TOTW: A French Book Reading Resource

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Carmody
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Re: TOTW: A French Book Reading Resource

Postby Carmody » Sat Jan 16, 2021 8:52 pm

A very big thank you to MorkTheFiddle for his excellent and most comprehensive book review. A brilliant summation; and far more eloquent than mine.

I do have to add that while the book providing tremendous insight on what France went through during 1940-44, one of the things that especially fascinated me was to learn the significant part played by the Catholic Church in support of Vichy.

Another book on this topic by Rousso called The Vichy Syndrome goes into additional detail in this regard and the fact that some monasteries after the war and through the 1950’s were used by former members of the Vichy government to hide in.

If anyone is interested in historiography or how the history of that time is written and why, then this second book is truly revealing.

I found both books to be fascinating.
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Re: TOTW: A French Book Reading Resource

Postby kanewai » Mon Jan 25, 2021 8:21 am

I finally have a solid recommendation for you all - it feels like it's been awhile!

Amin Maalouf, Nos frères inattendus. 2020

The novel starts with the power, radio, and internet all going out one night on a small island in the Atlantic. The residents are sure that a nuclear war has finally come - a rogue state had acquired weapons, and the US had been threatening a preemptive attack. But when the power comes on in the morning we learn something stranger: that the world was close to a nuclear apocalypse, but that a hidden civilization, heirs to the ancient Greeks, "nos frères inattendus," had seized power to stop it.

I was expecting the novel to move in a sci-fi direction, but instead Maalouf turns inward, and examines the moral, emotional, and philosophical impact on people who learn overnight that their "super-power" Western civilization is obsolete.

It's also a romance, and an adventure story - it ain't all philosophy.

I loved it.
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Carmody
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Re: TOTW: A French Book Reading Resource

Postby Carmody » Mon Jan 25, 2021 1:54 pm

kanewai

Thanks so much for the great suggestion; sounds like a really unique book.
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Carmody
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Re: TOTW: A French Book Reading Resource

Postby Carmody » Tue Jan 26, 2021 2:42 am

People interested in new ideas for books in French may be interested in this resource from :Francetvinfo

Actually, as you work your way down the page, you realize that there are 464 more pages on books, just in case you are interested.......
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Re: TOTW: A French Book Reading Resource

Postby lusan » Tue Jan 26, 2021 3:04 pm

kanewai wrote:I finally have a solid recommendation for you all - it feels like it's been awhile!

Amin Maalouf, Nos frères inattendus. 2020

The novel starts with the power, radio, and internet all going out one night on a small island in the Atlantic. The residents are sure that a nuclear war has finally come - a rogue state had acquired weapons, and the US had been threatening a preemptive attack. But when the power comes on in the morning we learn something stranger: that the world was close to a nuclear apocalypse, but that a hidden civilization, heirs to the ancient Greeks, "nos frères inattendus," had seized power to stop it.

I was expecting the novel to move in a sci-fi direction, but instead Maalouf turns inward, and examines the moral, emotional, and philosophical impact on people who learn overnight that their "super-power" Western civilization is obsolete.

It's also a romance, and an adventure story - it ain't all philosophy.

I loved it.


Interesting... but I checked Amazon price: $44...!!!
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Re: TOTW: A French Book Reading Resource

Postby DaveAgain » Tue Jan 26, 2021 3:24 pm

lusan wrote:
kanewai wrote:I finally have a solid recommendation for you all - it feels like it's been awhile!

Amin Maalouf, Nos frères inattendus. 2020

The novel starts with the power, radio, and internet all going out one night on a small island in the Atlantic. The residents are sure that a nuclear war has finally come - a rogue state had acquired weapons, and the US had been threatening a preemptive attack. But when the power comes on in the morning we learn something stranger: that the world was close to a nuclear apocalypse, but that a hidden civilization, heirs to the ancient Greeks, "nos frères inattendus," had seized power to stop it.

I was expecting the novel to move in a sci-fi direction, but instead Maalouf turns inward, and examines the moral, emotional, and philosophical impact on people who learn overnight that their "super-power" Western civilization is obsolete.

It's also a romance, and an adventure story - it ain't all philosophy.

I loved it.


Interesting... but I checked Amazon price: $44...!!!
The retail price is EUR 22.

https://www.grasset.fr/livres/nos-frere ... 2246826415

Perhaps try another retailer?
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Re: TOTW: A French Book Reading Resource

Postby MorkTheFiddle » Tue Jan 26, 2021 6:22 pm

DaveAgain wrote:
lusan wrote:
kanewai wrote:I finally have a solid recommendation for you all - it feels like it's been awhile!

Amin Maalouf, Nos frères inattendus. 2020

The novel starts with the power, radio, and internet all going out one night on a small island in the Atlantic. The residents are sure that a nuclear war has finally come - a rogue state had acquired weapons, and the US had been threatening a preemptive attack. But when the power comes on in the morning we learn something stranger: that the world was close to a nuclear apocalypse, but that a hidden civilization, heirs to the ancient Greeks, "nos frères inattendus," had seized power to stop it.

I was expecting the novel to move in a sci-fi direction, but instead Maalouf turns inward, and examines the moral, emotional, and philosophical impact on people who learn overnight that their "super-power" Western civilization is obsolete.

It's also a romance, and an adventure story - it ain't all philosophy.

I loved it.


Interesting... but I checked Amazon price: $44...!!!
The retail price is EUR 22.

https://www.grasset.fr/livres/nos-frere ... 2246826415

Perhaps try another retailer?
I paid US$20.56 for the Kindle version.
2 x
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Re: TOTW: A French Book Reading Resource

Postby lusan » Tue Jan 26, 2021 7:41 pm

MorkTheFiddle wrote:
DaveAgain wrote:
lusan wrote:
kanewai wrote:I finally have a solid recommendation for you all - it feels like it's been awhile!

Amin Maalouf, Nos frères inattendus. 2020

The novel starts with the power, radio, and internet all going out one night on a small island in the Atlantic. The residents are sure that a nuclear war has finally come - a rogue state had acquired weapons, and the US had been threatening a preemptive attack. But when the power comes on in the morning we learn something stranger: that the world was close to a nuclear apocalypse, but that a hidden civilization, heirs to the ancient Greeks, "nos frères inattendus," had seized power to stop it.

I was expecting the novel to move in a sci-fi direction, but instead Maalouf turns inward, and examines the moral, emotional, and philosophical impact on people who learn overnight that their "super-power" Western civilization is obsolete.

It's also a romance, and an adventure story - it ain't all philosophy.

I loved it.


Interesting... but I checked Amazon price: $44...!!!
The retail price is EUR 22.

https://www.grasset.fr/livres/nos-frere ... 2246826415

Perhaps try another retailer?
I paid US$20.56 for the Kindle version.


Isn't it too much for a kindle book when there are millions books on the street!
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Carmody
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Re: TOTW: A French Book Reading Resource

Postby Carmody » Fri Feb 05, 2021 2:54 pm

Oh my, I am starting the New Year playing catch-up.... I finished these two books a couple months back and forgot to write reviews:

Le régime de Vichy (Que sais-je?) by Henry Rousso
Le syndrome De Vichy, de 1944 à Nos Jours by Henry Rousso

Many ways to talk about these two fascinating books.

I love France and all things French interest me. France is obviously more than the sum of just its literature of the 18th and 19th century. I love that literature but to just stop there is not enough for me. That is why I have turned to its history and specifically these two books.

They are both fascinating and deserve a very considerable amount of time and thought.

The time of Vichy was 1940 to 1944. The author is Henry Rousso and his approach is that of the historian. Being a history major I find historiography tremendously relevant and rewarding to study and especially today.

Rousso has taken those Vichy years and the years since that time to show how very important it is for France today. It really is fascinating. Not just for what it tells me about France but my own country.

The American Civil War and the time since then are a fascinating parallel to Vichy and the years leading up to today when viewed through the lens of the historiography of this historian.

Everyone finds their own joys in life: watching sports, learning languages, etc. But for me a special joy is learning of the French language to understand its culture and its history past and the history that it is living today.

Reading level for both these books is definitely a C2 combined with willingness to read slowly and think through what is being said.

I would give them an 8/10.
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Carmody
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Re: TOTW: A French Book Reading Resource

Postby Carmody » Fri Feb 19, 2021 1:54 am

La promesse de l'aube de Romain Gary

Romain Gary was a French novelist, diplomat, film director, and World War II aviator of Jewish origin. He is the only author to have won the Prix Goncourt under two names.

If for some reason you feel your mother did not love you enough, then read this autobiography by Romain Gary and consider the alternative. The book provides a real sense of what it is like to have your mother suffocate you with love throughout her life and even from the grave (literally).

This autobiographical work had some very interesting episodes but the author had the persistent tendency to fill up in between those episodes with countless meandering descriptions that are crushingly boring.

There are many people who speak very highly of not just this book but the long list of his other books. But I found this book sad in the beginning, the middle, and the end. The mother can’t help smothering the child with her expectations of him and the child can’t help wanting to please his mother, and in the end no one ends up happy or fulfilled. What is really sad, and that you can learn elsewhere, is that he ended up killing himself.

Why or why do I always read French authors who write of such tortured souls. I want to read happy French authors but find them hard to come by.

I would give this a 7/10.
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