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In 2018 France was the most visited destination in the world with over 82 million visitors. It’s capital Paris is consistently one of the top three most visited cities with only Bangkok and London attracting more.

Culture, art, food, wine, history, lakes, beaches, mountains, wonderful villages, sophisticated cities, and more France has it all in abundance.

After living in France for 18 months and visiting numerous times over the decades it still remains one of my favourite European destinations. Choosing where to go can be the most difficult part of planning any trip to France – the lure of Paris with its historical buildings, museums and culture or the beauty of the Dordogne with its castles and vineyards, the villages of Provence, the beaches of the Cote D’Azure or the beauty of the mountains (Alps or Pyrenees!) and lakes. Your choices are endless.

If you can’t decide or simply want to prepare for your French vacation why not check out some of these best books about France?

If you want to learn to speak French or simply a few key French phrases why not download my fact file and book list for France and also check out my posts about the best French movies on Netflix or the best French TV series on Netflix?


The Piano Shop on the Left Bank


A beautifully written novel exploring both the delights of life in Paris and a love affair with the piano. A wonderful novel for anyone who loves pianos and Paris with equal passion!





Murder On The Eiffel Tower (Victor Legris Mysteries)


A murder-mystery set in the Paris of 1889. The Eiffel Tower is brand new but the scene of a mysterious death. Caused by a bee sting or where there other forces at work? Young bookseller Victor Legris makes it his mission to uncover the truth!





The Little Paris Bookshop: A Novel


Translated from German this bestseller is a perfect summer read to accompany you on your French vacation. Set on a floating barge on the Seine this is a beautiful novel about the power of books and a lost love.





My Life in France


If you have seen the film Julie and Julia this book will be a must-read. Telling the story of Julia’s move to France at the age of 36 and her transformation into the internationally renowned expert on French cuisine.





Almost French: Love and a New Life in Paris


Almost finished her backpacking adventure around Europe Sarah is about to return home to Australia when a chance meeting in Bucharest  is about to change her life forever. A visit to spend a week in Paris with the Frenchman she met ends in some hilarious adventures and a girl falling in love with French culture and life.





How to Be Parisian Wherever You Are: Love, Style, and Bad Habits


Insider information about Parisian style, love, fashion, culture from 4 French authors who truly know what they are talking about! Want a bit of that fabulous French style this is the book for you!






Somewhere in France


Set during the first world war this novel follows the life of a young woman as she follows her destiny from London to a field hospital in France. A love story portraying love, war and a world divided by class.





The Little French Bistro: A Novel


A novel about self discovery and new beginnings. Set in Brittany this novel depicts life in a Breton village as Marianne endeavours to embrace a new life. If this novel doesn’t have you booking a trip to Brittany nothing will!





Bruno, Chief of Police: A Novel of the French Countryside


Follow the investigations of Bruno the Chief of Police of St Denis, France. Set in the wonderful Dordogne this series of books all about Bruno will have you gripped and enthralled in equal measure. If retiring to a life in France was your dream (pre-Brexit) at least you can enjoy what life might have been before 52% of the British population ruined it for the rest of us.





The Burning Chambers


Another wonderful book by Kate Mosse set in Carcassonne in the 1500’s. If you are a fan of her previous books – Labyrinth and Sepulchre this eagerly awaited 2018 publication will be a must-read!





Uncorked: My year in Provence studying Pétanque, discovering Chagall, drinking Pastis, and mangling French

Who does not dream of a life in Provence? One of my favourite regions in France is depicted by Paul Shore who was lucky enough to spend a year living in Provence.





I have a number of posts about Paris and France which you may be interested in reading. I update and add new posts on a regular basis so why not subscribe to receive my monthly newsletter as well as gain exclusive access to my resource library? The library is only available for subscribers and includes fact files and best book lists for a number of countries around the world.








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Author: Tracy

Over the last 50 years I have lived and worked in 7 countries on 4 continents and travelled to many more. I enjoy exploring and learning about new places and meeting people on my travels. History, reading, photography, nature and wildlife are my interests and I am ALWAYS researching and planning my next trip (preferably by train)

With a lifetime of travel experience, and a network of friends all over the world, I share genuine insider guides, recommended best book lists and train journey inspiration to help YOU travel authentically to some of the most beautiful places on earth.

Come and join me as I travel the world one country (and train journey) at a time!

This post may contain compensated links. Please read our disclaimer for additional information.

One thought on “10 must-read books about France (or set in France)

  1. Louise says:

    I fell in love with France through reading French literature and novels set in France: ‘Jean de Florette’ by Marcel Pagnol, ‘A Tale of Two Cities’, ‘Les Miserables’… and more recently novels by Kate Mosse and Joanne Harris. I will definitely be putting some of these books on my reading list! I quite fancy learning how to be Parisian ?

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