October 27, 2012

Take Me Away Saturday: To France, S'il vous plait



Take Me Away Saturday

This week we are visiting the European country of France.



France, which has the fifth largest economy in the world, borders Spain, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, the Bay of Biscay off the Atlantic Ocean, and the Mediterranean Sea.  France  is famous for its wine, cheese, perfume, cars, and the Tour de France.  Paris is one of the fashion capitals of the world, and is also one of the cultural capitals of the world.  People flock to France every year to see historic sites such as the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre, as well as visit the French Riviera, the Alps, and The Loire Valley, famous for its castles.  Learn more about France and French life through the books below.




(There is a list of  the countries and cultures visited in past Take Me Away posts at the bottom of this post. Check them out and discover some good books to read and recommend some, too!)

FICTION SELECTIONS:


The Bone Bed (A Scarpetta Novel) by Patricia Cornwell
A woman has vanished while digging a dinosaur bone bed in the remote wilderness of Canada. Somehow, the only evidence has made its way to the inbox of Chief Medical Examiner Kay Scarpetta, over two thousand miles away in Boston. She has no idea why. But as events unfold with alarming speed, Scarpetta begins to suspect that the paleontologist’s disappearance is connected to a series of crimes much closer to home: a gruesome murder, inexplicable tortures, and trace evidence from the last living creatures of the dinosaur age.

When she turns to those around her, Scarpetta finds that the danger and suspicion have penetrated even her closest circles. Her niece Lucy speaks in riddles. Her lead investigator, Pete Marino, and FBI forensic psychologist and husband, Benton Wesley, have secrets of their own. Feeling alone and betrayed, Scarpetta is tempted by someone from her past as she tracks a killer both cunning and cruel. 



Transporting readers from cosmopolitan seventeenth-century Paris to the Canadian frontier, this vibrant debut tells of the struggle to survive in a brutal time and place. Laure Beausejour has been taken from her destitute family and raised in an infamous orphanage to be trained as a lace maker. Striking and willful, she dreams of becoming a seamstress and catching the eye of a nobleman. But after complaining about her living conditions, she is sent to Canada as a fille du roi, expected to marry a French farmer there. Laure is shocked by the primitive state of the colony and the mingling of the settlers with the native tribes. When her ill-matched husband leaves her alone in their derelict hut for the winter, she must rely on her wits and her clandestine relationship with an Iroquois man for survival.



Dashing young Edmond Dantès has everything. He is engaged to a beautiful woman, is about to become the captain of a ship, and is well liked by almost everyone. But his perfect life is shattered when he is framed by a jealous rival and thrown into a dark prison cell for 14 years.
The greatest tale of betrayal, adventure, and revenge ever written, The Count of Monte Cristo continues to dazzle readers with its thrilling and memorable scenes, including Dantès’s miraculous escape from prison, his amazing discovery of a vast hidden treasure, and his transformation into the mysterious and wealthy Count of Monte Cristo—a man whose astonishing thirst for vengeance is as cruel as it is just.



After being jilted by her fiancé, Autumn Maguire uses her nonrefundable honeymoon tickets to explore Paris on her own. Eager to experience the true bohemian lifestyle, she answers an ad for an artist's model. When she exchanges her clothes for the artist's lush red cloak, something strange happens—a feeling of intense sensual reawakening overcomes her. Suddenly lightning strikes and through the power of black magic she's thrust back into—
—the nineteenth century where the scandalous painter Paul Borquet is insisting she become his Titian-haired muse. Between everyone's strange clothing, the claustrophobic Parisian streets and the overpowering pull of sexual desire, Autumn can't process—just where the heck is she and how did she get here? And frankly, with Paul's expert caresses imprinted on her body, does she really care about going back to present day? 



Renee is the concierge of a grand Parisian apartment building, home to members of the great and the good. Over the years she has maintained her carefully constructed persona as someone reliable but totally uncultivated, in keeping, she feels, with society's expectations of what a concierge should be. But beneath this facade lies the real Renee: passionate about culture and the arts, and more knowledgeable in many ways than her employers with their outwardly successful but emotionally void lives. Down in her lodge, apart from weekly visits by her one friend Manuela, Renee lives resigned to her lonely lot with only her cat for company. Meanwhile, several floors up, twelve-year-old Paloma Josse is determined to avoid the pampered and vacuous future laid out for her, and decides to end her life on her thirteenth birthday. But unknown to them both, the sudden death of one of their privileged neighbours will dramatically alter their lives forever. By turn moving and hilarious, this unusual novel became the top-selling book in France in 2007 with sales of over 900,000 copies to-date. 



Becoming Marie Antoinette by Juliet Grey
Raised alongside her numerous brothers and sisters by the formidable empress of Austria, ten-year-old Maria Antonia knew that her idyllic existence would one day be sacrificed to her mother’s political ambitions. What she never anticipated was that the day in question would come so soon.  Before she can journey from sunlit picnics with her sisters in Vienna to the glitter, glamour, and gossip of Versailles, Antonia must change everything about herself in order to be accepted as dauphine of France and the wife of the awkward teenage boy who will one day be Louis XVI. Yet nothing can prepare her for the ingenuity and influence it will take to become queen.  Filled with smart history, treacherous rivalries, lavish clothes, and sparkling jewels, Becoming Marie Antoinette will utterly captivate fiction and history lovers alike. 


The bestselling author of The Hidden Diary of Marie Antoinette and The Last Wife of Henry VIII returns with an enchanting novel about the ambitious, amoral, vulnerable woman who became the first wife of Napoleon Bonaparte.
Fashion icon, leader of France’s society in the turbulent years of the guillotine and the bloody Napoleonic Wars, the alluring Josephine was a tough survivor—yet she also had a gentle, haunting quality that made her irresistible to her contemporaries, especially to the mysterious, compelling stranger from Martinique who captured her heart. 


NONFICTION SELECTIONS:



A Train in Winter: An Extraordinary Story of Women, Friendship, and Resistance in Occupied France by Caroline Moorehead
They were teachers, students, chemists, writers, and housewives; a singer at the Paris Opera, a midwife, a dental surgeon. They distributed anti-Nazi leaflets, printed subversive newspapers, hid resisters, secreted Jews to safety, transported weapons, and conveyed clandestine messages. The youngest was a schoolgirl of fifteen who scrawled "V" for victory on the walls of her lycÉe; the eldest, a farmer's wife in her sixties who harbored escaped Allied airmen. Strangers to each other, hailing from villages and cities from across France, these brave women were united in hatred and defiance of their Nazi occupiers. 



Blossoming in Provence by Kristin Espinasse
For American Kristin Espinasse, every encounter with the French—including her own Francophone family—is a chance to learn more than a country's language or etiquette—it is an opportunity for growth. Follow along with Kristin as she meets and overcomes obstacles along the path to French integration: sit on the edge of your seat at her wedding, when her future husband's ex shows up in a slinky dress; buckle your seatbelt as she gets in the car to take the French Drivers exam; share a slice of humble pie with her as her children continue to enlighten her, in their native tongue, about the mystery and meaning of la vie en rose.



 The Country Cooking of France by Anne Willan
Renowned for her cooking school in France and her many best-selling cookbooks, Anne Willan combines years of hands-on experience with extensive research to create a brand new classic. More than 250 recipes range from the time-honored La Truffade, with its crispy potatoes and melted cheese, to the Languedoc specialty Cassoulet de Toulouse, a bean casserole of duck confit, sausage, and lamb. And the desserts! Crpes au Caramel et Beurre Sal (crpes with a luscious caramel filling) and Galette Landaise (a rustic apple tart) are magnifique. Sprinkled with intriguing historical tidbits and filled with more than 270 enchanting photos of food markets, villages, harbors, fields, and country kitchens, this cookbook is an irresistible celebration of French culinary culture. 


Wine and War: The French, The Nazis, and the Battle for France's Greatest Treasure by Donald and Petie Kladstrup
In 1940, France fell to the Nazis and almost immediately the German army began a campaign of pillaging one of the assets the French hold most dear: their wine. Like others in the French Resistance, winemakers mobilized to oppose their occupiers, but the tale of their extraordinary efforts has remained largely unknown–until now. This is the thrilling and harrowing story of the French wine producers who undertook ingenious, daring measures to save their cherished crops and bottles as the Germans closed in on them. Wine and War illuminates a compelling, little-known chapter of history, and stands as a tribute to extraordinary individuals who waged a battle that, in a very real way, saved the spirit of France. 



CHILDREN'S BOOKS:


The Cat Who Walked Across France by Kate Banks, Georg Hallensleben
The cat and the old woman have lived happily together for many years in the stone house by the sea. But when the old woman dies, the cat is packed up with her belongings and sent north to the village where she was born. Soon he is forgotten. He walks the streets aimlessly until, spurred by memories and a longing to return to the place he knows and loves, the cat embarks on a journey to find the home he was taken away from.  

In lyrical prose and breathtaking images, Kate Banks and Georg Hallensleben take the reader on a journey across the Norman countryside, past ancient ruins, through bustling cities, to the sparkling ports of the Mediterranean Sea and a place the cat can call home.  


Set in picturesque Paris, this tale of a brave little girl's trip to the hospital is as appealing today as it was in 1940. The combination of spirited heroine, timelessly appealing art, cheerful humor, and rhythmic text makes "Madeline" a perennial favorite with children of all ages.  Madeline, smallest and naughtiest of the twelve little charges of Miss Clavel, wakes up one night with an attack of appendicitis.



This is, of course, just a sampling of books on the Cherokee life for you to read. Do you want to recommend/share books that are about the Cherokee? Or do you want to share other thoughts? Please leave a note in the comments!

Be sure to check back for our next trip in books! :)

Here is what is coming up next:
The country of Australia
The Asian country of China


Where we've been and the books that take us there:
Australia, Pacific Islands
New Zealand
Fiji
Cultures Across the World
Australian Aborigines
Sioux Nation
Inuit Culture
Amish Culture

3 comments:

  1. Great post, Becca! Bride of New France sounds very interesting to me. And I think my daughter would like The Cat Who Walked Across France.

    http://eclecticbooksandmovies.blogspot.com

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  2. There are SO many great books about France. Hm, I'd recommend Key to the Castle by Donna Ball, Anna and the French Kiss, Nine Coaches Waiting, The Suitor by Sandy Hingston, and definitely Scaramouche by Rafael Sabatini.

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  3. I just finished The Second Empress by Michelle Moran based on Napoleon's 2nd wife. Was great! And who doesn't like Madeline?? Oh I loved Astrix as a kid even though it isnt set in France it was written by a Frenchman.

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