Reading lists

Like many other book lovers, I’m also a list addict. I suppose it’s because we’re always looking for new reading ideas.

Personal reading lists

They are totally subjective and contain only books I read and liked.

After Lisa’s comments, here a list of French books I haven’t read (yet) or didn’t like but which are supposed to be good.

Lists coming from other novels

I enjoy books about books and books about literature lovers.

Annual reading lists.

In the following lists, you will find all the books I’ve read in a year

  1. June 11, 2010 at 9:37 pm

    Hello Bookaround, thank you so much for your list of French literature – it is exactly what I need. For some time I have felt that while I am quite well-read in English literature, I don’t have the same breadth and depth of experience in European literature. So this year, 2010, I have planned a ‘year of European reading’ (see using just what I had on my TBR, i.e. a mixture of classics and recent award winners, but I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve read so far.
    Your list will help me to plan what to read next, so thank you.
    One question: why no Balzac? I’m rather fond of Balzac, and have read a fair bit of the Comedie Humaine, though I mostly don’t blog short stories. I just write a quick ‘review’ on Good Reads ( so that I remember which ones I’ve read.
    One other thing – could you perhaps add another column to the list and include which century the author wrote in?
    Best wishes,
    Lisa Hill, ANZ Litlovers, Melbourne Australia


  2. June 12, 2010 at 8:27 am

    I’ll add the Balzac books I’ve read, if it can help. I wouldn’t have considered Balzac works as short stories. That’s interesting : it is classified as short stories in Australia ?

    I’ll also add the century the author wrote in, thanks for the idea.

    I’m impressed you plan what you will read this year. I can’t do that because what I read depends on the mood I am in, just as I can’t prepare at night which clothes I will wear the next morning.


  3. June 12, 2010 at 10:35 am

    Well, I kind-of plan the books I’ll read. Let’s say I have good intentions!


  4. January 23, 2011 at 11:20 pm

    Thanks for referring me to your French Literature lists. Helpful and encouraging. I had forgotten about Camus, some of which I have read, so not quite as blind to 20th century French literature as I feared. I like Amelie Nothomb too, and am grateful to be reminded of Simone de Beauvoir, who I had forgotten I intended to read.

    I have always meant to read Manon des Sources (it being one of the few subtitled films I have had the patience to follow properly) but it appears on your list of possibly not enjoyed books?


    • January 24, 2011 at 8:42 am

      Thanks Sarah.
      If you read The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir, make sure to read the latest translation. The first one was abridged and included mistranslations/misinterpretations. It’s a great book.

      I’m not a Pagnol fan. I liked the plays Marius, Fanny and César. You need to read Jean de Florette before Manon des Sources, since it’s its sequel.


  5. January 24, 2011 at 10:27 pm

    Thanks for the heads up on Manon des Sources, I should have known that. I will also be careful with Simone de Beauvoir: they tend to show up in second hand shops, but then, of course, you take pot luck.


  6. miniwrite
    April 18, 2012 at 1:11 am

    Hi Emma, Guy Savage recommended your blog to me because you are French but blog in English and the focus of my readings are French literary classics. I am excited to see that you have read so many books that I want to read such as the ones by Balzac. I’ve only read a couple of his, and didn’t take to his style of writing at first, but now I have come to appreciate him as one of my favorite authors. I look forward to using your blog as a resource for my readings.


    • April 18, 2012 at 10:17 pm

      Hello, thanks for visiting.
      There are so many great French books. I’m glad you like our literature so much.
      I’ll have a look at your blog.


  7. 9028253450
    January 22, 2015 at 12:20 pm

    Hi Bookaround,

    I got your name from the list of Top Reviewers. I’ve written a book, “The Settling Of Scores.” I noticed from your Amazon profile that you frequently provide your reviews on the new products.It’s a suspense and mystery novel. If you think you might be interested in reading my book and posting an honest review of it on Amazon. The direct link is, and it’s free offer for few days.There is no obligation, of course.

    Thanks And Regards,
    Manoj Sharma


    • January 24, 2015 at 9:27 pm


      My TBR is too high to accept any review copies.
      Good luck with your book.


  8. Michael Aloysius O'Reilly
    February 3, 2015 at 5:45 pm

    Because of a New Yorker article, I read Daniel Stein by Ludmila Ulitskaya. I am totally taken with the story and the novelist.
    Stein was an educated Polish teen, a Jew. Separated from his parents by the German invasion he endures many hoops and twists and with a dangerous form of luck ends up convincing the Germans that he is Gentile and becomes their translator. Eventually he helps many Jews escape into the forest to wait out the arrival of the Russians.
    This is enough for many books but Ulitskaya, who met the actual Translator Stein (not his real name) briefly in Moscow, goes on for several hundred more pages with extraordinary scope. Tolstoy in her blood? It’s almost as if, as she takes the reader in a series of letters by many wonderful characters (in Minsk, Boston, San Francisco, Rome) she wants to bring the Russian people up to date on Judaism and its flowing into then breaking from Christianity. And then to show us and her fellow Russians how history can be healed and we can have one God, one religion.
    I, as a card carrying atheist, am a bit astonished that I have been so deeply touched and utterly fascinated by the story. Stein becomes a priest, crates a community in Haifa and even meets with the Polish Pope urging him on to heal the historical breach.
    This is dazzling. Lovers of books, I hope you too will find Ulitskaya.


    • February 5, 2015 at 1:48 pm

      thanks for sharing.


  9. January 20, 2019 at 6:56 pm

    Have you come across the books of Pierre Michon. I read one (in English) Winter Mythologies AND Abbots which contains perhaps the saddest story I have ever read ‘Antoine Persegol’. Best from James who blogs infrequently at


    • January 20, 2019 at 7:32 pm

      Welcome to Book Around the Corner!

      I have La Grande Beune by Pierre Michon on the shelf but I haven’t read it yet.


      • January 20, 2019 at 7:36 pm

        Thank you for the welcome, Emma. I find Michon a bit difficult in French and had no success on my last visit to London in tracking down any of his books in English. I shall keep trying and await your comments on La Grande Beune in due course


        • January 20, 2019 at 9:52 pm

          Congratulations for reading in French, I know it’s not easy.


          • January 20, 2019 at 10:01 pm

            Well I do live in France (10 years now) where I have a bookshop selling mostly English books and mostly via the internet


            • January 20, 2019 at 10:08 pm

              Oh great, I have a question for you. Is Aki Shimazaki translated in English?


              • January 20, 2019 at 10:36 pm

                There have been some but I am having difficulty finding out which ones!

                Liked by 1 person

              • January 20, 2019 at 10:46 pm

                Le poids des secrets?


              • January 20, 2019 at 11:00 pm

                I think so as Tsubame?


              • January 21, 2019 at 2:27 pm

                That’s the 3rd tome.


              • January 21, 2019 at 3:13 pm

                Emma – researching further I can only find reference to Tsubaki in English published by Talonbooks in 2000


              • January 22, 2019 at 9:59 pm

                Thanks, that’s it.


              • January 27, 2019 at 9:23 am

                I don’t see Tsubame on Talonbooks’ website anymore. It must be out of print.
                In the Translation Tragedy category it goes…


              • January 27, 2019 at 10:06 am

                Yes, and now I cannot find a copy listed for sale on any site!


              • January 27, 2019 at 10:42 am



              • January 27, 2019 at 1:30 pm

                C’est la vie as the French might say!!

                Liked by 1 person

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