman who transformed the way we think about food in America. Follow Julia Child's journey as she arrives in France knowing nothing about the country or its cuisine, but dives headfirst into the culture, taking classes at the Cordon Bleu and shopping at local markets. Her passion for cooking and teaching ignites, leading to the creation of her now-famous cookbook and TV show. This unforgettable memoir captures the spirit that made Julia one of America's most beloved personalities.
A Year in Provence book cover
A Year in Provence
Peter Mayle - 1991-06-04 (first published in 1989)
Goodreads Rating
Escape to the idyllic countryside of the Lubéron with this heartwarming account of one couple's journey to fulfill their dreams. Follow along as they settle into a charming 200-year-old stone farmhouse and discover the joys of goat racing, indulge in regional cuisine, and experience the beauty of the changing seasons. A Year in Provence is a delightful escape into the simple pleasures of Provençal life.
The Elegance of the Hedgehog book cover
The Elegance of the Hedgehog
Muriel Barbery - 2008-09-02 (first published in 2006)
Goodreads Rating
The Elegance of the Hedgehog invites readers into the lives of the inconspicuous inhabitants of an elegant Parisian building. Follow Renée, a cultured and intelligent concierge, and Paloma, a talented but misunderstood twelve-year-old, as they hide their true selves from a world that doesn't appreciate them. Their lives intertwine with the arrival of a wealthy Japanese man, who sees through their disguises and helps them discover their kindred spirits. This novel celebrates the quiet victories of those often overlooked.
Recommended by
Nate Berkus
Les Misérables book cover
Les Misérables
Victor Hugo - 1987-03-03 (first published in 1862)
Goodreads Rating
Follow the story of Jean Valjean, an escaped convict determined to live an honest life in a community that constantly threatens to reveal his criminal past. Victor Hugo's tale of injustice, heroism, and love illustrates the struggles of redemption and sacrifice, as Valjean fights to protect the daughter of a poverty-stricken prostitute. But as Inspector Javert's relentless pursuit jeopardizes his newfound freedom, Valjean must decide how far he's willing to go to keep his promises.
Paris book cover
The Novel
Edward Rutherfurd - 2013-04-23
Goodreads Rating
This epic novel by a grand master of historical fiction takes readers on a thrilling journey through the magnificent city of Paris. From noble families to humble revolutionaries, the characters' stories of self-discovery and long-kept secrets unfold throughout the city's rich history. Impeccably researched and narrated, this captivating book brings the sights and sounds of the City of Light to brilliant life.
Suite Française book cover
Suite Française
Irene Nemirovsky - 2007-04-10 (first published in 2004)
Goodreads Rating
This historical novel is a masterpiece that captures the human drama of life and death in occupied France during World War II. The first two parts of a planned five-part epic were written by the highly successful writer, Irene Nemirovsky, who was herself a Jew and a victim of the Holocaust. The first part depicts the chaos of the massive exodus from Paris on the eve of Nazi invasion, while the second part portrays the complex interactions between German soldiers and the villagers they occupy. Suite Française is a profound and moving work of art that delves into the essence of humanity.
Sixty Million Frenchmen Can’t Be Wrong book cover
Sixty Million Frenchmen Can’t Be Wrong
Why We Love France but Not the French
Jean Nadeau - 2003-05-01
Goodreads Rating
Discover the secrets of French longevity and economic power in this fascinating exploration of French culture. Despite smoking, drinking and eating more than any other nation, the French are healthier and wealthier than Americans. Find out why as Nadeau and Barlow delve into the heart, mind, and soul of France, exploring everything from their ideas about land and privacy to their elite education and street protests. Gain a complete picture of French society and what makes it so unique.
The Count of Monte Cristo book cover
The Count of Monte Cristo
Alexandre Dumas - 2003-05-27 (first published in 1844)
Goodreads Rating
Experience the thrilling tale of Edmond Dantès, a dashing young hero who is betrayed by his enemies and thrown into a secret dungeon. Trapped in a dank prison cell for years, he miraculously escapes and seeks revenge. Set against the turbulent years of the Napoleonic era, this widely read romantic novel by Alexandre Dumas paints a dazzling, exuberant vision of France that has become immortal. Abridged by Lowell Blair for an engaging and concise read.
The Nightingale book cover
The Nightingale
A Novel
Kristin Hannah - 2015-02-03
Goodreads Rating
Set in WWII France, The Nightingale follows the stories of two sisters who embark on their own dangerous paths towards survival, love, and freedom in German-occupied, war-torn France. Vianne and Isabelle's lives take different turns during the war, but both must make impossible choices to stay alive. Kristin Hannah's heartbreakingly beautiful novel illuminates the rarely seen stories of women's war and celebrates the resilience and durability of the human spirit. It's a novel for everyone, a must-read for a lifetime.
The Hunchback of Notre-Dame by Victor Hugo
Almost French by Sarah Turnbull
A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway
The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
Chocolat by Joanne Harris
How Paris Became Paris by Joan Dejean
The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George
Dangerous Liaisons by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos
La Bête humaine by Émile Zola
The Ladies' Paradise by Émile Zola
The Piano Shop on the Left Bank by Thad Carhart
My Twenty-five Years in Provence by Peter Mayle
The Sweet Life in Paris by David Lebovitz
The Oxford History of the French Revolution by William Doyle
The Only Street in Paris by Elaine Sciolino
The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas
The Paris Wife by Paula McLain
Paris to the Moon by Adam Gopnik
Bonjour Tristesse by Francoise Sagan
How to Be Parisian Wherever You Are by Anne Berest
Kiffe Kiffe Tomorrow by Faiza Guene
Swann's Way by Marcel Proust
The Room on Rue Amélie by Kristin Harmel
Hunting and Gathering by Anna Gavalda
A Bite-Sized History of France by Stéphane Hénaut
Anatole by Eve Titus
The New Paris by Lindsey Tramuta
The Seine by Elaine Sciolino
The Glorious Flight by Alice Provensen
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay
Madame Tussaud by Michelle Moran
The Bonjour Effect by Julie Barlow
Seven Ages of Paris by Alistair Horne
Bruno, Chief of Police by Martin Walker
The Horseman on the Roof by Jean Giono
The Cleaner of Chartres by Salley Vickers
The Flaneur by Edmund White
L'Appart by David Lebovitz
Dirt by Bill Buford
When in French by Lauren Collins
Perfume by Patrick Sskind
Bringing Up Bébé by Pamela Druckerman
The Lover by Marguerite Duras
Mission Paris by Catherine Aragon
Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
The red and the Black by 1783-1842 Stendhal
Time Was Soft There by Jeremy Mercer
The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer
The Apprentice by Jacques Pépin
Citizens by Simon Schama
Rendez-Vous in Cannes by Jennifer Bohnet
The Lost Vintage by Ann Mah
Don't Be a Tourist in Paris by Vanessa Grall
The Discovery of France by Graham Robb
The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans
The Iron King by Maurice Druon
Paris by Megan Hess
Wine and War by Donald Kladstrup
Françoise Sagan Bonjour tristesse by Françoise Sagan
A History of France by John Julius Norwich
One More Croissant for the Road by Felicity Cloake
Bel-Ami by Guy de Maupassant
La Seduction by Elaine Sciolino
Letters from my Windmill by Alphonse Daudet
The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
Paris by Colin Jones
The Little French Bistro by Nina George
Paris in Stride by Jessie Kanelos Weiner
Michelin Green Guide Paris by Michelin
Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
The Alice Network by Kate Quinn
Escape to the French Farmhouse by Jo Thomas
This is Paris by Miroslav Sasek
The New Parisienne by Lindsey Tramuta
100 Places in France Every Woman Should Go by Marcia DeSanctis
Back Roads France by DK Eyewitness
Walking the Somme by Paul Reed
Lonely Planet France by Lonely Planet
Delicious days in Paris by Jane Paech
Super Cheap Paris Travel Guide 2021 by Phil G Tang
Nomadic Matt's Guide to Paris (2018 Edition) by Matthew Kepnes
Murder on the Quai by Cara Black
The Mad Women's Ball by Mas Victoria
Zazie in the Metro by Raymond Queneau
A Sport and a Pastime by James Salter
Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932 by Francine Prose
Labyrinth by Kate Mosse