Perplexingly it has taken me until July 2013 to discover online ‘book magazine’ Bookkaholic; a virtual treasure trove of reviews, giveaways and enticing essays that have given me no end of pleasure, wiling away a Saturday afternoon when I should probably be outside in the sunshine. Oops!
This wonderful website and writer Rebecca Foster has, however, served to inspire a relaxed little Paris in July post featuring a snapshot of some of my favourite French/French themed/inspired literature to date. Although The Book Thief (which I’m reading for the Manchester Book Club this month) is absolutely amazing, it does mean that my head is completely stuck in Nazi Germany at the moment. Mach dir nichts draus!
Without further ado, here are some of my faves. (I’ve only included books I’ve read since LR was born, otherwise this game would get out of control!)… How about yours?
1. Pure by Andrew Miller. This novel is a piece of theatre. A dark, stinking Paris that is worlds away from the couture boutiques and poodle parlours of 2013. Whilst The House I Loved explored the complete destruction of the city’s medieval centre, Miller’s novel introduces the very birth of modernisations that would shake Parisians to their very core.
2. The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery. I’m an absolute sucker for a cosy story and this is the crème de la crème. A prickly, solitary concierge is finally unravelled by the pensive young girl who lives upstairs. A touching tale, I even bought the perfectly-cast film to match.
3. Satori in Paris by Jack Kerouac. The Beat-generation wordsmith takes us on a nostalgic trip and linguistical daydream around Brittany
4. Gigi and The Cat by Collette. Gigi is petulant but oh so French. The Cat, on the other hand, is completely enigmatic and definitely has the upper hand on Alain’s demanding girlfriend. Feline-powwweeerrrrr!
5. Les Enfants Terribles by Jean Cocteau. This is French experimental perfection. This slim volume is by turns disturbing and delicious. Uncomfortable yet important reading.
And…on the TBR list for this year: The Man who Walked through Walls by Marcel Aymé. This book has been on our reading list for years. This beguiling sculpture by Jean Marais is a literary must-see as you stroll around the streets of Montmartre. It has had us hooked for years….but I still haven’t read the intriguing novel of the same name…
Passe Muraille by Julie Kertesz via Flickr