Suggested Reading List
1066, The Year of the Conquest
Author: David Howarth
Description: A crack medievalist and storyteller, Howarth brings to life the momentous events of 1066 in rich, anecdotal history -- a classic portrait of the Norman invasion and conquest of England.
A Day in the Country and Other Stories
Author: Guy de Maupassant
Description: A collection of 28 of de Maupassant's short stories, set mostly in the writer's native Normandy.
A Moveable Feast
Author: Ernest Hemingway
Description: A treasure for anyone interested in Parisian cafe society and its luminaries circa 1925. Hemingway includes sharp portraits of Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ford Maddox Ford and others who idled on their way to greatness.
A Parisian Affair and Other Stories
Author: Guy de Maupassant
Description: Set in in the nouveau riche Paris of society women, prostitutes and playboys, in Normandy at sea and in the South of France, the 34 gems in this Penguin Classics collection are vintage Maupassant: economical, darkly humorous and brilliant.
A Traveller's History of France
Author: Robert Cole
Description: This fast-moving survey covers the conquests of ancient Gaul through the heady days of revolution to modern times.
Artists in Residence
Author: Dana Micucci
Description: An attractively illustrated guide to exploring the homes of 19th-century artists in and around Paris, including Giverny, Auvers and Ornans. An excellent guide for day-long excursions outside Paris with a focus on nature and art.
Author: Mary Tompkins Lewis
Description: A well-illustrated introduction to Cezanne's life and works in the stimulating Art and Ideas series by Phaidon, featuring 193 color and 13 black and white illustrations.
Claude & Camille, A Novel of Monet
Author: Stephanie Cowell
Description: You can practically smell the paint in Stephanie Cowell's lyrical new novel -- peopled by not just Claude Monet and the love of his life Camille, but also by his best friend Bazille, Renoir, Pissaro and Manet. This would be just the thing to read before a visit to Giverny -- or taking in the streetscapes of the Left Bank, where Impressionism burst upon the scene.
Fodor's Paris' 25 Best
Description: This shirt-pocket map and guide includes essential information on the city's history, highlights and sightseeing, ideal for a short visit to the City of Light.
Author: Belinda Thomson
Description: A readable account of the French Impressionist movement and its most notable artists, illustrated with color reproductions. This book's thoughtful analyses of individual works are illuminated by solid historical and cultural background.
Impressionism, Art, Leisure, and Parisian Society
Author: Robert L. Herbert
Description: A magnificently illustrated social history, this book shows the cafes, opera houses, dance halls and other places of entertainment and leisure that inspired some of the great Impressionist paintings.
Lonely Planet French Phrasebook
Author: Marie-Helene Girard, Anny Monet
Description: This handy phrasebook focuses on pronunciation, basic grammar and essential vocabulary for the traveler.
Made in France, A Shopper's Guide
Author: Laura Morelli
Description: Both a fascinating history of France's artisanal legacy and an insider's shopping guide, the book includes illustrations, maps, a primer on French shopping culture and craft festivals.
Michelin Green Guide Normandy
Author: Michelin Travel Publications
Description: A thorough introduction to Normandy and the Channel islands in the classic Michelin style, featuring brief descriptions of all the major attractions. Organized alphabetically, we like it for its broad coverage, and especially for its excellent local maps.
Monet's Garden in Giverny, Inventing the Landscape
Author: Marina Ferretti Bocquillon
Description: Published in conjunction with the new Musee des Impressionnismes in Giverny, this luminous collection captures Monte's beloved works and the landscapes that inspired them.
Normandy Map 513
Description: A colorful, detailed map of Normandy at a scale of 1:200,000, featuring Rouen, Le Havre and the route of the Seine from west of Paris to the Atlantic.
On Rue Tatin, Living and Cooking in a French Town
Author: Susan Herrmann Loomis
Description: A refreshingly direct, affectionate memoir of making a home -- and cooking -- in Louviers.
Paris to the Moon
Author: Adam Gopnik
Description: Gopnik writes with candor and humor about Paris and Parisian ways in these charming reflections on adapting to life in glorious exile.
The Food of France
Author: Waverly Root
Description: An evocative and beautifully written survey of French food. First published in 1958 and revised in the mid-1970s, the book covers the important regions of French cuisine by dividing them into domains of Butter (northern France), Fat (Alsace) and Oil (the south).
The Impressionists at Home
Author: Pamela Todd
Description: An illustrated, authoritative social history of the French impressionists and their homes. With biographies, 175 photographs and information on homes and gardens open to the public.
The Judgment of Paris, The Revolutionary Decade that Gave the World Impressionism
Author: Ross King
Description: King's lovingly researched and lucid cultural history of French art and society in the 1860s places the impressionists at the center of a revolution in philosophy and taste.
The Letters of Abelard and Heloise
Author: Peter Abelard, Betty Radice (Translator)
Description: The correspondence of the famous 12th-century lovers, translated from the medieval French. This Penguin Classic edition translated by Betty Radice. Peter Abelard's "Historia Calamitatum" is a classic.
The Most Beautiful Villages of Normandy
Author: Hugh Palmer
Description: An oversized, full color photographic celebration of the villages, churches, chateaux, harbors, and coastlines of Normandy.
The Road from the Past, Traveling through History in France
Author: Ina Caro
Description: Time travel through France by way of its finest castles, chateaux, cathedrals and monasteries. This unusual travelogue is an invaluable companion for traveling in Paris, southern France, the Dordogne and the Loire Valley, combining personal observation with large doses of well-presented history.
The Secret Life of the Seine
Author: Mort Rosenblum
Description: After losing his Paris apartment, Rosenblum, a born storyteller, takes to a houseboat moored on the Seine. The result is this entertaining tour of the places and people he encounters during his explorations along the river.