Tuesday, February 19, 2013

April Zola Reading Event


Fanda from Fanda Classic Lit and  O from Delaisse are hosting a Zola reading event!!  In honor of Zola's birthday, which is April 2, they are hosting Zoladdiction, which is basically a month of reading Zola.  Well, I love Zola, and I have several volumes waiting patiently on the TBR shelves -- how could I refuse?

You can find details here, but essentially, participants will read Zola's works and blog about them during the month of April.  There are three levels of participation, named in honor of three of his most famous heroines:

First level:  Maheude -- read one book 
Second level:  Gervaise -- read two or three books
Third level:  Nana -- read four or more books

As much as I'd love to read all Zola, all the time, I'm going to be realistic and commit to the second level, Gervaise -- I'm sure I can read two books by Zola in one month!

Currently, I have six unread works by Zola in my possession, so I'm going to try and read at least two of them:



The Ladies' Paradise -- sex and shopping!  The story of a department store, with some of the characters from Pot Bouille

The Debacle -- Zola's only historical novel, set during the Franco-Prussian War.  Said to be one of the most accurate depictions of war in literature. 

The Dream -- the story of a young orphan living in a world of dreams.  It sounds very different from the harsh realism of most Zola novels.

I won't actually be reading this in French.
But I really like this cover!
The Earth -- a rural novel, set in Provence.  I've heard it has parallels with King Lear.

Nana -- one of Zola's most famous works, the story of a high-class courtesan in Paris.  Nana is the daughter of Gervaise, the washerwoman in L'Assommoir.

The Masterpiece -- Zola's most autobiographical novel, about a tortured artist.  Supposedly Zola's childhood friend Paul Cezanne never spoke to Zola after the novel was published.

Well -- is anyone else signing up for Zoladdiction?  Which novels should I read?  What's your favorite Zola novel?

16 comments:

  1. I bought two Zola novels after reading your posts last year - I really wanted to get my hands on Au Bonheur des Dames, but now it's been sitting in the TBR shelves for months. Maybe this will inspire me!

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    1. I hope you get a chance to read Zola soon, his books are really worth it! Most of them are fast reads and some of them aren't too long either.

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  2. I have The Debacle and The Masterpiece in my TBR pile, and also La Bete Humaine. Now I don't know which one I should read first, they are all tempting! Maybe we should try The Masterpiece, being Zola's most autobiographical book?

    The Debacle must be next, if it's really 'the most accurate depictions of war in literature'! And The Earth has parallels with King Lear? Hmmm...

    My favorite so far is Germinal.

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    1. I really want to read The Masterpiece, and after that, we'll see.

      I think my favorite so far is Germinal, but La Bete Humaine was an amazingly fascinating trainwreck. It's like a classic thriller.

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    2. Karen, don't forget to put this post in the linky for signing up.. ;)

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  3. *heading over to read more about this*

    What an awesome event. It's always good to have an extra reason to read Zola!

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    1. I know!! I love Zola but I have so many other books to read . . . and when I read him again I get mad for waiting so long!

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  4. I've only read Germinal I really enjoyed it but I don't think I want the pressure of signing up for a reading event, I will look in though. Which Zola would you recommend I read next?

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    1. Well, The Belly of Paris has a lot of great food writing, so that's fun. Pot-Bouille was fun and sort of trashy; La Bete Humaine is sort of a thriller. And L'Assommoir has some great stuff too. None of them are very long and they're all great reads. It just depends on what sort of mood you're in.

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  5. I love how you said you wouldn't do any challenges and this is your third? And it is not even March! :) I know how it is. I laid out 10 books from my shelves to read from January to March and then got distracted by the Tournament of Books and am trying to read as many of those as I can...then I have two on-line book groups...so many books, so little time.

    I have only read Germinal. I had to read it for French class in college. I don't remember much about it except it involved a mine cave-in and was pretty bleak. Of the books you list above, The Ladies' Paradise sounds the most appealing to me.

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    1. I know, it's so embarrassing!! But I promise to read only Zola books from my TBR shelves. . . and is a reading event the same as a challenge?

      I agree Germinal was bleak -- I've never read a Zola novel with a happy ending yet! I read it on a vacation in Florida and I still loved it.

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  6. I have read Germinal and The Ladies' Paradise, and enjoyed them both. I have not read one his books for a while, so I am looking forward to reading what you have to say about them.

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    1. Right now I'm leaning towards The Ladies' Paradise and The Masterpiece, but I'm also interested in The Earth (which could also count for the Chunkster Challenge) and The Dream.

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  7. I was hmm'ing and ahhh'ing signing up but er, yes, yes I will. :)

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  8. Great! What are you going to read?

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