As for books that I would recommend about France, here are a few I have appreciated…
Michael has turned his passion for photography into an avocation in his retirement years. To get a sense of the depth and span of his work and the prizes his photography has won, take a look at his website: https://www.michaelhoneggerphotos.com/
The Flâneur: A Stroll through the Paradoxes of Paris by Edmund White
Editor’s comments: A flâneur is someone who walks or strolls the streets of, in this case, Paris, takes in the details, associates sights and scenes with their historical significance. That stroller tastes, sees, smells, feels the city, the neighborhoods. This book was originally published in 2001, newer editions are available.
Paris to the Moon by Adam Gopnik
Soumission by Michel Houellebecq
Editor’s comments: This book was published in France in January 2015 and is about a forthcoming French presidential in which the influence of a large Muslim population has a critical impact in the electoral process. In English the title translates as Submission. The date of the book’s publication coincided with the Charlie Hebdo attack in which 12 people were killed in Paris. Given that another election is currently on the horizon in France in which one of the principal candidates, Marine Le Pen, is herself causing a ripple of discontent in the election process, this book could be a timely read. I would also refer any potential readers to a review of the book that was published in The Guardian February 6, 2015.
Dora Bruder by Patrick Modiano
Editor’s comments: Reading the description of this book on the University of California Press website makes me want to read the book. The author Patrick Modiano was a 2014 Nobel Prize in Literature winner and is a highly celebrated French novelist. The book below has been translated into twenty languages! The story is sparked as the author stumbled across an ad that had been placed by Dora’s parents in the personal columns of a 1941 Paris news magazine. They were searching for their daughter. Dora had run away from her Catholic boarding school. Modiano found this tidbit in 1988 and set off on a quest to find out what had happened to Dora. Therein lies the tale (which the editor has not read), yet another story about a young girl who may have been rounded up and deported to Auschwitz during the Vel d’hiv in 1942 (See a review of Sarah’s Key also…a different kind of story craft on the same topic.)