Two books on my bookshelf are must reads.
One, Remembrance of Things Paris: Sixty Years of Writing from Gourmet, edited by Ruth Reichl (2005), deals with cuisine. It includes a two-sentence recipe for mushroom duxelles in a piece by Louis Diat on “Cuisine Parisienne.” The book is peppered by literary tidbits, all in the context of the history and geography of the city. Read the book for the flavor.
The other, The Most Beautiful Walk in the World: A Pedestrian in Paris, by John Baxter (2011), is a celebration of how to visit Paris. You know that you need this book when, like me, you first read how it ends. This is the last paragraph and sentence of Baxter’s book:
Then, if you think you can stand the romantic rush, climb the famous stone staircases of Montmartre around 5:00 a.m. or take the little cable car, buy coffee and rolls, and eat breakfast on the terrace below the Cathedral of Sacre-Coeur. If the harpist is there, drop a euro into his hat and ask him to play “Jeux Interdits.”
C’est tellement simple, Paris.