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River Cruising in France

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
  • BEST SELLER

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)

France in Mind

France in Mind

by Alice Powers

  • ANTHOLOGY
  • 2003
  • PAPER
  • 352 PAGES

This wonderful selection of essays, excerpts and stories filters the experience of being in France through the lens of 33 British and American writers. (FRN384, $16.95)

Eyewitness Guide France

Eyewitness Guide France

by Eyewitness Guides

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2014
  • PAPER
  • 672 PAGES

This superb guide to all of France features color photography, dozens of excellent local maps and a region-by-region synopsis of the country's attractions. Handsome, convenient and up-to-date, this is the guide to carry. (FRN01, $30.00)

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)

 
Eyewitness Guide Loire Valley

Eyewitness Guide Loire Valley


by Eyewitness Guides

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2013
  • PAPER
  • 264 PAGES

Visually rich, comprehensive, and practical, this guidebook is an excellent introduction to the history, culture and attractions of the Loire Valley. Highly recommended. (FRN43, $25.00)

Eyewitness Guide Provence & the Cote D'Azur

Eyewitness Guide Provence & the Cote D'Azur


by Roger Williams

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2013
  • PAPER
  • 272 PAGES

This is an illustrated, colorful guide to the art and architecture, literature, history and attractions of Provence. With photographs and site plans, maps and sections on the Riviera, the Var, Bouches-du-Rhone, Vaucluse and the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence. (FRN18, $23.00)

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)

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)

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)

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)

France from the Air

France from the Air


by Yann Arthus-Bertrand

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 2006
  • HARD COVER
  • 340 PAGES

This spectacular book of photographs, one in a series by Yann Arthus-Bertrand, showcases the rivers, fields, landscapes and cities of France in a series of dramatic low-altitude shots. With a introductory history and descriptive captions. (FRN598, $55.00)

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)

Speak the Culture France

Speak the Culture France


by Andrew Whittaker

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 2008
  • PAPER
  • 295 PAGES

This helpful guide with a sense of humor provides an overview of historic and contemporary French culture, including literature, performing arts, fashion, communications and, of course, food. (FRN885, $24.95)

The Most Beautiful Villages of Burgundy

The Most Beautiful Villages of Burgundy


by James Bentley | Hugh Palmer

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 1998
  • HARD COVER
  • 224 PAGES

Divided geographically, this handsome book is an illustrated portrait of the region, its landscape, architecture and people. With maps, a travel guide and 260 photographs. (FRN80, $40.00)

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 Most Beautiful Villages of the Loire

The Most Beautiful Villages of the Loire


by James Bentley | Hugh Palmer

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 2001
  • HARD COVER
  • 208 PAGES

An illustrated portrait of the region, its landscape, architecture, and people, featuring 275 color photographs and accompanying lively essays by Francophile James Bentley. (FRN483, $40.00)

In the South of France

In the South of France


by Don Krohn

  • ART & ARCHITECTURE
  • 1999
  • HARD COVER
  • 117 PAGES
  • OUT OF PRINT

With an overview of history and culture, generous literary excerpts and stunning color photographs, this handsome book is a splendid introduction to the landscapes and fields, villages, castles, medieval churches and chateaux of Provence and the south of France. (FRN192, $39.95)

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)

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)

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)

Chocolat

Chocolat


by Joanne Harris

  • LITERATURE
  • 2000
  • PAPER
  • 306 PAGES

This charming novel set in the Loire Valley pits provincial morals against pleasure. Adapted into a popular movie. (FRN484, $16.00)

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)

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)

Travelers' Tales Provence

Travelers' Tales Provence


by Tara Austen Weaver | James O'Reilly

  • ANTHOLOGY
  • 2003
  • PAPER
  • 262 PAGES
  • OUT OF PRINT

This sampling of true tales includes an excellent cast of writers, journalists and travelers, including Peter Mayle, Lawrence Durrell, Kermit Lynch and Alain de Botton. (FRN410, $16.95)

The Botanist and the Vintner, How Wine Was Saved for the World

The Botanist and the Vintner, How Wine Was Saved for the World


by Christy Campbell

  • SCIENCE
  • 2006
  • PAPER
  • 314 PAGES

In this witty book Campbell interweaves a dramatic tale of the devastation of vineyards in 1860's France with French cultural history and a tale of the mad scramble by scientists (along with witches, priests and mystics) to discover the cause and cure. The French were none too pleased that salvation (as well as the disease) came in the form of American root stock. (FRN497, $14.95)

Birds of Europe

Birds of Europe


by Lars Svensson

  • FIELD GUIDE
  • 2010
  • PAPER
  • 416 PAGES
  • FAVORITE

Featuring 3,500 glorious paintings by Killian Mullarney and Dan Zetterstrom, the second edition of this exquisite guide has been updated with revised text and maps. (FG47, $29.95)

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.