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books to read for your holiday to france


So, you are planning your holiday to France, have made a list of activities and attractions you want to see and do and the excitement has finally taken over from the stress. But what about the books you will be bringing? It’s an unwritten rule to take a good book to read on your holiday, although instead of the physical copy, downloading some great reads onto your Kindle is another space-saving option. 

As well as a good page turner, the latest best-seller or your favourite book to read when staying at your luxury villas, France, it will be a good idea to pack in a book about the country you are visiting.  Don’t just use a travel guide, but one exploring the culture, history and life of the French in a truly personal way. You could also get a head start and start reading one now. Not sure where to start? Here are our top picks: 
A Philosophy of Walking by Frédéric Gros
If you are planning on exploring France by foot, A Philosophy of Walking is a great one to pop into your backpack. Leading philosopher Gros charts the ways we get from A to B: the pilgrimage, the promenade, the nature ramble, and what they say about us. Entertaining and insightful, you will end up doing some thinking on your strolls, just as Gros intends. 
Aspects of Provence by James Pope-Hennessy
For those headed to the South of France and Provence, this book by a British author is a fantastic introduction to the flavours of the region. This book will leave you with a better understanding of the people, architecture and landscape of Provence, and help you fall more in love with it. Similar to this book is A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle. 
The Discovery of France by Graham Robb
Brilliantly researched and written, this book allows the reader to come to grips with the wonderful country of France as the French themselves did – slowly, awkwardly and eccentrically. Robb recounts many stories of France’s evolution into the modern country we know today, following tourists, pilgrims, soldiers and more. 
Narrow Dog to Carcassone by Terry Darlington
This novel follows an adventure of the author himself, who with his wife and dog decided to travel across the English Channel on a narrow boat, heading for the Mediterranean. The book will take you to places in France no other tourists will see, meet the French people nobody meets. A tale of travel and eccentricity, it is a book that will enchant lovers of France. 
A Moveable Feast, by Earnest Hemingway
Published posthumously, this memoir recounts Hemingway’s time in Paris during the 1920s when he was a struggling writer and spent his time at the city’s bars and cafes. It also explores his relationship with other literary heroes of the time who spent time in Paris – F. Scott Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein James Joyce among them. 
My Life in France by Julia Child
This is one for those also seeking the culinary delights of France. Julia Child’s autobiography details her culinary adventures throughout France, such as her first bite of Sole Meunière in Rouen that started off her love for food. This is a must for any foodie and an essential for fans of Child.
Sixty Million Frenchmen Can’t Be Wrong by Jean-Benoit Nadeau and Julie Barlow
Sixty Million Frenchmen Can’t Be Wrong will take you on a journey into the French heart, mind and soul, revealing the French’s ideas about land, food, language and more. It explores the intricacies of French society, uncovers the essence of life in France and can give you’re a complete picture of the French and the country as a whole. 
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