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SMITHSONIAN JOURNEYS

Paris Immersion

READING AND TRAVEL GUIDE

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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

Item EXFRN557. Buy these 4 items as a set for $64 including shipping, 15% off the retail price.
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Parisians, An Adventure History of Paris

Parisians, An Adventure History of Paris

by Graham Robb

  • HISTORY
  • 2011
  • PAPER
  • 368 PAGES

Beginning at the dawn of the French Revolution and continuing, in its own charming, haphazard way to the present, Robb's paean to the City of Light (he's clearly in love) takes in the history of Paris through the stories of Marie Antoinette, Sartre and Simon Beauvoir, Napoleon, Zola, Proust and others, renowned and heretofore unknown. (FRN888, $18.95)

A Moveable Feast

A Moveable Feast

by Ernest Hemingway

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 1996
  • PAPER
  • 211 PAGES

A treasure for anyone interested in Parisian cafe society and its luminaries circa 1925. Hemingway includes sharp portraits of Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ford Maddox Ford and others who idled on their way to greatness. (FRN26, $15.00)

Eyewitness Guide Paris

Eyewitness Guide Paris

by Eyewitness Guides

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2013
  • PAPER
  • 448 PAGES

Gorgeous, well-illustrated and filled with maps, this compact book provides an excellent overview of the French capital, its history, traditions and sights. (FRN02, $25.00)

Paris Map

Paris Map

by Borch Maps

  • 2011
  • MAP

A sturdy laminated map of the city center at a scale of 1:12,000 and all of Paris at a scale of 1:15,000. (FRN400, $8.95)

 
Blue Guide Paris

Blue Guide Paris


by Delia Gray-Durant | Ian Robertson

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2007
  • PAPER
  • 479 PAGES

Compact and authoritative, this eleventh edition of the art-focused guide includes plenty of color photographs and a section of practical information in addition to the usual maps and detailed floor plans. (FRN145, $29.95)

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)

Parisian Chic, A Style Guide

Parisian Chic, A Style Guide


by Ines de la Fressange

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2011
  • PAPER
  • 239 PAGES

Icon of chic and quintessential Parisienne, Ines de la Fressange includes her favorite offbeat museums, shops, salons and spas, restaurants, cafes and hotels in this charming guide, jammed with photographs, drawings and hand-written lists. (FRN984, $29.95)

The Most Beautiful Walk in the World, A Pedestrian in Paris

The Most Beautiful Walk in the World, A Pedestrian in Paris


by John Baxter

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2011
  • PAPER
  • 298 PAGES

Australian critic and writer Baxter draws on his second career as a literary tour guide in his adopted city for this witty memoir, laced with terrific tales. (FRN979, $14.99)

Long Ago in France, The Years in Dijon

Long Ago in France, The Years in Dijon


by M.F.K. Fisher

  • FOOD
  • 1992
  • PAPER
  • 159 PAGES

A memoir of Fisher's years in France in the late '20s and early '30s, a time of exuberant discoveries of the glories of French food and French culture. (FRN21, $13.95)

A Traveller's History of Paris

A Traveller's History of Paris


by Robert Coles

  • HISTORY
  • 2008
  • PAPER
  • 320 PAGES

A fast-moving, short survey of French history with a focus on Paris from its founding, through the heady days of revolution and up to modern times. (FRN426, $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)

The Days of the French Revolution

The Days of the French Revolution


by Christopher Hibbert

  • HISTORY
  • 1999
  • PAPER
  • 384 PAGES

An accessible and informative history of the French Revolution, this book is a fantastic introduction to a pivotal historical period, aimed at the general reader. (FRN153, $16.99)

The Sun King

The Sun King


by Nancy Mitford

  • HISTORY
  • 2012
  • PAPER
  • 255 PAGES

An opulent, celebrated biography of Louis XIV. Gracefully written in a witty, conversational style, Mitford's book brings Versailles to vibrant life. (FRN33, $16.95)

A Day at Versailles, An Intimate Portrait

A Day at Versailles, An Intimate Portrait


by Francis Hammond | Yves Carlier

  • ART & ARCHITECTURE
  • 2014
  • HARD COVER
  • 224 PAGES

Today a tourist attraction, the Chateau de Versailles was originally the center of royal power, a lavish palace constructed by Louis XIV prior to the French Revolution. This illustrated book celebrates the hidden wonders of the palace and grounds, including Marie Antoinette's dairy farm and the Petit Trianon. (FRA93, $34.95)

Birth of Impressionism, Masterpieces from the Musee D'orsay

Birth of Impressionism, Masterpieces from the Musee D'orsay


by Guy (E Cogeval

  • ART & ARCHITECTURE
  • 2010
  • HARD COVER
  • 255 PAGES

Drawn from the stunning collection of Paris's Musee d'Orsay, this book documents the emergence and influence of the Impressionist movement with one hundred works by masters of nineteenth-century French painting. ncludes the work of such artists as Manet, Monet, Renoir, Pissaro, Cezanne, Morisot, Degas and many others. (ART141, $55.00)

Between Meals, An Appetite for Paris

Between Meals, An Appetite for Paris


by A.J. Liebling

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 2004
  • PAPER
  • 182 PAGES
  • FAVORITE

Liebling captures with stylish prose his coming-of-age in Paris in this elegant memoir, which is also a tribute to French cuisine. (FRN32, $15.00)

Joan of Arc

Joan of Arc


by Mary Gordon

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 2008
  • PAPER
  • 208 PAGES

In elegant, insightful prose, novelist Gordon meditates on the courageous and complex young girl and the iconic status she has acquired. (FRN753, $15.00)

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)

Paris to the Past, Traveling Through French History by Train

Paris to the Past, Traveling Through French History by Train


by Ina Caro

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2012
  • PAPER
  • 400 PAGES

The infectiously enthusiastic Ina Caro charts 25 day trips from Paris in this marvelously conceived history and guide. From the splendor of Chartres, wonders of Sainte-Chapelle and elegant Place de la Concorde, Caro enchants. (FRN953, $17.95)

The Secret Life of the Seine

The Secret Life of the Seine


by Mort Rosenblum

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2001
  • PAPER
  • 290 PAGES

After losing his Paris apartment, Rosenblum, a born storyteller, takes to a houseboat moored on the Seine. The result is this entertaining tour of the places and people he encounters during his explorations along the river. (FRN48, $17.50)

On Paris

On Paris


by Ernest Hemingway

  • LITERATURE
  • 2010
  • PAPER
  • 80 PAGES

These wry columns, written for the Toronto Star in the early 1920s, show Hemingway at his most informal, making great fun of literary Paris, the French and his own Bohemian circle. (FRN930, $16.95)

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)

Paris in Mind

Paris in Mind


by Jennifer Lee

  • ANTHOLOGY
  • 2003
  • PAPER
  • 288 PAGES

With selections spanning 300 years, this wonderful anthology reflects America's long connection to Paris and the French. The 30 American writers tapped include Benjamin Franklin, Ernest Hemingway and David Sedaris. (FRN412, $16.00)

The Paris Wife

The Paris Wife


by Paula McLain

  • LITERATURE
  • 2012
  • PAPER
  • 320 PAGES

A deeply evocative story of ambition and betrayal, The Paris Wife captures a remarkable period of time and a love affair between two unforgettable people: Ernest Hemingway and his wife Hadley. (FRN981, $15.00)

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.