Friday, November 7, 2014

Books to read before you go to Paris

“We'll always have Paris”
― Howard Koch.  Casablanca  

Book cover: "Sarah's key", "A Paris apartment", "Stuff Parisians like",  "Paris in color"

There are many books set in Paris, this are some that I have read that I love or that inspire me and make fall in love with Paris.

Sarah's key (Tatiana de Rosnay)
This book is about two stories based on historical facts.  One story is about Sarah, a 10 year jewish girl who lived in Paris in 1942 and what happen to her and her family and how her life change when they were arrest and deport along with thousands of other french jews.  The other story is told by an american journalist, Julia Jermond, who is writing an article about Vel' d'Hivs, facts unknown to her. It is a heartbreaking story, one of my favorites books.

When in Paris, visit the Deportation Memorial (Mémorial des Martyrs de la Deportation), close to Notre-Dame and Ile St. Louis. It is a memorial for the 200 thousands french victims who were deported from France to the Nazi concentration camps.  "Forgive but never forget"

A Paris apartment (Michelle Gable)
The inspiration of this book was a real-life discovery of an apartment left untouched for 70 years. April Vogt, is sent to Paris to value and auction the furniture of that apartment.  She discovers journals of Marthe de Florian, the owner, and became fascinated with her life and the world of the 19th century in Paris. 

When in Paris, go to the Galeries Lafayette rooftop. It is a well known department store but it also offers, in my opinion, one of the best views of the city. From there you can see the most famous monuments of Paris: Opéra, Montmartre, Eiffel tower, Arch of Triumph and is for free. You can go shopping too. 

I read this book after going to Paris and I wish I have read it before, it is a perfect guide to parisian and french culture.   The content is divided in small chapters of different topics that include a phrase in french.  This book will give you an insight view about the Parisian  life, it is written in the most sarcastic way that it will make you laugh. 

When in Paris, go to "O Chateau" for wine tasting, is consider the best wine bar in France. The author of the book, Oliver Magny, is a sommelier and owner. 

Paris in color (Nichole Robertson)
This is not a book to read but to delight your eyes.  It is a collection of images of every day Paris. You will find colorful chairs from cafes, scooters, doors, cars and flowers, all organized by colors.   This book will magically transport you to the street of Paris. 

When in Paris, Flaneur. Just walk with no destination and enjoy the city.

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