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L'après-midi des lecteurs

Lecteurs de livres bilingues

The love of literature, of language, of the mystery of the mind and heart showing themselves in the minute, strange, and unexpected combinations of letters and words, in the blackest and coldest print—the love which he had hidden as if it were illicit and dangerous, he began to display, tentatively at first, and then boldly, and then proudly.”
John Williams, Stoner


Novels Posted on Thu, December 05, 2019 08:53

More news:

At the last meeting we decided on our reading to March next year, so make a note of dates and titles….

January 8th 2020

Coup de Coeur
(A book of your choice that you wish to share with us all) (le livre de votre choice pour partager avec nous )

February 12th 2020

The Noise of Time by Julian Barnes – Lefracas du temps

March 11th 2020

Love is Blind by William Boyd – l’Amour est Aveugle

La Saison des feux

Novels Posted on Thu, December 05, 2019 08:46

Compte Rendu sur Little Fires Everywhere:

Généralement bien reçu par tous et merci à tous ceux qui m’ont envoyé ou commenté leurs commentaires.

Certains d’entre vous ont pensé que ce n’était pas très bien écrit, d’autres l’ont pensé !!! Vous avez tous admiré la façon dont Celeste Ng a géré l’intrigue avec ses rebondissements. C’était une page tournante pour certains, mais pas fini par d’autres. Nous avons tous convenu que les principaux problèmes étaient la maternité, les adoptions, la maternité de substitution, l’avortement, la dépression postnatale, la création de liens ou non avec l’enfant. Mère biologique par opposition à la mère adoptive, race et comment la race nous définit-elle en tant que personne, pouvons-nous amener un enfant dans une culture différente sans penser à son héritage? Une belle histoire, mais des faiblesses dans le fait que vous pensiez tous que c’était un “livre commercial”, des personnages trop archétypaux pour être vrais. Un peu comme regarder la télévision américaine, deux classes sociales, les WASP parfaits à Shaker Heights et les “autres” à Lower Shaker Heights. Un livre de “teenage angst”. Le travail d’Elena Richardson en tant que détective qui a retracé l’histoire de Mia n’a pas été apprécié et apprécié de la même manière, car c’était encore une fois, un peu trop prévisible.

Dans l’ensemble, nous avons principalement trouvé un livre qui nous donnait beaucoup à discuter et décrivait bien les relations entre mères et enfants. Les personnages ni bons ni mauvais, ce qui les a rendus «humains»….

«Des moments touchants et des moments poignants», l’un de vous a aimé ceci: «Le fait que May Ling n’ait pas pleuré quand Bebe Chow, désormais une étrangère, l’a emmenée avec le dernier réveil d’Elena Richardson lorsqu’elle s’est rendu compte qu’elle l’avait fait. comprendre Izzy. L’enfant qu’elle pensait être son opposé avait en fait hérité et nourri l’étincelle que sa mère avait depuis longtemps tassée.

Encore une fois, j’espère avoir rendu justice à vos commentaires et à vos points de vue. J’ai probablement laissé beaucoup, mais une courte compétition a rendu ce papillon de nuit pour une raison quelconque, mais un livre avec beaucoup à discuter et à réfléchir.

July’s meeting and details of August’s meeting

Novels Posted on Mon, July 22, 2019 14:18

My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier

We liked the novel, a page turner, and the discussion was interesting especially from the point of view of the final outcome. Was she a ‘poisoner’ or were the ‘men’ paranoid, one suffering a brain tumour and the other young, unsophisticated and naive. Phillip was shaped by Ambrose with no mother to guide or to influence him. Ambrose’s misanthropic lifestyle and Phillip’s very first memory of Tom Jackson the ‘murderer” hanging by the road, gave him the dark and gloomy side of his nature.

Well, you loved Daphne’s du Maurier’s descriptors of the Cornish countryside, the landscape, the sea, you could almost smell the scent of the flowers. You felt you were kept in suspense throughout the novel and it’s peculiar ‘Victorian’ ambience was enjoyed. The servants characters and relationships between master and servants was also liked.

What was Rachel playing at? Was she a mother, friend, lover or a fantastic actress? A book full of emotion, fear, obsession and jealously. Also avarice, greed and confusion. Did Phillip ignore the clues left by Ambrose? Did Rachel seduce him? There was no clue as to what Rachel thought, nothing was seen through her eyes.

You acknowledged that for a woman like Rachel who had had a difficult, had faced hardship in her younger life, using men to obtain money was her only option. Acquisitiveness was a means to bettering oneself there was no other way of making money.

Some of you felt the novel Rebecca had more suspense. The atmosphere of My Cousin Rachel was felt to be oppressive. Sometimes the story was dragged a little.

So the outcome: 5 of us found Rachel guilty of murdering Ambrose and trying to poison Phillip whilst three of us decided she was innocent. We decided that Phillip was definitely a ‘murderer’.

Meanwhile lots of other books to read by Daphne du Maurier and many written about her, biographies, etc. can be found written both in french and English.

August 14th is the date of our next meeting, and the book to read is:

Naufrages or Shipwrecks by Akira Yoshimura.

Janyvonne has kindly agreed to take the meeting which will probably be in Carine’s home as the Chateau may be closed in August. We will let you know.

list of books to December 2019

Novels Posted on Sat, April 06, 2019 18:15

May Collette le Chat/The Cat

June The Map the Territory/Le Carte et le Territoire Michael Houlebeque

July Daphne Du Maurier My Cousin Rachel/Ma cousine Rachel

August Akir Yoshimura Shipwrecks/


September Broken Glass/Vere Case

Alain Mabanckou

October Donal Ryan The Spinning Heart /Le Coeur qui tourne

November Celeste Ng Little fires Everywhere/Le Saison des Feux

December Alice Walker – The Colour Purple/La Couleur Pourpre

In a Nutshell

Novels Posted on Tue, January 22, 2019 08:40

Apres-midi des lectures – In A Nutshell by Ian McEwan

The dislikes were that it was repetitious and too long. Missed the some of the Shakespearian lines and alignments, ie to Hamlet, There were some very boring pages and it would have made a good short story. You had mixed feelings and were not sure if you liked it. It was verbose, and the author was listening to himself. A lot of ‘lyrical nonsense.’ The passage about the sea food was not liked, and totally ridiculous. The story a highly illogical concept! Not enjoyed because it was too sophisticated, snobbish, wine and food references ridiculous, ranting about the state of the world and listening to podcasts thought too absurd . You missed the Hamlet references. Elaborate and artificial with too much poetry.

On the whole it was enjoyed by over half the group. You said that there was suspense, it was a thriller, you needed to read to the end to find the outcome and most of you said that McEwan’s writing was brilliant. It was clever and funny, and a ‘page turner’. The concept , original, thought provoking and brilliant. It was based on the theme of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, but that was missed by most of us until we had read the reviews! The character of the brother in law or Beouf, and of course, lover, was thought to be delightfully obnoxious and villainous. with John the foetus’s father more complex and interesting. You were amused that the foetus already understands everything and speaks like a middle aged man who also tries to commit suicide as did Hamlet. The foetus loves his mother and obviously needs and relies on her. You liked the first and the last sentences ‘Here I am” and the last Chaos!!! The foetus discusses and rants about the state of the world, loves very, very good wine and food. You suggested that it was a viciously cruel novel. Some of you felt that it was the just the right length, the dialogues rich, and that McEwan was making fun of the satire of his own culture. Wine descriptions interesting. A story which makes you think and read twice by some of you. Ian McEwan at the ‘top of his game’ .and can do anything with language! We wondered how much we knew before our birth but this was not discussed in great length. The foetus’s listening and learning from ‘podcasts’ extraordinary, contrived but fun! You loved loved the description of the ‘awful house’. How could such a perfect person (Trudy) live in such a hovel? Most of you enjoyed the novel from beginning to end. You thought he was a learned foetus, and very sophisticated. You mentioned that you liked it when he said ‘Dear Father before you die’, and that in-spite of what he knew he still wanted to be part of ‘it’, his life to be. You thought his mother, Trudy, was unfeeling and with no love for him, but that she was the victim of the selfish Claude because of her sexual needs. Prey to Claude who only loves money, sex and wine. Of course Trudy and Claude cannot escape the baby is almost ready to be delivered! A clever and pessimistic story, but sad at the same time. Perhaps Trudy doesn’t really like Claude. Was her behaviour the effects of her hormones in pregnancy. John had really loved Trudy and his letter about his love for her was touching. You noticed that McEwan seems only to write about privileged, rich and successful people who live in central London!!!!

Hamlet dies, you hoped they lived.

There is a book by Carlos Fuentes’s, Christopher Unborn, book written similar concept, foetus speaking.

“Oh God, I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space–were it not that I have bad dreams.”

February’s book is The Plot Against America by Philip Roth and will meet on February 13th, The Chateau in Saujon, Salle Aramis.

2019 reading list to March

Novels Posted on Mon, November 26, 2018 08:06

Wednesday January 9th 2019: In a Nutshell by Ian McEwan

Wednesday February 13th 2019: The plot Against America….Le complot contre l’Amerique

Wednesday March 13th: Imperium by Christian Kracht

The Road Home by Rose Tremain

Novels Posted on Wed, October 03, 2018 15:16

On the whole the book was not really liked by everyone. Nearly everyone thought it was not as good as some of Rose Tremain’s other novels, i.e. Music and Silence.

You said: A Good story…too good to be true…good looking hero, hardworking, comes to London, makes good by hard work and enterprise. Learns by watching. Goes home to help his family and friends and then make good in home country (not actually given in the book, but could have been Poland, if you look at the acknowledgements). You felt that not many emigres have a path ‘strewn with roses’, with nothing too bad happening in between.

Story boring at first but becoming more interesting. All the characters were ‘positive’, lucky character, meeting positive people. Easy read. Situation of immigrants well described..

Not a book that will ‘remain’. Christie, a real Irishman, described well and liked. Hero not interested in anything but ‘work’. Not interested in ‘culture’….? You wondered where he would find the time, he was working extremely hard! Wondered what the people around him were thinking ….some of you liked the importance of food. You suggested that Lev was going through a mourning process.

Some of you said it was a ‘page turner’, raising ecological and political points. Hero, Lev, learned to survive without his family around. The point that he was a legal immigrant but perceived by the indigenes and by other immigrants as an illegal immigrant was interesting. You felt he was violent to Sophie but tried to control his feelings, ‘follow a good way’

Was communism still present in his country? Could it ever be eradicated. The village having to be submerged by the dam was mentioned, but this was also cited as having happened in capitalist countries too. An economic rather than communistic issue. Political! Raising issues on immigration, the hopes of immigrants and the feelings of the families left behind. A simple story, man making good with a happy ending. Life is never pure happiness. Hero was numerically adept…saving money. Interesting comments about immigrants from fellow immigrants. Vodka drinking surprised some.

Decently written, intriguing moments. Tchevi, boring and repetitive. Death of the old lady sad. Fabricated story in need of pruning, lacked subtlety. Sentimental. Ideal foreigner…, plodding story…not a page turner. Suggestion that Rose Remain was caught in trap of the Anglo Saxon writing workshops!

Suggested read Short History of Tractors-Ukrainian- Marina Lewycka


Hope this is an accurate summary of a book, which, as always, raised a lot of issues and gave us plenty to talk about.

Our next meeting is Wednesday 10th October, Salle Aramis, Le Chateau in Saujon at 2.30 and the book to have read (but do come along even if you haven’t read or finished the book) is The Lost City of Z by DavidGann, la Cite perdue de Z.

Reading to November

Novels Posted on Tue, May 22, 2018 18:06

July 11th
Not that Sort of Girl by Mary Wesley

Rose, holy-nitouche

8th August

Moon Palace by Paul Auster in French, translated by Christine le Boeuf
Moon Palace in English

September 12th
The Road Home by Rose Tremain

Retour au Pays

October 10th
The Lost City of Z by David Grann

November 14th
Vera by Carl Geary and Celine Leroy
Monpelier Parade

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