Home > Book Club > Book Club Les copines d’abord

Book Club Les copines d’abord

In France, book clubs and reading groups are mostly for retirees and actually, that’s what they want as members since they usually meet during working hours, preventing any younger participant to join them. Book blogging taught me that reading was not necessarily a solitary activity and I really enjoy sharing thoughts about a book I’ve just read.

In my flesh-and-blood life, I have two girl-friends who enjoy reading as much as I do. We’ve decided to be our own reading group. We have chosen 11 books, one per month from September 2011 to July 2012. We’ll meet to discuss the book of the month and I’ll post about it. We don’t know yet if our schedules will allow us to keep up with our program but we’re willing to try.



Here are the books we have chosen month by month.



French Title

English Title

September F-S Fitzgerald L’étrange histoire de Benjamin Button The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
October Paola Calvetti L’amour commence à la lettre A P.O. Box Love. A Novel Of Letters. (To be published in January 2012)
November Romain Gary Gros Câlin Not translated into English, I think.
December Muriel Spark Les belles années de Mlle Brodie The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie
January Siri Hustvedt L’envoutement de Lily Dahl The Enchantment of Lily Dahl : A Novel
February Colette Le blé en herbe Not translated into English, I think
March Emile Zola La Curée The Kill
April Tracy Chevalier Prodigieuses créatures Remarkable Creatures
May Anne Cherian Une bonne épouse indienne A Good Indian Wife: a Novel
June Haruki Murakami La ballade de l’impossible Norwegian Wood
July Philip Roth Exit le fantôme Exit Ghost

 If you want to read (or re-read) some of the books along with us, it’ll be lovely. We’ll be happy to hear your thoughts.  The list will always be available in the widget BookClub and I’ll update a widget Les Copines d’abord Readalong with the current book and the post deadline. I’ll review The Curious Case of Benjamin Button on September 1st

PS: About the name “Les Copines d’abord”. French readers will recognise the feminine form of the famous song “Les copains d’abord” by Georges Brassens. For non-French readers, it’s a beautiful song about friendship, something important to me.

PPS : Despite the group’s name, it is not a female reading group and male readers are equally welcome.

Categories: Book Club Tags: ,
  1. August 3, 2011 at 9:12 pm

    Well you know my feelings about Zola. I think the IDEA of a book club (the traditional sort) is good, but for the people I know who are actually IN book clubs, the reality is often disappointing. One person I know says that the books selected tend to be a consensus vote, so the riskier books are put aside. See I wouldn’t like that. But if you have friends that have similar tastes, I can see that working.


    • August 3, 2011 at 9:24 pm

      I proposed the Zola after your review.
      We’re only 3, with similar tastes and it’s a try. A choice is always a consensus or someone is imposing their views. We have chosen small books, to meet the deadlines and it should be funny girls’ nights.


  2. August 3, 2011 at 9:21 pm

    A book group is a great idea – as long as the others in the group are like-minded people. I used to be in a book group where we took turns choosing books, and the choices were wide-ranging and adventurous, ranging from contemporary authors to Isaac Babel to Molière to Sigmund Freud. We used to meet for in the evening evening every few weeks in a London pub to discuss the latest book we’d read, and the alcohol greatly aided our loquacity on those occasions. Sadly, many of us moved, and we ended up being too far apart for the thing to continue.

    I’d be interested in reading at least one of the titles on your list – perhaps the Zola. The only title i have read from that list is “The Prime of Miss Jean brodie”.


    • August 3, 2011 at 9:26 pm

      It will be a pleasure to have you with us. Feel free to join any time you’re interested in a book.
      (btw: have you seen the comment I got on the Tagore post today?)


  3. August 4, 2011 at 5:25 am

    Colette has been translated. I have read most of the books on your list and some like that Fitzgerald and Roth wouldn’t tempt me at all but I’m interested in Calvetti’s book.
    I would not be able to join a book club in which someone else chooses the books I’m afraid or in which there is a vote. Spark, Hustvedt and Colette are great. Especially Hustvedt who is one of my favourite writers.


    • August 4, 2011 at 6:51 am

      Do you know the English title of Le Blé en herbe? Usually Wikipedia and online bookstores are enough to find the title of a book but here I couldn’t find it.
      I’m looking forward to the Calvetti. I’m expecting a Pancol book. It’s epistolary and about a book lover. I hope I won’t be disappointed. (it’s a 10:18 edition.Usually it’s good) That will be great if you read it along with us.
      I loved the Roth I’ve read so far. (3) I’ve never read Hustvedt and I think I’ll like her.
      None of the books were imposed on me. We were only 3 to choose and I have enough books on my TBR to propose a wide range of possibilities. We’ll see how it works, no pressure.


    • August 4, 2011 at 6:58 am

      How was Remarkable Creatures?


  4. August 4, 2011 at 5:55 pm

    That’s is one I haven’t read yet but I think Danielle liked it a lot. I actually liked Girl with a Pearl Earring. The problem is I have one or two others of her books and try not to add more to the pile.


  5. August 4, 2011 at 5:57 pm

    Le blé en herbe is called The Ripening Seed, I think.


    • August 6, 2011 at 7:18 am

      Thank. I’ll look for it. Usually they give the English title of a book on Wikipedia when it has been translated


  6. August 10, 2011 at 8:59 pm

    Good luck with this project. Choosing a list of great books is a promising start.

    I attend a book group affiliated with the library. Our choices are therefore constrained and with circa twenty members there would never be a concensus of opinion anyway. The upside of the large group is that I can drop out of any really dire books without feeling guilty.

    OK. I admit it. I’m envious. Have fun!


    • August 10, 2011 at 9:17 pm

      Thanks. Join us whenever you want if a title tempts you.


  7. August 20, 2011 at 10:54 am

    Thanks to share with me… your impressions when you’ve finished my book.
    And most of all thanks for reading it…
    Paola Calvetti


    • August 20, 2011 at 9:47 pm

      Thank you for visiting.
      I’m looking forward to reading your book. (I would have taken it on holdiday if it hadn’t been on the “experimental book club list”)


  1. October 12, 2011 at 3:48 pm
  2. April 26, 2012 at 12:13 am

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