Recharge Your Brain with a Reading Holiday

Eiffel Tower of Paris


As an entrepreneur, it’s important to have downtime to recharge the creative batteries. Wander through a museum, take a mini-break weekend, or, one of my favorites, dive into a great novel. Recent scientific studies at Emory University revealed that reading novels can measurably improve cognitive brain functioning and heighten language comprehension and communication skills.

Reading is a Brain Vacation

Reading fiction is a holiday for the brain. If you can’t pack your bags and head to Paris, then pick up a novel to whisk your brain away to the City of Light. Why Paris? Paris has long been a city of innovation and the creative arts, a city of artistic inspiration for writers, painters, and dreamers alike. An entrepreneur is a dreamer, one who strives to bring dreams to life. Is it any wonder why legions of entrepreneurs and creative people have succumbed to the beauty of Paris?

Fortunately for us, some of the world’s most cherished books are set in Paris, or in other parts of France. You might already have some more favorite novels set in France, or wonderful memories of a prior visit there. Most travelers agree that Paris deserves a return trip. In fact, each time I travel to France, I fall in love just a little bit more. The same could be said for many places I love to visit, but France holds a special place in my heart due to the work I’ve done in perfumery and the books I’ve written about it.

Historical Novels Set in France

On this list you’ll find beloved classics as well as new historical fiction, which will transport you and your over-worked brain not only to beauty of France, but also to another period of time, when cell phones and emails weren’t keeping you tethered to your work.

As I writer and entrepreneur, I often unplug my technology during my creative hours during the day—except for my laptop, which doesn’t connect to the Internet. In my downtime, reading a great novel really does recharge the brain cells. Therefore, I solemnly promise to uphold this literary tradition (someone has to travel to Paris to write, n’est-ce pas?). France and French culture seeps into many of my writings, from perfumery, to fashion, to art.

So now, in no particular order, here is a list of books sure to take your brain on a much-needed vacation. Your brain will return well-rested, smarter, and faster. And isn’t that what a true vacation should do for you?

  • The Perfume Collector: A Novel by Kathleen Tessaro
  • The House I Loved by Tatiana de Rosnay
  • Claude & Camille: A Novel of Monet by Stephanie Cowell
  • Paris: The Novel by Edward Rutherfurd
  • The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer
  • The Age of Desire: A Novel by Jennie Fields
  • Paris Requiem by Lisa Appignanesi
  • The Paris Architect: A Novel by Charles Belfoure
  • A Moveable Feast: The Restored Edition by Ernest Hemingway
  • Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
  • Perfume: The Story of a Murderer by Patrick Suskind
  • Somewhere in France: A Novel of the Great War by Jennifer Robson
  • Escape from Paris by Carolyn Hart


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