Best Books about Paris

Best Books about Paris

I’ve read dozens of books about Paris this year, and these six are my new favourites.

Based on a True Story by Delphine de Vigan (translated by George Miller)

Part of the trending auto-fiction genre (autobiography mixed with fiction,) this book was made into a film by Roman Polanski and premiered at Cannes this year. It’s a thriller about a female author who lives in contemporary Paris. One of the most creative and multi-layered pieces of writing I have ever read, where one is never quite sure what is true and what is not. Like me, you may go back and read de Vigan’s entire award-winning oeuvre.

Party like a Parisian

Party like a Parisian

“Have you noticed that everyone is taking a cake to work today?” asked Emmanuelle on the way to school. “And everyone is taking a cake home, too?” It turned out to be the Fête de la Galette, a time in January when everyone eats these flakey round cakes and the person who gets the piece with a bean hidden in it is King or Queen for a day. The Fête de La Galette seems to go on and on. I was sweeping crumbs off the kitchen floor for a month.

Pardon my French

Pardon my French

"In Paris they just simply opened their eyes and stared when we spoke to them in French! We never did succeed in making those idiots understand their own language."
- The Innocents Abroad, Mark Twain

Murray’s and my French have improved dramatically since we got here but we both make lots of mistakes. Especially me, as I do most of the talking. The French word for misunderstanding is “malentendu,” or mis-hearing. We’ve come to be quite familiar with it. 

Top 10 Paris Hacks

Top 10 Paris Hacks

Airport Arrival Hack
If you are travelling with luggage and/or kids the best way to get to central Paris from the Charles De Gaulle airport is Uber. The drivers hang out at Departures on the lower level, so request one via the app and start moving (take the elevator) as it will be there right away. Cost is 45 Euros versus 65 Euros in a taxi give or take.

Paris, it’s rough sometimes

Paris, it’s rough sometimes

The first time I heard the expression “C’est dûr, Paris” (it’s tough in Paris) was from a waiter in a brewpub in Richmond, BC. I was waiting on a kids birthday party at a trampoline park in the middle of nowhere so I wandered over to the nearest restaurant. The waiter had a Parisian accent of all things, and I mentioned that we were moving there in a few weeks. “C’est dûr, Paris” was his response. He’d tried it but couldn’t take it. But boy did he love Richmond, BC!