Notre-Dame de Paris by Victor Hugo (Genre: Classic Literature)
Three extraordinary characters caught in a web of fatal obsession are at the center of Hugo's novel. The grotesque hunchback, Quasimodo, bellringer of Notre-Dame, owes his life to the austere archdeacon, Claude Frollo, who is in turn bound by hopeless passion to the gypsy dancer Esmeralda. She, meanwhile, is bewitched by a handsome, empty-headed officer, but by an unthinking act of kindness wins Quasimodo's selfless devotion. Notre-Dame de Paris is a monument to Romanticism at its most colourful and vigorous.
(I bought Notre-Dame at a bookstore about a block from our hotel, called Galignani, which just happened to be the first English bookstore established on the European continent! Only in Paris.)
The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux (Genre: Classic Literature)
Strange things are going on at the Paris Opera House: a mysterious phantom--a skeleton in dinner dress--is wreaking havoc amongst the singers and the backstage staff. When new managers take over, and dismiss the rumours of the Opera Ghost, the terror really begins. Who is the mysterious figure stalking the stage at night? How can he be everywhere at once, and enter and leave locked rooms at will? And what is his connection to the beautiful and talented young soloist, Christine? Gaston Leroux's brilliant and disturbing book is steeped in Gothic tension and haunting horror.
(Of course, I bought The Phantom at the Opéra Garnier, a.k.a the Paris Opera House. I have been a huge Phan of the Phantom for years now, and lets just say I walked those haunted halls squealing like the Phangirl I am. Anyways, thanks for listening to me blather on, happy reading!)
P.S. Oh! And another literary thing I forgot... I was walking down the main street next to our hotel, called the Rue de Rivoli, and right where you have to cross the street to get to the metro station, there's a building there with a marble plaque on it that reads: "Leo Tolstoi lived here." Once again, I can say, only in Paris!