For a place that has inspired thousands of books, there are surprisingly few that are set in Paris at Christmas — a time, after all, when the City of Light is extra sparkly, and there’s nothing better to do than hole up in your favourite café, scribbling a novel into your notebook while you sip mulled wine …
Still, these five titles should satisfy your craving for the literary equivalent of a gingerbread-flavoured macaron… they’re perfect for curling up with during the festive holidays, as well as filling the stockings of fellow Francophiles of all ages.
Madeline’s Christmas by Ludwig Bemelmans
Sure, you flip through this one in a few minutes … but it’s a gorgeously magical addition to the Madeline series, a must-have collection for the bookshelves of any Paris lover (and enfant at heart).
Immoveable Feast: A Paris Christmas by John Baxter
Parisphiles should also own every single book by John Baxter, who seamlessly weaves together history, trivia, commentary and laugh-out-loud personal anecdotes. The Australian writer has lived in Paris for years now, and this book chronicles how a country boy came to fall in love with a French woman, and French food, and claim the honour of cooking the sacred Christmas feast for his new Parisian family.
Last Christmas in Paris: A Novel of World War 1 by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb
Unfolding as a series of letters, this gem reads like a secret diary into a past era. The characters are well-rounded and endearing, and the emotions are high, riding a rollercoaster through the tears and tragedy of war to the healing power of love.
The Parisian Christmas Bake Off by Jenny Oliver
The literary equivalent of éclairs: easy to consume and deliciously sweet and frothy. Just with an added zing of Christmas spice. It’s the perfect read for a lazy Boxing Day.
Christmas in Paris by Anita Hughes
Where better to nurse a broken heart, or make a major life-direction decision, than in Paris? One for lovers of chick lit.