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READING AND TRAVEL GUIDE

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Books for

Enrich your travels with reading! Here's a hand-picked list prepared for your journey in conjunction with the book experts at Longitude.

Essential Reading

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The Road from the Past, Traveling through History in France

The Road from the Past, Traveling through History in France

by Ina Caro

  • HISTORY
  • 1996
  • PAPER
  • 339 PAGES

Time travel through France by way of its finest castles, chateaux, cathedrals and monasteries. This unusual travelogue is an invaluable companion for traveling in Paris, southern France, the Dordogne and the Loire Valley, combining personal observation with large doses of well-presented history. (FRN03, $17.00)

The Food of France

The Food of France

by Waverly Root

  • FOOD
  • 1992
  • PAPER
  • 450 PAGES

An evocative and beautifully written survey of French food. First published in 1958 and revised in the mid-1970s, the book covers the important regions of French cuisine by dividing them into domains of Butter (northern France), Fat (Alsace) and Oil (the south). (FRN17, $18.00)

Paris to the Moon

Paris to the Moon

by Adam Gopnik

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2001
  • PAPER
  • 338 PAGES

Gopnik writes with candor and humor about Paris and Parisian ways in these charming reflections on adapting to life in glorious exile. (FRN208, $16.00)

Eyewitness Guide Family France

Eyewitness Guide Family France

by Eyewitness Guides

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2014
  • PAPER
  • 424 PAGES

A compact illustrated guide in the popular series, with dozens of excellent local maps and a kid friendly focus, including child-friendly sleeping and eating options and age range suitability. Intended for parents with kids ages four to twelve. (FRA3, $25.00)

France Map

France Map

by Michelin

  • MAP

A colorful, accurate and up-to-date map of France at a scale of 1:1,000,000. (FRN07, $12.95)

 
Fodor's Paris' 25 Best

Fodor's Paris' 25 Best


by Fodor's

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2014
  • PAPER
  • 96 PAGES

This shirt-pocket map and guide includes essential information on the city's history, highlights and sightseeing, ideal for a short visit to the City of Light. (FRN41, $13.99)

Lonely Planet French Phrasebook

Lonely Planet French Phrasebook


by Marie-Helene Girard | Anny Monet

  • LANGUAGE & PHRASEBOOKS
  • 2012
  • PAPER
  • 272 PAGES

This handy phrasebook focuses on pronunciation, basic grammar and essential vocabulary for the traveler. (FRN120, $8.99)

Made in France, A Shopper's Guide

Made in France, A Shopper's Guide


by Laura Morelli

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2008
  • PAPER
  • 208 PAGES

Both a fascinating history of France's artisanal legacy and an insider's shopping guide, the book includes illustrations, maps, a primer on French shopping culture and craft festivals. (FRN706, $24.95)

The Roman Provence Guide

The Roman Provence Guide


by Edwin Mullins

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2012
  • PAPER
  • 224 PAGES

Mullin's succinct history and guide to the many monuments, arches and other antiquities of Provincia Nostra, the first Roman territory outside Italy, covers the must-see archaeological sites of Provence and neighboring Languedoc in detail. (FRA05, $20.00)

French Provincial Cooking

French Provincial Cooking


by Elizabeth David | Julia Child

  • FOOD
  • 1999
  • PAPER
  • 524 PAGES

More than just a cookbook, in this influential classic, David includes a long introduction on the origins of food traditions in France, and asides on history, food traditions, literature and the pleasures of rural France. (FRN174, $18.00)

Patricia Wells at Home in Provence, Recipes Inspired by Her Farmhouse in France

Patricia Wells at Home in Provence, Recipes Inspired by Her Farmhouse in France


by Patricia Wells

  • FOOD
  • 1999
  • PAPER
  • 355 PAGES

Award-winning cookbook writer and critic Patricia Wells takes her knowledge of French cuisine to the home kitchen in this collection, larded with tales of friends, feasts and food. (FRN114, $24.00)

The Table Comes First: Family, France, and the Meaning of Food

The Table Comes First: Family, France, and the Meaning of Food


by Adam Gopnik

  • FOOD
  • 2012
  • PAPER
  • 288 PAGES

Gopnik's delectable social history traces America's "table ancestry" to 18th-century France, birthplace of modern taste and the restaurant. He also urges us not to forget the deeper value of what goes on around the table. (FRN968, $15.95)

A Traveller's History of France

A Traveller's History of France


by Robert Cole

  • HISTORY
  • 2008
  • PAPER
  • 256 PAGES

This fast-moving survey covers the conquests of ancient Gaul through the heady days of revolution to modern times. (FRN08, $14.95)

Eiffel's Tower

Eiffel's Tower


by Jill Jonnes

  • HISTORY
  • 2010
  • PAPER
  • 354 PAGES

Jones captures the thrill of the modern in this sprightly tale of the tower, the 1889 World's Fair that inspired it -- and the cast of characters who gathered in Paris for the occasion, including Buffalo Bill, Annie Oakley, and the artists Gauguin, Van Gogh and Whistler. (FRN987, $17.00)

How Paris Became Paris, The Invention of the Modern City

How Paris Became Paris, The Invention of the Modern City


by Joan Dejean

  • HISTORY
  • 2014
  • HARD COVER
  • 320 PAGES

A vibrant chronicle of how Parisian rulers transformed the city into a cosmopolitan metropolis. (FRA108, $30.00)

Le Tour

Le Tour


by Geoffrey Wheatcroft

  • HISTORY
  • 2007
  • PAPER

Wheatcroft brings a historian's flair for incident and telling detail to this rich tale of the race from its humble beginnings to its current fame. (BCY28, $17.95)

Paris at the End of the World, The City of Light During the Great War, 1914-1918

Paris at the End of the World, The City of Light During the Great War, 1914-1918


by John Baxter

  • HISTORY
  • 2014
  • PAPER
  • 416 PAGES

John Baxter (The Most Beautiful Walk in the World) explores how the city of light managed to shine even brighter during the four years when WWI threatened her destruction. (FRA122, $15.99)

Provence A-Z

Provence A-Z


by Peter Mayle

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 2008
  • PAPER
  • 304 PAGES

A companion to all things Provencal, from bouillabaisse to lavender and vinaigre, by the British expatriate and Francophile Peter Mayle. (FRN619, $15.95)

Sixty Million Frenchmen Can't Be Wrong

Sixty Million Frenchmen Can't Be Wrong


by Jean-Benoit Nadeau | Julie Barlow

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 2003
  • PAPER
  • 351 PAGES

Two Canadian journalists tackle the contradictions and complexities of the French character, paying particular attention to the question of why the French resist globalization. (FRN755, $18.99)

The Most Beautiful Villages of Provence

The Most Beautiful Villages of Provence


by Michael Jacobs

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 2012
  • PAPER
  • 299 PAGES

With an excellent introduction on the history, culture, landscapes and the pleasures of Southern France, this illustrated guide features 34 towns and villages across Provence from the Vacluse to Bonnieux and Gordes, tranquil Alpine villages and southern vineyards. (FRN28, $26.95)

The Popes of Avignon, A Century in Exile

The Popes of Avignon, A Century in Exile


by Edwin Mullins

  • HISTORY
  • 2011
  • PAPER
  • 256 PAGES

Grounded in the architecture and papal legacy of Avignon and the surrounding area, this engaging history sets the 70-year period of papal exile in the south of France against the context of Europe's turbulent transition from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance. (FRN806, $14.95)

Vincent's Gardens: Paintings and Drawings by Van Gogh

Vincent's Gardens: Paintings and Drawings by Van Gogh


by Ralph Skea

  • ART & ARCHITECTURE
  • 2011
  • HARD COVER
  • 112 PAGES

Monuments to the artistic originality and poetic sensibility of Van Gogh, this survey of the artist's favorite gardens includes reproductions of oil paintings and sketches. (NTH147, $19.95)

A Year in Provence

A Year in Provence


by Peter Mayle

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 1991
  • PAPER
  • 207 PAGES

The original best-selling tale of settling down in Provence, told with warmth and a great deal of humor. It offers a wonderful inside look at the charms and quirks of the people and the countryside in the south of France. (FRN19, $14.95)

Adventures on the Wine Route, A Wine Buyer's Tour of France

Adventures on the Wine Route, A Wine Buyer's Tour of France


by Kermit Lynch

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 1990
  • PAPER
  • 271 PAGES

A delightful and warmly anecdotal book highly recommended for anyone touring the wine regions of France. Lynch brings the domains and appellations of French wine to full-blown life and his portraits of the grand personalities who make the wine are priceless. (FRN72, $19.00)

French Lessons, Adventures with Knife, Fork and Corkscrew

French Lessons, Adventures with Knife, Fork and Corkscrew


by Peter Mayle

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2002
  • PAPER
  • 240 PAGES

Mayle sets out to experience gastronomic pleasures, food festivals and celebrations throughout France in this savory travelogue. (FRN474, $15.00)

Into a Paris Quartier, Reine Margot's Chapel and other Haunts of St. Germain

Into a Paris Quartier, Reine Margot's Chapel and other Haunts of St. Germain


by Diane Johnson

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2005
  • PAPER
  • 204 PAGES

Novelist Diane Johnson (Le Divorce) writes with insight, verve and wit in this affectionate, personal portrait of St Germain-des-Pres, her neighborhood on the Left Bank. (FRN491, $10.95)

My Life in France

My Life in France


by Julia Child

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 2007
  • PAPER
  • 317 PAGES

Child's characteristically ebullient record of Paris and Provence, her many friends, family and memorable meals, in the years after WWII, turned into a movie starring Meryl Streep and Stanley Tucci (as husband Paul). (FRN596, $16.00)

Two Towns in Provence

Two Towns in Provence


by M. F. K. Fisher

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 1983
  • PAPER
  • 208 PAGES
  • FAVORITE

Celebrated food writer M.F.K. Fisher contrasts village life in Aix-en-Provence with bustling Marseilles, evoking these two favorite places with anecdote and loving description. (FRN27, $18.95)

Van Gogh, The Life

Van Gogh, The Life


by Gregory White Smith | Steven Naifeh

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 2012
  • PAPER
  • 953 PAGES

Pulitzer Prize-winning biographers Naifeh and Smith reconstruct the life of Van Gogh with authority. Never losing sight of the artist's profound achievements, the authors square Van Gogh's talent with his depression and madness. (ART164, $25.00)

France, A Traveler's Literary Companion

France, A Traveler's Literary Companion


by William Rodarmor

  • ANTHOLOGY
  • 2008
  • PAPER
  • 256 PAGES

This collection contains literary gems from all corners of France--not just Paris--by a select group of 20th-century French writers from Colette to Simenon. (FRN767, $14.95)

French Feast, A Traveler's Literary Companion

French Feast, A Traveler's Literary Companion


by William Rodarmor

  • LITERATURE
  • 2011
  • PAPER
  • 248 PAGES

A wide-ranging selection of 30 short stories by French authors, each of which evokes food in its own way. A fascinating, kaleidoscopic portrait of France and French culture. (FRN970, $14.95)

In a Dark Wood Wandering, A Novel of the Middle Ages

In a Dark Wood Wandering, A Novel of the Middle Ages


by Hella Haasse

  • LITERATURE
  • 1991
  • PAPER
  • 594 PAGES

With a cast of thousands including Joan of Arc and the Dukes of Burgundy, this 1949 historical novel renders the political intrigue, people and texture of 15th-century Europe and of medieval court life during the Hundred Years War. (FRN86, $21.95)

Paris

Paris


by Edward Rutherfurd

  • LITERATURE
  • 2014
  • PAPER
  • 832 PAGES

Edward Rutherford's sweeping tale traces Paris from Roman occupation to the building of Notre Dame, the machinations of Cardinal Richeleu, glittering court of Versailles, Revolution, the Belle Epoque, the Lost Generation, Nazi occupation and the Resistance all the way up to student revolt in the tumultuous 1960s. (FRA38, $18.00)

More Recommendations

Here are some other groups of books that might be of interest

Longitude provides recommended reading for travelers in partnership with the leading tour operators and travel programs for hundreds of destinations worldwide. We've got the classic, new and hard-to-find books and maps to help you get the most out of your adventures.