Pour les anglophones

You are a foreign student, you know someone who strongly dislikes translations or you just want to convey a message (« improve your english ») to a friend of yours? This selection is for you!

An abundance of Katherines

An abundance of Katherines tells the story of Colin Singleton, who is – like most main characters in John Green’s novels – both deliciously peculiar and strangely close to us. After the ninetieth Katherine of his life dumped him, this anagram-lover, former child prodigy is led by his best friend on a road trip miles from home. From then on, his mission is to prove the Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability – a theorem that would predict the ending of any relationship knowing the characteristics of the two lovers – and thus to prove everyone, and above all himself, that he is a true genius.

Like every John Green novel, An Abundance of Katherines is a beautiful story of learning, love and friendship. But what makes this novel so special is the accumulation of small details, like the footnotes on Colin’s anagrams, his impressive knowledge, or the sort of relationship he shares with his best friend Hassan (I will only say “Dingleberries”, and if you want to know more about it, I can only recommend reading the book). Both very funny and poignant, this novel makes for a great reading, and will leave you smiling, and perhaps for a brief moment with a different outlook on life.

Buy it in VO bookshops (here for example in Lille), or on the internet, here for example.

Another country.jpg

Difficile à trouver dans sa traduction française, Another country ravira vos proches qui ne jurent que par la VO.

“You don’t know, and there’s no way in the world for you to find out, what it’s like to be a black girl in this world, and the way white men, and black men, too, baby, treat you.”

Deux parties distinctes forment ce roman. La première est centrée autour du personnage de Rufus Scott, un musicien de jazz noir vivant dans le New York des années 1950, période charnière dans l’histoire de la ségrégation raciale aux Etats Unis. Après une sortie tragique de celui-ci, la seconde partie met en scène son entourage, un ensemble d’artistes en quête de sens, d’amour et d’appartenance qui luttent avec leurs préjugés sur les questions de race et de sexualité.

Le traitement des personnages est particulièrement important chez Baldwin qui rend brillamment la complexité des hommes et femmes de son récit. Quelle que soit notre genre ou notre histoire, on ne peut s’empêcher de trouver une part de nous-même en Rufus, Vivaldo, Cass ou Eric.

Buy it in VO bookshops (here for example in Lille), or on the internet, here for example.

Gone girl

One of the New York Times bestsellers, brilliantly adapted for the screen by David Fincher, Gone Girl is undoubtedly a masterpiece.

Amy and Nick are to all appearances one of those perfect couples people admire. Yet, when Amy mysteriously disappears on the day of their fifth wedding anniversary, lies and betrayals resurface, making it all look like an illusion. Soon, as more and more details about the couple are exposed, evidence seem to point at Nick as the number one suspect. But is he really a killer ? Isn’t there more than meets the eye ?

Gone Girl is an extremely ingenious psychological thriller, a page-turner that  keeps the reader breathless all along.

Buy it in VO bookshops (here for example in Lille), or on the internet, here for example.

Seriously I'm kidding

DeGeneres’ third book is all you’ll want for Christmas: lively, hilarious, and so true. It will make you smile, laugh and cry so hard it’ll hurt. Because, she’s seriously kidding, and it’s seriously funny!

What’s more you can find it as an audio book: you can actually hear Ellen read it to you, isn’t that great? You’ll be able to enjoy your own private little Ellen Show!

You’ll learn so many life-changing lessons; you won’t believe your eyes (or ears if you buy the audio book). For instance, did you know that “leaning forward in your chair when someone is trying to squeeze behind you isn’t enough. You also have to move your chair”? I mean nobody ever told me that!

So don’t turn down an effortlessly fun read and pick it up right now!

Buy it in VO bookshops (here for example in Lille), or on the internet, here for example.

The girl on the train

“I can’t do this, I can’t just be a wife. I don’t understand how anyone does it—there is literally nothing to do but wait. Wait for a man to come home and love you. Either that or look around for something to distract you.”

The Girl on the Train is a beautifully written thriller. Paula Hawkins wonderfully uses her journalistic skills. Indeed, she plays with the readers’ mind juggling with perspectives and timescales. The narrative is skillfully split between three women whose lives intertwine tragically: Rachel (aka the girl on the train), Megan and Anna.

Yet, Hawkins manages to keep us in the dark until the very end. As such, you’ll find yourself caught up in this mysterious novel, never wanting to put it down. A real page-turner!

(Movie adaptation expected in 2016)

Buy it in VO bookshops (here for example in Lille), or on the internet, here for example.

Books recommended by Noémie, Marie, Lisa and Charlotte.