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5 French-themed books for your reading list

I was cleaning my bookshelf the other day and noticed that I have read a fair few books about France over the years. I loved France during my Europe adventure in 2012 because of the cuisine, the elegant language, the people, the culture, Paris as well as the countryside and villages. I think most girly girls fall in love with France because it’s just – well, very pretty! So it’s no wonder that there are so many books set in France, or about the people, culture or cuisine.


Here are my recommendations in no particular order:

1. ‘The Hundred Foot Journey’ by Richard C. Morais

The Hundred-Foot Journey-2

I just finished reading this novel after watching the movie a few weeks ago. The movie was just delightful – a heart-warming tale of an Indian family who moves to Paris and starts a restaurant across the road from a Michelin-starred restaurant. There’s plenty of romance, pretty scenery, gorgeous food, lovable characters and a happy ending. The book, I thought, was surprisingly very different from the movie although had the same main themes of destiny, positivity and food. The book is a bit more realistic with some heart-warming moments, but also real life themes. And it’s more about protagonist Hassan’s life as a chef. Despite being different from the movie, I still enjoyed the book thoroughly and highly recommend it.

2. ‘French Women Don’t Get Fat’


I’m such a huge fan of Mireille Guilano, that I even went to see her speak at the launch of her latest novel ‘French Women Don’t Get Facelifts’. She writes in such a warm, positive, conversational manner and I was pleasantly surprised to see that she is exactly the same in person. She was chic, well-presented and so personable! I’m biased, I know, but I love her books! I recommend ‘French Women Don’t Get Fat’ as a start, and if you enjoy it, then ‘Women, Work and Art Savoir Faire’ and ‘French Women for All Seasons. Great self-help books with a French flair.

3. ‘The Elegance of the Hedgehog’ by Muriel Barbery

1 EleganceOfHedgehog

Philosophical, elegant, warm and very French. It’s a story revolving around 2 characters (Renee Michel, the concierge and Paloma Josse, an intelligent teenager) living in the same apartment building 7 Rue de Grenelle. It’s a beautiful book although the ending is a little abrupt and unsatisfying.

4. ’What French Women Know Matters by Debra Ollivier


I think most girls are a little intrigued with French women – they seem so mysterious, elegant, chic and intelligent. This American author who married a Frenchman and lived in France for almost a decade certainly uncovers a few secrets. A fun read.

5. ‘Almost French’ by Sarah Turnbull


I had to add this to the list, despite being on another book list I compiled here. It’s a charming tale about a Sydney-sider fitting into French society when she moves to France for love. It’s personable, entertaining and very French!

Happy reading!

Maadz xox


  1. sara

    Hi addz! I loved Almost French and totally agree with you about the ending of The Elegance Of The Hedgehog! Brutal! Thanks for your great blog! Sara

    • That’s ok Sara! Glad you agree with my review for ‘The Elegance of the Hedgehog’…. wish it could have been a happier ending for such a beautiful story.


  2. Hi Maadz lovely to meet you tonight at the Ugg launch! I read Almost French whilst I was living in France – I can honestly say it became my bible! If you want a true representation of life in France, then this is your ticket.


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