You have been asking for a list of French Books to Read, here we go!

These 10 French books are very popular and Most French person should have read them more than once in their life 🙂 You can Find some of them at Vancouver Public Library or Francophone Book Club. Also, I added the link in the English Title of each book if you prefer to buy them on Amazon for your Kindle.

Please let us know what is your favorite French books in the comment below this article.

1. Le Petit Prince, by Antoine Saint-Exupery

best french books

The Little Prince or “Le Petit Prince” in French is a classic read, one of Antoine de Saint-ExupĂ©ry’s masterpiece and one of the best French books. A collection of colorful artwork, the author has transcended the true beauty of humanity. Pure which captures the hearts of the young and young at heart.

This timeless classic would definitely bring you to tears. An all-time favorite.

Most French people read it more than once in their life as the book sends a beautiful message about values and life. The message transcends ages and culture. And here is one of my favorite quotes from the book. Did you know? This novel has been translated into hundreds of languages and has sold some 200 million copies worldwide.

Quote: “And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”

Difficulty: Easy-Intermediate

2. “Le Petit Nicolas” by René Goscinny

The Little Nicolas in English is a fun book for children. Released on March 29, 1959, this French children’s book captured the hearts of bookworms with its innocence and humor. A satirical children’s book which targets adult’s behavior and how children are taking it.

Nicolas the main character in the story, is a small boy with a great heart. He is the smallest in the class and not good in Math, but he has great friends which he values alongside his family. More of a comic-strip-like, this amazing fun illustrated book for children is a must-have. This is one of the great French books for beginners.

Difficulty: Easy-Intermediate.

3. L’Étranger by Albert Camus

This book is one for lovers of literature who want to read something philosophical and insightful. The Stranger in the US this novel of Albert Camus captures the hearts of many readers. Published in 1942 this classic 20th-century literature ranks number one in Le Monde’s 100 Books of the Century.

The story takes place in French Algeria when the main character Meursault learned thru telegram that her mother passed on. After learning about his mother’s death he went to the hospital in Algiers to see her. During his mother’s wake, many have noticed how he was. He doesn’t show emotion, nor did he cry. He just stares at her in the coffin with blank eyes, smoking his cigarette and drinking his coffee. Even at the funeral, he shows no sorrow or remorse, he just looks at the people observing the people around him.

The vocabulary and language itself is not challenging, but there are many deep themes that will make you think more about the text.

Difficulty: Intermediate

4. L’Élégance du hérisson by Muriel Barbery

best french books

The Elegance of The Hedgehog is a novel by French novelist and Philosophy teacher Muriel Barbery. Published in France in 2006 and the English version was published in 2008.

The story is about two women of a different generation and of the different class.

A fifty-four-year-old widow named Renee works as a concierge of 7 rue de Grenelle, a bourgeois building. She describes herself as a plain jane. Plump, small, ugly, always have onions on her feet and has what she describes as “mammoth breath” in the morning.

Known as the caretaker of the bourgeois building, this woman is smart. Even smarter than the rich class living at bourgeois.

On the other hand, Paloma is a twelve-year-old rich kid living in a wealthy apartment at 7 Rue de Grenelle. Also a smart girl, in fact so intelligent that she decides to hide her intelligence to avoid rejection at school. Disliking the life of the privileges and the society she evolves in, she decided to commit suicide on the day she turns 13.

The twelve-year-old girl journals everything she sees outside her apartment and that includes Renee. It is Paloma who noticed that Renee has the same simple refinement that of a hedgehog. The two then became friends and what took place is for you to read.

Difficulty: Intermediate

5. Le Mystere de la Chambre Jaune by Gaston Leroux

The Mystery of the Yellow Room is one of the first locked-room mystery novels published serially in France from 1907 to 1908. Gaston Leroux is one amazing and talented author. The story is about Joseph Rouletabille a young journalist who tried to murder a young woman inside his room with yellow walls. The young woman living with her father has a past linked to her stay in the US which haunted her and leaving her wanting to kill herself. It is an incredible weaving twist and turns of events that would make you read the entire 236-page book done in one sitting.

This novel is highly recommended to teenagers. Gaston Leroux’s book has a wonderful life lesson every student should learn. This one is my personal favorite and its movie adaptation is superb. One of the best French books for learners. Be sure to look this one up in bookstores or ebooks.

6. Les Yeux Jaunes des Crocodiles by Katherine Pancol

The Yellow Eyes of Crocodile by Katherine Pancol. This novel won the  Maison de la Presse Award in 2006 is one of most read books by celebrities because It talks about life and lots of lies. The story is happening in Paris yet why there are crocodiles in Paris? A book of analogy sometimes comparing human to crocodiles. This book is about men. Also speaks of women. The ambitions, the dreams, the hopes.

The hows and the maybes. How you are. How you want to be. How you’ll become maybe.

The story is about betrayal, but also about dreams, relationships, love. You will laugh and cry at the same time. This novel speaks of life itself. So you’d better grab this book and find out why some celebrities love it.

7. Le Tour du Monde en 80 Jours by Jules Verne

Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne is a fun book to read. An adventure novel published in 1873. The story is set in London in October of 1972. Phileas Fogg, a wealthy Englishman living in solitude. His social life is a secret to most but he is known to be a member of a club called the “reform club”. And on this club happens the betting game to tour around the world in 80 days. During this century, a railway train from India was introduced and being constructed as a means of transportation for the rich and upper class. He departs from London at 8:45 PM on 2nd of October, and in order to win the wager should return on the 21st of December 80 days later.

This book was written during the Franco-Prussian war in 1870 to 1871 and it was both a difficult time for France and Verne. Find out how Phileas Fogg traveled the world and his adventures in 80 days.

8. Le Comte de Monte-Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

The Count of Monte Cristo serialized format was published between 1844-1846 and is considered as one of the literary classics today. Categorized as a historical adventure novel, this book has become the appurtenance of Western civilization literature.

It’s a story of a 19-year-old sailor named Edmond Dantès, who is very much in Love with Mercedes. His love for this woman took him to life’s greatest challenges. A happy go lucky boy turned into an angry soul seeking revenge for a series for unfortunate events that had happened to him and his family the soonest he took over the Pharaon, a large ship heading to Marseilles.

A book about revenge and forgiveness. With about more or less 500 pages, you need to have a box of tissue for some drama and more drama while reading this French classic novel.

9. Vendredi ou la vie Sauvage by Michel Tournier

Friday or Wildlife by Michael Tournier was published in 1971 by Gallimard. The story happened on September 29, 1759. Robinson Crusoe is heading to Chile aboard the ship called Virginia. A terrible storm hits the ship and the sole survivor Crusoe finds himself in a desert island which he called Speranza. He found love in the island beyond all the struggles he went through to survive.

He binds himself with the native who he called Friday, then joining them in the island is the little John Robinson he named Sunday and the moss of the White Bird ship. A story of surviving in the desert island and choices.

10. “Les Jeux Sont Faits” by Jean Paul Sartre

Games are made, this French novel will make you fall in love with love and life. Categorized as fiction, poetry, drama, this book would make you cry. The story is about two people Pierre and Eve. Soulmates after death, these two strangers met in the afterlife and fell in love. They found love after they were fighting over life and death.

Now they were given a chance to come back and revive. But the challenge is they were given twenty-four hours to completely fall in love with others. Again.

Ready to start reading some of these books? If you just started to learn French, I advise you to start by reading “Le Petit Nicolas”. It is a book for children that will allow you to learn Basic vocabulary and understand how the sentences are structured.

This list is only featuring 10 of the Best French books, I would love to hear your feedback after you read them. Feel free to share the title of your favorite book in the comments below.

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A bientĂ´t!