What are you reading this summer?

What are you reading this summer?
What are you reading this summer?

Ah, the languorous summer reading, interspersed with naps and swims, far from the tumult of human comedy!

Here is a personal, totally subjective list of 15 novels that have marked my life, all read several times.

I prefer to revisit them rather than endure these new authors who love to talk about themselves so much.

The order does not matter.

1. journey to the Edge of the Night (1932), by Louis-Ferdinand Céline.

The first book in which the characters speak exactly as they do in real life. Bardamu’s farewell to Molly is my favorite page in all of French literature.

2. The Count of Monte Cristo (1844), by Alexandre Dumas.

THE novel of my childhood. Revenge is carefully planned and savored slowly.

3. Nice friend (1885), by Guy de Maupassant.

The irresistible social rise of a scoundrel in Belle Époque Paris, by the most cinematic of 19th century writers.e century.

4. Madame Bovary (1857), by Gustave Flaubert.

The grayness of everyday life and the mediocrity of the husband transform a marriage into a prison. Absolute masterpiece.

5. Anna Karenina (1877), by Leo Tolstoy.

The greatest novel ever written about adultery by the greatest Russian writer. Monumental.

6. Moby-Dick (1851), d’Herman Melville.

What or who do the monstrous sperm whale and Captain Ahab represent? Where is good and evil?

7. The Fountainhead (1943), by Ayn Rand.

The story of an architect who refuses to make any aesthetic compromises. Discovered when I was a teenager, this book remains a UFO in the American literary landscape.

8. East of Eden (1952), de John Steinbeck.

The biblical story of Cain and Abel transposed to early 20th-century Californiae century. A cathedral.

9. For Whom the Bell Tolls (1940), d’Ernest Hemingway.

An idealistic young American enlists on the Republican side during the Spanish Civil War. Hemingway understood Spain better than any other foreigner.

10. No Country for Old Men (2005), by Cormac McCarthy.

Did you like the movie? You’ll love the book. Drug stories rarely end well.

11. Submission (2015), by Michel Houellebecq.

The unconsciousness, cowardice and undermining work of the Islamo-leftists bring an Islamist to the head of France. Terrifyingly plausible.

12. The Truce (1960), by Mario Benedetti.

A middle-aged man, on the verge of retirement, rediscovers love with a younger woman. The most beautiful book by the greatest Uruguayan writer. Impossible not to cry.

13. The Goat Party (2000), by Mario Vargas Llosa.

A mind-blowing dive into the Trujillo dictatorship in the Dominican Republic, by the greatest living Latin American writer.

14. Cheetah (1958), by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa.

If the official story is full of heroes, the real story is full of opportunists and compromises. Will make you want to visit Sicily.

15. The Lynx Constellation (2010), by Louis Hamelin.

If the October Crisis had occurred in a major country, if the author had not been from Quebec, this book would have been a worldwide success.

Obviously, if you come across my novel…

Good reading!

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