There is something so subtle and cool about how the French live their lives. We’ve already obsessed over how they eat and dress, and to further our (totally natural) fixation, we’ve gathered 12 books to help us live the best French girl life you could ever imagine. From speaking to dressing to cooking, these books will help you live a faux pas-free life. So instead of flying thousands of miles to experience the culture, gather inspiration at home by checking out these seriously chic + effortless reads.
1. French Phrasebook ($10): Get your French lesson on with this pocket-sized paperback that will easily help you with grammar, pronunciation and phrases. It’s the perfect book if you are just trying to learn the basics. You know, for those emergencies of when you have no more wine and you need to find the closest store. Those kinds of “basics.”
2. French Comfort Food ($30): Sometimes the best dishes are the ones that have been passed down from generation to generation. Author Hilary Davis, who is also a journalist, has compiled these French recipes which each talk about the history of the dish and explain what all that French cooking lingo means. Oh, and don’t expect any healthy dishes here. These meals are going to comfort you like a bottle wine on a bad, bad day.
3. The Paris Journal ($20): The Paris Journal is the love child of photographer Nicole Robertson and co-author Evan Roberson. Nicole, who is Amazon’s #1 bestselling author of Paris in Color, provides a 140 pages of her gorgeous photography and tells a story of a wild adventure throughout the City of Lights. If this book doesn’t make you want to jump on a plane and fly to Paris, then we don’t know what will.
4. A Kitchen in France ($22): Mimi Thorisson used her families’ move from Paris to Médoc to inspire this beautifully delicious cookbook. The photography is completed by her husband and the recipes are made with fresh ingredients from local farmers. The Apple Tart With Orange Flower Water sounds so yummy that we wish we were in Mimi’s farmhouse right now!
5. My Stylish French Girlfriend ($31): This book provides you with 20 new French girlfriends. Each femme will supply you with where they shop, work, play and, most importantly, how they dress. Sharon Santoni Smith welcomes you into the lives of each woman, ranging from all ages and living all over the country. We love that this book seems to be more about the intimate details in life, rather than the glamorous side of France that we always hear about. Each woman has a different story to tell, and we are here to listen.
6. The Paris Style Guide ($25): If you love French style and need over 200 shopping destinations, then this book is your new BFF. This gorgeous guide not only gives you travel tips, but it also has beautiful photographs of every shop and location. It’s really the best guidebook to take with you for your next Parisian trip.
7. The Little Paris Kitchen ($23): Although French cuisine can seem very intimidating, Chef Rachel Khoo will help simplify it for you. This 120-recipe cookbook is filled with 100 pages of photographs to help give the budding chef a visual guide on French cooking. Don’t know the basics? Don’t sweat. Rachel also provides the reader with a “French Basics” section in the back of the book.
8. Love Style Life ($17): We all know Garance from the comforts of our computers. She is the voice behind her beautiful blog, Garance Doré, and she is a killer illustrator. Love Style Life will give you an even closer look into her life and fashion, as well as her transition from Corsica to the Big Apple. Want to know how to mix high and low fashion together while also creating the perfect career for your life? Garance will help you do all that and more.
9. How to be Parisian Wherever You Are ($14): These four authors — Anne Berest, Audrey Diwan, Caroline de Maigret and Sophie Mas — are going to be your tour guide to a beautiful Parisian life. This fresh approach to storytelling will guide you through their secrets and very chic-yet-complicated lives. It’s basically sounds like Sex in the City for the City of Lights. Is there a Parisian Big? Don’t know. I guess we will need to read to find out.
10. Très Green, Très Clean, Très Chic ($13): Okay, if the comfort food was too heavy for you, then give this cookbook a go. It’s all about clean, fresh eating, French-style. Rebecca Leffler explains how to cook the 150 plant-based recipes by season. Oh yeah, and all the recipes are free of gluten, soy and refined sugar. And, to put the icing on the salad, the book also includes natural beauty treatments, yoga poses and positive playlists. These healthy recipes will definitely be added to our collection.
11. My Paris Dream ($15): Kate Betts, a former fashion journalist, wrote this memoir about her time during the ’80s when she was working towards her dream career as a young American girl in Paris, learning about herself and falling in love. She guides us through the Parisian night clubs and how she climbed the ladder towards her high-profile career. She’s pretty much the ’80s version of Sophia Amoruso.
12. The French Beauty Solution ($18): French beauty is just spot on, but we still can’t figure out how they get such effortlessly flawless skin. This book has ALL the answers. As the founder of Caudalíe, Mathilde Thomas might know a thing or two about those French beauty secrets. The book will give you the 411 on natural beauty remedies, what food to eat and DIY recipes. Could this possibly be the bible of French beauty? We’re gonna say oui oui!
What are some of your favorite French reads? Let us know in the comments below!