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Best Books To Read In Paris

  • Oct 7, 2010
I used to travel a great deal, and on long trips for business. I'd often stay in cities for weeks or even months. It was my routine to select books for the trip that I thought fit the city. Here is a short list for Paris. It includes some classics and some off-beat things too. Paris is a moody city and with reading, it is fun to follow those moods into books.
1
A Moveable Feast
It is entirely possible to read this novel in one day, and visit almost every place Hemingway cites. Of course, it also means having a good many glasses of wine to do it. Do it on a Sunday.
2
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
What else is more Parisian than Notre Dame?
3
A Tale of Two Cities
SImply and utterly magnificent reading.
4
Le Divorce (William Abrahams Book)
A good romp perfect for reading while at dinner alone.
5
Seven Ages of Paris
Alistair Horne is an amazing historian and writer. Paris in seven parts is great reading even for those who prefer novels - like me.
6
book cover
Henry Miller at his best.
7
Perfume
A wonderful historical story, which makes you go buy perfume, too.
8
Highsmith's Ripley series always had Paris in their periphery. Ripley lived outside Paris in all the novels after The Talented Mr. Ripley.
9
W. Somerset Maugham
The Razor's Edge is such a brilliant piece of expat history, and reminds me as Maugham's work so often does, that I was born far far too late. I would have loved this time period.
10
Babylon Revisited: And Other Stories
Fitzgerald was the consumate expat as is this story.

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March 29, 2011
Great list! I'm going to Paris for the first time this September and will definitely add some of these to my reading list. My Paris favorites to date include "My Life in France" by Julie Child and "The Sweet Life in Paris" by David Lebovitz. Wjile both made me hungry, "The Sweet Life in Paris" made me laugh out loud so many times I lost count!
 
March 29, 2011
Excellent list of Paris reads. You have some really good selections!
 
October 08, 2010
Great List. I would also suggest 'Luncheon of the Boating Party' by Susan Vreeland. Gets you in the mood for all that art you can see in Paris and makes you want to go boating on the Seine!
 
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