Suggested readings about Paris? Please help.

I’m leaving in March to work in Paris for a few months, and have tried to find a good, readable history of the City of Lights. But it seems like there are a million of them out there, and Amazon was zero help.

So, can anyone recommend:
[ul][li]a good, comprehensive history of Paris (or of France in general, if you know one…but not of the Revolution please, I just completed a semester of French Revolutionary History)[/li][li]essential travel reading (not Let’s Go type books)[/li][li]recommendations for reading by Americans or Brits who spent lots of time in Paris (Fitzgerald, James Baldwin, Hemingway, Oscar Wilde, etc.) that have to do with the city[/ul][/li]Finding a good Parisian history is my top priority, but I greatly appreciate any other suggestions anyone may have. Merci beaucoup in advance!:slight_smile:

Go into and type the words “Paris” and “history” into the book title line.

I prefer the older guides. James McCabe wrote “Paris by Gaslight,” I think it was called, in 1869. You might also want to read such novels as Murger’s “Tlaes of the Latin Quarter” and Eugene Sue’s creepy “Mysteries of Paris” for a good taste of the town.

Bon voyage—enough room in your Saratoga trunk for moi?

You mentioned Hemingway, so perhaps you already have A Moveable Feast on your list. I am very fond of this book.

A book about an American writer’s time in Paris came out fairly recently, it’s by Adam Gopnik and it’s called something like Paris to the Moon. I haven’t read this myself, but someone recently recommended it to me.

Next time you are in the bookstore, at least flip through Eloise in Paris. You can really never go wrong with Eloise.

I didn’t yet have A Moveable Feast on my list, so thanks for the suggestion, delph. I’m about halfway through Paris to the Moon, which I received for Christmas. So far, I recommend it. Thanks for the other tips, Eve, and there’s always room in my Saratoga for you!:wink:

For a feel of the ordinary Paris try reading some of the “Maigret” detective stories by Simenon.Although the last of these was written 30 years ago the books give an insight on how ordinary Paris ticks.