Nine good books about Paris and France (according to a Paris bookshop owner)

Hello everyone!

This week on The Earful Tower podcast it’s Penelope Fletcher, the woman behind The Red Wheelbarrow Bookshop in Paris. 

During the episode, she recommended so many books that I felt it would be wrong if I didn’t write them all down.

You can find the full list in the podcast transcript (subscribe!) but here are the ones that are specifically about Paris and France.

Here’s the podcast, scroll down for the book list.

So here they are – in the order that Penelope mentioned them in the show. The link goes to a Goodreads page about the book, in case you wanted a closer look.

Books for adults

A Moveable Feast, by Ernest Hemingway.

A memoir about Hemingway’s years as a struggling young migrant journalist in Paris in the 1920s.

Selected Letters, by Madame De Sevigne.

Madame de Sevigne paints an extraordinarily vivid picture of France at the time of Louis XIV, in eloquent letters written throughout her life to family and friends.

The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, by Gertrude Stein.

Stein wrote this in 1933 in the guise of an autobiography authored by Alice B. Toklas, who was her lover, with an insight into the Paris art scene featuring Cézanne, Matisse and Picasso

The Flight Portfolio, by Julie Orringer.

A gripping historical novel based on the true story of Varian Fry’s extraordinary attempt to save the work, and the lives, of Jewish artists fleeing the Holocaust.

Almost French, by Sarah Turnbull.

The memoir of an Australian woman who finds the love of her life and the city of her dreams in Paris.

Walking on the Ceiling, by Aysegül Savas.

A novel set in Paris and Istanbul about a young Turkish woman grappling with her past – and her complicated relationship with the famous British writer who longs for her memories.

Demystifying the French, by Janet Hulstrand.

This one is aimed at first-time visitors to France as well as long-term expatriates – and designed to help readers “crack the code” of the French. Janet talked all about the book on this very podcast!

Books for children

Paris Chien, Adventures of an Expat Dog, by Jackie Clark.

Hudson, an adventurous Norwich Terrier, moves to Paris and finds plenty of expat canine challenges along the way.

Marielle in Paris, by Maxine Schur.

Marielle the mouse takes a wild ride through Paris to recover nine missing dresses she made in this brilliantly illustrated book.

Well, that’s it! I’m sure you can find these and more at The Red Wheelbarrow, which is located at 9 Rue de Médicis, 75006. Check out the site here.

Support the Earful Tower on Patreon here for more info on events like the coffee tasting mentioned in today’s episode.

Oh yes, and if you like reading books, especially books with a connection to Paris and France, you should join my book club. More info here.

2 thoughts on “Nine good books about Paris and France (according to a Paris bookshop owner)

  1. Metronome by Laurent Deutsch. I have the english version. It is a marvelous book about the history of Paris, starting 2000 years ago and continuing up to almost today. Very interesting and facinating. I just wish Volume 2 was in english!!

  2. love this episode! She’s a doll. I’ll be in Paris in September and can’t wait to visit her bookshop. Thanks for another amazing episode Oliver 🙂

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