Saturday, July 14, 2018

Bastille Day Books

Here we are again, it's Bastille Day when we can all get the chance to be French for the day. Here are some of my favorite books to give you a little Gallic flair.

Henri de la Barbe, aka Henry Beard, penned this adorable and silly book to teach you how to speak French to your cat. It's indispensable. French for Cats: All the French Your Cat Will Ever Need truly lives up to its title.

Jean-Jacques Sempé is a wonderful artist and his book A Little Bit of Paris collects much of his charming, light-filled and evocative work focused on one of the most beautiful places in the world.

The Parisianer is a wordless, coffee-table-ready collection of illustrations by a variety of French artists, creating their own New Yorker-style "covers" highlighting different aspects of Parisian life. Arist Aurélie Pollet is the editor.

Antonia Fraser's accessible and lively biography of one of the most controversial figures of French history makes excellent reading. Marie Antoinette: The Journey attempts to rescue France's infamous queen and rehabilitate her image. Along the way it makes for fascinating look at French social and royal history. It's one of my favorites.

I'll finish off this year's quick list with a current novel, Nathacha Appanah's wonderful Waiting for Tomorrow, about contemporary French life, a friendship and a marriage all built on self-deception and denial. Appanah is one of the best people writing in French today.

Any of these books will give you a taste of France this Bastille Day weekend and beyond.

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