100 books like Kiki's Paris

By Billy Klüver, Julie Martin,

Here are 100 books that Kiki's Paris fans have personally recommended if you like Kiki's Paris. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of A Moveable Feast

Stephen Rowley Author Of The Lost Coin: A Memoir of Adoption and Destiny

From my list on memoirs that will ignite your soul.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am captivated by memoirs that shed light on the deeper life experiences of their authors. My curiosity about inner life compelled me to learn about the psychological essence of memoir writers, resulting in my writing a memoir from an in-depth psychological perspective. My curiosity also led me to become a psychotherapist, which helped me better navigate dark and uncertain waters with my clients. By probing the inner psychological dynamics of such memoirs, I learned more about myself and became a writer with rare psychological insight. Such illumination served to ignite my very soul. My passion is fueled by tapping the mysteries of what lies within us all. 

Stephen's book list on memoirs that will ignite your soul

Stephen Rowley Why did Stephen love this book?

At age 15, I was captivated by Ernest Hemingway and his depiction of Paris in the 1920s. This book today reignites the enchantment of those years. Hemingway's profound influence shaped my aspirations as a writer. Through his eyes, I can vividly see Paris's cafés, salons, and vibrant social scenes, which ultimately became the backdrop of my dreams.

This book, rich with lovemaking, drinking, writing, betting at the track, and the bohemian lifestyle of so many young artists in Paris, reawakens my desire to immerse myself in that world. Hemingway's narrative voice and his novels continue to speak to me in a language that feels intimately mine, reminding me of the undying impact of his work on my life and aspirations.

By Ernest Hemingway,

Why should I read it?

13 authors picked A Moveable Feast as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Published posthumously in 1964, A Moveable Feast remains one of Ernest Hemingway's most beloved works. Since Hemingway's personal papers were released in 1979, scholars have examined and debated the changes made to the text before publication. Now this new special restored edition presents the original manuscript as the author prepared it to be published.

Featuring a personal foreword by Patrick Hemingway, Ernest's sole surviving son, and an introduction by the editor and grandson of the author, Sean Hemingway, this new edition also includes a number of unfinished, never-before-published Paris sketches revealing experiences that Hemingway had with his son Jack and…


Book cover of Paris 1919-1939: Art, Life & Culture

Jim Fergus Author Of The Memory of Love

From my list on 1920’s Paris les années folles - the “crazy years”.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a young boy, I dreamed of becoming a novelist. I was fascinated and inspired by Les Années Folles, The Crazy Years of 1920’s Paris, when artists of all disciplines, from countries all around the world came together electrifying the City of Lights with an artistic passion. My mother was French. France is my 2nd country, where I spend a portion of each year. While researching my novel, The Memory of Love, I stayed in the actual atelier of my protagonist Chrysis Jungbluth, a young, largely unknown painter of that era. I visited, too, the addresses of dozens of the artists who bring the era alive again in our imagination. 

Jim's book list on 1920’s Paris les années folles - the “crazy years”

Jim Fergus Why did Jim love this book?

Having read well over two dozen books on the subject of French history, with a general focus on the especially vibrant period in Paris from the end of World War I to the beginning of World War II, and a laser focus on the 1920s, I find it nearly impossible to rank these five books in the order of their importance. That said, I am choosing this book as my 1st recommendation because at 416 pages, and richly illustrated by hundreds of stunning photographs and images, it casts the broadest, most comprehensive net over this extraordinary era. I proclaim the two decades in Paris that readers will discover in this book, to represent the most important international convergence of painters, sculptors, intellectuals, novelists, poets, playwrights, journalists, dancers, actors, choreographers, musicians, composers, photographers, designers, and fashionistas, in the history of the world. Do I exaggerate? Here is a very incomplete list,…

By Vincent Bouvet, Gérard Durozoi,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Paris 1919-1939 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

During the années folles following World War I, Paris underwent a creative fever that brought artists and intellectuals from around the world to the City of Light. The bohemian charms of Montparnasse attracted artists such as Picasso, Chagall, and Giacometti, while a vibrant café culture provided a forum for disputes between Dadaists and Surrealists and gave rise to a group of expa­triate writers. The creative energy was all-encompassing, establishing Paris as the epicenter of new trends in the arts, a position it would occupy until World War II. This newest title in a celebrated series addresses such diverse topics as…


Book cover of The Jazz Age in France

Jim Fergus Author Of The Memory of Love

From my list on 1920’s Paris les années folles - the “crazy years”.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a young boy, I dreamed of becoming a novelist. I was fascinated and inspired by Les Années Folles, The Crazy Years of 1920’s Paris, when artists of all disciplines, from countries all around the world came together electrifying the City of Lights with an artistic passion. My mother was French. France is my 2nd country, where I spend a portion of each year. While researching my novel, The Memory of Love, I stayed in the actual atelier of my protagonist Chrysis Jungbluth, a young, largely unknown painter of that era. I visited, too, the addresses of dozens of the artists who bring the era alive again in our imagination. 

Jim's book list on 1920’s Paris les années folles - the “crazy years”

Jim Fergus Why did Jim love this book?

This is a terrific coffee table-sized book with wonderful photographs of the sundry characters and vivid reproductions of paintings and other images. Here you’ll find a young, muscular Pablo Picasso with hair—on the beach in his bathing suit in front of Gerald & Sara Murphy’s villa on the Côte d’Azur. This privileged couple—he a fine avant-garde artist in his own right, and she, who became Picasso’s muse, a refined and elegant hostess—were patrons of the arts who surrounded themselves at their home with the young luminaries of the Jazz Age. Chapter headings in this stunning volume tell the tale.

At 174 large pages, this is a beautifully rendered and specific encapsulation of les années folles, from start to finish.

By Charles A. Riley II,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Jazz Age in France as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A panorama of the arts scene in Jazz Age France draws on letters, diaries, journals, photo albums, and private archives, in a visual exploration that includes unpublished paintings by Picasso and Leger, previously unknown works by e. e. cummings and John Dos Passos, and more. 15,000 first printing.


Book cover of Kiki's Memoirs

Jim Fergus Author Of The Memory of Love

From my list on 1920’s Paris les années folles - the “crazy years”.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a young boy, I dreamed of becoming a novelist. I was fascinated and inspired by Les Années Folles, The Crazy Years of 1920’s Paris, when artists of all disciplines, from countries all around the world came together electrifying the City of Lights with an artistic passion. My mother was French. France is my 2nd country, where I spend a portion of each year. While researching my novel, The Memory of Love, I stayed in the actual atelier of my protagonist Chrysis Jungbluth, a young, largely unknown painter of that era. I visited, too, the addresses of dozens of the artists who bring the era alive again in our imagination. 

Jim's book list on 1920’s Paris les années folles - the “crazy years”

Jim Fergus Why did Jim love this book?

This is an intimate, first-person account of 1920’s Paris, and the life of one of the most central characters of the period—the model, singer, and artist, Kiki of Montparnasse as she was known by all. Born in Burgundy in 1901, christened Alice Prin, and raised by her grandmother in abject poverty, at age twelve she was shipped off to Paris to live with the mother she had never known.

The young Alice’s fierce survival instincts immediately translated into a precocious thirst for experience. At fourteen she had her “first contact with art” when she began posing nude for a sculptor. Thereafter, she assumed the name and embraced life as the irrepressible Kiki. Lover of Man Ray, beloved friend of Soutine, Jean Cocteau, and many other artists of the period, she became the toast of Montparnasse, one of the century’s first truly independent women. Man Ray, Foujita, Kisling, and others immortalized…

By Billy Klüver (editor), Julie Martin (editor), Man Ray (photographer)

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Kiki's Memoirs as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Featuring an introduction by Ernest Hemingway and published for the first time in America, the unexpurgated memoirs of a model who reigned over Montparnasse in the twenties created a sensation when they first appeared in France in 1929.


Book cover of The Bridal Chair: A Novel of Love and Art in WWII Paris

Susan Blumberg-Kason Author Of Good Chinese Wife: A Love Affair with China Gone Wrong

From my list on rediscovered women's history with badass book covers.

Why am I passionate about this?

My name is Susan Blumberg-Kason and I write books about strong women who have a strong sense of place. I think we are all partly defined by where we live and I enjoy examining how our environment informs our choices. My first book centers around someone I know very well—me! My memoir, Good Chinese Wife, takes place in my favorite city—Hong Kong—the place where I came of age and married for the first time, as well as China and a few cities in the US. I’m also a sucker for a good cover and I absolutely love my Good Chinese Wife cover!

Susan's book list on rediscovered women's history with badass book covers

Susan Blumberg-Kason Why did Susan love this book?

Marc Chagall is a household name to arts aficionados, but his daughter Ida was also renowned in the Paris art world before World War II. This lovely novel tells of the overbearing way Chagall treated Ida and how he viewed her more as an assistant than a daughter. And when she married, he painted “The Wedding Chair” as a gift to her, which represented his anger at her leaving. This novel helped bring about a new trend to recount the untold stories of women alongside—or even in front of—famous men.

By Gloria Goldreich,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Bridal Chair as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"In prose as painterly and evocative as Chagall's own dazzling brushstrokes, Gloria Goldreich finely evokes one of the most significant masters of modern art through the discerning eyes of [his] loyally protective daughter."—Cynthia Ozick, award-winning author of Foreign Bodies

An exquisite, haunting exploration of the complex mind of Marc Chagall, and the artist's famous chair, through the eyes of his daughter during World War II—perfect for fans of Mrs. Poe and The Paris Wife

Beautiful Ida Chagall, the only daughter of Marc Chagall, is blossoming in the Paris art world beyond her father's controlling gaze. But, her newfound independence is…


Book cover of The Essence of Style: How the French Invented High Fashion, Fine Food, Chic Cafes, Style, Sophistication, and Glamour

Richard Scholar Author Of Émigrés: French Words That Turned English

From my list on just how much English owes French.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have long been struck, as a learner of French at school and later a university professor of French, by how much English borrows from French language and culture. Imagine English without naïveté and caprice. You might say it would lose its raison d’être My first book was the history of a single French phrase, the je-ne-sais-quoi, which names a ‘certain something’ in people or things that we struggle to explain. Working on that phrase alerted me to the role that French words, and foreign words more generally, play in English. The books on this list helped me to explore this topic—and more besides—as I was writing Émigrés.

Richard's book list on just how much English owes French

Richard Scholar Why did Richard love this book?

This is cultural history with a difference and of a difference. It teaches you a lot about the reputation for fashionable culture that France enjoyed for centuries all over the world and continues to enjoy to this day. How much of all that is already packed into the book’s subtitle! The rest of the book is just as accessible and lively and unwilling ever to take itself too seriously. 

By Joan DeJean,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Essence of Style as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

What makes fashionistas willing to pay a small fortune for a particular designer accessory? Why does a special occasion only become really special when a champagne cork pops? Why are diamonds the status symbol gemstone, instantly signifying wealth, power, and even emotional commitment? Writing with great elan, one of the foremost authorities on seventeenth-century French culture provides the answer to these and other fascinating questions in her account of how, at one glittering moment in history, the French under Louis XIV set the standards of sophistication, style, and glamour that still rule our lives today. Joan DeJean takes us back…


Book cover of The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris

Kathy Borrus Author Of Five Hundred Buildings of Paris

From my list on capturing the magic and history of Paris.

Why am I passionate about this?

I lived in Paris for six months when I researched and wrote my first Paris book, One Thousand Buildings of Paris, walking every quarter of Paris including some rather dicey areas. I discovered most Parisians don’t wander very far from their own neighborhoods, and casual tourists tend to stay in the center. The first time my boyfriend and I went to Paris together, I planned daily excursions to all the neighborhoods where he had never been. We became flaneurs (wanderers) at outdoor markets, small museums, parks, and we ventured into unknown spaces. There is always something fascinating to discover in Paris and new ways to gain a sense of history. 

Kathy's book list on capturing the magic and history of Paris

Kathy Borrus Why did Kathy love this book?

Despite a keen interest in Paris, its history and arts, reading straight history books isn’t my thing.

I prefer to learn by reading narrative nonfiction that draws on historical events as does McCullough’s. He focuses on the period in Paris (1830-1900) when the City of Light was the center of culture, the time when American artists, doctors, writers, musicians, and politicians among others ventured across the Atlantic to gain inspiration and knowledge from living in Paris.

McCullough highlights stories of the famous such as Mary Cassatt, Samuel Morse, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Mark Twain, Oliver Wendell Holmes, as well as lesser-known folks, interweaving their lives with historical events. One surprise was how American physicians benefited greatly from their Parisian colleagues. Other remarkable accounts await you.

By David McCullough,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Greater Journey as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Greater Journey focuses on the period between 1830 and 1900, when hundreds of Americans--many of them future household names like Oliver Wendell Holmes, Mark Twain, Samuel Morse, John Singer Sargent and Harriet Beecher Stowe--migrated to Paris. McCullough shows first how the City of Light affected each of them in turn, and how they later moved back to America to help shape American art, medicine, writing, science, and politics in profound ways.The Greater Journey is filled with wonderful descriptions of the old Paris before it was re-made by Haussmann's grand boulevards, and of the city's great places, especially the Louvre,…


Book cover of Secrets of the Flesh: A Life of Colette

Jessica Stilling Author Of Between Before and After

From my list on a little Parisian flair.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm an author currently living in rural southern Vermont, though I’ve also lived in Chicago and New York City. When I was a child I wanted nothing more than to visit the city of lights and when I finally started going, I was awestruck by the beauty and the history of the city of Paris. It’s the little things about Paris, the crooked cobblestone, the myriad of bookstores, the flowers along the boulevards, and those steel metro signs that look like you’re about to enter a terrifying circus. It all comes together in the most lovely ways. My newest novel, Between Before and After, is in many ways a love letter to the city.

Jessica's book list on a little Parisian flair

Jessica Stilling Why did Jessica love this book?

This biography of the famous French authoress Collette explores the sensuously Parisian life of the famed and inflammatory author. It explores many of her sensuous love affairs along with her fabulous accomplishments. This biography marches through time in Paris, from the Belle Epoch to the lean years of the World Wars, to the shining beacon Paris became in the later half of the twentieth century. Through the life of the indomitable authoress Collette, the city of Paris truly sparkles as we see that her history is so entwined with the city’s history.

By Judith Thurman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Secrets of the Flesh as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The story of Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette, who, from her first appearance in Paris salons as a child bride in 1900, scandalised and enraptured all of France.


Book cover of Colette: Earthly Paradise

Marcia DeSanctis Author Of 100 Places in France Every Woman Should Go

From my list on women in France.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a former television news producer who worked for Barbara Walters and Peter Jennings at ABC News, and at Dateline NBC and CBS’s 60 Minutes. I was always a journalist, but mid-career, I switched lanes from TV to writing. Since then, I've contributed essays and stories to many publications, among them Vogue, Travel & Leisure, The New York Times, BBC Travel, and others. I mostly write about travel, but also cover beauty, wellness, international development, and health. I'm the recipient of five Lowell Thomas Awards for excellence in travel journalism, including one for Travel Journalist of the Year. My book of essays, A Hard Place to Leave: Stories From a Restless Life comes out in May 2022.

Marcia's book list on women in France

Marcia DeSanctis Why did Marcia love this book?

The first time I went to Paris, I found a copy of this book at a bouquiniste on the Quai de la Tournelle. I can honestly say it has never left my bedside. Colette, born Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette in 1873, was a ferocious talent, a novelist, memoirist, journalist, and colossal French cultural figure until her death in 1954. Earthly Paradise is an autobiography in essays, and hers is an extraordinary story. Born in small-town Burgundy, she was a showgirl at the Moulin Rouge, a traveling performer, was married twice, lived as a lesbian for a decade, had a facelift in the 1920s and at the height of her literary fame, opened a beauty salon in Paris. She was to the core a sensualist and though she claimed to dislike feminism, she was a tower of female strength. But the reason this book—just one of her fifty-five—endures is her achingly gorgeous writing.…

By Colette,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Colette as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In her own lifetime, and especially outside of France, Colette was best known as a novelist, as the creator of Cheri, Gigi, Claudine; and as such, her place in the ranks of 20th century French fiction is secure and very high, comparable among her contemporaries perhaps to that of Proust. Over the same half century, she published an even larger body of explicit autobiography - memoirs, portraits, notebooks, letters. Barely a decade after her death, it became clear that this aspect of her work, and the personality embodied there, would determine her place in literature. Drawn from some 40 books…


Book cover of La Dame d'Esprit: A Biography of Marquise Du Châtelet

Karen Offen Author Of Debating the Woman Question in the French Third Republic, 1870-1920

From my list on remarkable French women.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have always been fascinated by France and things French. In graduate school, no women’s history was on our required reading lists. As a young woman, though, entering a professional field in which women were few on the ground, much less studied, I became an avid reader of biographies of achieving women – partly to learn how they were able to surmount (or not) the obstacles that confronted them in a male-dominated world. The five stellar biographies of French women I present here are products of the newer work in retrieving women’s histories. They are deeply researched and engagingly written. They confirm the saying that “truth is stranger than fiction.”

Karen's book list on remarkable French women

Karen Offen Why did Karen love this book?

This splendid biography traces the life and times of the Marquise Du Châtelet, born in Paris in December 1706, who became one of the most erudite women of her époque. For fifteen years she was the companion to Voltaire, the best-known of the French philosophes. She mastered calculus and translated Newton’s Principia, in addition to carrying on an active social life and raising several children. She died at the age of 42, following the birth of a daughter conceived with another lover. The author explains her subject’s life course as “from a life of frivolity to a life of the mind.” It’s a great read.

By Judith Zinsser,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked La Dame d'Esprit as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Documents the life of the French Enlightenment-era intellectual, from her aristocratic youth and controversial choice to become the mistress of Voltaire to her mathematical and scientific achievements and work as a translator of Newton.


5 book lists we think you will like!

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