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.
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.