TOTW: A French Book Reading Resource

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zjones
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Re: A French Book Reading Resource

Postby zjones » Tue Mar 05, 2019 2:41 pm

Carmody wrote:zjones

Thank you very much for your very excellent question. It is what this thread is about. I want people to share what they like and don’t like in book reading so I can learn from others. So thank you.

You like books simple…. “something that's easy to read and sensitive. If you are going for Delf B1 you must be pretty accomplished. Your written and speaking skills sound excellent. I have heard you speak and was greatly impressed. However I am going to make some book suggestions and then we can go from there…

Books I have read
*** That were found to be especially outstanding.
HR= Highly recommended

L'Armoire Magique C.S. Lewis
Harry Potter, à l'école des sorciers J.K Rowling
Harry Potter et Le Prisonnier D'Azkaban J.K Rowling
Le Petit Prince Saint Exupery
Le Retour de l'Enfant Prodigy A. Gide***
Bonjour Tristesse F. Sagan*** HR
L'Amant Marguerite Duras*** HR
L'école des sorciers JK Rowling
Histoire du lion Personne S. Audeguy
L'homme qui plantait des arbres Jean Giono
Un Sac de Billes J. Joffo***
Sans famille H. Malot*** HR This has the advantage of a wonderful YouTube version
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FJP4Nx6vzVM&list=PLaMzSHCVzZaKILRk0PCO7ZErCr-XZ6E1N
I have seen all 50 episodes twice.

Also the following are excellent sources for finding books :
http://www.complete-review.com/reviews/
https://www.babelio.com/livres-/classique/28

I hope the suggestions are helpful.


Merci Carmody ! I will definitely check out these recommendations. Thanks for the YouTube link too, what beautiful animation!

MamaPata wrote:I’d second Françoise Sagan for you zjones. I think she’s a great writer and it’s very gentle, no pages of description! She has a book of short texts about her life and the people she knew (greats of the French and American arts worlds) which I really liked. I struggled for some (one talks about gambling and I’m not sure I’d know the vocabulary in English) but it was minor. I’m sure you would be fine with it.

Also, having read the first 50 pages of Stupeur et Tremblements, it would qualify! Very simple text, no description. I’m not particularly enjoying it but it’s a language learner gift.


Okay, got it! I'll start with Françoise Sagan then, since both of you recommended it. Do you know the name of the book of short texts about her life? That sounds right up my alley.
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Carmody
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Re: A French Book Reading Resource

Postby Carmody » Tue Mar 05, 2019 3:14 pm

z jones
Okay, got it! I'll start with Françoise Sagan then, since both of you recommended it. Do you know the name of the book of short texts about her life? That sounds right up my alley.


I would like to suggest that you buy the hachette pub. version. It has notes for students and is quite helpful
https://smile.amazon.com/s?k=9782011612397&i=stripbooks&ref=nb_sb_noss
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Carmody
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Re: A French Book Reading Resource

Postby Carmody » Tue Mar 05, 2019 3:49 pm

MamaPata » Mon Mar 04, 2019 8:31 am

I also read Je l’aimais recently and I wasn’t convinced. I wasn’t totally convinced by the premise but I was open to it. It didn’t really deliver for me. However, I think for a language learner it’s a useful option. It’s very short and quite simple.

I also recently read Le dernier des nôtres and Le confident, which are both psychological dramas/thrillers partly set during the Second World War. (By two different authors. My reading them one after the other was coincidence). I really didn’t like either of them and found some stuff very problematic.

I’ve got Stupeur et Tremblements out from the library and I’ll read Les Hirondelles de Kaboul for the forum book group but based on the blurbs, I’m not sure they’re going to do it for me..
Re: Stupeur et Tremblements
This book also has a nice full length feature version available on YouTube.

Now as to Amélie Nothomb:
--She is not for everyone.
--She is someone who has gone through many extreme traumas in her life, so, she struggles daily to deal with it. From childhood alcoholism to anorexia and other food eating disorders, she has waged a daily battle with her inner demons. I understand that at some point she was raped as well.
--As a result of that and more she has many deep seated self-image problems. I think this video pretty much says it all:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NxucMOfZEkk
--I liked the book because I have been through a couple of severe nervous breakdowns and also have inner demons that I struggle with daily. So in some ways I know where she is coming from.
--Nothomb is not an acquired taste. Either you see or grasp the issues she raises or you don't. Most people have not been through trauma and so find her perspectives hard to relate to. I congratulate all those people out there who are normal, healthy, well-adjusted and with peace of mind. I would never suggest this book/author to them to read.
--People in France don't like her because she publishes a book a year. They find it unseemly. She does so in part in order to remain sane and not be torn apart from within. She has to write.
--And yet throughout that book and most of her writings-I have only read 5 of her books-she is able to laugh at herself and force the reader to laugh out loud. Again and again. I am amazed.
--So in summary I have great respect for her and this book.
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MamaPata
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Re: A French Book Reading Resource

Postby MamaPata » Wed Mar 06, 2019 7:50 am

For Sagan, the one I was thinking about was Avec mon meilleur souvenir but she has also written a couple of others I’ve learnt, including a sort of sequel to that.

As for Nothomb, I am currently only about 50 pages in but my problem is definitely not with the degree to which she has suffered in her life, but that I find the attitude to Japan a little odd and I don’t enjoy absurdism. I also don’t have any particular love for the way she writes.

While I acknowledge the point and agree to a certain extent, I don’t think it’s particularly helpful to suggest that it’s the level of trauma that a person has experienced that allows them to understand a novel. People who have had well adjusted life are perfectly capable of reading books by and about those who haven’t.

I will finish this book but doubt I will read others.
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Carmody
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Re: A French Book Reading Resource

Postby Carmody » Wed Mar 06, 2019 6:50 pm

I am always interested in learning how different America is from France. I love the differences, especially when it comes to literature.

People may find the following of interest:
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/06/reader-center/lifting-the-veil-on-the-academie-francaise.html

If for some reason you are not able to access that NYT article, then you may wish to see a different article here:
https://www.secret-bases.co.uk/wiki/French_Academy

I wonder what the people of France think of it.
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Carmody
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Re: A French Book Reading Resource

Postby Carmody » Thu Mar 07, 2019 9:49 pm

Looking for sources to find the next book to read in French can sometimes be a problem, but these web pages may help:

https://tinyurl.com/yycs6gqo

https://tinyurl.com/yc46huwa

I have read some of the authors but none of the books. If someone has read any of them, please do let us know more...
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MamaPata
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Re: A French Book Reading Resource

Postby MamaPata » Thu Mar 07, 2019 10:00 pm

Carmody wrote:Looking for sources to find the next book to read in French can sometimes be a problem, but these web pages may help:

https://tinyurl.com/yycs6gqo

https://tinyurl.com/yc46huwa

I have read some of the authors but none of the books. If someone has read any of them, please do let us know more...


On that note, my mum sent me this today.

French books to read on your commute
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MorkTheFiddle
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Re: A French Book Reading Resource

Postby MorkTheFiddle » Fri Mar 08, 2019 12:46 am

One Dog + one Cat = excellent reading suggestions. Thanks.
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Tu sabes cuando sales pero no sabes cuando regresas.

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badger
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Re: A French Book Reading Resource

Postby badger » Fri Mar 08, 2019 2:57 am

Carmody wrote:Looking for sources to find the next book to read in French can sometimes be a problem, but these web pages may help:

https://tinyurl.com/yycs6gqo

https://tinyurl.com/yc46huwa

I have read some of the authors but none of the books. If someone has read any of them, please do let us know more...

I have "The Mersault Investigation"/"Meursault, contre-enquête" in Engilsh & French. The French was a bit beyond me when I tried it a few months ago, but I read the first few chapters in English & it looks pretty interesting. I think you would need to be familiar with Camus's "L'Êtranger" for it to make any sense, as it is a sequel of sorts, told from the Arab side. It's definitely something that I'm going to come back to when my French has improved a bit. Probably of limited interest if you're not a fan of Camus thought.
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Carmody
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Re: A French Book Reading Resource

Postby Carmody » Sat Mar 09, 2019 7:39 pm

Poisson d'or

The Plot
Poisson d'or (meaning "Fish of Gold" in English) is a novel by the French Nobel laureate writer J. M. G. Le Clézio. He received the Noble Prize for literature for this book in 2008. It is the story of an Arab girl whose life has many adventures. A brothel in Morocco, a Spanish slum, Parisian Bohemian life, a trip to America, and finally a trip back home to her birthplace. It is not a fun journey in anyway at any time for her or the reader.

Review
This book is widely hailed as a heartfelt narrative of the homeless refugees of today. The story deals with many important themes. To go into to any of the themes such as homelessness, search for identity, Franz Fanon, etc. would not do justice to any of the topics raised.

Each author has his own vocabulary. Probably more than any other author I have read, this author writes in a vocabulary that is easy for me to understand. Or is it due to the fact that I am at the 1,000 pages of reading in French that things are coming more easily at last for me. Also this book has none of the esoteric idioms or words to struggle with that I find with other authors. I wonder if that easy to read style might be the key to his popularity.

I would be very interested to hear from anyone who has read this book and to get their thoughts on it.

I give it a 3/10.

In fact if anyone has read any book in French that they believe to be a "must read" please share the title and tell us why.
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