France & French Literature

Literature Reviews

Georges Simenon: Maigret: Collected Cases (Maigret Goes Home / Maigret in Montmartre / Maigret Has Scruples / Maigret in Society / Maigret Sets a Trap)

Radio dramatizations of five novels from various periods of the Maigret canon, originally published (in the order in which they appear in this collection) as L’affaire Saint-Fiacre Maigret au Picratt’s (also translated as Maigret at Picratt’s and Inspector Maigret and the Strangled Stripper) Les scrupules de Maigret Maigret et les vieillards (also translated as Maigret […]

Read More
Literature Reviews

Q1 / 2022 Reading Recap

Well, as it turned out 2022 began as 2021 had ended — all work and no play, albeit with the addition of a hospital detour to boot.  (Nothing serious, just way more painful and, all told, protracted, than it had any right to be.)  So I’m back to posting one summary post for the first […]

Read More
Literature Reviews

Agatha Christie: Death in the Clouds

Blurb: From seat No. 9, Hercule Poirot was ideally placed to observe his fellow air passengers on the short flight from Paris to London. Over to his right sat a pretty young woman, clearly infatuated with the man opposite; ahead, in seat No. 13, sat a countess with a poorly concealed cocaine habit; across the […]

Read More
Literature Reviews

Maurice Leblanc: Arsène Lupin

  Arsène Lupin: Gentleman cambrioleur (Gentleman Thief) The suave adventures of a gentleman rogue—a French Thomas Crown created by Maurice Leblanc during the early twentieth century, Arsène Lupin is a witty confidence man and burglar, the Sherlock Holmes of crime. The poor and innocent have nothing to fear from him; often they profit from his […]

Read More
Literature Reviews

James Baldwin: Giovanni’s Room

Blurb: When David meets the sensual Giovanni in a bohemian bar, he is swept into a passionate love affair. But his girlfriend’s return to Paris destroys everything. Unable to admit to the truth, David pretends the liaison never happened – while Giovanni’s life descends into tragedy. Intense.  Groundbreaking.  Heartbreaking.  What more is there to say?

Read More
Fun and Games Literature

Festive Tasks: Door 12, Task 2 – Snow Covers

Festive Tasks Master Update Post HERE   Task 2: Make us a collage or display of your favorite snowy book covers. Prepare to be snowed in …

Read More
Fun and Games Literature

Festive Tasks: Door 2, Task 4 – Six Degrees of Literation

Master Update Post HERE Task 4: Let’s play Six Degrees of Literation! Start with the book that you are reading right now and make a chain of six books, linked in however you want to link them, to one of the classic holiday reads mentioned in this Guardian article. My brain started going into nonstop […]

Read More
Literature Music Reviews

May 2021 Reading Recap

Still a lot of work on the back end of the blog, including on my “featured authors” pages (see the right column on the main Literature page and the introduction of my April 2021 recap post).  So, contrary to plans, still no new posts in my alphabet blogging series in May.  However, the time-consuming back end […]

Read More
Literature Reviews

Agatha Christie: The Mystery of the Blue Train

Agatha Christie hated this book.  While she was trying to write it, her little daughter kept distracting her and demanding her attention.  The plot is not an original idea but, for the first time (of what would eventually be multiple repeat occasions), she had chosen to expand an idea first used years earlier in a […]

Read More
Literature Reviews

Georges Simenon: Les vacances de Maigret (Maigret’s Holiday)

The Appointment with Agatha group’s May 2021 “side read” theme took us to France yet again, and who better to read in this context than Simenon?  Like Poirot in our main (Christie) read, Simenon’s commissaire Maigret has also taken himself to one of the country’s manifold vacation spots in this particular installment of the long-standing […]

Read More
Literature Reviews

Arthur Conan Doyle: Sir Nigel

I didn’t quite want to limit my “birthday boy” look at Arthur Conan Doyle’s work to the predictable Sherlock Holmes binge, so I decided to take a look at one of his historical novels in addition.  Well, I suppose I have to hand it to Sir Arthur for mastering, with panache, genres as diverse as […]

Read More
Literature Reviews

Val McDermid: Still Life

After Ann Cleeves’s Red Bones, another May 2021 armchair visit to Scotland; though this time to Edinburgh — with brief but significant excursions to the English Midlands, Ireland and Paris, that is.  (France yet again, too — after I had already read Agatha Christie’s Mystery of the Blue Train, Georges Simenon’s Maigret’s Holiday, and Arthur […]

Read More
Literature Reviews

Alexandre Dumas: Les trois mousquetaires (The Three Musketeers)

Look, here’s the deal: If you’ve formed your idea of this tale based on its numerous movie adaptations, and / or if you are expecting a saga of gloriously heroic derring-do, swashbuckling and romance, be warned: You’ll be sorely disappointed; maybe you’ll even end up hating the book, because what Dumas actually wrote has almost […]

Read More
Literature Reviews

January 2021 Reading Wrap-Up

I only finished eleven books in January, which isn’t a lot by my standards as of the last couple of years, even taking into account that two of the books were decidedly on the long side (all the more as I balanced out the two long books by two extremely short ones).  But I decided […]

Read More
Blog Literature

2020 in Facts and Figures

I already posted my main 2020 in Review and Looking Ahead to 2021 posts a while ago — only on my new blog (separate post to come) –, but I held back on my 2020 reading statistics until the year was well and truly over.  And for all my good intentions when posting my mid-year […]

Read More
Fun and Games Lifestyle

Corsica

24 Festive Tasks: Door 5 – Bon Om Touk, Task 2: Post a picture from your most recent or favorite vacation on the sea (or a lake, river, or any other body of water larger than a puddle), or if you’re living on the sea or on a lake or a river, post a picture […]

Read More
Fun and Games Literature

Agatha Christie: Murder on the Links

24 Festive Tasks: Door 19 – Hanukkah, Book: Read a book about light, miracles, featuring Jewish characters, set in Israel, that is the second book in a series, with the word “two” in the title, or with a light on the cover.   I’m using Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Links, which I revisited yesterday […]

Read More
Fun and Games Linked Items Literature Reviews

Book Characters Turning Over a New Leaf

24 Festive Tasks: Door 4 – Japanese Culture Day, Task 2: Japanese Culture Day was first held in 1948, to commemorate the announcement of the country’s post-war constitution on November 3, 1946, which was to make a new start for Japan.  Which book did you read this year where someone was searching for or starting […]

Read More
Fun and Games Literature Reviews

Patricia Highsmith: Ripley Under Ground

This year’s Halloween Bingo buddy read — thanks again to Christine, BrokenTune and Lillelara for the fun of reading this book together!  Somehow, that seems to be the way Patricia Highsmith’s books are enjoyed best … Though I have to say, while I struggled with Strangers on a Train, I’m getting a complete and total […]

Read More
Cats Fun and Games Literature Reviews

Halloween Bingo 2020: The Rest of the Game and Wrap-Up

Sooo, that’s another bingo game behind us already!  Many thanks to our game hosts for successfully moving the game from BookLikes to a new venue and organizing one heck of a game despite that venue’s built-in limitations.  I had a great time and would only have wished I could have participated more throughout the game […]

Read More