Tuesday, July 10, 2012
This week for Top Ten Tuesday, The Broke and The Bookish are giving us a little freebie. In honor of Paris in July, I thought it would be a perfect time to discuss my top ten favorite books that take place in Paris (or France, because there are a few outside of Paris I also love). Some are books I've already read and loved, while others are books I am eager to get my hands on.
Books I've read:
1. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo -- Yes, I've been embroiled in this one for months and months, and it's not over yet. But it isn't because the book isn't amazing -- it is because it is demanding. And rewarding. I almost don't want to finish, because I am enjoying the experience so much.
2. The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo -- This one is right up there with Les Mis. I actually had the opportunity to read Hunchback while I was in Paris and it was an unbelievable experience. As I climbed the towers of Notre Dame there were inscriptions from the book every few flights of stairs. And the backstory of Hugo's novel saving the giant cathedral is both inspiring and romantic.
3. Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald -- I love F. Scott madly. In fact, just a few days ago I had to give my husband a severe scolding when he told me that The Great Gatsby was boring and that he couldn't get through it. However, I think Tender is the Night is an even greater masterpiece, if not quite as universal. Taking place in the south of France, it is semi-autobiographical and about a psychiatrist, his troubled wife, and the other woman he meets there. It is wrenching and amazingly written, as per all of Mr. Fitzgerald's works.
4. The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton -- Okay, if we are being honest here, hardly any of this book takes place in Paris. But the last scene, which does, brought me back to Paris more than any other book I have ever read. The descriptions were so evocative for me and brought back vivid memories. In addition, the end is the most wrenching, gut-punching ending ever (in a good way). So read it.
5. The Last Time I Saw Paris by Lynn Sheene -- If I'm being honest, I have to tell you that I didn't particularly love this book. However, if we are being Paris-philes, this book has fabulous descriptions of Paris itself and also brought back very vivid memories.
6. Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly -- You've all heard me fan-girl about this one. Going between Andi, a troubled teen forced to spend a few weeks in Paris with her father, and Alexandrine, a girl in the court of the doomed Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, the story builds into a sweeping adventure that I just couldn't get out of my mind once I had finished.
7. Madame Tussaud by Michelle Moran -- This was another gripping book taking place during the French Revolution. It was fascinating in its exploration of a commonly known pop culture symbol (Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum), but the history behind it is much more sinister.
Books I haven't read yet:
8. A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway -- I have no excuse for not having read A Moveable Feast yet. My grandma gave me a gorgeous leather-bound hardcover last year and it has been waiting patiently for me ever since. I am planning on getting to it this summer.
9. French Milk by Lucy Knisley -- I've heard that this graphic novel is entertaining and fantastic. While my experiences with graphic novels are limited at this point, this is one I am definitely hoping to try soon.
10. Paris, My Love by Eloisa James -- I've seen this one floating around the blogosphere lately and I am very intrigued. I hope to read it soon!