From my list on understanding and appreciating the French.
Who am I?
I became fascinated with France and the French as a child, and over the past 40 years I have spent as much time as I can here. I’ve been fortunate to be able to combine my dual passions—for France and for literature—in creating a series of classes for CUNY study abroad programs and for the Politics & Prose bookstore. Through this work, over the past 20+ years I have spent much of my time reading and teaching works of literature that explore France and the French people in depth. I now live in France, and I continue to find the French endlessly fascinating. I think I always will.
Janet's book list on understanding and appreciating the French
Why did Janet love this book?
People often ask me what is the best book to take with them to Paris if they can only take one, and this is the book I always recommend. This collection of essays, which can easily fit into a purse or a backpack, is brimming over with fascinating stories about “the people, places, and phenomena” of Paris. Downie’s encyclopedic knowledge of history, and the idiosyncratic curiosity that draws him (and his readers along with him) into a variety of offbeat situations make for fun as well as highly informative reading. It’s a great book to take with you to read in Paris, or sitting at home dreaming of or remembering Paris—and the selection of topics is varied enough that I believe there’s something in it to interest almost anyone.