On a recent trip around Europe, I was lucky enough to spend a week in Paris. Hello, new obsession. Aside from being easily the most beautiful city I've ever seen, the Parisians I interacted with dispelled all the "rude French" rumors Americans like to perpetuate. Upon returning to the states, I wasn't quite ready to put Paris out of my mind. Luckily, there are about a million wonderful books about French culture.
The Politics of the Veil: The book explores the French government's 2004 ban on wearing "conspicuous signs of religious affiliation" in schools. It covers a lot of interesting subjects surrounding the ban, including immigration, racism, gender studies, and France's values of secular liberalism.
Master the Basics: French: Languages are not my strong point. I've dabbled in Spanish and Italian, but never attempted French. I realize how valuable speaking the language of a place you are visiting is. I truly wish I had even an introduction to French before visiting Paris. Next time, I will!
Paris Street Style: I could people-watch all day in Paris. This book is filled with illustrations and photos, making it a much lighter read. I'm especially enjoying the interviews with French designers.
Now if someone could just deliver Ladurée macarons to me....