Books

Do YOU have a favorite book in French or book about France? Share with us in the Comments!

Books in French


L’Elégance du hérisson is a delightful read that pulls you into the life of a concièrge in Paris and a young teen girl who worries a lot. I know, it doesn’t sound like much, but it’s so beautifully written and crafted that it’ll pull you in. Not a particularly arduous read, it’s not even very long, but you’ll think about it for a long time to come.


If you have not read this book yet, you must. If you’ve read it but it’s been a long time, read it again. It’s a gem full of tenderness and wisdom. A children’s book that teaches adults how to love. Very short, easily approachable, the illustrations are world-famous by now, which is why I recommend the hardcover book.


Stupeur et tremblements is a fun read. It’s short, fairly easy linguistically, and will make you smile. Elyse and I both read it in our book club, and it was a hit there too.


L’Amant is a French classic. The language is exquisite and will probably require advanced French skills. The story is all too common, but the way it is told will captivate and enthrall. I’ve never met anyone who didn’t at least admire this book, if not out right love it. It’s a more challenging read, but well-worth it.

Books in English about France


Jamie Cat Callan’s book Ooh La La! is a refreshing and cross cultural way of looking at what we call “being feminine”. It is interesting, funny not “dumb” and good for what ails you!!!

6 thoughts on “Books”

  1. In English: the Catherine LeVendeur mysteries by Sharon Newman, set in medieval France and the Aimée Leduc mysteries by Cara Black, each set in a different quartier in Paris of the1990’s are entertaining and informative. I enjoyed a lot of the Georges Simenon mysteries, not too difficult in French. Some of my favorite French novels are Les Âmes fortes de Jean Giono, La Vie devant soi de Roman Gary, Les Vendanges du silence de Gloria Laxer, La Folle allure de Christian Bobin et Les Déferlantes de Claudie Gallay.

  2. Martin Walker writes a series of detective novels based in the Perigord. Protagonist is Bruno. Recommend you read them in order. Warning: lots of paragraphs on food. You have been warned!

  3. Also, if you are a foodie as I am, I recommend CULINARIA FRANCE. It’s a big heavy book – basically a teaching manual of all the different foods, wines, breads, etc. the French eat and/or are famous for. I lingered over the two pages of baguettes – there are photos with a description so you know when you are eating a “ficelle” or a “pan complet” or just a wonderful baguette. Enjoy!

  4. As a reader of crime novels the French writers like Fred Vargas (Commissaire Adamsberg series & The Three Evangelists books) & Pierre Lemaitre (The Camille Verhoeven Trilogy) are up with the best of the Nordic Noir authors. I’ve started buying the smaller volumes of the Adamsberg books in French on our trips to France, as having read them in English in the hope I can follow them. Obviously the Maigret books are still brilliant classics & with Pengiun in the UK releasing all 75 over a period of time now easy to find, so they may be my next attempt at French literature.

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