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Paris Guide Books

Buy your books about Paris and France on Amazon using the book links provided. Your online shopping for these books contributes to maintaining Colleen's


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Buying your books in Paris

If you decide to buy when you arrive, Paris has 14 English language bookstores. I will soon have that list for you.


Though some of these books may only be available in French, the basic information (ratings on hotels, addresses, maps, restaurant opening times, etc. and such information) is universal.


French bookstores: FNAC or Virgin Megastore are two examples of the large bookstore in Paris. Otherwise, W.H.Smith, Brentano's and Galignani (all located on rue de Rivoli) are the largest Paris bookstores.


Seven Ages of Paris

This is a great book on the history of Paris -- reads like a novel -- hits the highlights from the beginning to about 1969. Although there are details, it flows like the Seine.


The Seven Ages of Paris is an abridged cultural, architectural and personality history, which makes it quite interesting. It is a pleasure to pick up and read and put down, but you cannot wait to get back to it again.


Paris was not always a city of light. On the contrary, it was quite sludgy, muddy, foul-smelling, and a real den of thieves. So where did the light come from? Individual lanterns gave way to groups of candles in a lantern (6,500 lamps had to be lit every night) to oil and then to gas under Louis Napoleon and Haussmann.


Most of the kings and emperors put their mark on its architecture, either with new designs or modifying what someone had done before: Henry IV's red brick at Place Dauphine and Place des Vosges to the variety of ecclesiastical styles and ornate opera under Louis Napoléon (who also carried out many of his uncle's building plans).


Access in Paris

"This well established guidebook was originally published in 1974, and was the first guidebook ever to use the title 'Access' referring to access by disabled people. Later editions were published in 1985, 1993 and 2008.

The website includes updated information and is available as a book or can be downloaded in PDF format from the website from June 2008." Contact Gordon Couch


France Today

Updated daily, their website features:

-Expert travel advice - with classic and unusual destinations, best hotels and restaurants, and not-to-be-missed events

-Insider’s information on French culture: art scene, politics, interviews of French personalities

-The best of French life and Style: exclusives on fashion and trends, top chef recipes, wine reviews, and much more..


Wine tasting guides

Hugh Johnson's pocket guide and Atlas have been our bibles when traveling the French wine country by car.


The Atlas can be a bit cumbersome if you are traveling by any other means. It is about 350 pages of history, how to make and store, and covers the world (literally) of wine!


The pocket guide is quite handy by its size and is a handy reference while traveling of wineries and a glossary of grape types, and food and wine matches.


Book Description
Hugh Johnson's Pocket Wine Book 2010: 33rd Edition

"Hugh Johnson has won a legion of fans with his keen ability to make the sometimes complex topic of wine wonderfully lucid—and every year, his popular pocket guide is a bestseller. That makes it number one in the market. Here, in it’s 30th anniversary year, he has completely revised and updated this classic, offering more current news than ever on over 6,000 wines, growers, and regions, along with up-to-the-minute vintage information, recommended wines (including budget options), and star ratings. With this book in hand, wine lovers won’t need anything else to help them select anything from a bottle for an everyday dinner to a prestige vintage for investment. A new section showcases Johnson’s special, personal choices, and there are plenty of quick-reference maps, charts, and fact boxes for a little extra guidance."
--Amazon Editorial Review


World Atlas of Wine is something of a dream-team production. The names Hugh Johnson and Jancis Robinson alone recommend any book on which they appear. The fifth edition (in 30 years) of this astonishingly successful book lives up to, and surpasses, its predecessors. In 350 densely packed but never clotted pages the authors manage the extraordinary feat of characterizing wine production throughout the world, from Vancouver Island to Japan--Buddhists first planted vines in that inhospitably precipitous, monsoon-lashed land over a 1,000 years ago. After a substantial introductory section dealing with the history of wine, its making, storage, and enjoyment, we're off. Starting with (where else?) France and Burgundy, each wine area is summarized in terms of its geography, climate, and preferred vines and the appellations, laws, and traditions that govern production. The discussion of Pomerol, for example, tells you a great deal in one short page. Even since 1994, when the fourth edition came out, vast changes have swept the wine world, and many parts of the atlas have been correspondingly completely reworked. South America, Canada, Southern France, Italy, Greece, Eastern Europe, and the Eastern Mediterranean are among the areas that have benefited. The regional maps that form the core of the book are a triumph of clarity. The whole production constitutes a brilliant achievement of organization and synthesis, forming an indispensable resource for any wine lover at all interested in where the wine they drink comes from and why it tastes the way it does." --Robin Davidson,



"Learn to fully enjoy and appreciate fine French wines as this stunning companion guide brings each one to life!

Perfect for any wine-lover, this definitive visual guide to French wine features fully revised and updated information on over 200 appellations and vintages. Find everything you need, from regional information and driving tours to food pairings and how different wines are made.

This lavishly illustrated portable guide includes maps, recommended producers, and regional resources - it's an essential armchair companion for those who want to know what’s what in the world of wine!"--Publisher Dorling Kindersley Books


Oz Clarke's Introducing Wine: A Complete Guide for the Modern Wine Drinker

Oz Clarke's New Wine Atlas: Wines and Wine Regions of the World

Oz Clarke's Pocket Wine Guide 2010 (Oz Clarke's Pocket Wine Guides)

Pudlo Paris 2007-2008: A Restaurant Guide This is the most recent edition available in English.


If you want a definitive guide to Paris restaurants, you might try this one.


France has a tradition of placing decals on the front windows of restaurants or signs to designate quality in either hotels or restaurants.


In the past, this book has only been available in French.


Gilles Pudlowski is the restaurant critic and journalist for the French weekly magazine, Le Point; a contributor to Saveur and Bon Voyage magazines; cultural commentator and critic; a historian of French regional culinary traditions.


...Le Pudlo Paris is a guide to restaurants, gourmet shops, cafés, and bars.


...Organized by arrondissement, the guide lists and describes almost 1,000 restaurants, starting with the Grands Tables—the paragons of the capital’s culinary scene—followed by literate and illuminating descriptions of hundreds of the most attractive and appealing restaurants in each neighborhood of Paris.


...Each arrondissement includes a listing of specialty gourmet shops, by type, selling: Bread and Baked Goods; Pastries; Wine; Tea; Coffee; Candy & Sweets; Chocolate; Cheese; Charcuterie; Ice Cream; Prepared Foods; Fine Groceries; Regional Products; Ice Cream; Fresh Fruit and Vegetables; Cutlery; Tabletop Items—almost 300 in all....Little Backroom publisher

Soupes du Jour

Anne-Catherin Bley is the owner and soup maker from le Bar à Soupes

33 rue de Charonne 75011

between rue des Taillandiers and rue Keller

Metro: Bastille or Ledru-Rollin


Editorial review:


Served hot in the heart of winter or cold on the hottest summer day, a well-crafted soup is always a hit with family and friends.


The 90 recipes in Soup are fun and easy, and will appeal to any home cook. With a wide variety of ingredients, cooking methods and serving ideas, this collection includes familiar favorites as well as recipes that offer unexpected flavors. A lush photograph accompanies each recipe.


Served with noodles or croutons, filled with whole vegetable pieces or blended to a smooth cream, Soup has something for every palate -- and every occasion.

The 90 recipes include:

  • Tomato veloute with fresh coriander

  • Pea soup with mint

  • Corn and red pepper chowder

  • Bouillon with potato quenelles

  • Melon and mango soup.

  Christofle (Memoire)
According to David Rosenberg's publisher:
Since its creation in the middle of the nineteenth century, Christofle has always been the hallmark of a refined lifestyle. Furthermore, the innovations it triggered over the years have revolutionized the style, techniques, production and distribution methods of the silversmith’s craft and the decorative arts. An ardent observer of changing fashions and customs, the brand integrated into its works great artistic trends, such as Japonism and Art Nouveau, while associating with famous artists -Man Ray, Cocteau, Arman- and current designers, including Martin Szekely and Andrée Putman.

Today, as in the past, whether it be at the table of Parisian emperors, princes and maharajahs, or families of lesser fame and fortune; whether in the palaces of Paris, London, New York, Cairo and Alexandria, on board the Orient Express, the Trans-Siberian Railway or transatlantic liners, guests continue to be served and honored with Christofle luxury items.

Paris Pratique
(par arrondissement)

Excellent map book, compact size (blue cover), detailed and practical, easy to read

Editions L' Indispensable, 16-18 rue de l' Amiral Mouchez, 75014, Paris

Buy this guide when you come to Paris for about 6 euros

French Cheese (Eyewitness Companions)

DK Publishing -- Author

DK Eyewitness Companions



"Cataloguing the wide varieties of cheeses found in France, this highly informative reference provides essential information on each type of cheese, as well as advice as what wince to drink as accompaniment and the history of each flavor.

  • At-a-glance fact-boxes give size, weight, style and maturation time for each cheese

  • Maps locate the area of production for each cheese

  • Suitable for both the novice and the connoisseur" --DK USA  website

Paris, Paris: Journey into the City of Light

David Downie's books


"...For nearly twenty years David Downie been turning Paris upside down and inside out hunting for the city's soul, and the thirty essays of Paris, Paris: Journey into the City of Light are part of his catch..."


If you are interested in essays, observation, and history that slides in as smoothly as you read those essays, this book and its photographs is for you. The writing will draw you in.


For a sneak peak, visit the Paris, Paris website where you will find the table of contents and a chance to read book portions.


Food Wine Burgundy (The Terroir Guides)  

Palais Garnier, National Opera of Paris


7 euros (you can buy this at the Opéra Garnier gift shop).

I found my at the Hotel Sully bookstore on rue Saint-Antoine (4th).


Book includes diagrams, history, details of your visit, architecture, all of the marbles within the building, and more.


It is a beautiful souvenir.


Best Buys and Bargains in Paris: (Yes, they do exist!)

Jeanne Feldman


Jeanne Feldman passes on her knowledge about a wide range of shopping possibilities from bookstores to chocolate, clothing new and used, department stores, souvenirs, supermarkets, etc.


Jeanne has lived in Paris since 1991 (one year more than me!) and her personal shopping tours as well as this book could prove quite useful.


"Packed with insider information, Best Buys and Bargains in Paris shows you where to buy the best for less. Author Jeanne Feldman, who lives in Paris year-round, makes shopping both fun and economical in this easy to use shopping guide."-- Amazon


In Paris bookstores, Best Buys and Bargains in Paris is available in the English Language Bookstore, W H Smith, 248 rue de Rivoli, Métro: Concorde

In the U.S.: Best Buys and Bargains in Paris can be ordered at any Barnes & Noble bookstore.

Paris Visits


In English, this book seems to be the ideal size to carry around and with maps by the same company that produces "Paris Pratique" my bible of Paris streets!


It covers all of the tourist sites with photos of the monuments, museums and places to visit with a short description, the history, the address, hours of operations location.


The book has detailed maps of the neighborhood detailing the site, the closest metro, parking places, and taxi stands. According the description, a wealth of information, photos and maps and pocket-size.


Buy it before you leave, or buy it in Paris.

Permanent Parisians: An Illustrated Guide to the Cemeteries of Paris

by Judi Culbertson & Tom Randall


An illustrated guide to the cemeteries of Paris


It is a fun reference book; look for a used copy -- Colleen


"Permanent Parisians provides a guided tour through the cemeteries of Paris, with lively biographical discussions and photographs of the beautifully decadent sculptures and statuary to be found on each itinerary. Lest you think such sights morbid, consider these words by Balzac: "I seldom go out, but when I feel myself flagging I go and cheer myself up in Père Lachaise ... while seeking out the dead, I see nothing but the living." --Jhana Bach

Product Details
Paperback: 230 pages
Publisher: Walker & Company (May 1996)

Unexplored Paris 2003

Rodolphe Trouilleux


When in Paris look for this at one of the 14 English language bookstores.

Product Details
Publisher: Parigramme

Walks Through Lost Paris: A Journey Into the Heart of Historic Paris
by Leonard Pitt, Alexandre Gady (Foreword)

Book Description

When he discovered that the city he lived in for many years was actually entirely rebuilt during the mid-1800s, Leonard Pitt plunged into Paris's history and began photographing what he learned had changed. Eventually, he led tours and gave lectures on the demolition and reconstruction that changed the city forever. Walks Through Lost Paris chronicles Paris's great periods of urban reconstruction through four walking tours. With a special focus on the work of Georges-Eugene Haussmann, this book provides a history of each site along with the motives behind the urban redesign and the reactions of Parisians who witnessed it. Detailed maps take you through a city whose changes were captured by photographers and artists in each stage. Hundreds of color photos, diagrams, and engravings splendidly survey the massive transformation that resulted in the Paris of today.-- Amazon website

Product Details

Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: Shoemaker & Hoard (May 28, 2006)

Le petit Lebey 2003 des bistrots parisiens  

This handy, pocket-size bistro guide lists many of the restaurants in Paris. Pick up a more recent edition at any bookstore in Paris.

They also sell a restaurant guide. The bistrot guide is published in February every year; the restaurant guide, every November.


"This is a meticulous selection of 351 of the best addresses tested the month before the publication of the current edition of the guide by Claude Lebey, known for his competence and thoroughness. This is the only guide consecrated to modern and traditional Paris bistrots."--editor (translated)


Product Details

Editions Albin Michel , S.A.

Paris walks:


Le Guide du Routard – Paris balades

This is a GREAT reference book for walks with maps. Tiny format of 11x2x15mm


If you cannot read the French, just follow the map lines and don't worry about the descriptions. Some of the 23 Paris themes are: alchemy, Egyptian, being naughty and free, criminal Paris, medieval, architecture.


Product Details

Broché: 214 pages
Editeur : Hachette Tourisme;
Collection : Mini Routard
Langue : Français

Paris city guides


l'Officiel Spectactles and Pariscope  are weekly magazines are available at all Paris newsstands. They cost between 30 and 35 euro cents.


They contain information on theatre, museums, children's activities, cruises on Paris waterways, etc.


For help in using Pariscope, click on this link: Pariscope help

Village Montmartre Clignancourt

(Available at the Musée de Monmartre)

by Yves Groetschel and Guy Le Halle

History and maps of Montmartre

Product details

2nd edition 1995 Village Communication
ISBN 2-9100001-28-8
12  rue Cortot, 75018 Paris
Tel: +33 (0) 1 46 06 61 11