The best books about Paris 📚

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

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Book cover of New Paris: The People, Places & Ideas Fueling a Movement

New Paris: The People, Places & Ideas Fueling a Movement

By Lindsey Tramuta

Why this book?

Written by my talented friend, a Paris-based journalist for publications such as The New York Times, Conde Nast Traveler, Afar Magazine, Bon Appétit, Food & Wine. Lindsey Tramuta has taken her journalistic curiosity and written a cultural study-meets-guide book for those who are wanting to explore Paris from a new perspective, from one of a true, modern Parisienne.

From the list:

The best books with a taste of France

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Book cover of D.V.

D.V.

By Diana Vreeland

Why this book?

Vreeland begins by telling readers: “The first thing to do is to arrange to be born in Paris. After that, everything follows quite naturally.” And that declaration sets the tone for this delightful, witty monologue, as told to Paris Review editor George Plimpton and originally published in 1984. D.V. makes you laugh out loud, and long for Paris, beauty, and really, really good lingerie.

From the list:

The best books about fashion in Paris

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Book cover of In My Fashion

In My Fashion

By Bettina Ballard

Why this book?

Ballard was the Paris editor for American Vogue between the wars, before returning to New York to help run the glossy. In 1960, she published her memoir, In My Fashion, a wonderful snapshot not only of the fashion industry during the European Modernist era, but also of life as a young single American woman in Paris at its most Paris-y. You don’t have to be a fashion lover to love this book.

From the list:

The best books about fashion in Paris

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Book cover of Fashion Climbing: A Memoir

Fashion Climbing: A Memoir

By Bill Cunningham

Why this book?

Photographer Bill Cunningham, who died in 2016 at the age of 87, is best known as the New York Times’ street fashion and party photographer. But he got his start in fashion, at the age of 19, as a milliner in New York. His career was briefly interrupted when he was drafted in the Army in the early 1950s and stationed in France—or so he thought. Cunningham started making hats for the officers’ wives, which allowed him to travel to Paris for materials. His tales of Paris are glorious—oh, how he was charmed by the city, and the French—and…

From the list:

The best books about fashion in Paris

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Book cover of The Gospel of Blood: The crimes and trial of the Vampire of Paris in his own words

The Gospel of Blood: The crimes and trial of the Vampire of Paris in his own words

By Nico Claux

Why this book?

At long last the Vampire of Paris crawls from his crypt, a living legend emblazoned with magical sigils and muttering dire imprecations for 666 searing pages. A world-renowned artist and bold aesthete of the macabre, Nico Claux holds a Japanese cannibal as his role model and calls Satan his homeboy. This reclusive genius goes beyond the pale only to reveal himself as a regular bloke, albeit one with a taste for torture and blasphemy. Meant to be read in the darkest night!

From the list:

The best and most recent true crime books

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Book cover of The Girl with the Golden Eyes

The Girl with the Golden Eyes

By Honoré de Balzac

Why this book?

Do you want the gritty, pungent beauty of Paris during the heyday of the Romantics—the 1830s? You want perversion, decadence, a crazy, kinky plot revolving around sex, dominance, Sapphic passion, murder, and intrigue, set in the Trocadero neighborhood? Only Honoré de Balzac could dream up something this wild and get away with it. One of the wonders of this short novel is how, through casual descriptions, Paris comes to life. It’s not a picture-postcard version of the city. Au contraire. It’s a seamy, real place I recognize after 35 years living there. While I was reading The Girl with the…

From the list:

The best crime novels that double as travel books

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