Flyaway Friday: Books that will take you to France

Jan 12, 201822 comments

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I love meeting new people and visiting new places. But I am also a person who would be happy to curl up in the bed with a book or watching the television. I mean why would people want to travel in real life when you can armchair travel all through the year right?

And I thought I should include you in my travels. You ask me how?
Welcome to the new bimonthly feature ‘Flyaway Friday‘.


Every month we will choose a country, and we will do what we generally do – DISCUSS BOOKS from that country. The books will either be set in that country or the characters will be from the country. And that is not all.

Every month we will have a guest blog from a blogger from that country who will tell us about their home first hand.

Are you excited? You can bet I am. And all of that starts right now. And with one of the most visited and read about country of the world.

Yes we are visiting France, this January.
I know, I know. France, the most romantic place on earth, ask any romance lover.
And it is just not only that.

I have rounded up the best books for you and guess what? They are all as French as they can be.

Let’s start with some classics


1) The Little Prince

We might have read this French book when we were kids, but this 90-page novella definitely requires a reread as an adult. The story follows the travels of a small boy who leaves his home planet to travel the universe.

2) Les Misérables

Much has been spoken and written about this masterpiece of Victor Hugo. The book takes the reader into the depths and the darkest corners of the French political scene. Les Misérables is definitely a happy book but I can promise you the joy of reading if you can get through it.

3) Madame Bovary

Published in 1856, this book by Flaubert was attacked for ‘obscenity’. The lead character Emma finds her husband bland and boring and ignores him and their child for other men. And of course, the society doesn’t take such things very lightly. I can safely say, Desperate Housewives in 19th Century France.

Historic Fiction:

You can safely say I am a sucker for stories from World War II. So here are a few from that era. (Oh, it is not as old as you think)

4) Lilac Girls

This book has been on my TBR shelf from the first time I heard of it, somewhere in Nov 2017 and I am definitely reading this one as soon as I can. Three women, from New York who works at the French consulate, Poland and Germany respectively, cross paths during Holocaust in an unexpected way. As any story based on the Nuremberg trial Lilac Girls would make you weep out, especially when you learn it is partially based on a true story.

5) All the Light We Cannot See

This is one of the books am currently reading and I can assure you the author Doerr has a way with his words. All the Light We Cannot See follows the stories of a German boy and a blind French girl during the World War II. You will love this book if you liked The book thief.

6) The Nightingale

The book follows the life of two French sister, divided by years and wisdom as they fight for their freedom in their own terms in the German occupied France. The book won the Goodreads Choice Award for Historical Fiction (2015) and has been popular ever since.

7) The Paris Wife

Ever wanted to see what happens behind the screens in the lives of famous people? Catch up The Paris Wife as it follows the lives of Ernest and Hadley Hemingway as they move into the Parisian life. Warning:: there is no hard and fast rules when it comes to love and boozing.


Find some romance novels set in France to keep you awake this winter season.

8) Paris for One

In mood for some quick read set in Paris? Let Jojo Moyes take you for a spin with her new Paris for One. When Nell finds her unreliable boyfriend has abandoned her in Paris of all places, she decides to have some fun for herself. But what she was not looking for the mysterious Fabien to steal her heart away. A perfect choice for the winter nights.

9) If Only It Were True

What happens when you fall in love with ghost in your closet? Based in San Francisco, If Only It Were True written by the French novelist Marc Levy has been turned into a film staring Reese Witherspoon as well.

Young Adults:

Still young at heart? Don’t worry we have the best of YA for you as well.

10) Anna and the French Kiss

This cult YA romance needs no introduction. Anna is less than enthused when she is shipped off to a boarding school at Paris, until she meets St Clair. This classic boy meets girl is all you need when you need a cheer up and that in France.

11) The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue

Okay this could be the next best YA read since I dunno what. Monty takes Grand tour of Europe with his sister and his best friend / crush Percy, and an yearlong escapade before he is forced to join his father’s business. You should be reading it already.

12) AsterixFrance

Okay technically this is not a young adult book because the Asterix; comics is pleasure to read for all ages. Asterix and his friends defend their Gaul village from the mighty Roman invasion and is quite funny despite the whole violent war scenario.

That is all I have from France this week. But there is a whole lot I have planned for the France theme. And there is a French blogger who has agreed to talk to us about France and living in France. So stay tuned and you will have more.

What countries do you want to be featured in this series? Have you been to France or do you want to? How many of these books have you read? Do you have any book set in France or having French characters that I have to reader? Let me know in the comments.

Hello there!

Gayathri loves reading, recommending books and talking about bookish things in real life. Her blog is just an extension of that habit. When she is not reading books or creating online content, she freelances as a beta reader. She lives currently in Dubai.Head over to meet me


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  1. lilkadykitty

    Great concept for posts! I can’t wait for this series to continue on your blog!

  2. Emily Brady

    Ugh, The Nightingale is SO GOOD! How would you say it compares to All The Light We Cannot See? I haven’t picked that one up yet.

  3. Megan @ Ginger Mom

    What a nice feature 🙂 Only one I have read is Anna and the French Kiss.

  4. The Orangutan Librarian

    Awesome list! I love Les Mis and Madame Bovary! And I really enjoyed Anna and the french kiss and want to check out Gentleman’s Guide 😀

  5. Haley

    This is such a great post and feature! I immediately added Lilac Girls to my TBR after reading your description.

    I actually read two books in December that had something to do with France, specifically Paris: The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris by Jenny Colgan and Last Christmas in Paris by Hazel Graynor & Heather Webb.

  6. Stormi Johnson

    I have heard of most of those and only read one…lol. Great list!

  7. Tarissa

    I am THRILLED about Flyaway Friday!! This is an exciting feature to look forward to now. 🙂

    I’ve only read 2 of the classics you mentioned, The Little Prince and Les Miserables. All the Light We Cannot See is definitely on my TBR list though.

    I can’t wait for part 2! 😀

  8. terriluvsbooks

    I never thought about doing a post like this about a place. I’m going to have to file this idea for a later time. I’ve had The Paris Wife on my shelf for over a year. Need to get it read this year.

  9. Laura @ Library of Clean Reads

    I’ve never been to France and would love to visit Paris one day. I read Les Miserables in school for my French class (I live in Quebec where primary language is French) and I loved it. I also read half of All the Light we Cannot See. A brilliant book, but it was too emotional for me, especially those bullying scenes.

    • Gayathri

      I am reading All the Lights we cannot see currently and it is definitely overwhelming. But I can’t abandon it yet, as the writing is too good to stop.

  10. Sara

    The little prince is so cute honestly! I can’t wait to read the Gentleman’s Guide omggg

    • Gayathri

      I just checked your reviews on your recommendation. I will definitely look into books as well

  11. Jenn @ Bound to Writing

    This is such an awesome feature. Thanks for sharing these France inspired books! 🙂

  12. Gemma

    What a fantastic idea I love this I will definitely be following along. I’ve read All the Light we Cannot See, I thought it was okay. The Gentlemen’s Guide to Vice and Virtue is also on my TBR.
    Gemma @

    • Gayathri

      You should check out Lilac girls as well.

  13. Shelby

    Loved this!! Gonna have to check some of these books out!

  14. Nikki

    Love this idea! I read both All The Light We Cannot See and The Nightingale and loved them! The Lilac Girls is on my TBR list too.

  15. Camilla @The Reader in the Attic

    Last year I was reading Les Miserable… but I drop it. At a certain point I could not be interested anymore. I know, my bad. Also because I bought a beatiful special edition of the Penguin classes.
    I’ve All the Light We Cannot See, The Nightingale and The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue. Probably going to read the last book first. I feel like it’s watching me from my shelves

    • Gayathri

      Those three are definitely the most popular ones in the list..

  16. Evelina @ AvalinahsBooks

    That’s an awesome list and an awesome post! I actually want to read The Paris Wife someday 🙂 I’m glad you seem to be enjoying All the Light though! I never really did xD

    • Gayathri

      The classics are all ‘some day’ books. :/



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