showcases the books you ‘found’ and added to your To Be Read (TBR) list…
whether you found them online, or in a bookstore, or in the library — wherever!
(they aren’t necessarily books you purchased).
So, come on — share with us your FRIDAY FINDS!
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GOOD BOOKS FOR YOUR WEEK-END
Today, I’m presenting a few of the titles in my Goodreads TBR – France shelf, and ignoring new books that will be published in a few months, to be sure you can rush to one of the following books if you are so inclined.
The year is 1640, and Louis XIII is on the French throne. However, as far as you’re concerned, this is all pretty meaningless. After all, as a teenage orphan living in a monastery school in Reims, all you have to worry about is dodging the unpleasant advances of a few unsavoury monks and looking forward to a life of penniless and celibate servitude in a religious order.
After a childhood and adolescence plagued by a constant longing to know who he really is, orphan Pierre has not the slightest idea that his questions are about to be answered. But you know what they say – be careful what you wish for…
Suddenly finding out who you are can bring with it not only happiness and fortune, but danger, friendship and the sort of swift education that the monastery could never have provided! The discovery of who Pierre really is affects not only Pierre and his friends, but has ramifications for the French nobility, the English crown, and most dangerous of all, the machinations of Cardinal Richelieu and his fierce ambition for the Church and for himself. [Goodreads]
Paperback, 388 pages. Published August 24th 2012 by Createspace
When Diana Lescure moves with her young family to the tiny village of Saint Gabriel in the depths of France, it is clear that not all is well amongst its inhabitants.
As she settles into her country idyll she uncovers a menace that has shrouded the villagers for generations.
Through a 12th century monk and a British agent in WW2 the story of a secret society unfolds. [Goodreads]
ebook, 366 pages
Published March 10th 2012 by Susan Louineau
It’s 1989, the Berlin Wall is coming down, and Kate has just graduated from Yale, eager to pursue her dreams as a fledgling painter. When she receives a job offer to work as the assistant to Lydia Schell, a famous American photographer in Paris, she immediately accepts. It’s a chance not only to be at the center of it all, but also to return to France for the first time since she was a lonely nine-year-old girl, sent to the outskirts of Paris to live with cousins while her father was dying. Kate may speak fluent French, but she arrives at the Schell household in the fashionable Sixth Arrondissement both dazzled and wildly impressionable. She finds herself surrounded by a seductive cast of characters, including the bright, pretentious Schells, with whom she boards, and their assortment of famous friends; Kate’s own flamboyant cousin; a fellow Yalie who seems to have it all figured out; and a bande of independently wealthy young men with royal lineage. As Kate rediscovers Paris and her roots there, while trying to fit into Lydia’s glamorous and complicated family, she begins to question the kindness of the people to whom she is so drawn as well as her own motives for wanting them to love her.
In compelling and sympathetic prose, Hilary Reyl perfectly captures this portrait of a precocious, ambitious young woman struggling to define herself in a vibrant world that spirals out of her control. Lessons in French is at once a love letter to Paris and the story of a young woman finding herself, her moral compass, and, finally, her true family. [Goodreads]
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published March 5th 2013 by Simon & Schuster
A wild, Kafka-esque romp through a dystopian landscape, probing the darkly comic nature of the human condition.
The Investigator is a man quite like any other. He is balding, of medium build, dresses conservatively—in short, he is unremarkable in every way. He has been assigned to conduct an Investigation of a series of suicides (twenty-two in the past eighteen months) that have taken place at the Enterprise, a huge, sprawling complex located in an unnamed Town. The Investigator’s train is delayed, and when he finally arrives, there’s no one to pick him up at the station. It is alternating rain and snow, it’s getting late, and there are no taxis to be seen. Off sets the Investigator, alone, into the night, unsure quite how to proceed.
So begins the Investigator’s series of increasingly frustrating attempts to fulfill his task. In the course of hours of wandering looking for the entrance to The Enterprise, he bumps into a stranger hurrying past and spills open his luggage, soaking his clothes. When he finally reaches the Enterprise, he is told he does not posses the proper authorization documents to enter after regular hours. Asking for directions to a hotel, he is informed “We’re not the Tourist Office,” and must set off to find one himself. Time and time again, regulations hamstring him, street layouts befuddle him, and all the while he senses someone watching him, recording his every movement.
In a highly original work that is both absorbing and fascinating, Claudel undertakes a sweeping critique of the contemporary world through a variety of modes. Like Kafka, Beckett, and Huxley, he has crafted a dark fable that evokes the absurdity and alienation of existence with piercing intelligence and considerable humor. [Goodreads]
Hardcover, 240 pages. Published July 10th 2012 by Nan A. Talese
By the author of the “New York Times”-bestselling “Labyrinth,” a story of two lives touched by war and transformed by courage.
In the winter of 1928, still seeking some kind of resolution to the horrors of World War I, Freddie is traveling through the beautiful but forbidding French Pyrenees.
During a snowstorm, his car spins off the mountain road. Dazed, he stumbles through the woods, emerging in a tiny village, where he finds an inn to wait out the blizzard.
There he meets Fabrissa, a lovely young woman also mourning a lost generation.
Over the course of one night, Fabrissa and Freddie share their stories.
By the time dawn breaks, Freddie will have unearthed a tragic, centuries-old mystery, and discovered his own role in the life of this remote town. [Goodreads]