Book Club — My Favorite French Reads

What a shock! Arriving back to Paris this week after nearly a month in California was much colder than expected. By now I thought we would all be pulling out the floral dresses and wearing Lancôme’s lovely spring collection, but a last minute cold front from Siberia has rolled in and I’m bundled up even more now than before I left. I even got the snow day I had been wanting but missed a few weeks back. Turns out one day of snow in Paris is quite enough for a California girl like me.

Paris Rendezvous

All this frigid air just makes me want to curl up inside with a good book, and depending how long this icy weather lasts I’m going to need more than one. Which got me thinking about what a great idea it would be to share with you all some of my favorite French reads. Chances are if you keep up with me here on Paris Rendez-Vous, then you are probably quite the francophile yourself…or even a francophone! Right now I’m re-reading some of my favorite French titles, except this time around I’m actually reading them in French instead of English like I started off. It’s a great way push my French to the next level.

So if you’re waiting out the cold like me here are a few great French reads I recommend…quite a range in fact so there should be something for everyone!

Bonjour Tristesse by François Sagan — This is a beautiful novella that is the coming of age story of a young French girl. Beyond the beautiful description of its backdrop in the South of France, there is drama and flirtation to entertain as well. François Sagan wrote it when she was just a teenager herself…quite impressive considering it was one the most successful and beautiful pieces of French literature. This has to be one of my top five favorite reads of all time.

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry — Or Le Petit Prince as we all know it, is one of the most iconic French books of all time for people of all ages. A tender and easy read, it is filled with moral and spiritual lessons that are truly touching.

Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne — As a child my father would always play Twenty-Thousand Leagues Under the Sea for me. It wasn’t until I visited Nantes here in France that I realized it was written by Jules Verne, one of France’s most beloved authors. His book Journey to the Center of the Earth is the story of a professor who finds a secret tunnel to the core of the earth, encountering all sorts of fantastical danger along the way! All of Jules Verne’s books are such a delight!

Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert — Another great classic, Madame Bovary tells the story of a woman living in French countryside. She uses her highly romanticized view of the world to escape the banalities of country life, leading her into dangerous liaisons.

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