Paris, France

Paris, France

Sunday, 14 July, 2024

When you daydream about Paris — and you do daydream about Paris, right?! — whatever sparkling, romantic images you conjure are probably not too far off the mark. It is known, after all, as the City of Lights and the City of Love.

The Eiffel Tower can be seen from almost everywhere and is a constant reminder that you are in Paris. The streets are lined with cafés, the tables and chairs arranged so you can sit next to your companions and look out on the people passing by. The smell of baguettes wafts in the streets in the early morning. And when the sun gets lower in the sky, burnishing the buildings with its slow, every café is filled with people drinking wine, smoking cigarettes, and talking, while their hands gesture in the air to make a point. In many ways, it is just like the movies.

But Paris is home to more than 2 million people, and they’re not all chic women in little black dresses. Paris is a modern, thriving city with a rich, multicultural population — and a cultural scene that pushes forward — in music, art, literature, technology, cuisine — as it nods at its illustrious past.

Paris is a world-class and world-influencing setting for all kinds of stories about everyday heroes and larger-than-life figures.

our podcast

In this episode, we talk about how Paris lives up to its dreamy reputation. Then we discuss the books that transported us there: an insightful memoir about one lively (and typically Parisian) street, an illustrated novel about the magic of everyday life, a fictional biography of Madame Tussaud, a modern crime novel with a snappy heroine, and a confection of a story that centers around a very special bottle of wine. (show notes / transcript)

(Looking for France recommendations beyond Paris? Listen to our podcast episode France: Mostly Here for the Butter.)

recommended books

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


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


buy | read review

Tasting Paris

buy | read review

Tunnel of Bones

buy | read review

Vintage 1954

buy | read review

Top image courtesy of Nil Castellví/Unsplash.

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featured posts

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.
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.

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