25.6.13

Six France-Inspired Reads for Summer

From indulgent treats to sultry love affairs, these six France-inspired stories will put some extra spice in your summer reading. 

Paris, My Sweet: AYear in the City of Light (and Dark Chocolate), Amy Thomas's memoir released last year, takes us on her emotional journey from New York to Paris. Woven through each chapter of deeply personal tales - of making friends, navigating the grim dating scene, surviving bouts of self-doubt and defining happiness (both in and outside of the bakery) - are rapturous tasting excursions on both sides of the Atlantic. Not one to discriminate, Amy relishes the treats each city has to offer and provides a little black book of all her most cherished shops and bakeries so you can experience her edible adventures firsthand. 

Self-discovery, questions of identity and the search for meaningful life experiences in Paris after college: the joys and hardships of Hilary Reyl's heroine Katherine in her first novel Lessons in French remind me a great deal of myself when I first came to the city (sans the intellectual jousting at dinner with Henri Cartier-Bresson and Umberto Eco, of course). Paris in the late 1980's may be the backdrop but this is a character-driven coming of age story that will leave you reminiscing about your own past. 

 
The Paris Wife follows the tumultuous courtship of Hadley Richardson and Ernest Hemingway, primarily in Paris in the roaring twenties. Beautiful storytelling aside, I love this book because it really reflects the city's old-world charm during a time when iconic cafés like Les Deux Magots and Café de Flore hosted the generation's influential intellectuals. 

Into Winethe latest book from acclaimed sommelier and owner of O Château wine bar Olivier Magny, doubles as both guide and memoir. Magny traces his very personal journey that led him to wine and explores the nuanced facets of the industry, from soil and grapes to labels and marketing. The watchword throughout the book is unmistakably "terroir"and serves as a great introduction for the uninitiated. As usual, Magny's approachable and engaging tone make this a wonderful read both for serious oenophiles and amateurs. 

Peter Mayle's industrious bon vivant character, Sam Levitt, is back to sleuthing in his second crime novel 
The Marseille Caper. With rich, historical context and local anecdotes punctuating nearly every chapter and exuberant storytelling, Mayle masterfully transports the reader to the sea and sunshine of Marseille. An engaging mystery and yet another tribute to the south of France - the perfect summer story. 

Lily Heise's debut novelized memoir  Je t'aime Me Neither meets all the requirements of a sultry summer read: devastating heartbreak, exciting courtship and amorous quandaries. Inspired by her own experiences as a single gal in a city of couples, Heise's tale taps into the true magic and mishap of finding love in Paris. You can't help but be charmed by her adventures!

Books I'm most looking forward to picking up later this summer and in early fall: 
She's not a strict vegetarian but award-winning Chocolate & Zucchini blogger and published author Clotilde Dusoulier has made the choice to cut back on meat and fish and put the spotlight on seasonal produce from the market. But is it really that easy to abstain from meat and fish, cornerstones of the French diet? In The French Market Cookbook, Clotilde delves into the love affair between French cuisine and vegetables and shows us how to play up their natural flavor in over eighty spectacular recipes that will become standouts for food lovers everywhere. 
Available July 2,  2013. Pre-order your copy HERE

In the food memoirs Mastering the Art of French Eating author/friend Ann Mah, explores France's regional cuisine and the passionate people who uphold the traditions over the course of a year in Paris while her diplomat husband is on a mission in Iraq (because what better salve to sudden singledom in a new country than culinary exploration?). If the book is anything like her blog posts, we can expect affective storytelling, endearing personal anecdotes and divine details of every dish. A must-read this fall!
Available September 26, 2013. Pre-order your copy HERE

Put down the guide books, The Paris Gourmet is poised to become the only resource you'll need before, during and after your next trip to Paris. The inimitable, best-selling cookbook author Trish Deseine has culled her favorite recipes, etiquette tips for hosting or attending dinner parties like a true Parisian, food advice (eg. selecting the right produce from the farmers' market, where to get kitchen essentials, etc.) and go-to culinary addresses in the capital in one essential handbook. Rumor has it she's even included my site in her little black book of recommended Paris blogs (hooray!). 
Available September 24, 2013. Pre-order your copy HERE

Any other French-inspired books you're looking forward to reading?
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