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Happy Bastille Day! Joyeux Quatorze Juillet! July 14, 2009

Posted by bookgoddess in Authors, Books, Fiction, Literature, Reading.
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If you are French, or simply on the lookout for a reason to party, today is the day to celebrate Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity!  Remember that the French are our oldest friends and that their revolution was at least in part inspired by ours.

I have actually been in Paris on Bastille Day, which turned out to be bad news and good news.  Bad news:  the Louvre was closed.  Good news:  since we couldn’t go to the Louvre, we went to the Bois de Boulogne and met up with a French journalist who took us all over Paris in his little French car to show us the sights.  In these latter days, I would be more cautious, but it was certainly a day to remember. 

Anyway, there are a lot of wonderful things you could do to celebrate Bastille Day:  you could drink some French wine and have your sandwich on a baguette (Brie and foie gras, maybe?).  You could check a French film out of the Library!  How about Les Choristes or Amelie?  We have over 200 French films, so you have lots of options. 

You will also find a rich selection of literature by French authors.  For example, 16 French authors have been awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, most recently J. M. G. Le Clezio in 2008.  One of my personal favorite titles is Claudine, a coming of age novel by the legendary Colette.  I’d also give my highest recommendation to A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway, a marvelous portrait of the lives of the “Lost Generation” artists in 1920’s Paris. 

It’s always good to have something to celebrate! 

Happy Reading,

The Book Goddess

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Wash This Blood Clean from My Hand June 2, 2009

Posted by bookgoddess in Books, Fiction, Mysteries, Reading.
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This was my first experience with a mystery by Fred Vargas, who, oddly enough, is a French woman.  I enjoyed it very much indeed! 

Comissaire Adamsberg is brilliant, eccentric, and has some secrets of his own.  His “sidekick” Danglard is a gifted detective who is overly fond of white wine.  Their search for a serial killer is interrupted by a Canada to study evidence techniques with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.  Trouble follows them there in a very nasty way.  

The plot is convoluted, in a good way, and the solution turns out to be quite exotic.  For me, the real pleasure of the book lay in the writing style, the characters, and the humor.  I enjoyed the culture clash between the French and the French Canadians, and how Adamsberg solved the problem of Danglard’s fear of flying. 

The best recommendation for a mystery author is whether you want to read more of their books.  Fred Vargas gets a definite yes! 

Happy Reading, 

The Book Goddess