Let’s talk about Paris!
How do YOU decide what to do and where to go when you are in Paris? I don’t need to tell you that the possibilities are endless; but somehow you need to narrow down the choices and think about just what is important to YOU.
I have shelves of books about France, Paris, fiction, biographies, historical writings, guides to hotels and inns, many, many maps, shopping guides and a healthy dose of French language books and guides.
A selection of one of my several shelves filled with all kinds of assorted reading about France and Paris:
A special note about the two copies, above, of “French or Foe?” by Polly Platt.
This was one of the first books I read when I began to visit France on a regular basis. Some reviewers are not crazy about the book; I loved it and found it so helpful, amusing and real! Yes, by now it seems a bit out of date but take a look and see if it interests you…
Next we have these City Walks guides. I think they are great, whether you are a first time flâneur or experienced traveller.
A selection of books I refer to often:
This is one of my personal all-time favorites:
Quiet Corners of Paris
It was through this perfectly square little book that I discovered the
“Musee de la Vie Romantique” in the 9th arrondissement. What a gem with the lovely, quiet gardens, old buildings, small cafe, and those typically Parisian benches. But the book has so…many other gems. I urge you to take a look.
I am generally not a fan of the more commercial guide books, but here are two exceptions.
First is this: the Knopf Mapguides “Paris”
This book/guide is arranged by arrondissement with a very good map that opens up, and then suggestions broken down by Restaurants, Tearooms Cafes & Bars, Shopping, and Museums. At the very end of the book is a section “Hotels in Paris” divided by price. While it only lists about five in each price category, I was surprised at the quality and accuracy of each listing. I found some hidden and unusual choices after cross-referencing them on line. So take a look. And, this is a series of about forty different cities around the world.
Hiding under the Knopf guide is the ubiquitous green Michelin Paris guide.
This entire series, as you may know, is a reliable and good source.
And now, the best for last!
I was just given this book by a very good friend, as an early birthday present (daughter and I will be celebrating my birthday while over there!)
Paris: An Inspiring Tour of the City’s Creative Heart
It is a truly lovely book. I know… another book about Paris, you say.
Not so. Whether looking through the book by Arrondissements, ” A Stroll Through Paris” or in the Paris Handbook sections of “Design”, “Style”, or “Flavor” it is well written, has exceptionally beautiful photographs, and is full of unique places and anecdotes. I highly recommend this book.
I do hope my suggestions have been, or will be, helpful to you. And I hope you will let all of us know if you have some good suggestions or ideas about your travel experiences; we would all love to know!
Hi Libby- Before I went to Paris the first time I read Rachel Field’s book, “All This and Heaven Too”. It’s fiction, but the story’s wonderful and she writes about Paris so vividly. The movie version with Bette Davis pales in comparison. I got hooked by the book, and think of it every time I think of Paris.
Robin: Thanks so much!!! I just bought for my Kindle (and just upgraded to the Paperwhite Kindle , so I’m all set!) How ARE you? Dying to hear all about it, so write or call? oxox
What a wonderful selection of books! I wish I had had that “Quiet Corners of Paris” book when I was there 5 years ago. Is the Rodin Museum in there? It’s a wonderful spot to wander and the garden cafe is gorgeous.
When do you leave? I’m so envious – but happy that you’ll be spending time with your daughter there!!!
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Heather: You know, I’ve never been to the Rodin Museum and no, it’s not in this book. Actually, I’ve been “told” that we have a lunch date in the 7th on that Saturday, so this would be a perfect stop. I will let you know…
Very helpful! I’m excited for you; it’s such a wonderful time of year to travel.
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I loved FRENCH OR FOE!
Great choices! Have a wonderful time!
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I have a FEW Of YOUR Books!HAPPY BIRTHDAY and DO have a wonderful trip!
Paris NEVER disappoints!!
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Sorry for the delay here! Yes, the countdown is on. They’ve been having such warm beautiful weather which, of course, is supposed to turn just about the day we get there!
I love reading about places I am visiting before I get there especially those that recommend places away from the tourist trail that are popular with the locals. Sarah x
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Hi Sarah: yes, we certainly try to stay away from the more touristy places. And I simply will not stand in any long lines!