All posts tagged: books

a vintage image of a couple sharing a newspaper from casablanca

5 Books About World War II in France

It wasn’t until I moved to France that I started to read fiction about World War II, especially stories set there. This is my most recent reading list of the best books set in World War II France — and though it comes in the middle of the list, go with Irène Némirovsky’s Suite Française first — all of these books are gorgeously written, but only Suite Française was written gorgeously while the author was under threat of deportation to the Nazi death camps. (And indeed, she died at 39 at Auschwitz.) The story of the book’s survival is worth a movie of its own, as it was saved by Némirovsky’s daughter for over 60 years and only published in 2004. It’s a miracle that her book survived — and a testament to the power of writing, that after all this time, her voice can still be heard.

french self help mlp

5 French Self Help Books

I have a small bookshelf devoted to French self help books: people telling me how to do various things better, like dress, cook, travel, and design my home. I do think the French have more of a sense of humor about these things than we do — the vibe is less “You can do it if you really try!” than “We’re all f-ed so you might as well enjoy yourself.” It’s a nice way of lowering expectations.