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Showing posts from July, 2020

Falling for Provence by Paulita Kincer

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I have followed   An Accidental Blog   by Paulita Kincer for some time. Always impressive when people really change their lives. Paulita and her husband sold what they had in the US and moved to France to fulfill a long-time dream. It has been interesting to follow in their footsteps. Paulita has written a new book,  Falling for Provence, which I got the opportunity to read for an impartial review. It is the second book about Fia Jennings but can be read without having read the first one. You get hints of earlier adventures throughout the novel.  I had imagined a non-fiction book about her and her husband's life in France. I was as far off as I could be. This is a romantic and suspense fiction novel. As you enter the story you arrive at a wonderful B&B in Provence. Fia Jennings is helping her aunt and uncle to care for the business, at the same time caring for her teenage twins. When Ali, an attractive professor checks in to the B&B Fia cannot help hoping for a few days of

Paris in July 2020 - Time is a Killer (Le temps est assassin) by Michel Bussi

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Paris in July 2020 is hosted by Tamara at Thyme for Tea . Here we are sharing our love for everything Parisian and French. I am here with another review of a book from a favourite thriller writer, Michel Bussi. His stories are not like the average mystery/thriller. His characters are ordinary people, and it takes some time before you realise that there actually is a murder mystery. The murder(s) enter the story very discreetly, and as you go along you understand that all is not what it seems to be.  "In the summer of 2016, Clotilde is spending her vacation in Corsica with her husband Franck and her teenage daughter Valentine. It is the first time she has been back to the island since the car accident in which her parents and her brother were killed decades earlier. She was in the car too, but miraculously escaped with her life. This return plunges Clotilde back into the deepest recesses of her adolescence. She reacquaints herself with her paternal grandparents, Lisabetta and Cassa

Paris in July 2020 - This Poision Will Remain by Fred Vargas

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Paris in July 2020 is hosted by Tamara at Thyme for Tea.  Going into week 4 we enjoy sharing our love for everything Parisian and French. My contribution this week is about one of my favourite French police thriller writers. Fred Vargas is the pseudonym of Frédérique Audoin-Rouzeau. She is a historian, archaeologist and novelist. As the two first professions, she is best known for a book about the Black Death. Her main writing these days are those of the police thrillers; three books about  The Three Evangelists, and the books about Chief Inspector Adamsberg. This is a book about the latter.  Vargas combines her interests in history and archaeology and her stories, and crimes, are often based on academic themes. Often history, but in this book, she ventures into science. Namely, into the life and deeds of a spider; Loxosceles reclusa. When a number of older people are dying from a bite from this spider, Adamsberg and his team are getting suspicious. Usually, the bite of the spider does

Fifty Plants that Changed the Course of History

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On Tuesday, I visited an old castle from the 16th century. It is called Glimmingehus and is the best-preserved Medieval building in the Nordic countries. Look out for a post about the visit on  The Content Reader Goes Outdoor   next week .  Visiting places, I enjoy looking in the museum shops. Here they had a nice mix of books and this one caught my eye and imagination.  It is about plants and their origins, their stories, and how they have played a central role for man in the development of modern society. The stories of the plants merge into economy, politics, and agriculture. Some of them are well-known, others not so much. Looking forward to seeing how these plants have shaped our society. 

Die Manns (The Mann Family) by Tilmann Lahme

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One of my favourite books is Buddenbrooks  by Thomas Mann. It was Thomas Mann's first novel and it was published in 1901. It gave him the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1929. Tilmann Lahme's biography of the Mann family is an interesting account of a family where the author rose above everyone else. Thomas Mann was born in 1875, but the biography starts in 1922 when he was already an established writer with part of his production behind him. It covers the years in Germany, the exile years during World War II (France, Switzerland, and the USA), the peace years, and the final years in Switzerland.  The Manns was a troubled family. The mother Katia, took care of the family and the business that was Thomas Mann. They had six children; Klaus, Erika, Golo, Monika, Elisabeth och Michael. The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reviewed the book and this extract says it all. " Each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way, says Tolstoy. One should read this book to  understand the meanin

Paris in July - French movies

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Paris in July, hosted by Tamara at Thyme for Tea . Everything French and Paris is interesting for this group of bloggers. I wanted to watch a French film, but have not yet got through D'après une histories vraie (Based on a True Story).  In the meantime, I wanted to recommend a couple of other French films that I love. I really enjoyed   Coco Avant Chanel ( Coco Before Chanel), about the French fashion icon. This is her story before she got famous. It is beautifully filmed and shows a woman determined to make something of herself and her talent. Audrey Tautou makes an excellent performance as Coco.  Another French icon is Colette. Keira Knightley plays Colette in the film with the same name. It is the story of how she became a successful writer, and the obstacles she faced on the way. For a long time, she had to publish her books under the name of her husband.  Both films highlight strong women who had to fight hard to make it in a men's world. I found both films very interest

Paris in July - A Magical Room by Ingrid Svensson, part II

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Paris in July, hosted by Tamara at Thyme for Tea . Head back to her page to see posts from participants in this annual challenge. I continue from my last post about two other literary salon hostesses in 1920s Paris; Adrienne Monnier and Sylvia Beach. Adrienne Monnier had no connections to the literary world when she opened her book shop on 7, rue de l'Odéon in 1915.  Her mother encouraged her to read and her father provided financial support.  Reading was not her only interest, she also enjoyed theatre and music. Debussy became a favourite.  The area where she opened her shop was not so exclusive then as it is today. It was, at the time, home to bohemian students who needed cheap housing. Her bookshop, La Maison des Amis des Livres,  was surrounded by shops, a theatre and cafés and people soon found their way there. From 1921 Sylvia Beach opened her shop on the other side of the street. " The researcher Laure Murat is speaking about rue de l'Odéon as the Atlantic, a trans

A Magical Room, Saloons in 1920s Paris by Ingrid Svensson

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Better late than never as they say. This post was supposed to go up last year. At a museum in Sweden I found a book about 1920s saloons in Paris. Very interesting and it generated the post:  Paris in July - French Saloons.    As promised then, here is the first of two posts about four of the main hostesses.  Still picking from the "Magical Rom" and events from Paris in the 1920s. There were four main characters who put their mark on the literary scene of the time; Gertrude Stein, Natalie Clifford Barney, Adrienne Monnier, and Sylvia Beach. For most of you, they are already well known. These ladies had one thing in common, as well as many of the women holding salons, in that they were all lesbians. This was maybe one reason why they ended up in Paris, being more liberal (although you had to be discreet) than many other countries, and the US specifically. They were very creative and talented and did a lot for the cultural scene in Paris, introducing new talents and helping them