Books on France 2014 Reading Challenge

Words and Peace is having a Books on France 2014 Reading Challenge.  Since I am going through the Rougon-Macquart series by Emilé Zola, this will be an easy challenge for me.

The rules for this challenge are:

Any book related to France

  • it can be set in France
  • written by a French author
  • written in French, by authors from any country
  • about a French theme: French cuisine, French fashion, etc.
  • it can be a book counted for another challenge

All genres are accepted
All media is accepted

LEVEL 1: “un peu” = 3 books

LEVEL 2: “beaucoup” = 6 books
LEVEL 3: “passionément = 12 books
LEVEL 4: “doublement passionément” = 24 books
LEVEL 5: “a la foile” = 52 books

Please see her post for details about a special giveaway!

I will go for LEVEL 1, because I’m not sure if I will make LEVEL 2 but I will give it a try.

1.  Son Excellence, Eugène Rougon – Émile Zola

2.  Candide – Voltaire

3.  Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert

4.  La Curée – Émile Zola

5.  La Parure (The Necklace) – Guy de Maupassant (en français)

In addition to Zola, I am going to try to read at least one book in French in 2014, possibly two.  Sadly I am going to make them children’s books, because my French needs serious review.  My choices are:


Bonne chance!

15 thoughts on “Books on France 2014 Reading Challenge

  1. So so cool you're reading Zola in the original French. Heartily jealous! Good luck, and I'm looking forward to see what you make on His Excellency. I read a bad translation so I wasn't terribly keen on it – I'll be interested to see if you enjoy it in French. 🙂

  2. One day I would like to read Gone With the Wind in French. My own French is quite rusty at this point, but I'm able to read the French passages in War & Peace and Villette and have a basic understanding of what it says. Which excites me! 🙂 I own Pride & Prejudice in French, but I've only read the first couple paragraphs. 😛

  3. Wow, you've added quite a few challenges for 2014! I'm feeling utterly unambitious by comparison. I look forward to your thoughts on the Zola–I've only become aware of his books in the past year or so, and everything I've read makes me want to try him out. Eventually!

    Good luck with the children's books. I'd really like to read some books in Spanish and Italian (the two non-English languages I know a bit of), and I'm sure I'll have to start with children's books as well if I'm ever to get anywhere. But at least children's books can be fun. Enjoy!

  4. Oops, I should have put "in addition to Zola in English"! I could attempt it in French but it would probably take me about 4 months to get through. If I want to read at a reasonable speed in French I have to stick to children's books. But who knows …… if I can start to read regularly in French, perhaps I can try a Zola in its original language one day! I always experience a low level of frustration when I can't read books in their original form. But not all of us can be polyglots, right?

    I'll let you know what I think of Eugene. So far I am enjoying the politics of the capital but I am only starting chapter 3.

  5. You sound like you're more proficient than me, Mabel. And very ambitious to think of tackling the classics in French.

    I love the language but the French just love their verbs and I feel like there is a never-ending list that I must learn. The two children's French books that I listed are considered classics so I'm quite excited to start them.

  6. Yes, and I even have at least one more challenge to add, but I'm very crafty and make sure books will overlap and that I choose the lower levels on challenges, so it's not as impressive (or insane) at it looks! 😉

    Spanish and Italian?! That's great! I wish I knew Italian. And my Spanish, which used to be quite good, is very rusty at the moment, but I figure I need to concentrate on one language at a time. I agree …… children's books are the way to go!

  7. Sadly, yes. I have splurged and ordered the Brian Nelson translation for the next one La Cureé. I'm trying not to buy any more books but I just have to compare the two translations to see the differences. The problem is that if I far prefer his translation to Vizetelly's, it will be financially dangerous. :-Z

  8. I would suggest Dans l'ombre de la lumière (Claude Pujade-Renaud, 2013) as one of the books for a French Challenge. It centers around St. Augustine and hs concubine, Elissa. The style is a simple first person narrative which makes the sentences nice and short, but full of feelings/emotions. I mention it because you just read St. Augustine's Confessions.

  9. Oh, how interesting! On one hand I'm tempted to read it, but if he characterizes Augustine in a different way than his biography, it may really bother me. Although even from Augustine, we know nothing of his perceptions before his conversion, only his thoughts looking back, so perhaps that's enough distance to give a writer leeway with the story. I'll check it out. Thanks, Nancy!

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