Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Happy Bastille Day!

One of my lifelong interests is everything French; my background is French, I majored in French language and literature in college and I still hear or read or speak French at least once every day.

So of course I love French books!

A while ago I received a review copy of One Hundred Great French Books, by Lance Donaldson-Evans; it's a neat book, a list of one man's essentials of French literature that reads very much like a college survey of French literature. Considering that Donaldson-Evans is a professor of Romance Languages at the University of Pennsylvania, that makes a certain amount of sense! The essays are interesting and fun to read, but it's also fun to just page through the list at the beginning of the book, checking off the books one has read. Me? While copyright considerations prevent me from reproducing the whole list, here's a selection- just the books I've read.

The Song of Roland/La chanson de Roland

Tristan and Iseult/Tristan et Iseult

The Book of the City of Ladies/Le livre de la cité des dames, by Christine de Pizan

Pantagruel, by François Rabelais

Fables, by Jean de la Fontaine

The Princess of Clèves/La princesse des Clèves, by Marie-Madeleine Pioche de la Vergne

Manon Lescaut, by Antoine-François Prévost

Letters of a Peruvian Woman/Lettres d'une Péruvienne, by Françoise de Graffigny

Candide, by Voltaire

Dangerous Liaisons/Les liaisons dangereuses, by Choderlos de Laclos (my favorite classic French novel)

The Hunchback of Notre Dame/Notre Dame de Paris, by Victor Hugo (my favorite 19th century French novel)

Old Goriot/Père Goriot, by Balzac

Madame Bovary, by Gustave Flaubert

The Flowers of Evil/Les fleurs du mal, by Charles Baudelaire

Short Stories, by Guy de Maupassant

In Search of Lost Time: "Combray"/ À la recherche du temps perdus "Combray", by Marcel Proust

Chéri, by Colette

The Little Prince/Le Petit Prince, by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Mythologies, by Roland Barthes

Moderato Cantabile, by Marguerite Duras

What about you? What are your favorite French books? There are a lot more books to this list, and these aren't necessarily my personal favorites. See last year's Bastille Day post for those.

In the mean time, have a wonderful Bastille Day and read something French!

Click here to buy One Hundred Great French Books via I'm an IndieBound affiliate and receive a small commission on sales.

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for review from Meryl Zegarek Public Relations.