Friday, September 9, 2011

French Friday

Happy Friday, everyone!  This is an especially happy Friday because a) I have a half day, b) I get to see Nora today, and c) I am introducing a new post series that I am really excited about:  French Friday!!

Most of you know about my obsession with all things French.  I have a separate blog where I chronicled my adventures in France and I will occasionally mention something French-inspired that I am obsessed with...  But I figured I needed a new outlet to share my French obsession...

Voila - French Friday! 

Since this blog was initially started to share book recommendations (wow, have I gotten off track or what!), it seemed only fitting that my first French Friday post be book-themed! 

I own so many books about or set in France, I actually have a "France" bookshelf.  I am pretty this isn't all the French books I own, and some are on my nook, but this gives you an idea of how many I have read!

Here are some of my favorites that I have read over the years!

My Life in France by Julia Child - I adored this book.  It was so interesting to read about the life of Julia Child.  She did not learn to cook until she was in her 30s!  That means there is hope for me. 

A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway - I am typically intimidated by Hemingway as I find his books difficult to get into, but I devoured this one.  The writing isn't superb, it's more so almost a journal of his time in Paris.  It's cool to read about him rubbing elbows with other great authors, like F. Scott Fitzgerald!

Paris Wife by Paula McLain - This is a historical fiction novel, based upon Hemingway's first marriage to Hadley Richardson.  Hemingway was married multiple times, so marriage clearly wasn't his thing (he definitely had a wandering eye).  It is interesting to read this after reading A Moveable Feast because A Moveable Feast was written at the end of his life, but he is writing about his time with Hadley in Paris.  He writes about her quite tenderly so it makes a person wonder if he looks back with regret at how that first marriage ended. 

Lunch in Paris by Elizabeth Bard - This is a fun, light read that includes recipes!  This falls into my "escapism" category as the author meets a Parisian, falls in love, and marries him.  The book chronicles their relationship and the time they spent in Paris.  I secretly was hoping I would fall in love with a guy when I went to Paris in February, but that so didn't happen.  Oh well, maybe I will find a local Francophile!

The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry by Kathleen Finn This is a must-read for any foodie who is curious about what it like to attend Le Cordon Bleu.  Finn's account of her experience in that epic culinary program is a page turner. 

Sarah's Key  by Tatiana de Rosnay - This last book differs from the others in that the subject matter is extremely heavy, but this is a must-read in my opinion, and one of the first books I think of when someone asks for a book recommendation.  I am pretty sure everyone has heard of it as it's been quite popular and is now a movie.  Read it.  Seriously.  You won't regret it.

So there you have it!  Have you read any of these books?  Do you have any books set in Paris or France that you would recommend?  Are you drawn to books that are set in a particular city? 

I hope you enjoy this regular feature - if there is anything in particular that you would like me to talk about, I am all ears!


Raquelita said...

I love the idea of this feature! And I'd love for you to post more about what sparked your love for all things French in the first place.

I lived in Madrid for a year and a half, and I miss it horribly. I was just realizing yesterday that I've been back in the states almost four years now. That seems crazy to me.

missris said...

This is such a fun idea! You know I LOVE all things Paris and French! Hmm let's see, as for books if you've read Julia Child's books I'd suggest the book of her letters with Avis. They're just lovely to read. I think it's called "As Always, Julia." Loved it. I also really liked Paris to the Moon by Adam Gopnik. It's a collection of essays. Have you read Almost French by Sarah Turnbull? It's about a woman who falls in love with a Frenchman and moves to Paris. Fun fact: my aunt moved to Paris in her 20's, fell in love with my uncle, and never looked back. She's lived there for longer than she lived in the states!

Nora said...

I do have a few books on my shelf that include France or Paris... one is chick lit and I don't even remember the title, the other is Hotel Pastis! I loved that book. So lovely.

I shockingly have not read a single book on that list.. I will have to change that :)

Love this new Friday feature!

Cherry Blossoms said...

I loved Lunch In Paris and Sarah's Keys. I still want to see the movie.
I love this new blog concept!

PS: Check out my party theme today. I think this would be a super fun party for you especially with your great views. I'm also thinking early summer so I can come and stay with you!!

Marlys said...

Fun post! I have only read Sarah's Key and have to agree that it is a must read! I look forward to seeing the movie.

Amy --- Just A Titch said...


And yay for these books! I've read a few, but will read more, for sure!

marybeth said...

Lisa, One of my book club members suggested a Paris Wife for this winter, do you think it would be a good one for discussion? We rented the movie In Love and War, Netflix, about Hemingway and a nurse he fell in love with when he was injured in WWII, I really liked the movie, this took place in Italy. You will have to go to Key West someday and tour his home there.
I enjoy reading your posts!

Amber said...

Love this new series and I LOVE your love of all things french. It's definitely a charming and endearing trait of yours!

I thought the Paris Wife looked like a good book when I saw it in the bookstore the other day! I'll have to check it out!

Emily Jane said...

What a great feature, and I love how passionate you are about France. I am the same way about Ireland :)

Erin from Hey, Soul Sister! said...

YAY!!!!!!!!!! You know I couldn't wait for this post!! :) I LOVE your Paris books! I loved "Lunch in Paris" (read it on the honeymoon) and I received "Paris Wife" as a wedding shower gift! And how much do I love that one of my Gifted/Honors students is independently reading "Sarah's Key"

I'll have a to share a few Paris books from MY bookshelf with you :)

Jen said...

I read "A Moveable Feast" in college, and I LOVED it. It's definitely one of those books I read for school but will read again for fun.

I know I have "Sarah's Key" on my to-read list, but I have to add these others. They all sound so good!

Becky said...

Love this new series! I've never read A Moveable Feast - it sounds good! I've read Sarah's Key and it was heartbreaking but so well done.

Kelly (She Wears a Red Sox Cap) said...

Yay France! I've only been there once for 3 days in Paris, and I feel like ever since I started reading your blog I just have the desire to go back haha. I read Sarah's Key and also thought it was great :)

Lisa-Marie said...

I love that most of your French books are about food :) And yes, do the feature please!

Shoshanah said...

I love this idea! I think the only one of these I've read is Sarah's Key, but I have a feeling I'd enjoy several of these.

One of my favorite French books, which is in away is partially and English book, is Mary, Queen of France by Jean Plaidy. It is about Henry VIII's little sister, but the majority of the book does take place in France. It's the book where I first discovered Francois I, who in some ways is one of my favorite French kings.

Amber @ A Little Pink in the Cornfields said...

I'm thinking of suggesting The Paris Wife for Books 'n Bars, but am not sure yet!!
I loved Sarah's Key! It's a book I always recommend as well!

The Many Thoughts of a Reader said...


Jolene - EverydayFoodie said...

I have "My Life in France", but haven't gotten around to reading it yet.

Kyria @ Travel Spot said...

I haven't read any of the ones on your list!!! Although I can see from your shelf that I have read some from there....Julie and Julia for sure and I think I may have bought "Merde!" when I when to live in France. Is it a book about all the slang words?

I have the Paris Wife on my library to read list, but it has a really long hold on it right now, so we shall see if I get to it!

I will have to put these other one's on my to read list as well!

PS I have a hard time with Hemingway. His subject (travels) is usually good, but other than that, I find he just drinks and sleeps around mostly.

Amanda said...

I love this idea :) I minored in French, so I've read a few of those and I love books about France in general. I will join your Frenchy love train :)