Summer Reading: France

Banjo by Claude McKay
Claude McKay's Banjo is out of print but it's still possible to find inexpensive used copies on Amazon. McKay's work explores the post World War II diaspora of African-American soldiers. His character Banjo explores the nightlife of Marseilles, living on the margins with fellow merchant sailors, as he pursues love and music gigs. 

The Dud Avocado by Elaine Dundy
For every girl who has wanted to run off to Paris this is the book for you. Set in 1950's Paris the book follows Sally Jay Gorce as she spends her first post-collegiate year alternating between ennui and social hijinks. It'll make you consider dyeing your hair poodle pink and wandering along the Seine the second school's out for summer.

 Image via  Amazon

Image via Amazon

Bounjour Tristesse by Francoise Sagan
Sex, amoral father's, dramatic deaths all under the hot Mediterranean sun; Bonjour Tristesse is quintessentially French. Follow the story of Cecile and her father Raymond as they loaf their way up and down the French coast breaking hearts in between getting an even tan.

 Image via  Diana Gabaldon

Image via Diana Gabaldon

Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon
The second book in Gabaldon's Outlander series, Dragonfly in Amber takes place in the Paris of Louis XIV. With historical intrigue, occult ceremonies and sumptuous descriptions of ladies dresses Dragonfly in Amber has something for everyone. The time traveling mystery at the heart of the novel will keep you coming back for more. 

Honorable Mentions: 
Anything by Collette
Pere Goriot by Honore de Balzac
A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle
A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway