We've spent countless holidays in France for the past decade. And these books have been our greatest guides.
The sweet Knopf, Mapguide: Paris is reissued every few years and includes the highlights of what to see, eat, drink, or shop in each Parisian neighborhood or arrondisement with a helpful, fold-out map that trumps a GPS.
If you're traveling with a child, Adam Gopnik's Paris to the Moon is a beautiful memoir of this American raising his young son in Paris while his wife is pregnant with their second child. Woven throughout are great 'secrets' like the playground that serves espresso to parents.
Every page of Paris With Kids features an excursion recommended for kids with detailed information, the address and website, even where to eat and drink nearby. A tiny flip book of a dancing Eiffel Tower in the corners of this pocket-sized book are also a sweet amusement.
When traveling to Paris, we opt to stay in an Air BnB so we can crash out when tired, even invite a few friends to dinner. We love to shop locally and cook a French feast inspired by Patricia Well's Bistro Cooking. Try her simple recipes for leek tart, warm potato salad, (download the e-book for traveling). Her Food Lover's Guide to Paris, promises 500 tips channeling Wells former role as former restaurant critic for The International Herald Tribune. (Be sure to screen Jean Luc Godard's Breathless at some point too!).
Gopnik's The Table Comes First is a great account of the evolution of the restaurant in post-revolutionary France that delves into France, family and the meaning of food.
Pick up Marcia DeSanctis' 100 Places in France Every Woman Should Go to learn about the best kept secrets of Paris - such as the Musée Edith Piaf, the work of Rodin's mistress Camille Claudel now on view at the restored Rodin Museum. She'll even point you in the direction of a new pair of Bensimon sneakers and a great hike.