Home > Book Club, EU Book Tour, Made into a play, Personal Posts > Book Club 2015-2016 : The list

Book Club 2015-2016 : The list

book_club_2We will be reading our last book from this year’s Book Club. It’s Going to Meet the Man by James Baldwin. If you want to join us, I’ll post about it at the end of July and I’ll be happy to discuss it with you.

This week-end we’ve selected twelve novels for our 2015-2016 Book Club and a bonus book for July 2016. Our tour starts in August 2015 and ends in July 2016. We’ve tried to pick books from different genres, different times and different countries. This year, we have four French novels and mostly European writers.  Now, what you want to see: THE LIST.

Book_Club_1The Last Frontier by Howard Fast is published by Gallmeister, gem-finder extraordinaire. Fast relates the story of the Cheyenne Indians in the 1870s, and their bitter struggle to flee from the Indian Territory in Oklahoma back to their home in Wyoming and Montana. I expect unpleasant scenes but it seems a good and enlightening read.

After this journey to the West, we’ll be back in France to read Heureux les heureux by Yasmina Reza. I loved her play Comment vous racontez la partie and Guy enjoyed Happy Are the Happy which is a good omen for me.

Lebanese writer’s Toufic Youssef Aouad is spelled Tawfiq Yusuf Awwad and I loved his excellent Deat in Beirut. Le pain (Bread) is set in 1916 and is considered as the first “real” Lebanese novel. It has just been translated into French by Fifi Abou dib, Awwad’s grand-daughter.

Book_Club_2I don’t need to present Crimes by Ferdinand von Schirach, it’s been reviewed a few times already. I discovered him through German Lit Month and I will be reading it for this year’s German Lit Month if it is organized.

Moriarty will be another genre and I expect an easy and entertaining read. Let’s hope it will meet my expectations.

I’m happy to have Agostino by Moravia on our list. I loved Contempt. Guy’s and Jacqui’s reviews confirmed I’ll probably like Agostino. I’m also curious to see how it compares to Joyce Maynard’s Labor Day.

Book_Club_3I’m excited to have Journey by Moonlight by Antal Szerb. Hungarian literature never let me down and I enjoyed The Pendragon Legend.

Our next book will be another journey, quite different from Szerb’s, though. N’aie pas peur si je t’enlace by Fulvio Ervas isn’t available in English, sorry. It relates the trip a father takes with his autistic son for his 18th birthday. They will travel through the USA and South-America on a Harley Davidson. It’s based on a true story.

After our little adventure in America, we’ll be back in Hungary for Colours and Years by Margit Kaffka. This novel was published in 1912 and it reveals the life of women at the time in Hungary and it has a feminist ring which appeals to me.

Book_Club_4In Un barrage contre le Pacifique, Marguerite Duras tells us a story based upon her life in Indochina. Life is tough for a woman in the French colonies, in a society made by men and for men.

Un beau ténébreux by Julien Gracq will be made into a play in a few months. It drew our attention to the novel. I’ve never read Gracq, I don’t know what to expect but I’m happy to try a new writer.

For July, Jacqui inspired me with Le rendez-vous de Venise by Philippe Beaussant. When I read her review, I knew I wanted to read it and explore the connection I felt to Proust’s Du côté de chez Swann. I’m glad my fellow Book Club members agreed to it.

Her review of The Bookshop by Penelope Fitzgerald gave me another reading idea. It’s the bonus read for the year. As an avid reader, I have a fondness for books about bookshops.

That’s all folks.

If you’ve read some of these books or want to read them, share your thoughts in the comments. If you want to join us one month or the other, feel free. There’s no rule, just read whatever you want and post about it (or not) whenever you want. Here’s the schedule:


  1. June 21, 2015 at 9:48 pm

    I loved The Sea Wall although I’ve been a bit dubious about Duras. The film is fantastic if interested. The Bookshop is my fav, Fitgerald and I’ve been hit and miss on some of her others.


    • June 22, 2015 at 9:08 pm

      I remember your review of The Sea Wall, it’s going to be an interesting read.
      I think I’ll like The Bookshop. (The French title is different, did you notice it?)


  2. June 22, 2015 at 8:47 am

    Looks like you’ve got a great year of reading ahead of you! Good idea to read The Bookshop alongside Rendezvous in Venice as the Beaussant is quite short, and it’ll give you more to discuss. Agostino is a good one for a book group, plenty to get your teeth into there. Thanks for the links to my reviews – I’ll be very interested to read your take on each of these books.

    I have a Marguerite Duras on the shelf, but not The Sea Wall (otherwise I would join you for that one). Szerb’s Journey by Moonlight is a wonderful novel – it’s rather wistful and nostalgic. Hope you enjoy it.

    I’ve just been reading Stefan Zweig’s Beware of Pity for my book group – have you read it? It’s one of our best picks in recent months.


    • June 22, 2015 at 9:11 pm

      Your reviews definitely gave me reading ideas. That’s magic of fellow book bloggers.

      Which Duras do you have? Is it one of her modernist novels?
      I realised that with the Szerb and the Beaussant, we’ll have two books in Venice.

      I haven’t read Beware of Pity but I’ve enjoyed the Zweigs I’ve read. I’m looking forward to your review.


      • June 23, 2015 at 9:38 am

        Isn’t it just? I’ve picked up so many great recommendations from bloggers I’m losing count. Your review of Run River definitely got me into Joan Didion.

        Yes, I think the Duras is one of her modernist novels, Moderato Cantabile. Perhaps I could pick it up next May to tie in with your book group read of The Sea Wall?


        • June 23, 2015 at 9:48 pm

          Yes, book blogging is really rewarding. It opens you to new authors and books.
          The Sea Wall is not one of her modernist novel. It’s more like The Lover, I think. It will be difficult to draw parallels between The Sea Wall and Moderato Cantabile. At least, it’s my preconceived idea. Perhaps I’m totally wrong.


  3. June 22, 2015 at 11:15 am

    I like your choices very much. Quite a few that are on my piles as well but I can’t promise to join. I’ll try, of course. I remember Jaqui’s novel of Beaussant’s book. Sounds so tempting.


    • June 22, 2015 at 9:12 pm

      Thanks. I hope you’ll be able to join us for some of them. Most of them are quite short. Which ones do you have on your TBR?


      • June 23, 2015 at 7:58 am

        Duras, Szerb and Penelope Fitzgerald. Von Schirach too, of course, but you know I’ve read it already.


        • June 23, 2015 at 9:46 pm

          I’d be interested to read the Duras along with you. I’m sure you’ll have interesting things to point out.


  4. June 22, 2015 at 4:04 pm

    BTW I tried one novel by Jacobson: No More Mr Nice Guy. I abandoned it. He seems to be well thought of, so perhaps I just made a bad pick.


    • June 22, 2015 at 9:13 pm

      Why didn’t you like it? (I’ve never heard of Jacobson)


  5. June 22, 2015 at 7:12 pm

    What an enviable list. I’m curious about the Howard Fast novel. I read something recently about him that piqued my interest and made me think I should revisit my assumption that his books are the kind of thing business people buy last-minute in airport bookshops.


    • June 22, 2015 at 9:14 pm

      Do you want to read the Fast along with us?
      I trust Gallmeister and I’d love to chat with Olivier Gallmeister to know how he manages to find so many great books.


  6. June 22, 2015 at 7:26 pm

    James Baldwin is an intended read, one that frequently upset my students (part of why I like teaching him).


    • June 22, 2015 at 9:15 pm

      I’ve never read Baldwin. Why does he upset your students? (and how old are your students?)


      • June 22, 2015 at 9:41 pm

        I teach college students (freshmen). Baldwin looks at the very upsetting aspects of racism, which can include rape and mutilation. It’s not gratuitous, though.


        • June 22, 2015 at 9:42 pm

          Thanks. I haven’t started it yet. We’ll see.


        • June 27, 2015 at 3:31 pm

          I’ve read it. LOVED IT. Billet to come in July.

          Liked by 1 person

          • June 27, 2015 at 10:16 pm

            What is a billet?


            • June 27, 2015 at 10:29 pm

              I don’t want to use the word “review” for the posts I write about books. I’m not a professional in literature, I’ve never studied literature at university level.

              So, instead of “review”, I use the French word “billet” that French book bloggers use. It’s closer to “colum” than to “review”.


              • June 27, 2015 at 11:20 pm

                Ah! I read that you are from France, but I didn’t realize it was a French word. Thanks!


  7. June 22, 2015 at 8:39 pm

    Colours and years has been on my shelf for too long! I hope I can join you in April… Otherwise it’s a very eclectic list and I’m looking forward to reading what you think about all these books and authors.


    • June 22, 2015 at 9:16 pm

      I hope you can join us for Colours and Years. I expect it to be very good and I’m looking forward to reading a Hungarian book written by a woman.


  8. June 22, 2015 at 11:40 pm

    Very interesting and varied group of books. ‘Colours and Years’ looks really appealing particularly after just finishing a memoir by a Hungarian artist who served as an officer during WWI. (‘The Burning of the World’ by Béla Zombory-Moldován.) It made me wish I remembered ‘Embers’ much more clearly. It would be nice to see that extremely traditional society through a woman’s eyes.


    • June 23, 2015 at 9:44 pm

      Thanks. We tried to pick different styles. I’m looking forward to reading Colours and Years. There aren’t so many women writers at the time. Join us if you feel like it.


  9. June 23, 2015 at 12:18 am

    you’ve selected an incredible variety of titles, mostly by authors I have never heard of but now just have to investigate


    • June 23, 2015 at 9:45 pm

      Thanks. Don’t hesitate to join us for one book or the other if some appeal to you after you checked them out.


      • June 23, 2015 at 10:18 pm

        Thanks for the idea Emma – I’ll keep an eye open and join when something takes my fancy


        • June 24, 2015 at 7:56 pm

          Brilliant. Let’s do that.


  10. N@ncy
    June 24, 2015 at 11:25 pm

    Great selection of books and oh, so tempting!


    • June 27, 2015 at 3:32 pm

      Thanks Nancy. I hope you can join us for some of them.


      • N@ncy
        June 27, 2015 at 4:18 pm

        I’m sure I can find a few that interest me. I will do some research and let you know!


        • June 27, 2015 at 5:37 pm

          Great! Plus on est de fou plus on rit!


          • N@ncy
            June 27, 2015 at 6:11 pm

            The more the merrier! Dutch: hoe meer, hoe beter!


  11. June 25, 2015 at 5:21 pm

    Wonderful selection, Emma! So nice to see Yasmina Reza there. I loved Ferdinand Von Schirach’s ‘Crime’. I hope you enjoy reading it. I will look forward to hearing your thoughts on it. And so wonderful to see a Marguerite Duras book there! I love, love, love her! Happy reading! I can’t wait to read your billets this year 🙂


    • June 27, 2015 at 3:33 pm

      Thanks Vishy. I’m really excited by our selection. I’m sure we’ll have a wonderful reading year.


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