Five Books To Read Before You Visit Paris

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With the awful fire last week at Notre Dame, I started thinking about our trip to Paris a few years ago. Paris is such a beautiful city- one of the most beautiful cities I’ve ever seen- and I’d love to visit again soon. With its history and beauty and of course with so many famous authors having lived in Paris, there are so many books featuring the city. On our trip there, I started reading A Moveable Feast on the plane. Reading Hemingway’s memoir while in the city he is describing was one of the best reading experiences I’ve ever had.

If you are preparing for a trip to Paris (or if you are just a Francophile), these books will make you fall in love with the city even more.

A Moveable Feast– Obviously have to include this book as my experience reading it in Paris is the inspiration for this post. Ernest Hemingway’s memoir of his years as a writer in Paris in the 1920s. He talks about many spots you can visit and feel one with Hemingway like Cafe de Flore and Les Deux Magots.

My Life In France– Julia Child’s story of how she learned about french cooking during her years in France will make you fall in love with all of France as well as gain a serious appreciation of French food as she details her cooking experiences. Great read for anyone visiting France for the food 🙂

Les Miserables– Not only one of the most famous French novels, but one of the most famous novels period- Les Miserables is an emotional read about the struggles between good and bad and the French Revolution. I found it an interesting way to learn more about French history. You can of course also watch the movie if that is more your speed!

The Paris Wife– Another Hemingway shout out, this novel is told from the perspective of Hadley, Ernest’s first wife. This book details their love, the difficulties of their life in Paris as Ernest struggles with his writing. I thought it was really well written and loved that it was seen from Hadley’s perspective.

Rick Steves Paris This is a travel book so not one to read before your trip, but one to bring with you. Paris was the first city we used a Rick Steves book in and it did not disappoint. At the recommendation of my best friend we used some of the walking tours in this book to see the city and  while we had a private guide for the Louvre, we used Rick Steves for our trip to Musee D’Orsay. Highly recommend this book for anyone visiting Paris.

Have you been to Paris before? Do you like reading about your destination before you get there?

xoxo, Jenna

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