Home > Personal Posts > Saturday News: My Black Friday is Book Friday with Un Petit Noir bookstore

Saturday News: My Black Friday is Book Friday with Un Petit Noir bookstore

November 28, 2020 Leave a comment Go to comments

This week I decided to do a Book Friday and prepare Christmas. I contacted the Jean-Pierre Barrel, the libraire of Un Petit Noir, a bookstore specialized in crime fiction in the Croix-Rousse neighborhood in Lyon. (See my Literary Escapade here.)

I sent him an email, gave a list of crime books I’d enjoyed in the past and asked him to pick ten paperback crime fiction books. He came back with an original selection of books I’d never heard of.

Title in English Title in French Author Country
Dark Town Dark Town Thomas Mullen USA
Not available in English Le Cherokee Richard Morgiève France
Not available in English L’aigle des tourbières Gérard Coquet France
Days of Rage Quatre jours de rage Kris Nelscott USA
Not available in English La traque de la musaraigne Florent Couao Zotti Benin
The Wild Inside Sauvage Jamey Bradbury USA
Not available in English Adieu Oran Ahmed Tiab Algeria
Tail of the Blue Bird Notre quelque part Nii Ayikwei Parkes UK
Not available in English Par les rafales Valentine Imhof France
Vigilance Vigilance Robert Jackson Bennett


Algeria, Benin, France, Ireland, Albania, Alabama, Illinois, Utah and Alaska, he chose books to travel. Set between the 1940s to 2030 with dystopian Vigilance, it’s also a travel in time. All books seem to explore the underbelly of the countries and towns they use as a setting. They are published by independent publishing houses, Zulma, Le Bélial, Rivages, Edition Joëlle Losfeld, Editions Jigal, Editions de l’Aube, Gallmeister and Editions du Rouergue.

All these books are not mainstream crime fiction and I’m very curious. I know I’m preaching to the choir here, since you’re all book lovers who support independant bookstores but really, I’d never have found these books by myself, especially not on an online bookstore. Browsing online has nothing to do with browsing through physical shelves and with the help of a libraire.

Today’s the day bookstores reopen in France, I’m looking forward to visiting Un Petit Noir and get my new book pile. Some will become Christmas presents and others will stay with me.

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  1. November 28, 2020 at 11:48 am

    I know Black Friday is a thanksgiving thing, but in Australia it mostly relates to bushfires. I saw that title and all I could think was How bad is Covid in France. So was very happy to get to the last line and see bookshops are reopening – all must be well with the world.
    How could you give away such amazing titles! You’re a better christmas giver than I am (or like me you live close enough to the people you give presents to to be able to read the books anyway)


    • November 29, 2020 at 10:01 am

      Here, sadly Black Friday is only a big marketing and consumer society nightmare imported from the US. That’s why I try to turn it into Book Friday.

      How is Covid here? Things are better but I have the feeling cases could flare up again any moment if we throw cautious to the wind. I hope independant stores will survive this crisis, all of them, not only bookstores.
      I hope things get easier for you in Australia, and that it’s easier to drive from one state to the other. (Maybe you’ve written about it lately but I’ve got a big pile of unread posts in my inbox)

      I’ve already selected four titles to give away and yes, I can always borrow them later!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. November 28, 2020 at 12:57 pm

    What a fun way to get some new books. I love the idea of just giving a bookseller some clues and then let them loose on their shelves. You can buy this service in the UK though it’s pretty expensive so have never done it. But I have a feeling the owner of our local indie shop would be a good and inexpensive option …


    • November 29, 2020 at 10:04 am

      I loved doing it and I’m thinking of doing it again with literary fiction. (not that these crime fiction books aren’t literary. The libraire says he only picks books with a good style)

      I’ve recently subscribed to a service by a startup to get one book blind date a month. You can choose the libraire who’ll pick books for you and I’m curious to see what she’ll send me. Her store is named La vie devant soi, after a book by Romain Gary and she enjoys French lit. I hope to get to know new authors.


  3. November 28, 2020 at 7:12 pm

    Independent booksellers are the best and I love how they each have their own mental library of books they are passionate about. I haven’t even heard of two of the US writers!


    • November 29, 2020 at 10:05 am

      I have the books in front of me, they all look really good. Check out the two US writers.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. November 29, 2020 at 9:10 pm

    Your list request is such a good idea, and I really like the startup’s idea of enlisting libraires to blind-pick books for subscribers. Sometimes, I do wish I lived in France. Bookshops have remained open here, but many libraries are closed, which is more of an issue for me.


    • November 29, 2020 at 10:03 pm

      Have a look at http://www.lakube.com
      Libraries remained open I think and there was click & collect for bookstores.


      • November 30, 2020 at 2:57 pm

        Thanks for the link. And they say “PS : nous livrons partout dans le monde :)”. Perfect!


        • November 30, 2020 at 10:05 pm

          Their gift boxes seem gorgeous.


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