This And That

What’s on my shelves ?


Hi guys !

Sorry for not having been more present here these last two weeks, I had been quite busy between various nights out and a little trip to Cyprus. I didn’t read as much as I wish I had either, unfortunately. This is why I am back here for a little article which, I hope, will inspire you but also motivate me to take time to read the books I want to read.

I am here to present you the books that are on my “to read” shelves and that I hope I will be reading this month!

1) Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

Ok, I admit that I am a bit cheating here because this is the novel I am actually reading at the moment. I have been reading this huge epic novel for quite a long time but this is a very long and complex novel that actually requires time to read. But do not be mistaken, this is a great reading! It is one of the most gripping and interesting novels I have read in months and you can definitely expect a review here soon. To give you a foretaste, here is a very little synopsis: Middlesex is the story of a Greek-American family that spans more than half a century, from 1920’s Greece to the end of the 20th century United States. This funny and disturbing family history is told by Calliope, youngest descendant of the Stephanides family, who was raised like a girl but became a boy before her sixteenth birthday.

2) On the Road by Jack Kerouac

We’ve all heard about this novel, the Beat Generation and so on. I’m not going to summarize anything here because I am pretty sure the title is perfectly representative of the book. The reason why I bought this book is not because it is considered as a contemporary classic. I bought it on my boss’s advice, because he told me that this book changed his life and that it was also probably going to change mine. It is apparently the kind of life-changing books thanks to which you make radical decisions like quitting your job. And, according to my boss, you must read this book before turning 25. Therefore, it’s now or never that I have to read this book!

3) The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber

In addition to its stunningly beautiful cover, this novel is a little favourite of Jen Campbell’s, and this was enough to convince me to buy it. As I don’t know much about its plot, I will just copy and paste the back cover’s blurb, which gives a little insight of the book and which I find very poetic:

Peter Leigh is called on a journey of a lifetime, a highly unusual humanitarian mission into deep space. One that will take him light-years from his beloved wife, Bea.
As Peter pushes against his own limits, word reaches him that Bea’s world back home is falling apart. Faber’s novel asks how love might survive such distance.

4) Tess of the d’Ubervilles by Thomas Hardy

This is a book I bought one and a half years ago from the English-language Library in Angers during a yard sale. I got it for maybe 2€ and I think this is the only novel that actually really tempted me from the collection. And as I still haven’t read it, I decided that this month was finally the month I will read this book. I have always wanted to read Thomas Hardy because his novels have become classics but, as all great classics, they were considered as very irreverent and submissive when they were released. Tess of the d’Ubervilles seems to contain all the ingredients of a good classic (and the blurb of the back cover actually made me think of Emma Bovary by Flaubert, but in darker and more rock’n’roll, if I may say): a beautiful country-girl seduce by another man and abandoned by her husband on her wedding night because of that, at least one murder etc. etc.

5) Vol de Sucettes and Recel de bâtons by Vincent Ravalec

You got it, these are French books you have probably never heard about. These short story collections were published by Le Dilettante and they are among the ones I picked up from the stock while I was interning for this wonderful independent publishing house. I do not believe that Vincent Ravalec’s books were translated into English but this writer became quite “big” in France after having first been published by Le Dilettante, as many of his following books were published by Flammarion, one of the biggest French publishing companies. I am more of a novel reader but I also enjoy reading short stories from time to time so I’m quite excited to discover the world of these short stories.

I hope you liked this article and that my readings will give me the opportunity to tell you more about these books later in the month. I would be interested to know which books you intend to read soon, so please let me know about that in the comments!

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