I’ve read so many books about Paris that the Sorbonne should give me an honorary degree. If you have a Paris-loving friend (who doesn’t), consider the following titles for under the tree.
Following the attacks in Paris, Hemingway’s memoir about the life and city he loved has sold out of bookstores. HOT TIP: There is this small Canadian bookstore around the corner from Shakespeare & Company in Paris. It’s called The Abbey Bookshop and it’s at 29 Rue de la Parcheminerie. Last time I was there I found dozens of used copies of A Moveable Feast. Likely donated by a bunch of expats with no more room in their suitcases. And they give you a cup of tea while you browse.
A curmudgeon but funny 20-something Canadian in Paris gallivanting around Montparnasse. Bonus: Look at the 9 versions of the book cover.
A naive young Englishman coming of age when working in a Paris pharmacy.
According to Amazon: Mysterious, funny, insightful, and heartbreaking, these are tales of expatriates and exiles, wise children and straying saints. According to me: Her writing makes other writers feel like complete boobs.
A photo essay of Paris. She organizes the collection by colour, which is a brilliant concept in a town made of taupe sandstone.
If you ever move to Paris, this book will explain all the weird stuff that goes on, like why you can’t take money out of your account at the bank, why you press your pants to take out the garbage, why people shove their grocery carts against you in line, and other marvels of Paris life.
The opening lines of the back cover read, “In Paris for a weekend visit, Elizabeth Bard sat down to lunch with a handsome Frenchman–and never went home again.” I read these lines before I lived in Paris. Before I met and married Christophe. Before it all happened in a startling similar fashion.
An Australian woman falls in love with a French man and learns the hard way about fitting into French society. It ain’t all roses, believe me. I was reading this book during my first few days in Paris, back before I spoke with Christophe, when we were having staring contests across the cobblestone street.
A woman turns 40 and takes off to Paris for 40 to celebrate. It’s nice to see Paris through the eyes of someone experiencing it for the first time.
Paris from the point of view of a fashion journalist from Vogue. She shows that life surrounding the Paris catwalk isn’t always, ahem, a walk in the park.
It’s a thick read. Long trains of thought to follow, but still laced with lovely lines.
A compilation of stories from expats in Paris. A lovely soft, sometimes sad, read about life in Paris.
A fictional story of Zelda Fitzgerald. A nice way to imagine her point of view, even if it’s not real.
A series of tweets and Facebook posts that became something of an online chronicle expanded to become a book. A strange concept but she pulls it off quite well.
Beautifully written of the fictional account of Hadley, Ernest Hemingway’s first wife, of the time they lived in Paris. Side note: They lived up the street from me and sometimes I imagine him whispering lines to me when I sit in the bars at Place Contrescarpe back when I was a Paris wife.
How can I not include my own book? If you buy the book between now and December 31st, I’ll send you the December Paris Letter (A $10 value). Just send me a message at janicemacleod.com with a proof of payment. I can also send it directly to a friend. Please provide your mailing address. Ho ho ho!
PS. I’ll be here, there and everywhere for the month of December so I’ll be ratcheting the shop down to just letter subscriptions that I can send from the road (bonus: yours might be sent with a foreign postage stamp). If you are looking to order colouring books, cards, or calendars and such, now is the time. Go here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/janiceartship