TOTW: A French Book Reading Resource

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Carmody
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Re: A French Book Reading Resource

Postby Carmody » Tue Feb 26, 2019 2:02 am

Many thanks.
Yes the dance sequence is a really good one.
;)
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PfifltriggPi
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Re: A French Book Reading Resource

Postby PfifltriggPi » Tue Feb 26, 2019 2:37 pm

Je vais copier ce que j'ai dit sur mon registre au sujet du livre que je viens de terminer, si il y a quelqu'un qu'en est intéressé.

PfifltriggPi wrote:J'ai enfin terminé L’Étranger d'Albert Camus ce matin. Il ne s'est pas terminé comme j'aurais attendu. J'aime Albert Camus primairement pour ses pouvoirs de description complètement incroyable et ils ne se montrent pas autant dans L'Étranger que dans La Chute ou L'Été deux que je préfère. Je l'ai trouvé en peu difficile a commencer aussi mais il s'est amélioré beaucoup quand j'ai progressé. En général, oui, je l'ai aimé.
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Carmody
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Re: A French Book Reading Resource

Postby Carmody » Mon Mar 04, 2019 3:49 pm

Book Reading Update:

Have just finished Je l'aimais by A. Gavalda and would give it a 3/10 rating. It concerns a father-in-law talking to his daughter-in-law about love affairs he has had and why he would never divorce.

As noted previously I also read 35 Kilos d'espoir A. Gavalda which I found to be about a 4/10.

While both books got low ratings from me, I totally respect the fact that MorktheFiddle very much likes this author so don't be put off by these reviews, rather, just try other books by this author.

Whether I like a book or not is not that big a deal since I use my readings for vocabulary acquisition. So I don't really lose either way.

Have also recently finished with Jeux interdits, a movie about a very young girl left homeless by the war.

I read the books and view DVDs because I am interested in the French sensibility and what they tell me about it. One thing for sure is that the French are far more willing to end their books and films on a sad note than the Americans. The Americans love their happy endings; it is almost a prerequisite. The French see things differently and I am interested in the difference.

If people have questions, please feel free to ask.
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Re: A French Book Reading Resource

Postby zjones » Mon Mar 04, 2019 6:10 pm

I am reading Changer l'eau des fleurs by Valérie Perrin. It's very reflective and personal, a perfect read when you want have some quiet time to yourself and a cup of tea. Because the book is about a woman who works in a cemetery, there are lots of reflections about life and death. Again, this is not literature, just a simple book.
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Re: A French Book Reading Resource

Postby zjones » Mon Mar 04, 2019 6:16 pm

I am looking for recommendations for simple French books or poems, literature or otherwise. I greatly appreciate authors who know how to describe someone or something with the right words, but don't linger on descriptions for more than a few sentences at a time. As for poetry, I prefer poems about life, nature and emotions. You can recommend specific poems to me if there are any you like.

Overall I'd like to branch out into literature but something that's easy to read and sensitive. (Side note, I like memoirs too.)

Thanks for any suggestions!
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Carmody
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Re: A French Book Reading Resource

Postby Carmody » Mon Mar 04, 2019 6:47 pm

by zjones » Mon Mar 04, 2019 7:10 am
I am reading Changer l'eau des fleurs by Valérie Perrin. It's very reflective and personal, a perfect read when you want have some quiet time to yourself and a cup of tea. Because the book is about a woman who works in a cemetery, there are lots of reflections about life and death. Again, this is not literature, just a simple book.
I always prefer simple; absolutely. Will get back to you with suggestions.
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Re: A French Book Reading Resource

Postby MamaPata » Mon Mar 04, 2019 7:31 pm

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.
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MorkTheFiddle
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Re: A French Book Reading Resource

Postby MorkTheFiddle » Tue Mar 05, 2019 12:51 am

Carmody wrote:Book Reading Update:

Have just finished Je l'aimais by A. Gavalda and would give it a 3/10 rating. It concerns a father-in-law talking to his daughter-in-law about love affairs he has had and why he would never divorce.
As noted previously I also read 35 Kilos d'espoir A. Gavalda which I found to be about a 4/10.
While both books got low ratings from me, I totally respect the fact that MorktheFiddle very much likes this author so don't be put off by these reviews, rather, just try other books by this author.

Hah! I loved her volume of short stories, Je Voudrais que quelqu'un m'attende quelque-part. :) Her first (?) novel, Ensemble c'est tout, was a big disappointment to me (2/10 maybe), though I finished it (hoping it might get better, I guess). Then in 2008 she published La Consolante, which I found unreadable (0/10), and stopped reading it after about 10-20 pages. After that, I gave up on her work, and have never read Je l'aimais or 35 Kilos d'espoir. I don't follow review sites like Good Reads or Babelio, and I don't know if there is a consensus about Gavalda's work, or whether there are any other readers who liked her first effort a lot but not what followed at all.
Another writer, not French, however, who struck me the same way was Frank Herbert, author of the science fiction classic, Dune. I loved Dune, yawned through the sequel, never read the later work at all. Maybe I should sit down some day and list the books, fiction and nonfiction, classic and non-classic, to put my opinion of Gavalda and other contemporary writers in perspective. Seems like a lot of unnecessary work, however. :(
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Carmody
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Re: A French Book Reading Resource

Postby Carmody » Tue Mar 05, 2019 1:56 am

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.
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Re: A French Book Reading Resource

Postby MamaPata » Tue Mar 05, 2019 1:14 pm

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.
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