TOTW: A French Book Reading Resource

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zjones
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Re: A French Book Reading Resource

Postby zjones » Thu Feb 21, 2019 12:57 am

I have read some young adult books, they are definitely not classics or modern literature but I enjoyed them all the same! I will star the ones that I highly recommend.

Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling: Tomes 1-5 (the first three books are great, but after that the series got a lot more dense and the protagonist started going through puberty... beurk!)
*Autre Monde by Maxime Chattam: Tomes 1-3 (a very interesting and attention-keeping series, this is also a French original unlike Harry Potter, recommended for B1+ due to vocabulary and idioms. Audible has exclusive audio books for this series, which are great as well.)
*Coraline by Neil Gaiman (this short and simple read is a cute, creepy and morbid story that I would recommend for A2/B1 level students.)
Odd et les Géants de Glace by Neil Gaiman
L'Affaire des Corps sans Tête by Jean-Christophe Porter (a detective story set during the French Revolution, the story is not particularly fascinating but the vocabulary definitely is! B2+ only.)
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Carmody
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Re: A French Book Reading Resource

Postby Carmody » Thu Feb 21, 2019 1:12 am

Many thanks for your sharing.

Yes YA books can be a real help and yes again I did love my Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling:
HarryPotter, à l'école des sorciers J.K Rowling
HarryPotter et Le Prisonnier D'Azkaban J.K Rowling

Also CS Lewis is a good source:L'Armoire Magique
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Carmody
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Re: A French Book Reading Resource

Postby Carmody » Thu Feb 21, 2019 2:38 am

MorkTheFiddle

Many thanks; I am going to have to study that in detail. Just what I am looking for.
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Re: A French Book Reading Resource

Postby DaveAgain » Thu Feb 21, 2019 8:58 am

MorkTheFiddle wrote:My audio sources are

litteratureaudio.com
librivox.org
Audible
Audiobooks on CD

As I know you know, the first two are free, so naturally I prefer them. Litteratureaudio has more offerings for French, I think. The only drawback to either of these is that the voices are not always "professional." Listening to an audiobook means listening for hours and hours, so the voice has to be something my ears can sustain. Sometimes "professional" does not matter. The voices of Monique Vincens and of Barnard are not "professional" voices, but both are especially pleasant to listen to anyway.
One reader from LitteratureAudio that I liked was 'Juliette', she read their Lettres de mon moulin version 2.
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Carmody
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Re: A French Book Reading Resource

Postby Carmody » Thu Feb 21, 2019 4:42 pm

We have been discussing the different readers for audio books and I think people may find this of interest:
Vocalism
By Walt Whitman
1819-1892

O what is it in me that makes me tremble so at voices?
Surely whoever speaks to me in the right voice, him or her I shall follow,
As the water follows the moon, silently, with fluid steps, anywhere
around the globe.

As I have gotten older I find the tone in which a person speaks increasingly important, moving, persuasive.
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MorkTheFiddle
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Re: A French Book Reading Resource

Postby MorkTheFiddle » Mon Feb 25, 2019 1:00 am

Carmody wrote:And now a major question: what dictionary do people use for their French reading?
I usually read each book 3 times so as to maximize my vocabulary takeaway from it. First time is a run through and then the following iterations are successive deep dives where I look up more words.


1. When read on my Kindle, I rely on the Kindle French-English dictionary, which is the Oxford Hachette French-English Dictionary.
2. When that fails me, which happens often enough, I have at hand Merriam-Webster's French-English Dictionary (+ the reverse) paperback.
3. Otherwise, for regular reading, I use Webster's New World Concise French Dictionary (paperback) which covers most of my needs.
4. But when it doesn't, I go to the Oxford Hachette French Dictionary hardback, which claims to have 360,000 entries.
5. On the rare occasion that doesn't give what I need, there is Le nouveau Petit Robert (2010) monolingual hardback dictionary, or,
6. Le Petit Larousse (2000) hardback.

As for reading method, I rarely read any prose work more than once. An exception was Je voudrais que quelqu'un m'atttende quelque-part, read and listened to several times for improving my listening comprehension speed. I can do that much re-reading only with something I really enjoy. Also, I make little effort any more to learn systematically new words.

Poetry is a different story, so to speak. I often read a poem more than once either for understanding and/or sheer enjoyment of the language and/or sentiment.

To go off topic for a tiny bit. There are too many excellent French poets to recommend, but just a couple, preferring the "moderns," Victor Hugo's lengthy collection Contemplations I think is worth a look. Currently I am reading poems by Henri de Régnier, who died in 1936.
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MorkTheFiddle
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Re: A French Book Reading Resource

Postby MorkTheFiddle » Mon Feb 25, 2019 1:02 am

DaveAgain wrote:One reader from LitteratureAudio that I liked was 'Juliette', she read their Lettres de mon moulin version 2.
[/quote]
I have heard and enjoyed the work of Juliette, too, though I can't remember which work.
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Re: A French Book Reading Resource

Postby Carmody » Mon Feb 25, 2019 1:57 am

For dictionaries, I use primarily a paperback
Larousse Concise French-English/English-French Dictionary that has 260,000 words and as a backup the
Collins Robert French Unabridged Dictionary, which I believe has about 360,000 words
And then of course Reverso online.
Last edited by Carmody on Mon Feb 25, 2019 2:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A French Book Reading Resource

Postby Carmody » Mon Feb 25, 2019 2:02 am

I have hopes people will use this thread to discuss what they have read or seen. Specifically, MorktheFiddle suggested the movie
Bande à part
which I took out from the library and which I have to admit I did not get....at all. You loved it. I totally respect your tastes and your love of it but I did not "get it." Could you please explain what it is that I am missing?
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MorkTheFiddle
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Re: A French Book Reading Resource

Postby MorkTheFiddle » Tue Feb 26, 2019 1:17 am

Carmody wrote:I have hopes people will use this thread to discuss what they have read or seen. Specifically, MorktheFiddle suggested the movie
Bande à part
which I took out from the library and which I have to admit I did not get....at all. You loved it. I totally respect your tastes and your love of it but I did not "get it." Could you please explain what it is that I am missing?

Note: this post has spoilers of a sort.

It has been ten years or more since I saw Bande à part, so I remember only a few parts with clarity, plus I remember the fact that I liked it. But here's a thumbnail:

Lucky for me, when I watched Bande à part, Youtube wasn’t drowning in movie scenes from all over, if there even was a Youtube, so the [SPOILER-->] dance sequence came on me by surprise. The sequence in a nutshell shows my fondness for the movie. Three insouciant young misfits*, refreshingly seem like real people doing real things, often without much forethought. Crime capers are often so grim, the criminals are so dark, the production seems so movie-ish. None of that is true for this movie. Well, except [SPOILER-->] the ending. In short, what engaged me about the movie was the realistic characterization of the three amiable principals and the plot that was both unlikely and plausible at the same time.

* True, younger actors might have conveyed this a little better.

Hope this helps.
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