My favorite books are often those that evoke a unique sense of place. I admit that I sometimes pick up books because they feature picturesque scenery, a cool city, or an exotic location on their covers. Although these can simply be marketing ploys targeted at readers like me, I do have a few French-inspired favorites that allow me to mentally escape without leaving home…
A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway
This memoir not only catapults me to Paris, but it sends me to Paris in Hemingway’s golden era: the 1920’s. It’s surprisingly readable and is best coupled with the historical fiction novel The Paris Wife by Paula McLain.
Tout Sweet by Karen Wheeler
I read this during a recent vacation, and although I was on the beach, I was dreaming of jetting off to southern France to relive Karen Wheeler’s expat experience. Her spontaneous move from England to France is the Francophile version of Frances Mayes’s Under the Tuscan Sun.
Paris: An Inspiring Tour of the City’s Creative Heart
Though not a “literary” book, Janelle McCulloch’s photo-filled Paris: An Inspiring Tour of the City’s Creative Heart satisfies my frequent Paris hankerings. McCulloch gives an arrondissement by arrondissement look at some of Paris’s hidden gems…and everything is so aesthetically pleasing, I get depressed about my distance from Paris all over again.