A French Book Haul

Hey guys! As many of you know by now, I’m currently in France, but even here (maybe especially here), I can’t resist buying new books. After all, who knows when the next time will be that I’ll have ready access to this many books in the language I’m trying to learn? (On that note, if any of you have advice on places to buy foreign language books in the U.S., or online stores that ship to the U.S., let me know. The information will be super useful once I get back home.) I have to take advantage of this opportunity while I can.

Admittedly, all but one of the books on this list were books that I had to buy for one or another of my classes, but they’re in French, so they’re still pretty exciting purchases for me. Unfortunately, because I had to buy so many, I had to be sparing in the amount of books I allowed myself to buy to read for fun. After all, I do have to somehow fit all of these things back into the suitcases I brought with me when I go back home in May. (With that being said, I do want to see if I can buy at least one or two more.)

Anyway, I have five books to talk about today, and I’m super excited, so let’s get into it, shall we?

Le ciel est bleu Une histoire de la photographie couleur by Nathalie Boulouch

A translation, for those of you who don’t speak French: The Sky is Blue: A History of Color Photography

I’m taking a class on the history of photography while I’m here in France, and each student had to choose a book to read and then give a presentation on to the class. This is the book I chose, mostly because it seemed like it would be the least technical of the options the professor presented. I like history, the book is less than 200 pages, and based on a quick flip-through I just did, the book, predictably, has a bunch of pictures in it. I’m hoping it’ll be a pretty easy read.

Les fiancés de l’hiver by Christelle Dabos

You might recognize the author’s name as the author of the book A Winter’s Promise, which came out last year in September, and that’s because it’s actually the same book. When I first heard about this book, a fantasy that was originally written in French, I decided that I wanted to get the French edition of it and try reading it. I have no idea if this is a good book for my reading level in French (I imagine it’s probably not—I think it’s YA, and my reading level in French is probably more like middle grade), or if this was a terrible idea, but either way, I think reading this book will be a learning experience, if nothing else, and I’m excited to give it a try.

Honestly, I don’t really know anything else about this book, other than that I think the main character has the ability to pass through mirrors. If all else fails, I can always just get the English translation later and read that.

Marcel Aymé Biblos by Marcel Aymé

This is a collection of short stories/novellas by the francophone author Marcel Aymé. Similar to the book on photography from earlier, I have to read one of the stories in this collection and present on it in one of my classes. Originally, I was just going to buy the one story, but at the bookstore I went to, they didn’t have a book with just the one I needed, and I didn’t have a lot of time to linger, so rather than go searching through a zillion other stores trying to find a copy like that, I just decided to buy this bind-up of five stories. Maybe if I really like the story I have to read for class, I’ll decide to read the other four.

King Kong Théorie by Virginie Despentes

I’m going to be honest: I have no idea what this book is about (or what the next one is about, either). I just think the cover is really cool—it kind of looks like a graphic novel cover, but it’s just a regular book. This is another book I had to buy to read for a class. It’s also incredibly short—only 145 pages. That’s the kind of length that, if the book were in English, I could read it in a few hours, but I imagine it’s probably going to take quite a bit longer in French.

L’événement by Annie Ernaux

This is another book I bought for class, actually for the same class as the last book, and also like the last book, I don’t really know what this book is about. I know it’s going to have feminist themes because the class I bought it for is a class on feminism in France.

***

Okay, that’s all the books I had to haul today. Thanks for reading, guys! Let me know down in the comments if you have any ideas for other books I should get while I’m here, because even though I probably shouldn’t buy any more, recommendations are always welcome! Also, let me know what language you took in high school/college, and if you still know anything about it.

I’ll see you soon.

-Ariel

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