I have a nice collection of Francophile books but a book-loving Francophile can never have too many. Right? Here are five books currently on my Francophile wishlist. Have you read any of these?
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5 Francophile Books on My Wishlist
Part memoir and part visual journey through the streets of modern-day Paris, France, A Paris Year chronicles, day by day, one woman’s French sojourn in the world’s most beautiful city. Beginning on her first day in Paris, Janice MacLeod, the author of the best-selling book, Paris Letters, began a journal recording in illustrations and words, nearly every sight, smell, taste, and thought she experienced in the City of Light. The end result is more than a diary: it’s a detailed and colorful love letter to one of the most romantic and historically rich cities on earth. Combining personal observations and anecdotes with stories and facts about famous figures in Parisian history, this visual tale of discovery, through the eyes of an artist, is sure to delight, inspire, and charm.
I read Paris Letters a few years ago and look forward to reading MacLeod’s latest book, too.
A Kitchen in France: A Year of Cooking in My Farmhouse by Mimi Thorisson
When Mimi Thorisson and her family moved from Paris to a small town in out-of-the-way Médoc, she did not quite know what was in store for them. She found wonderful ingredients—from local farmers and the neighboring woods—and, most important, time to cook. Her cookbook chronicles the family’s seasonal meals and life in an old farmhouse, all photographed by her husband, Oddur. Mimi’s convivial recipes—such as Roast Chicken with Herbs and Crème Fraîche, Cèpe and Parsley Tartlets, Winter Vegetable Cocotte, Apple Tart with Orange Flower Water, and Salted Butter Crème Caramel—will bring the warmth of rural France into your home.
I read cookbooks like novels. This sounds like the perfect combination of cookbook and novel.
My Twenty-Five Years in Provence by Peter Mayle
Twenty-five years ago, Peter Mayle and his wife, Jennie, were rained out of a planned two weeks on the Côte d’Azur. In search of sunlight, they set off for Aix-en-Provence; enchanted by the world and life they found there, they soon decided to uproot their lives in England and settle in Provence. They have never looked back. As Mayle tells us, a cup of café might now cost three euros–but that price still buys you a front-row seat to the charming and indelible parade of village life. After the coffee, you might drive to see a lavender field that has bloomed every year for centuries, or stroll through the ancient history that coexists alongside Marseille’s metropolitan bustle. Modern life may have seeped into sleepy Provence, but its magic remains.
I read A Year in Provence a long time ago and was enchanted. I’ve gone on to read a few more Mayle books, enjoying each one. I can’t wait to read his final book.
My Grape Year by Laura Bradbury
At the age of seventeen in a last-minute twist of fate, Laura Bradbury is sent to Burgundy, France, for a year’s exchange. She arrives knowing only a smattering of French and with no idea what to expect in her first foray out of North America. With a head full of dreams and a powerful desire to please, Laura quickly adapts to Burgundian life, learning crucial skills such as the fine art of wine tasting and how to savor snails. However, the charming young men of the region mean Laura soon runs afoul of the rules, particularly the no-dating edict. Romantic afternoons in Dijon, early morning pain au chocolat runs, and long walks in the vineyards are wondrous but also present Laura with a conundrum: How can she keep her hosts happy while still managing to follow her heart? Follow along on Laura’s journey to I’amour in My Grape Year.
This looks like a fun series. We all need a light read now and then. I’m envisioning setting aside an entire day to curl up with this one, while ignoring all my responsibilities.
L’Appart: The Delights and Disasters of Making My Paris Home by David Lebovitz
When David Lebovitz began the project of updating his apartment in his adopted home city, he never imagined he would encounter so much inexplicable red tape while contending with the inconsistent European work ethic and hours. Lebovitz maintains his distinctive sense of humor with the help of his partner Romain, peppering this renovation story with recipes from his Paris kitchen. In the midst of it all, he reveals the adventure that accompanies carving out a place for yourself in a foreign country—under baffling conditions—while never losing sight of the magic that inspired him to move to the City of Light many years ago, and to truly make his home there.
I’ve recently starting listening to the audio version of this one but I will probably end up purchasing it for the recipes.
Have you read any of these? If so, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Any other Francophile favorites to share? Leave me a comment. I can always add another to my list.