France

France

Friday, 14 June, 2024

According to people in the know, there are two Frances: Paris and the rest of the (alluring, picturesque) country. Let’s celebrate the châteaux, coastlines, cathedrals, cuisine, mountains, and museums outside Paris that give France its unique je ne sais quoi.

It’s hard to argue with the notion that France offers the best of everything. From scenery and snacks to iconic art, world-changing history, and culture-shaping fashion, it’s practically ground zero for the good things in life. The light is golden. The wine is luscious. The cheese is heavenly, and the scenery is so beautiful, it makes the heart yearn.

You can take a road trip or a bike ride among the purple rivers of lavender fields in Provence or the gilt-and-green vineyards in Burgundy. Loll in the sun and splash in the sea along the Riviera — or tour a château where nobles ruled and romanced 500 years ago. Wander the streets and cafés that inspired Vincent Van Gogh, then relax under a shade tree with a perfect baguette and the world’s best butter.

our podcast

In this episode, we take a virtual road trip around France, explore the Bayeux Tapestry, and get curious about an obscure (and deeply romantic) French law. Then we recommend five great books that took us to France on the page, including a charming slice-of-life novel (that made Mel happy to be a human), a thrilling fictional biography, a cozy Mediterranean murder mystery, the tale of a badass lady spy in WWII, and a lyrical novel that will break your heart and put it back together. (show notes / transcript)

(Looking for Paris recommendations? We got all daydreamy about Paris in our podcast episode Paris: It’s Always a Good Idea.)

recommended books

Clara Reads Proust

buy | read review

Joan: A Novel of Joan of Arc

buy | read review

Murder on the Île Sordou

buy | read review

A Woman of No Importance

buy | read review

Fresh Water for Flowers

buy | read review

The Bookseller

buy | read review

The Elegance of the Hedgehog

buy | read review

Haunting Paris

buy | read review

The Godmother

buy | read review

The Invention of Hugo Cabret

buy | read review

Little

buy | read review

The Only Street in Paris: Life on the Rue des Martyrs

buy | read review

The Piano Shop on the Left Bank

buy | read review

The Red Notebook

buy | read review

Spitfire

buy | read review

Tasting Paris

buy | read review

Tunnel of Bones

buy | read review

Vintage 1954

buy | read review

Top image courtesy of Pedro Lastra/Unsplash.

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featured posts

So many important questions: Where to go first? The magic of Mont-Saint-Michel or the Bayeaux Tapestry or Rouen Cathedral? Walk in the footsteps of Van Gogh or tour a château? White wine or red? One baguette or two?
Travel back in time to the South of France. To a humble, bright-colored room in a yellow house in Arles, in the company of the artist Vincent Van Gogh. His masterwork 'Bedroom in Arles' inspired this tender poem.
It's one last blast of summer with this twisty novel of a perfect French holiday gone horribly, delightfully wrong. You'll feel the relentless sunshine glint on the pages as you careen to the very satisfying ending.
When you daydream about Paris, whatever sparkly, romantic images you conjure are not far off the mark. It is known, after all, as the City of Lights and the City of Love. In this episode, we wax poetic about Paris.
This weekend, we recommend a getaway to Paris: bookstalls along the Seine, the Eiffel Tower, sidewalk cafés — but also Nazi hunters, drug gangs, and motorcycle assassins. The City of Lights has a dark side.
This is a love letter to the unforgettable meals we've eaten in Paris — and we share a recipe for a dish that perfectly captures the high-low spirit of French cuisine. Great ingredients + imagination = pure pleasure.
We've said it before, but it bears repeating: Paris is always a good idea. That's why we're recommending 13 books that are like a magic portal to Paris. Wouldn't you enjoy a virtual trip to the city by the Seine?
This landmark bookshop, run by the Galignani family since 1801, has a colorful history. After you take in the fine art at the Louvre, visit Librairie Galignani to pick up a great book for reading time at the café.
Look, if you're a strong woman ready to step into a man's world like our heroine Patience, you're gonna need to eat your veggies. These vibrant recipes from North Africa make getting vitamins and minerals a treat.
These Instagrammers go beyond the typical postcard shots to share the extraordinary and everyday happenings in Paris. From cafés in the rain to sun shining on the Seine, you'll be transported there in an instant.
Livy Nash has been in a muddle since the war ended, alive but not really living. Her days are spent proofreading, her nights with a bottle for company. Then Ian Fleming invites her into a dangerous game of espionage.
In this lyrical novel of love and loss, our heroine Sylvie embarks on a quest through the beautiful City of Lights to find a child gone missing during WWII and to lay to rest the ghost of the great love of her life.

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