5 French-themed books for your reading list

I was cleaning my bookshelf the other day and noticed that I have read a fair few books about France over the years. I loved France during my Europe adventure in 2012 because of the cuisine, the elegant language, the people, the culture, Paris as well as the countryside and villages. I think most girly girls fall in love with France because it’s just – well, very pretty! So it’s no wonder that there are so many books set in France, or about the people, culture or cuisine.


Here are my recommendations in no particular order:

1. ‘The Hundred Foot Journey’ by Richard C. Morais

The Hundred-Foot Journey-2

I just finished reading this novel after watching the movie a few weeks ago. The movie was just delightful – a heart-warming tale of an Indian family who moves to Paris and starts a restaurant across the road from a Michelin-starred restaurant. There’s plenty of romance, pretty scenery, gorgeous food, lovable characters and a happy ending. The book, I thought, was surprisingly very different from the movie although had the same main themes of destiny, positivity and food. The book is a bit more realistic with some heart-warming moments, but also real life themes. And it’s more about protagonist Hassan’s life as a chef. Despite being different from the movie, I still enjoyed the book thoroughly and highly recommend it.

2. ‘French Women Don’t Get Fat’


I’m such a huge fan of Mireille Guilano, that I even went to see her speak at the launch of her latest novel ‘French Women Don’t Get Facelifts’. She writes in such a warm, positive, conversational manner and I was pleasantly surprised to see that she is exactly the same in person. She was chic, well-presented and so personable! I’m biased, I know, but I love her books! I recommend ‘French Women Don’t Get Fat’ as a start, and if you enjoy it, then ‘Women, Work and Art Savoir Faire’ and ‘French Women for All Seasons. Great self-help books with a French flair.

3. ‘The Elegance of the Hedgehog’ by Muriel Barbery

1 EleganceOfHedgehog

Philosophical, elegant, warm and very French. It’s a story revolving around 2 characters (Renee Michel, the concierge and Paloma Josse, an intelligent teenager) living in the same apartment building 7 Rue de Grenelle. It’s a beautiful book although the ending is a little abrupt and unsatisfying.

4. ’What French Women Know Matters by Debra Ollivier


I think most girls are a little intrigued with French women – they seem so mysterious, elegant, chic and intelligent. This American author who married a Frenchman and lived in France for almost a decade certainly uncovers a few secrets. A fun read.

5. ‘Almost French’ by Sarah Turnbull


I had to add this to the list, despite being on another book list I compiled here. It’s a charming tale about a Sydney-sider fitting into French society when she moves to France for love. It’s personable, entertaining and very French!

Happy reading!

Maadz xox

4 thoughts on “5 French-themed books for your reading list

  1. Hi addz! I loved Almost French and totally agree with you about the ending of The Elegance Of The Hedgehog! Brutal! Thanks for your great blog! Sara

    1. That’s ok Sara! Glad you agree with my review for ‘The Elegance of the Hedgehog’…. wish it could have been a happier ending for such a beautiful story.


  2. Hi Maadz lovely to meet you tonight at the Ugg launch! I read Almost French whilst I was living in France – I can honestly say it became my bible! If you want a true representation of life in France, then this is your ticket.


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