France & French Literature

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The History Blog: Merovingian-era settlement excavated in France

Tuesday, October 13th, 2020; 10:54 PM Archaeologists have unearthed a full Merovingian settlement complete with church and burial ground in Pontarlier, eastern France. Grave goods including weapons and jewelry indicate the settlement was a prosperous one, not a sleepy pastoral village. It was strategically located near the village of Pontarlier, formerly the ancient waystation of […]

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2020 Mid-Year Reading Review and Statistics

What with the pandemic still very much ongoing, BL acting up again, MR’s and Char’s resulting posts re: BookLikes, the BL experience, and moving back to Goodreads, this feels like a somewhat odd moment to post my half-yearly reading stats.  I hope it won’t be the last time on this site, but I fear that […]

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2019: The Books I’ve Been Most Thankful For

24 Festive Tasks: Door 11 – Thanksgiving: Task 2 With another full month to go in the year, it may be a bit early to do this task, but a substantial number of the books I’m going to be reading in December will be Christmas rereads, so here we go. The books / authors I […]

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Halloween Bingo 2019: Tracking Post — Blackout! (And bingos Nos. 12 and 13.)

  Many thanks to Moonlight Reader and Obsidian Blue for hosting this game for the fourth year in a row, bigger and better than ever before! Witih today’s call, I’ve blacked out my card, in addition to collecting my final bingos (nos. 12 and 13). Somewhat to my surprise, after completing my books for my […]

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Halloween Bingo 2019: Eighteenth and Nineteenth Extra Square – Magical Realism & Darkest London

    Original post: ThemisAthena.booklikes.com/post/1972804/halloween-bingo-2019-eighteenth-and-nineteenth-extra-square

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Halloween Bingo 2019: Thirteenth Extra Square – Free (Raven / Poe) Square

Well, as it turns out I’m halfway through another bingo card with the extra squares, so I may as well try and see whether I’ll get it together until the end of the month.  So that means another Raven square … for which this entertaining Golden Age mystery radio anthology seems like just the thing. […]

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Joan D. Vinge: Ladyhawke

I’d been planning to only get to this one after Lehane’s The Given Day, but I couldn’t sleep last night and there it was right next to my bed … and a few hours later I’d finished the whole thing; so here we are.  (In my defense: It’s a movie novelization, so it’s not that […]

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Halloween Bingo 2019: Tenth Extra Square – Shifters

I’d been planning to only get to this one after Lehane’s The Given Day, but I couldn’t sleep last night and there it was right next to my bed … and a few hours later I’d finished the whole thing; so here we are.  (In my defense: It’s a movie novelization, so it’s not that […]

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Tom Reiss: The Black Count

This is a highly fascinating biography: We’ve come to think of Alexandre Dumas père and fils as the two writers, but did you know that Dumas père’s father (also called Alexandre) — the son of a black Haitian slave and a French count — was a general in the French revolutionary army and, in his […]

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Halloween Bingo 2019 PreParty — Question for 08/09 (Day 9): Book Suggestions for the New Squares? Part 1: “Paint It Black”

Today’s prompt is for favorite horror reads; that not being much of my thing (outside, perhaps, the gothic classics and anything more edifying or funny rather than scary), I think I’m going to leave that prompt to Char, Bark’s Books (aka Bark at the Ghouls), and the site’s other horror fans.  Instead, I’m going to […]

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Halloween Bingo 2019 PreParty — Question for 08/03 (Day 3): Favorite Ghostly Tales?

      As I said in my first pre-party post, I’m not much of a horror reader, and the ghost stories I like almost all either feature a ghost who is the author’s messenger for some larger point, or they’re chiefly characters who have had such an impact on another character’s life, or on […]

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Halloween Bingo 2019 PreParty — Question for 08/02 (Day 2): Vampires, Werewolves, Zombies or Other?

Witches. One of my very first literary heroine was a little witch who manages to get the better of all the bigger, older witches after having been put down by them — the heroine of Otfried Preußler’s Little Witch.  (In fact, I loved that book enough to write my very first fan letter to the […]

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Halloween Bingo 2019 PreParty — Question for 08/01 (Day 1): Mystery or Horror?

  Mystery, definitely. For one thing, I’m a total chicken — I can’t look at blood (not even, or rather, especially not my own, e.g. in medical procedures); and anything shocking, spooky, or otherwise unnaturally unsettling just has me running for the rafters.  That’s particularly true at night — which is when I’m doing a […]

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Crowdsourced: More Books with a Difference — Fiction

You asked, Moonlight Reader?  To quote from one of my additional entries below:  “As you wish …” Without any further ado: Hilary Mantel: Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies When Lillelara added A Place of Greater Safety to her list, I could have kicked myself —  because Hilary Mantel’s Cromwell books were definitely among […]

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Emmuska Orczy: The Scarlet Pimpernel

“They seek him here, they seek him there …” Oh, what a glorious prelude to the 2018 Summer of Spies. Maybe not a “spy” novel in a narrower sense, but writing in 1902 and leagues ahead of her time, Orczy created the first book of what would become a series of perfect swashbucklers, starring a […]

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16 Tasks of the Festive Season: Square 12 – Saturnalia

  Tasks for Saturnalia: Wear a mask, take a picture and post it. Leave a small gift for someone you know anonymously – a small bit of chocolate or apple, a funny poem or joke. Tell us about it in a post. –OR– Tell us: If you could time-travel back to ancient Rome, where would […]

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Georges Simenon: Pietre le Letton (Pietr the Latvian)

Mind Games Oh boy.  This is the first of the 70+ Maigret novels that Georges Simenon published over the course of 40 years, beginning in 1931, and it’s perhaps a sign of just how far crime writing has evolved since then that this book was published (in serialized form initially) “as is”: I’m willing to […]

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Edgar Allan Poe: The Dupin Stories — The Murders in the Rue Morgue / The Mystery of Marie Rogêt / The Purloined Letter

I already knew these stories and chiefly bought this CD for Kerry Shale’s narration: Ever since I first listenend to his audio versions of Christopher Paolini’s Inheritance cycle, I’ve been on the lookout for further recordings featuring him. Edgar Allan Poe is credited with having created the first professional detective in C. Auguste Dupin — […]

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The Twelve Tasks of the Festive Season — Grand Finale and BLACKOUT!

Snow Globes: Reads Bells: Activities I intend to also read a book for the Kwanzaa square and try to get as many of my as-yet missing activities done (Holiday Down Under, Movie Ticket, and Holiday Party), but since completing either activities or reads qualifies for completing a square, as far as the game itself is […]

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Tania (Karen) Blixen: Babette’s Feast

  The Twelve Tasks of the Festive Season — Task the Second: The Silent Nights: – Read a book set in one of the Nordic countries (Sweden, Norway, Finland, Iceland and/or Denmark), where winter nights are long! Inspired by Lillelara’s advice to Olga Godim, I changed plans on this one and revisited Babette’s Feast, Tania […]

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