books and movies

Books

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Time Was Soft There
Jeremy Mercer

A book about the author’s time living at Shakespeare & Co.—a fabulous read.
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Paris, France
Gertrude Stein

You have to love Gertrude.
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The Book of Salt
Monique Truong

A fairly recent novel about Paris and Vietnam from Gertrude Stein’s
Vietnamese chef.
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Paris to the Moon
Adam Gopnik

A near-perfect yet realistic portrait of today’s Paris from an expat New Yorker.
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A Year in Provence
Peter Mayle

Yes, we realize this is not about Paris—though it will definitely get you in the French mood, as will anything by Mayle—but this is the book, if you haven’t read it, that started the rage over going to Provence.
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The Flaneur
Edmund White

A terribly interesting portrait of the city through the eyes of a gay writer, who chronicles his strolls throughout Paris. Excellent.
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Le Divorce
Diane Johnson

A fun chick-lit novel.
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A Moveable Feast
Ernest Hemingway

The classic—Paris in the 1920s.
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Paris
Julian Green

A collection of Green’s writings on Paris in the postwar years.
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The Art of Eating
M. F. K. Fisher

She is classic, the best food writer of all time. To read anything she wrote is an absolute joy.
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French Ways and Their Meaning
Edith Wharton

Written in the early 1900s; it’s quite amazing how much still holds true.
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The Elegance of the Hedgehog
Muriel Barbery

Movies

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Amélie (2001)

With Audrey Tautou, set in Montmartre. This movie is absolutely adorable and a must-watch if you have been so unlucky as to have not yet seen it.
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Paris, Je T’Aime (2006)

A collection of 20 short films, each set in one of the 20 arrondissements of Paris.
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The Last Tango in Paris (1972)

Who could forget Bernardo Bertolucci’s classic starring Marlon Brando? After viewing that film, it is hard to look at a stick of butter the same way—enough said. Do not view this film with any children in the room!
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Moulin Rouge

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Midnight in Paris

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Les Quatre Cents Coups (1959)

By François Truffaut. Said to have begun the French New Wave movement (tough to find on DVD).
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Hotel du Nord (1938)

One of the all-time great French classics.
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La Vie en Rose (2007)

Features Marion Cotillard’s Oscar-winning performance as the singer Edith Piaf.
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Henry and June (1990)

With Fred Ward and Uma Thurman, about Henry Miller’s life in Paris in the 1930s. A very sexy story about the love triangle with his wife and Anaïs Nin.
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Charade (1963)

With Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant in Paris—what more could a girl want?
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2 ou 3 Choses Que Je Sais d’Elle (1967)

By Jean-Luc Godard, about a woman in Paris. Very interesting.

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Belle de Jour (1967)

With Catherine Deneuve. One of director Luis Buñuel’s best pieces of work.
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