Of Literature And Locations: Paris

I mentioned last month that I really wanted to infuse some of my other passions into this book blog so I didn’t have to start a blog about every single one of my passions in life. One of my biggest passions is traveling. I love experiencing culture, seeing something I’ve only dreamt of seeing, trying new things and really just the whole process of traveling—its so thrilling to me! I feel like I always take away something new and add even more layers to myself…I’m never the same person I was before I left.

So this is my solution– a sporadic feature called Of Literature And Locations that will showcase anything relating to traveling and books..and sometimes maybe just traveling :) I’ve been stockpiling some fun things to share with you and I hope that others who have been bitten by the eternal travel bug will enjoy this! Just wait until next week– I’ve got an incredible list of literary-themed hotels!

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Oh Paris, j’adore. I had dreamed of going to Paris since I was a little girl and watched Passport to Paris with Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen. Yeah, they pretty much rocked. And to me, Paris seemed magical and totally romantic and the accents seemed so much more sophisticated and interesting than my Northern PA accent. It’s no wonder authors like Gatsby and Hemingway lived the expat dream there in the City of Lights.

I finally was able to fulfill my dream of going to Paris in college as part of a 10 day tour FOR CREDIT. And you know what, it was pretty magical and I loved the culture…and the French totally aren’t rude! I encounter more rude people in the city of Philadelphia.

My “J’Adore” List:

* The Eiffel Tower At Night — During the daytime the Eiffel Tower wasn’t all that more than a good photo op and a fulfillment of a lifelong dream. Architecturally it made me giddy..but it just lacked that romantic element that I had been dreaming of. I mean, honestly I was expecting fireworks and swoony moments. HOWEVER, when the sun starts to set (which was pretty darn late in June!) it goes all sparkly and then the lights turn on and seriously..it’s amazing. We were on a cruise on the River Seine and it was a good thing that I had a boyfriend because I was about ready to kiss the first Parisian man I saw because it was THAT romantical. That would have been awkward since it was our tour guide.

* The Art/Architecture — Seriously, for those who love art and architecture…it’s worth being a tourist and seeing things like the Louvre or Notre Dame or really just walking around and admiring the architecture. I felt like everything was much more architecturally interesting than in Pennsylvania.

* Internet Cafes — You rock my world. I had important matters to attend to for an internship so it was nice to be able to just pop into one of these and be able to check my email real quick.

* Fashion – I did some major damage to my wallet in Paris. So many interesting places to shop and very stylish. Make sure you understand European sizes…I had to help many girls on the trip with that one!

* Versailles — Ok, this isn’t in Paris but it was a nice day trip to do if you are in Paris. Celebrities have nothing on the extravagance of French royalty. Phenomenal architecture, beautiful gardens and so much rich history.

Things I Didn’t Like: Not speaking the language, waiting in lines, pickpocketers (that SOB had his hand in my friend’s pocket..naughty naughty) and the smell of piss in the subway.

I vow to get back there so I can really experience Paris and especially the food. I felt like there were a lot of things I didn’t get to do being their with a tour for school and I would have rather eaten at some more interesting restaurants rather than whatever was pre-scheduled with the tour group. The foodie in me was NOT HAPPY.

As always, while I’m not traveling, I’ll be doing some armchair traveling to the City of Lights and beyond.  Here are ten great books set in Paris  (a mix of YA, Adult fiction and travelogues). Let yourself be swept up in the allure of Paris, I implore you!

Anna and the French KissRevolutionFrench MilkThe Invention of Hugo CabretParis to the MoonA Moveable FeastThe Elegance of the HedgehogThe Hunchback of Notre-Dame (Modern Library Classics)Almost French: Love and a New Life in ParisThe Red Necklace: A Story of the French Revolution [RED NECKLACE -OS]

Anna and the French Kiss
Revolution
French MilkThe Invention of Hugo Cabret
Paris to the Moon
A Moveable Feast
The Elegance of the Hedgehog
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Almost French: Love and a New Life in Paris
The Red Necklace: A Story of the French Revolution (Thorndike Press Large Print Literacy Bridge Series)

What are some of your favorite books set in Paris? Have you ever traveled to Paris…tell me your experience!

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About Jamie

Jamie is a 28 year old married lady who is in denial that she's actually that old. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating gelato, listening to music with oversized headphones and teaching her niece how to be as awesome as she is.

Comments

  1. I've been to Paris twice and I love it there. I had great experiences both times and have some great clothes I bought a flea markets that I still wear four years later. I was able to speak the language moderately well, but even trying really forced me to push my boundaries. I want to go on another trip where I can practice my French soon.

  2. *Sigh* Paris is my favorite place in the world! I did a study abroad there and I can't wait to get back. Actually, one of my favorite things that I experienced there were the amazing bookstores. I'm planning on doing a little feature on them in May. I'm excited to read some of the books you posted!

  3. Rachel @ Bookshelf Lust says:

    I have yet to make it to Paris, but I've been dying to since I was a little girl. ANNA is one of my favorite Paris-set books. And I recently read Amy Plum's Die For Me, which re-awakened my desire to go! Both books really capture the atmosphere.

  4. Haa yeah, Paris, this is a quite a city. Though, did you know that half the "non-parisian" French people would hate to live (or even to visit) Paris?
    Anyway, this is so great you didn't think Parisians were rude; we French peolpe have such a bad reputation on this level.
    I would love to read "Anna and the French kiss", I read such good reviews about it.
    And on last thing (a detail): that would rather be "j'adore" than "je adore" ;)

  5. Jacinda (The Reading Housewives) says:

    Love the new design! Purple is my favorite color!

    Anna and the French Kiss is the only thing that comes to mind…well 13 Little Blue Envelopes visits France for a day or so I think, if I remember right.

  6. I've been to Paris 3 or 4 times and I really enjoyed it. The best memory I have is of visiting a square where they were selling paintings and actually painting them there, it was fascinating to see. They only have this on Sundays and it's so frustrating that I can't remember the name of the square!!
    I also love crepes. Wonderful type of pancakes. I went to Versailles and the Louvre as well and absolutely loved both, so beautiful, I could almost imagine living in that age just walking through.
    The coast of France also makes for a really great holiday!

  7. Loooooove this new feature!!!

  8. Malouu–Bahah that's what I get for listening to my bf (who speaks a little French) when he's out drinking with his friends. I guess foreign languages aren't retained. I should have just googled it..lol But thanks for telling me that! :) Language fail!

  9. This made me smile. I've been to Paris 3 times and each time I fell more in love. I traveled all over France. Bretagne is my favorite region. I have to say I love the coffee.

  10. What a great idea for a book blog feature. One of the first things I do when I'm going to a new place is find all the fiction books I can about it – books that can transport me there and get me in the mood. And I love Paris, obviously. I can't wait to see what other places you choose!

  11. This is such an awesome feature.

    I've never been to France, but I desperately want to go. I took three years of French and high school and spent a lot of time in Quebec City, which is predominantly French speaking. But obviously it's not the same.

    My boyfriend is equally obsessed and says that someday we'll go. I wonder if I'll fall in love with the same things you did.

  12. Midnyte Reader says:

    What an excellent feature. Yes, I looove to travel! I went to Paris actually chaperoning some High School Seniors and we ate in pretty cheap (ie-not so tasty restaurants). I did however, meet up with an old friend there who took me to a nice restaurant…yummy yummy. And although I took French in High School and College, it didn't really help me. I couldn't remember a thing. I'd love to go back with someone who speaks the language.

  13. Loving this new feature! As for Paris *sigh* I've wanted to visit it for awhile. Imagine fashion, food and ambiance all in the same place. I'd probably spend all of my time either eating or shopping.

    Two of my favorite reads set in France/Paris are My Life in France by Julia Child and one that you mentioned Almost French by Sara Turnbull.

  14. Jayme @ Horribly Bookish says:

    You are my favorite–I'm always on the search for a new book about Paris and you've just provided me with some new ones :) Can't wait to see more of this.

  15. Anastasia says:

    Great feature! If you're looking for books about Paris, you should check out Petite Anglaise, which is about this American woman Expat from America who wrote a blog about living in Paris. The blog was actually turned into the book, and she also wrote a sequel… I think about falling in love with a guy over there.

    Either way, I figured since it combined Paris AND blogging, it sounded perfect for you! I wrote a Goodreads review if you want to know more :)

    Can't wait to see where you "travel" in next week's edition!

  16. Avid Reader says:

    I love this idea and I can't wait to see more posts on Literature And Locations. I'm a big traveler too and wing my way to Europe or elsewhere whenever I can manage it. I've been to Paris twice, both amazing experinces. I esp loved Sacre Couer, Notre Dame, all cafes and of course the Shakespeare and Company Bookstore. That was, by far, my favorite part of the trip.

  17. Jennifer says:

    I love this feature already! I am not a traveler, but it is a dream of mine to see the world. One day. Right now, I just haven't really had the means. But I do love to read about other parts of the world since I can't travel myself. I am adding all the books that you listed! Looking forward to future editions of this feature!

  18. Ginger @ GReads! says:

    I went to Paris in 2000 & they had a special "Millennium" thing going on at the Eiffel tower. The number 2000 was written across it in lights & then the whole thing lit up & started twinkling. It was quite spectacular! I need to find my pics of it & show you. However pics don't do it justice. It was definitely a sight to see.

  19. I have never been to Europe and I vow to change this within the next couple of years. I am envious of your excursions and all of the fantastic places you have been! Let's plan a blogger backpacking trip :)

  20. I love Paris and I've been quite a few times.
    My favourite Parisian book is 'Good Morning, Midnight' by Jean Rhys.
    I had to read it at university and it broke my heart, but I would wholly recommend it to anyone.
    On a kind of related subject, I have never read Anna and the French Kiss, but I have heard so many good things about it I'm going to have to get involved!

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