Home > Humbook, Personal Posts > Joyeux Noël and Happy Humbook!

Joyeux Noël and Happy Humbook!

December 25, 2013 Leave a comment Go to comments

Hello everyone !

Mafalda_ChristmasI wish you all a Merry Christmas, or as we say here, Joyeux Noël. I hope you’re having a nice day with your families or if you’re far away from them, that you are among good friends. I still wonder about Christmas in places where it’s warm or even hot at that time of year. I can’t imagine spending Christmas by a swimming pool. Christmas is such an important time for children and memories of them stay with you and shape your idea of what a Christmas should be. For me Christmas goes with hot beverages, fires, cold, snow sometimes, mandarins, chocolate and short days. We have a tradition here in Lyon: the papillottes. It’s a chocolate wrapped in a shiny paper in which there is a message. Now, it’s a quote from a famous writer; lots of aphorisms by Oscar Wilde, JB Shaw, Jules Renard or Alphonse Allais. But it originally started at the end of the 18th Century when a young chocolate-maker in love with the girl living in his building but on an upper floor started to send her chocolates wrapped in billets doux. Lucky girl: chocolates and love letters all in one.

From a blogging point of view, Christmas is also the day when willing copinautes exchange Humbook gifts. This year, we were five: Brian from Babbling Books, Lisa from ANZ Lit Lovers, Stu from Winstonsdad’s Blog plus Guy and I.

So here are the books Guy and I picked for Brian, Lisa and Stu.

For Lisa:

La première gorge de bière et autres plaisirs minuscules by Philippe Delerm. It exists in English but we thought you could try it in French in its Kindle version. It’s not fiction. It was a great success when it was published in France a few years ago. It’s a collection of short texts about the small pleasures of life. (The title means, The first sip of beer and other tiny pleasures) It reminds us that if we pay attention, we have lots of happy moments in our everyday life. It reflects the notion of pleasure that we have in French, a notion I have trouble translating into English.

For Stu:

All yours by Claudia Piñeiro. We wanted to find a book in translation, so here is an Argentinean book. Since you had enjoyed her Thursday Night Widows, we imagined you’d like this one too. I haven’t read it but Guy has and his review is here.

For Brian

The Plague by Albert Camus. No need to present Albert Camus. I’m looking forward to reading your review of it.

Ninety-Three by Victor Hugo. In this historical novel, Hugo brings to life the upheaval of the Chouans in Vendée in 1793.

We hope we’ve made good choices and will be reading your reviews of your Humbook gifts in 2014. I’m curious to discover what Lisa picked for Stu and vice versa.

Gary_White_DogGuy, you expected a Romain Gary last year, you’ll have one this year. 2014 will be the centenary of Gary’s birth. I have chosen White Dog. On paper, it has lots of ingredients that should interest you. It’s in California and in Paris, in 1968. It involves Gary’s life with Jean Seberg. It’s about a dog which needs to be reformed. It describes the political movements of the time from the inside through Seberg’s involvement with the Black Panthers. Cherry on the Christmas pudding: It has been made in to a film.

The other book I’ve picked for you is Lorraine Connection by Dominique Manotti. It’s a political crime fiction book set in the area I grew up in. I really hope I’ve made good choices.

I just have to wish you a happy reading and I leave you with a picture of a Christmas chimney.


  1. December 25, 2013 at 1:18 am

    Thanks so much for including me though I did not have a partner. I really look forward to reading these books. Though I read The Plague some time ago it is well worth a reread and and blog post.

    Also thanks for hosting this event!

    Merry Christmas Emma, Guy and everyone else!


    • December 27, 2013 at 5:35 pm

      Hi Brian,

      Sorry for the slow answer, I missed your comment somehow. I hope you had a happy Christmas too.

      I also hope that you’ll have a nice time reading Camus and Hugo. Sorry you have already read The Plague but I think this kind of book is good on a second reading as well. I’m looking forward to reading your reviews of these books.


  2. December 25, 2013 at 2:37 am

    Joyeux Noël à toi, Emma! Je te souhaite un jour plein de bonheur.


    • December 25, 2013 at 6:48 pm

      Merci Richard. Je te souhaite une belle journée de Noël également


  3. December 25, 2013 at 10:56 am

    Joyeux Noël to you too, Emma! I love papillottes 🙂 Love the description of all the books that you wrote about. I particularly love your description of Philippe Delerm’s book. I want to read it some time. Happy reading to you and fellow copinautes! Looking forward to reading all of your thoughts on these beautiful books.


    • December 25, 2013 at 6:52 pm

      Thanks Vishy. I hope you had a nice Christmas day.
      The Delerm is warm, it’s comfort literature.


  4. December 25, 2013 at 11:10 am

    Joyeux Noël. 🙂


    • December 25, 2013 at 6:46 pm

      Merci Caroline!


  5. December 25, 2013 at 6:35 pm

    Now are YOU featured in that crime novel? Great choices. I’m pleased with the Romain Gary as this pushes me to a writer I’ve been meaning to try and well, the crime novel.. you know how much I love crime. Reading it, that is.
    Happy xmas to you.


    • December 25, 2013 at 6:44 pm

      Happy Christmas to you too.
      I really hope you’ll like my choices.
      I have White Dog in English at home, we can do a readalong if you want.


  6. December 25, 2013 at 6:42 pm

    Merry Christmas Emma a great choice as like Lisa choice it is one I had on my tbr pile that hadn’t been read yet


    • December 25, 2013 at 6:45 pm

      Dear, none of us managed one that wasn’t on your TBR!
      I hope you’ll have a nice reading time.


  7. December 26, 2013 at 12:31 am

    Joyeaux Noël, Emma. Merci beaucoup pour le livre!

    J’ai un livre pour vous aussi: http://anzlitlovers.com/2013/12/26/belated-humbook-greetings-to-stu-and-emma-and-guy/


    • December 26, 2013 at 7:35 am


      J’espère qu’il te plaira.

      Merci pour livre pour enfants, je ne le connais pas et je vais le chercher en français.


  8. December 26, 2013 at 7:30 am

    Merry christmas Emma i am big fan of your all books
    Your books are so beautiful! I really enjoy


    • December 27, 2013 at 5:40 pm

      Sorry, your comment was in the spam box.
      Thanks for your message, Steve


  9. December 26, 2013 at 7:48 am

    Lovely post Emma. Sorry I didn’t join in this year. It was such fun, even if I didn’t quite fulfil my obligations. I hope you had a lovely Christmas. As an Aussie, most of my Christmases have been warm ones of course – and it’s what I love – but I have had a few Christmases in the northern hemisphere and it was fun to experience a Christmas that matched all those carols I grew up with, and all those snow-themed cards we used to get. Australia has grown up now and we produce our own warm weather cards but once upon a time, it wasn’t so.


    • December 27, 2013 at 5:37 pm

      I didn’t know you had a time when you could only find Christmas cards from the Northern hemisphere. It must be weird to send greeting cards that don’t reflect reality.

      I hope you had a nice Christmas.


      • December 28, 2013 at 12:05 am

        It was a long time ago Emma, and if you searched you could find the rare non-wintry card but they weren’t common. Our cultural cringe. Yes, we had a nice day here … I wish you all the best for 2014.


  1. February 4, 2014 at 1:44 pm
  2. February 9, 2014 at 6:04 am
  3. November 13, 2014 at 12:02 am

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