The best books about ups and downs in Paris: C'est La Vie

Janet Skeslien Charles Author Of The Paris Library
By Janet Skeslien Charles

The Books I Picked & Why

The New Parisienne: The Women & Ideas Shaping Paris

By Lindsey Tramuta, Joann Pai

The New Parisienne: The Women & Ideas Shaping Paris

Why this book?

The book is an insider guide to Paris and features interviews with amazing women who are making the city better and more interesting, one action, one thought, one sentence at a time. I finished the book wishing I could meet the Parisiennes over coffee to discuss the different challenges that they faced. 


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The Caretakers: A Novel

By Amanda Bestor-Siegal

The Caretakers: A Novel

Why this book?

I love this gorgeously-written novel and the way it shows the fine line that young American au pairs working for wealthy French families have to walk. Paris is a dream for many people, but the reality is quite different, especially when seen through the lens of a nanny cam. Though the book takes place in Paris, the ups and downs of navigating work and family relationships are universal.


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Let Them Eat Pancakes: One Man's Personal Revolution in the City of Light

By Craig Carlson

Let Them Eat Pancakes: One Man's Personal Revolution in the City of Light

Why this book?

Craig Carlson shares his passion for food and France in this charming, thought-provoking collection of essays. With heart and humor, he shows us the best of America and France, and how we can learn from one another. Whether delving into cultural differences or the challenges and rewards of running a business, Craig is the perfect guide. Let Them Eat Pancakes is a delicious, satisfying dish about following your dreams and dealing with any challenge that arises.


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Good Morning, Midnight

By Jean Rhys

Good Morning, Midnight

Why this book?

“I want a long, calm book about people with large incomes – a book like a flat green meadow and the sheep feeding in it… I read most of the time and I am happy.” First published in1939, this novel is a portrait of a woman who struggles in Paris. She is on her own and has no job or money.


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Notes of a Native Son

By James Baldwin

Notes of a Native Son

Why this book?

In his striking essay “Equal in Paris,” James Baldwin relates his experience of being arrested and spending eight days in a Paris jail. His crime? Possession of a stolen bed sheet given to him by an acquaintance. His essay Notes of a Native Son is brilliant and I wish everyone would read it.


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