"Recommended Reading for the City of Light" Top 5 Page for this destination Books & Guides Tip by BeatChick
Books & Guides, Paris: 28 reviews and 23 photos
Favorite thing: Food Lover's Guide to Paris by Patricia Wells (absolute must for anyone who loves food - listings are broken down by type of establishment & then by arrondissement - lists restos in the back by terrace, open late, taking reservations early, open on Sunday, etc. + she has recipes - the only bad part is she won't be updating it)
Fodor's Paris - gold guide series - fantastic guide, the best in my opinion, although they don't have the pretty pictures & map like they used to
Frommer's Irreverent Guide to Paris - hilarious & cuts thru the BS
Bistros of Paris by the Hamburgers (it has great cross-referencing of foods in the back that tell you where the best Coq au Vin is, for example, & they list recommended wines to drink at each resto)
The Historic Restaurants of Paris - by Ellen Williams (a great pocket-sized book)
Lonely Planet's World Food France - goes into great detail about the different regional foods (and drinks such as wines, bier, digestifs & aperitifs) of France which is perfect for Paris since there is no true Parisian food, it's all regional.
Charming Small Hotels: Paris and Around a Duncan-Petersen Guide - they only problem is that it doesn't seem to have been updated the last few years, last I looked prices were still in $$ & the prices hadn't been updated but GREAT for the photos and listing attractions & restos nearby
Historic Hotels of Paris by Wendy Arnold - great photos of the most magnificent luxury hotels in Paris - this is where I drool & dream - she also lists attractions & restaurants that are nearby, too, so it sorta puts Paris into persective
Rick Steves' Paris for the newcomer, especially suited for someone who is afraid of going to Paris & fearful of the cultural differences & just the unexpected - he really breaks everything down BUT he also has great walk-thru guides for the museums; plus he has great little tidbits of info that you don't find - here is where I read about Wallace Fountains.
Fondest memory: ALL of Thirza Vallois' but especially Romantic Paris for the beautiful photos. You could seriously itinerize your whole Paris trip around her shopping suggestions.
Expatriate Paris: a Cultural & Literary Guide of Paris in the 1920s by Arlen Hansen - my absolute favorite book to recommend especially if a person is into art, culture, literature - everyone who was everyone during that era is chronicled here, the only person missing is George Orwell, and I don't know why.
A Moveable Feast - I think everyone should read this even if they aren't a Hemingway fan (which I'm not) - it just really chronicles (although not always with true detail) the era of the Lost Generation in the '20s and is not his valentine to this city but more to his first wife, Hadley.
Paris, France by Gertrude Stein - she puts her spin on the Lost Generation but her writing is too declarative & straightforward for my taste but I do find it interesting for its historical context - she considered F. Scott Fitzgerald (my favorite over Hemingway) to be the best writer of that generation.
Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald - pseudo-biographical of their time in Paris & their relationship with the Murphys (Dick & Nicole Divers characters), he called it his "confession of faith"
Save me the Waltz by Zelda Fitzgerald for her perspective on the story - a little weird sometimes, you can see her schizophrenia shining through at moments but still important to read if you love the era of 1920s Paris, the Jazz Age & the flapper (who Fitzgerald patterned after Zelda)
The Beat Hotel by Barry Miles - chronicles the era of the Beats in Paris, particularly Ginsberg, Burroughs, and Corso form 1957-1963. George Whitman owner of Shakespeare & Co is highlighted in this book. Before he renamed it, the shop was called the Mistral & he was close friends to the Beats & published a lot of their material, no wonder he is the best bet to carry on the Sylvia Beach flame.
Photo: Feb 2006
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