French Consumption

Months before we started our trip, we’ve been consuming books and movies about French culture and history by the ton – although for me, perhaps by the ounce is more accurate. For every book that I read, Adam reads eight. I love that when I’m in his company – even living out of suitcase – I never want for something new to read. Between the books we shipped ahead of time, the ones we packed and the few we’ve picked up at English bookstores, here’s a snapshot of our growing bookshelf:

  • France – Lonely Planet
  • Sixty Million Frenchmen Can’t Be Wrong – Jean-Benoit Nadeau & Julie Barlow
  • French for Dummies
  • A Tale of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
  • The Story of French – Jean-Benoit Nadeau & Julie Barlow
  • The Discovery of France – Graham Robb
  • Seven Ages of Paris – Alistair Horne
  • The Count of Monte Cristo – Alexadre Dumas
  • The Bonne Femme Cookbook – Wini Moranville
  • Wine & War – Don and Petie Kladstrup
  • A Moveable Feast – Ernest Hemingway
  • Germinal – Émile Zola
  • La Belle France, A Short History – Alistair Horne

This list doesn’t include other French language books, along with Pam and Fred’s small collection of books about French food, culture, language and a really specific French dictionary of home repair terminology.

In terms of viewing, our itunes cue looks a little something like this:

The other day I asked Adam what his strongest French influences had been prior to our European travel plans and the onslaught of new stories set in France – and this is what he listed:


1) A Moveable Feast – the novel by Ernest Hemingway

2) La Bohème – the opera (which features a different sort of French consumption)

3) Rimbaud & Verlaine – the poets

4) Casablanca – the movie

5) Breathless – the movie

6) Les Miserables – the book by Victor Hugo

In slight juxtaposition I present to you my own list, not to be confused with the list of a small child or an illiterate, but lovable adult.


1) Madeline – the children’s book

2) Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown – the epic movie

3) Beauty and the Beast – the Disney movie (also, greatest Disney soundtrack)

4) Moulin Rouge – the movie

5) Sex and the City: An American Girl in Paris – the two part episode/series finale

6) Les Miserables – the musical

I’d like to include two lesser known, but still influential early season tv moments: 1) Absolutely Fabulous (season one/episode three) when Eddy and Patsy head to France, cultures collide and hilarity ensues; 2) Simpsons (The Crepes of Wrath, season one/episode 11) when Bart participates in a foreign exchange program landing him in a dilapidated farmhouse with two shifty winemakers in the French countryside.

If we’re missing anything essential, don’t hold out on us. We would love to hear your short list, if you’d care to share.

4 thoughts on “French Consumption

  1. Babar the Elephant and Le Petit Prince (including the American cartoon version of The Adventures of the Little Prince… in outer space, can catch a shooting star, and sail away…) were two big French influences for me when I was little.

    I love following your adventures on your blog and wish you both a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


    • Becky-I just clicked on that link to jog my memory of Le Petite Prince and before I knew it I was seven minutes in. :) Talk about mesmerizing – not to mention adorable. Merry Christmas to you and your delightful little fam! xoxo


  2. Pingback: La Bonne Femme: Chicken with a Pan Sauce | Adam and Molly Dont' Go Sailing

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