Demystifying the French: A Reading List

May 12, 2012 at 10:46 pm Leave a comment

There are many, many excellent books on how to better understand the French.

Of course I hope you will consider buying my book, Demystifying the French: How to Love Them and Make Them Love You

And here is a list of other sources of information and perspective–through both nonfiction and fiction–on this endlessly fascinating topic.

Barlow, Julie, and Jean-Benoit Nadeau. Sixty Million Frenchmen Can’t Be Wrong and The Bonjour Effect: The Secret Codes of French Conversation Revealed 

Carlson, Craig. Pancakes in Paris: Living the American Dream in France; and Let Them Eat Pancakes.

Carroll, Raymonde Cultural Misunderstandings: The French-American Experience

DeTocqueville, Alexis Democracy in America

Druckerman, Pamela Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting

Gopnik, Adam Paris to the Moon

Greene, Jeffrey French Spirits: A House, A Village, and a Love Affair in Burgundy

Greenside, Mark I’ll Never Be French (No Matter What I Do); and (Not Quite) Mastering the Art of French Living. 

Hampton, Ellen Playground for Misunderstanding

Hulstrand, Janet Demystifying the French: How to Love Them, and Make Them Love You 

Johnson, Diane Le Divorce (also Le Mariage and L’Affaire)

Magny, Olivier. WTF?! What the French. 

Platt, Polly French or Foe? Getting the Most Out of Visiting, Living, and Working in France and Savoir Flair: 211 Tips for Enjoying France and the French

Ramsey, Rebecca French by Heart: An American Family’s Adventures in La Belle France

Sciolini, Elaine La Seduction: How the French Play the Game of Life 

Sedaris, David Me Talk Pretty One Day

Rochefort, Harriet Welty French Toast: An American in Paris Celebrates the Maddening Mysteries of the French, and Joie de Vivre: Secrets of Wining, Dining, and Romancing Like the French

Stein, Gertrude. Paris France

Taylor, Sally Adamson Culture Shock! France: A Survival Guide to Customs and Etiquette 

Turnbull, Sarah. Almost French: Love and a New Life in Paris

Wharton, Edith. French Ways and Their Meaning

This list includes a mix of genres: some are practical or scholarly cultural guides, some memoirs or essays written by Americans (and one Australian) who have spent time in France, and there are even a few novels. I hope you find them both enlightening and enjoyable to read. (You may want to check out my Paris Bookshelf also, for more books about Paris, and my France Bookshelf, for more books about France.)

Janet Hulstrand is a writer, editor, writing coach, and teacher of writing and literature who divides her time between France and the United States. She teaches literature courses in Paris every summer for the Education Abroad program at Queens College, CUNY, and Writing from the Heart workshops in Essoyes, a beautiful little village in the Champagne region. She is the author of  Demystifying the French: How to Love Them, and Make Them Love You

Entry filed under: About France, Demystifying the French. Tags: , , , , , , , , .

Demystifying the French: Tip #1 Merci et Au Revoir, Mme. Hellier…

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