Books To Help You Live a French Inspired Life

Dive into the French way of life with this reading list that’ll bring elegance, yummy cuisine, and that effortless French chic to your doorstep. This list is all you need to sprinkle a bit of France into your daily routine—no passport required. 

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If you’ve got a soft spot for all things French and dream of sipping a café au lait by the Seine, but are firmly rooted in the daily grind, we have a reading list just for you!

While jet-setting to France might not be on your agenda right now, who says you can’t bring a slice of French life right into your own home? Whether through the art of living, the secrets of French cuisine, or the elegance of a Parisian home, this curated list of books promises to whisk you away to France, no passport required.

Lifestyle & Culture

How to Be French by Janine Marsh – Dive into the nuances of French living through the engaging tales and insights of Janine Marsh, who shares her journey of becoming almost French.

French Women for All Seasons: A Year of Secrets, Recipes, & Pleasure by Mireille Guiliano – A follow-up to the beloved “French Women Don’t Get Fat”, this book offers seasonal wisdom on style, nutrition, and pleasure, guiding you through living a balanced, French-inspired life throughout the year.

Joie de Vivre: Simple French Style for Everyday Living by Robert Arbor – Discover the secrets to finding joy in the small things, as Robert Arbor beautifully illustrates how to incorporate the French philosophy of ‘Joie de Vivre’ into every aspect of life.

Joie: A Parisian’s Guide to Celebrating the Good Life by Ajiri Aki – A delightful exploration of finding happiness in the simplicity and elegance of French daily life, Aki’s insights are a treasure trove for those seeking to add a French flair to their lifestyle.

Living Forever Chic: Frenchwomen’s Timeless Secrets for Everyday Elegance, Gracious Entertaining, and Enduring Allure by Tish Jett – Delve into the French way of graceful aging and living a stylish, fulfilling life with Tish Jett’s guide to embracing beauty and elegance at any age.

The book "Joie: A Parisian's Guide to Celebrating the Good Life" by Ajiri Aki sits on a wooden table top.

Cooking & Entertaining

My Paris Kitchen: Recipes and Stories by David Lebovitz – This book combines stories of Paris with recipes that are achievable for home cooks. The photography is gorgeous, making it a beautiful book to have on your kitchen shelf or coffee table.

Barefoot in Paris: Easy French Food You Can Make at Home by Ina Garten – Known for her approachable cooking style, Ina Garten brings her clarity to French cuisine with this book. It’s filled with recipes that demystify French cooking for the American home cook, accompanied by stunning photos that capture the essence of Parisian food culture.

French Country Cooking: Meals and Moments from a Village in the Vineyard by Mimi Thorisson – Set in the author’s charming home in the French countryside, this book offers recipes that are both simple and sophisticated, along with beautiful photography of the meals and the surroundings. It’s an excellent pick for those looking to bring a touch of the French countryside into their home.

The Little Paris Kitchen by Rachel Khoo – Rachel Khoo makes French cuisine accessible with straightforward recipes and a modern twist. The book is filled with beautiful illustrations and photos that make it a joy to read and cook from.

French Cooking for Beginners: 75+ Classic Recipes to Cook Like a Parisian by François de Mélogue – If you’re a beginner looking to dive into French cooking, this book offers easy-to-follow recipes that don’t skimp on authenticity or flavor. It’s designed to make French cooking less intimidating for novices.

Emily in Paris: The Official Cookbook – Bring the flavors of Paris into your kitchen with recipes inspired by the popular TV show, offering a fun and whimsical approach to French cooking.

A Kitchen in France: A Year of Cooking in My Farmhouse by Mimi Thorisson – Journey through the seasons in the French countryside with Mimi Thorisson, who invites you into her kitchen with recipes that blend rustic tradition with modern elegance.

Home & Garden

A Well-Kept Home: Household Traditions and Simple Secrets from a French Grandmother by Laura Fronty – This book reveals the French art of creating a warm and inviting home, sharing time-honored traditions and simple, yet profound, secrets passed down through generations.

Home Sweet Maison: The French Art of Making a Home by Danielle Postel-Vinay – Explore the French approach to creating a home that is not only beautiful, but also reflects the soul and spirit of those who inhabit it.

French Country Cottage by Courtney Allison – Inspired by the charm of French country living, this book offers ideas and inspiration for bringing the warmth and elegance of French country style into your home.

At Home with Madame Chic by Jennifer L. Scott – Drawing inspiration from her experience living with a French family, Scott offers readers tips on cultivating an elegant, chic, and simple home life, inspired by the French.

The book "Home Sweet Maison: The French Art of Making a Home" by Danielle Postel-Vinay sits on a linen cloth on a wooden tabletop.

Good Reads

My Good Life in France by Janine Marsh – Marsh shares her heartwarming and humorous journey of moving to France, renovating a farmhouse, and discovering the joys and challenges of rural French life.

Paris Letters: A Travel Memoir about Art, Writing, and Finding Love in Paris by Janice MacLeod – This book offers a heartwarming journey into the life of an expat finding love and a new life in Paris, with delightful descriptions of French markets, cafes, and the joy of creating and sharing food.

A Paris Year: My Day-to-Day Adventures in the Most Romantic City in the World by Janice MacLeod – Documenting a year in Paris with beautiful illustrations, photographs, and personal observations, MacLeod’s book is a love letter to the city and its daily wonders.

Jacqueline in Paris by Ann Mah – This novel, while fictional, offers a vivid portrayal of Jacqueline Kennedy’s formative year in Paris, blending historical detail with a rich narrative that captures the spirit of the city.

Lunch in Paris: A Love Story, with Recipes by Elizabeth Bard – This memoir is a delightful journey that combines romance with the exploration of French cuisine, as Elizabeth Bard shares her story of falling in love and learning to navigate the joys of Parisian life through food.

Picnic in Provence: A Memoir with Recipes by Elizabeth Bard – The sequel to “Lunch in Paris,” this book takes the reader on a journey to the French countryside, where Elizabeth and her family adapt to a new way of living, filled with the challenges and delights of Provencal cuisine.

Almost French: Love and a New Life in Paris by Sarah Turnbull – This memoir tells the story of an Australian journalist who finds herself completely immersed in the paradoxes of Parisian life, exploring themes of love, cultural adaptation, and the beauty of embracing a new city.

The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George – A novel that captures the charm of Paris through the eyes of a bookseller on a floating barge on the Seine. It’s a tale of love, loss, and the healing power of literature, set against the backdrop of the picturesque Parisian landscape.

We hope that you find that each of these books serves as a gateway to the French way of life, offering not just recipes and decor tips, but a whole new perspective on living beautifully and simply.

And remember that the essence of French living isn’t just about the perfect baguette or the chicest outfit; it’s about embracing life with all its imperfections, finding joy in the everyday, and, of course, a little bit of indulgence.

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