The following reference books provide an extensive amount of information, on a variety of topics, to further your understanding and enjoyment of France, Toulouse and the French lifestyle.
You can either purchase these books in the United States and/or the U.K., or in France depending on the language. The English bookshops in Toulouse can order them for you. For on-line shopping, please be aware of the high postage costs to France if you order from an English or American web site. When ordering from www.amazon.fr, you will only pay the French postage.
The Best of France: by Gault Millau, Crown Publishers.
Birnbaum’s France: Houghton Mifflin Co. A travel guide
Cultural Misunderstandings: The French-American Experience, by Raymonde Caroll, translated by Carol Volk. Published by the University of Chicago Press. Contains very good descriptions and many examples of the problems that can arise between the French and the Americans.
Culture Shock France: by Sally Adamson Taylor, published by Kuperard (London). A very “real” book about the realities of residing in France. Available in several editions for different countries.
Fragile Glory: A Portrait of France and the French, by Richard Bernstein, published by Alfred A. Knopf, 1990.
The French: by Theodore Zeldin, Ponthem Books. The people and the culture.
French or Foe: by Polly Platt, Culture Crossings, Ltd., Excellent! Written with charm, wit, and craftsmanship. A must read, if you really want to “understand” France.
French Toast: by Harriet Welty Rochefort, St. Martin’s Press. An American in Paris celebrates the maddening mysteries of the French. Funny and witty.
Innocents Abroad, Traveling with Kids: Wolf, Deutsch & Sutherland, published by Penguin Group. A complete guide on how to travel with children, on what to see and where to stay, country-by-country.
Michelin Travel Guide: Green colored guides in English, available in France.
South-West France: Rex Grizell, part of Harper and Row Independent Travel series.
501 French Verbs: Exactly what the title says, with clear, precise conjugations. One page per verb. Initially, you may not be interested in verb conjugations, but very quickly you will discover that it is nice to be able to say things like ‘you are’ rather than ‘you is’.
Le Nouveau Bescherelle, l’Art de Conjuguer: Hatier, Little red book containing the conjugations of 12,000 verbs. All French, no translations, but with an abundance of easy-to-use conjugation tables
French Leave 3: by Richard Binns. Excellent hotel and restaurant guide, written in English. Purchase at Castéla bookstore on Place du Capitole.
The Collins Robert French Dictionary: Large French/English dictionary. Available in various editions. Choose the one best suited to your needs. Can be purchased in French bookstores.
Guide des Jeunes Toulousains de 0 à 18 ans: This free publication, written in French, provides a complete list of schools, garderies, clubs and many other topics relating to chidren ages 0 to 18 years. Available in the town hall (La Marie).
Guide des Maisons d’ Hôte de Charme en France: published by Rivage. A complete travelers guide to charming Bed and Breakfast accommodations, including châteaux which offer lodging. Available in most Toulousian bookstores.
Guide des Mamans: Copyright E.B.P. Editions, 24 rue Alsace Lorraine, 31000 Toulouse. Guide for mothers, covering various topics from pregnancy to primary school, including health, schools, daycare, recreational activities and many other topics.
Guide du Routard: Part of a series that describes, in French, regions, and countries of interest. Takes you off the beaten track to affordable hotels and restaurants. Tells you if a location is worth the expense, and if deserved, gives interesting and detailed descriptions of towns, museums and monuments.
Larousse Dictionary: Large French/English dictionary. Available in various editions. Choose the one best suited to your needs.
Le Cookbook: French recipes printed in both French and English. Also provides information of equivalents, substitutions and appropriate wine and cheeses. Available through The American Hospital in Paris. Very useful!
Mairie Pratique: this free publication, written in French, provides an up-to-date list of telephone numbers alphabetized by subject matter, ie. Santé (health) and lists all hospital and medical emergency numbers. Available at the town hall (La Mairie).
Michelin Restaurant and Hotel Guides: This red book, despite being written in French, is a great help while touring France. An excellent restaurant and hotel guide, with maps of the towns. Well worth the expense.
Le Petit Futé, Toulouse: Guidebook to Toulouse written in French. Available at most Tabacs and bookshops. Le Toulousain Malin is quite similar.
Le Petit Futé, Autour de Toulouse: Guidebook to the area around Toulouse written in French. Available at most Tabacs and bookshops.
Rousseau Code de la Route: A handbook, written in French, which provides an explanation of the driving rules and road signs of France. Used by the driving schools, it is easy to read and well worth translating. Available in all bookstores.
Toulouse Pratique: A complete guidebook to Toulouse, written in French. Available at most Tabac’s or bookstores.
Toutes les Bases et les Recettes de la Bonne Cuisine: by Amélie Bar, published by Ouest France. Details of how to prepare a meal for guests, including which wines to serve, and how to set the table correctly. Available in any bookstore. Written in French, yet easy to understand.
The Practical Guide to Toulouse Midi-Pyrénés: by Helen Isaacs and Jeremy Kerrison with photographs by Pascal Piskiewicz. Packed with concise historical and cultural information. Available at The Bookshop, 17 rue Lakanal or at the Office du Tourisme, both of which are near the Place du Capitole.