Fires – Marguerite Yourcenar

The first woman elected to L’Académie française? Check. Kinda famous feminist writer? Check. Old book (which I love)? Check. And yet, with all that going for it, I don’t know that I liked it. The words were beautiful and strung together nicely, but I guess I just don’t really like the more experimental kind of …

The Lost Estate (Le Grand Meaulnes) – Alain-Fournier

Published in 1912, two years before the author fell in battle during WWI, this novel is a fairytale-like look into teen longing and belonging. Our main character narrates the adventure of his boyhood best friend who, after getting lost in rural France, attends a magical party that will forever determine the direction of his life. …

A Brief History of Equality – Thomas Piketty

OK, so don’t listen to dry books on audio. I think that is the biggest lesson I’ve learned from this book. When I was able to maintain my attention I found the book very interesting: he talked about al the ways elites and governments created and maintained inequality through greed, slavery, and other inhumane regulations. …

In the Country of Others – Leila Slimani

Finally a book that didn’t take me four days! I was pulled into the narrative from the first chapter about our French war bride and her Moroccan husband trying to gut out farm life in Morocco as revolution approaches. We see from a few different perspectives here, including the daughter who is devoted to her …

Beside the Sea – Veronique Olmi

A very devastating little novella, translated from the French by Adriana Hunter. A mother takes her two boys to the sea. We all know it’s their last trip, but knowing the end doesn’t help having to watch.

Berezina – Sylvain Tesson

Five guys follow La Grande Armée and Napoleon’s retreat from Moscow, 1812, 200 years later on Soviet motorcycles with sidecars. In December. A vivid look at the suffering of Napoleon’s troops as they walk from Moscow to Paris (they only ever really get to Poland…), and of the ongoing relationship both the French and Russians …