~Bonjour Tristesse-Francois Sagan
Francois Sagan wrote this classic novel when she was only 18. 18! When I was 18 I was still trying to figure out how to apply make up not completely wreck my life with indecision. The novel follows Cecile who is on vacation with her father and mistress who are vapid and lazy. When Anne, a friend of her fathers appears their idle and frivolous lives are changed. Bonjour Tristesse is one of my favourite books of all time and belongs in everyone’s bookshelf, Francophile or no.
~ How To Be Impossibly French-Helena Firth Powell
This was the book that started my French obsession (okay, it didn’t start it but it was the first book I bought). I had a baby raccoon at that time (guys, life advice: don’t adopt a baby raccoon even if they are the cutest things known to humankind) and he pooed a little on my book which isn’t very “chic French lady” but oh well. It’s a very enjoyable read and full of good advice.
~The Paris Herald-James Oliver Goldsborough
A semi-fictionalized but mostly biographical version of the American paper in Paris during the 60’s, it can be a bit tedious at times but overall it paints a vivid and beautiful picture of Paris.
~ The Paris Wife~ Paula McClain
Ernest Hemingway is an extremely problematic writer, to be sure, but his role as part of the lost generation and his time in France were important to literature today. This novel follows his stint in Paris through the eyes of his first wife and is beautifully written, insightful, engaging and heartbreaking.
~Love, Style, Life-Garance Dore
Garance Dore talks about developing her personal style and becoming an illustrator, gives fashion tips and talks about her life at the blog. Her writing is so enjoyable I read this in one sitting (sure, it was while I was confined in public transport on the way home for the holidays but still). It’s full of beautiful pictures too!
~ Le Divorce-Diane Johnson
This novel and film have generally gotten reviews ranging from bad to not great. I however have learned from all these books that a French woman is always contrary so I enjoyed this book about American expats in France a lot. And I liked the film. No shame.
~How To Be Parisian Wherever You Are-Anne Berest, Audrey Diwan, Caroline De Maigret, Sophie Mas
This book is full of useful advice and even delicious recipes. Whenever I feel like my life is getting out of hand I read this and remember to spend more time staring wistfully off into space, cooking delicious chickens, changing my sisters name in my phone to try to convince my boyfriend that I have a lover and to put ice cubes in my champagne. There’s lots of beautiful pictures as well.
~Parisian Chic-Ines De La Fressange
Of course, if you only buy one book about Parisian style this is the one! From where to shop, fashion rules to follow and break, beauty tips, and more this is a simply beautiful book and one that’s perfect on any book shelf (or coffee table in my case, in case I need some quick inspiration).
Well, I’m off now to sit on a bench and suffer some ennui and then have some wine, red of course!