Something about springtime reminds me of France. I have always had a mental association with Paris in the springtime: flowers blooming, markets bustling, fountains flowing. When winter had me huddled by the fire, I was visiting Paris in my mind. I absorbed as many French memoirs as I could (so much so that my English boyfriend was worried – might I leave him for a Frenchman? Non.) and cleared the library bookshelves. Here are some of my favorites to usher in the springtime:
Paris Letters by Janice MacLeod: Janice hates her job as a copywriter, so she works her way to say $36,000 – a monetary ticket to freedom. Through determination, willpower, and saving her pennies, she embarks on a life-changing (seriously) trip to Europe. On the first part of her trip, she meets a handsome, young butcher. She might love him, she might not, but it is Paris, so she gives France a shot and finds a way to live in the city of love. After a few years, the lessons she learns are ones we can all stand to learn – have less, live more.
Paris in Love by Eloisa James: I absolutely loved the writing style of this book – but be aware, it isn’t a typical narrative. She shares her ideas, blurbs, tweets, and Facebook posts throughout her year in Paris. In short, they are very funny. James, her Italian husband, and her son and daughter uproot their suburban lives to Paris for a year. The year is used as a time of healing following some medical issues, but it turns into a coming of age for both the adult author, her teenage kids, and an overweight chihuahua.
Lunch in Paris by Elizabeth Bard: Books with recipes are the best kind of books. Elizabeth falls in love with a Frenchman and decides to move to Paris to be with him, only to learn she isn’t in Kansas anymore. As she navigates the cultural intricacies of French living, she also shares the recipes and food that helped her along the way. Barn provides delightful insight into the culture, with one of my favorite quotes being, “I don’t think I’ll ever be that French.”
French Women Don’t Get Fat by Mireille Guilano: The classic non-diet book that women loved finally made my reading list. Confession: I actually checked this out twice before and never read it. Finally, I dived in and was not disappointed. Mireille shares her very French eating habits, along with tips, tricks, and recipes. She believes that every woman can enjoy eating and stay slim. My favorite parts of this book were the insights into the author’s very French provincial childhood.