My book collection is always growing and I’m always on the lookout for more. From novels to cookbooks and coffee table books, I love them all. France is always a favorite subject and many of my most-loved titles fall into this category. I wanted to share a list of the new (to me) books about France that I’ve recently purchased.
Every Frenchman Has One
I discovered Every Frenchman Has One after hearing about Oliva de Havilland’s death on Sunday. All it took was for me to read the description and I immediately ordered the book. I don’t think it’s easy for anyone to become parisienne, but I’m comforted in knowing that it also wasn’t easy for Acadamy Award-winning de Havilland. The book is described as “delightful and amusing.” I can only imagine with stories of “skirmishes with French customs, French maids, French salesladies, French holidays, French law, French doctors, and above all, the French language.” I really can’t wait to read this one!
The New Parisienne
I’ve been excited about The New Parisienne for a while, and I think it came at just the right time. Lindsay Tramuta dismantles the traditional image of a parisienne and highlights over 50 “activists, creators, educators, visionaries, and disruptors.” Not only does the book feature the women and what they’ve accomplished, but it also serves as a guide of Paris with female-owned shops, restaurants, and more. The book and photography is just as beautiful as the stories it tells and it would be a great gift for a Francophile.
Let Them Eat Pancakes
Ever since I read the snippet about an 86-year-old French woman trying a burger for the first time I was hooked on Carlson’s writing. Let Them Eat Pancakes is the follow-up to Pancakes in Paris and is all about food, adventure, and obstacles that come with running a business in France. It’s filled with plenty of hilarious and “only in France” encounters and characters as well. I have a feeling this will be a new favorite book of mine.
A Parisian Bistro: La Fontaine de Mars in 50 Recipes
If you’ve ever been to La Fontaine de Mars you know it’s a special place. If you haven’t been, I highly recommend going. It’s one of those classic French bistros that can do no wrong. Every experience is lovely from the food to the atmosphere and the service. There’s a reason it’s so loved by everyone from neighborhood regulars and tourists to Robert De Niro and the Obamas. A Parisian Bistro: La Fontaine de Mars in 50 Recipes would be a great addition to any French cookbook collection.
David Lebovitz did an Instagram live series during the confinement sold me on his Drinking French book. I’ve been a longtime fan of Lebovitz and really trust his recommendations when it comes to food and Paris in general. The book features 160 recipes for everything from coffee and hot chocolate to cocktail and regional apéritifs, all accompanied by Lebovitz’s great commentary and stories of life in France. And of course, there are few recipes for snacks to accompany the beverages. This book is great for mixologists, Francophiles, or just anyone looking to elevate a French-themed gathering!
I’ve mentioned The Cartiers before, but since it’s a new book I think it’s worth another mention. It’s written by Francesca Cartier Brickell, great granddaughter of one of the Cartier brothers. The book details the story about the family behind the famous jewelry empire. It’s filled with drama, romance, and betrayal as well as behind-the-scenes looks at some of the most iconic jewelry pieces and famous clients. A perfect summer read!
After just returning from the Riviera I can again confirm that there’s nothing like it. I can’t even begin to imagine what it must’ve been like during the time of Chanel’s Riviera. Another great summer read option, the book begins in the Côte d’Azur in 1938 in the middle of a period of great wealth and luxury with characters like the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Joseph P. Kennedy, Gloria Swanson, Colette, and Picasso among others. The place to be was Coco Chanel’s villa, La Pausa. Shortly after, the Nazis invade and the situation goes from glamour and decadence to survival, for both rich and poor.
Splendeur des Jardins de la Côte d’Azur
Splendeur des Jardins de la Côte d’Azur wins prettiest on the list. While definitely not under the new category, I can’t recommend it enough. Romain’s family has a copy in Normandy and that’s where I fell in love with the gorgeous photographs of the gardens in the Côte d’Azur. I bought the French version, but it’s also available in English. Trust me, this book will have you dreaming of an escape to the French Riviera.
French Love Poems
My mom gave me French Love Poems and I really think it’s such a perfect and sweet gift. It’s small in size and feels delicate just like the poetry inside. The book covers everything from classic sixteenth century sonnets to dreamlike surrealism with verses from Guillaume Apollinaire, Charles Baudelaire, Marceline Desbordes-Valmore, and Paul Verlaine among others. Each poem is in French with side-by-side English translations, so it’s a great way to practice your French!
I hope you enjoyed this list of new books about France that I’ve purchased (or received as a gift). I’d love to know if there are any books you’ve recently purchased that you love – about France or otherwise!
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