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Thursday, 4 December 2014


Liking this  
French Reading Challenge at Words and Peace Blog
As I participate annually in the #ParisinJuly summer reading challenge,
this one will fit in nicely !

[Jan 1.15 - Dec 31 . 15]
Here's the empty Bingo Card to begin - let's see how I will do...
~ Click titles for reviews ~
The Girl Got Up by Rachel Srubas = B1 - nonfiction about France 
The Seafront Tea Rooms by Vanessa Greene 
French character Seraphine, a culture-shocked French au pair
with a passion for pastry-making
Chateau of Secrets by Melanie Dobson = A3, C2, D1, E1, 
Gisele Duchant, a courageous young noblewoman risks her life to hide French resistance fighters; seventy years later, her granddaughter visits the family’s abandoned chateau and uncovers shocking secrets from the past.
Evan and Elle by Rhys Bowen = D1
Welsh village life portrays the usual propensity to gossip and fear of outsiders. In this case, the unwelcome French proprietor of Madame Yvette's, a new French restaurant with unusual foods to the area. I liked the work related trip to England's southern coast, then through the chunnel to France, providing the opportunity to gain an understanding of distance and proximity. 
Before Paris by Adria J Cimino = B2, B3, D1
Short Story prequel to Paris, Rue des Martyrs,
tells how Rafael, son of an emerald broker in Colombia, journeys to the City of Light. One fateful and dangerous night in emerald territory, he learns his father was carrying a secret. The key to unlock it can only be found in Paris. . . 
Ink and Honey by Sibyl Dana Reynolds = A3, E3
The story of a sacred journey through the medieval French countryside with the sisters of Belle Cœur, a community of radically independent healers, visionaries, mystics and artisans who live by their wits and their prayers. Goscelin, the dedicated scribe, records her sisterhood’s stories, visions and prophecies in her community’s journal. 
Alive with women’s ancient wisdom and spiritual practices to inform our lives today.
City of Darkenss and Light by Rhys Bowen = E1, B5, A3
The invincible Molly Sullivan departs NY city at her husband's urging after a disaster that
 jeopardizes their family's safety.  Intent on meeting 2 friends who have invited her and her young son to stay with them, Molly is perplexed to find them missing... Adventures ensue, mysteries abound,
and Molly wonders where she would be safest.
The Sweet Life in Paris:
Delicious Adventures in the World's Most Glorious- and Perplexing - City

by David Lebovitz = B3, D2, D5, 
It's a different world en France.
From learning the ironclad rules of social conduct to the mysteries of men's footwear, from shopkeepers who work so hard not to sell you anything to the etiquette of working the right way around the cheese plate, here is David's story of how he came to fall in love with—and even understand—this glorious, yet sometimes maddening, city.

Tides of Honour by Genevieve Graham = C2, A3, 
1916, and the last thing Nova Scotian soldier Danny Baker expects to find in war-torn France is the love of his life. Audrey Poulin is alone in the world, and struggling to survive the war in the French countryside. When Audrey and Danny meet and fall in love, it seems like the best version of fate.
But love is only the beginning, as Danny loses a leg in the Battle of the Somme, and returns home to Halifax with Audrey, only to discover that he’s unable to leave the war behind. Danny and Audrey struggle with their new life together, and must face not only their own internal demons, but a catastrophe that will soon rip apart everything they think they know about themselves and each other.
A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle = D5, D2, D1, B1
A National Bestseller, this witty and warm-hearted account written and narrated by Peter Mayle tells what it is like to realize a long-cherished dream and actually move into a 200-year-old stone farmhouse in the remote country of the Lubéron with his wife and two large dogs. He endures January's frosty mistral as it comes howling down the Rhône Valley, discovers the secrets of goat racing through the middle of town, and delights in the glorious regional cuisine. A Year in Provence transports us into all the earthy pleasures of Provençal life and lets us live vicariously at a tempo governed by seasons, not by days. 

Hotel du Lac by Anita Brookner = D1 
Tells the story of Edith Hope, who writes romance novels under a pseudonym. When her life begins to resemble the plots of her own novels, however, Edith flees to Switzerland, where the quiet luxury of the Hotel du Lac promises to restore her to her senses.  But instead of peace and rest, Edith finds herself sequestered at the hotel with an assortment of love's casualties and exiles.
Lisette's List by Susan Vreeland = A3, D1, D4
 In 1937, young Lisette Roux and her husband, André, move from Paris to a village in Provence to care for André’s grandfather Pascal. Lisette regrets having to give up her dream of becoming a gallery apprentice and longs for the comforts and sophistication of Paris. But as she soon discovers, the hilltop town is rich with unexpected pleasures.
Pascal once worked in the nearby ochre mines and later became a pigment salesman and frame maker; while selling his pigments in Paris, he befriended Pissarro and Cézanne, some of whose paintings he received in trade for his frames. Pascal begins to tutor Lisette in both art and life, allowing her to see his small collection of paintings and the Provençal landscape itself in a new light. Inspired by Pascal’s advice to “Do the important things first,” Lisette begins a list of vows to herself (#4. Learn what makes a painting great). When war breaks out, André goes off to the front, but not before hiding Pascal’s paintings to keep them from the Nazis’ reach.
I'll Never be French [no matter what I do]; Living in a Small Village in Brittany
 by Mark Greenside =  B1, D2, E4, D5
A journey to Brittany, where author Mark Greenside reluctantly travels, eats of the crêpes, and finds a second life.  Dragged by his girlfriend to a tiny Celtic village in Brittany at the westernmost edge of France, in Finistère, "the end of the world," his life begins to change.  With enormous affection for the Bretons, Greenside tells how he makes a life for himself in a country where he doesn't speak the language or know how things are done.  Against his personal inclinations and better judgments, he places his trust in the villagers he encounters -- neighbours, workers, acquaintances -- and is consistently won over and surprised as he survives day-to-day trials: from opening a bank account, buying a house, to removing a beehive from the chimney -- learning the cultural ropes, living with neighbors, and making new friends. 

Chasing Mona Lisa by Mike Yorkey / Tricia Goyer = A3, C2, C4, E1
It is August 1944 and Paris is on the cusp of liberation. As the soldiers of the Third Reich flee the Allied advance, they ravage the country, stealing countless pieces of art. Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring will stop at nothing to claim the most valuable one of all, the Mona Lisa, as a post-war bargaining chip to get him to South America. Can Swiss OSS agents Gabi Mueller and Eric Hofstadler rescue DaVinci's masterpiece before it falls into German hands?
The Paris Key by Juliet Blackwell/Xe Sands = 
 Genevieve  finds herself faced with an incredible opportunity: return to the magical city of her youth to take over her late uncle’s shop. But as she absorbs all that Parisian culture has to offer, she realizes the city also holds secrets about her family that could change her forever, and that locked doors can protect you or imprison you, depending on which side of them you stand.

Fairchild's Lady by Roseanna M White =
1789 General Isaac Fairchild travels across the Channel on a very special assignment. After surviving the American Revolution, he is now gathering information on life at King Louis XVI’s court. But he must also locate a countess and her grown daughter and escort them back to England before revolution explodes in France. He knows danger is in the task set before him, but when he meets the beautiful Julienne, a new peril beckons him deeper into the intrigue of Versailles.

Reading France Possibilities:
Lisette's List - Susan Vreeland
City of Darkness and Light - Rhys Bowen
Tides of Honour - Genevieve Graham
The Nightingale - Kristin Hannah
Reservations for Two - Hillary Manton Lodge
A Desperate Fortune - Susanna Kearsley
The Sweet Life in Paris - David Lebovitz
The Storms of War - Kate Williams
The Lavender Garden - Lucinda Riley

1 comment:

Katherine Thayer said...

Evan and Elle was one of my favorites. The plot is a bit predictable.

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