The best books about France 📚

Browse the best books on France as recommended by authors, experts, and creators. Along with notes on why they recommend those books.

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Book cover of A Train in Winter: An Extraordinary Story of Women, Friendship, and Resistance in Occupied France

A Train in Winter: An Extraordinary Story of Women, Friendship, and Resistance in Occupied France

By Caroline Moorehead

Why this book?

This fascinating book follows 230 women, some more in-depth than others, who were imprisoned outside Paris for crimes of resistance activities. I began reading it as research and became captivated by the stories, especially the devotion the women developed for one another. I felt a deep connection to each of the prisoners as I climbed into their shoes, cheering for them to survive while fearing they would not. (The Appendix lists the 49 who survived if you want to know in advance. I didn’t.) It’s difficult to grasp what they endured over an unimaginable period of time. Just the sheer…
From the list:

The best books on women during WW2

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Book cover of Suite Française

Suite Française

By Irene Nemirovsky

Why this book?

Nemirovsky never had a chance to finish what was to be a five-part series of novellas about life in France during the German occupation, because she was arrested for being Jewish and sent to Auschwitz, where she was killed. You might imagine that it would be hard for fiction to live up to such a dramatic backstory, but the two surviving novellas are beautifully written illustrations of a society facing catastrophe.

From the list:

The best fiction about women’s experiences of World War II

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Book cover of Eleanor of Aquitaine

Eleanor of Aquitaine

By Marion Meade

Why this book?

This may not be the most scholarly book on this extraordinary woman; but it is by far the most readable on the only woman who married both a King of France and King of England, went on Crusade to Jerusalem, and civilized feudalism by sponsoring poets and minstrels and creating the idea of romantic love.
From the list:

The best books on the wine, food, and history of Perigord France

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