Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Paris in July 2018

Paris in July is back! Hosted by Thyme for Tea, it's a month long celebration of French culture -- books, movies, art, food, etc. This year I'm going to participate by:

Reading at least two of the following books:

  • Maman, What Are We Called Now? by Jacqueline Mesnil-Amar, a diary of wartime occupied France in WWII, published by Persephone;
  • In Confidence by Irene Nemirovsky, a collection of short stories;
  • The Misunderstanding by Irene Nemirovsky, her first published novel;
  • A Good Place to Hide by Peter Grose, another nonfiction account of wartime France. This one is about a small village in the Loire that hid more than 3000 Jews during the occupation.
  • The Bright Side of Life by Emile Zola, the latest in the Rougon-Macquart series to be newly republished by Oxford University Press, with a new translation -- I'm quite excited about this one since the nice folks at OUP just sent me a review copy!

Watching French movies, some new to me and one I've seen years ago:

  • La Femme Nikita, because my daughter loves action movies and it would be fun to watch it together;
  • Les Choristes, because I've heard it's heartwarming; 
  • Un Secret, because it's been in my Netflix queue forever; 
  • Journey's End, because I'm nearly finished with Testament of Youth and want to learn more about WWI;
  • Suite Francaise, because I loved the book and was finally able to track down a DVD -- I'm not sure why it was never released in the U.S. but I was able to find a region 2 copy. 

Cooking French pastries:

  • I haven't made eclairs in years and I keep saying I want to make them again. Or profiteroles. 
  • I'd also like to try to make Tarte Tatin. It was also a Signature Challenge on the Great British Bake Off and though I've never made rough puff pastry, it can't possibly be that difficult, can it? 

I'd also like to take at least one day trip to France. The town of Bitche is just about an hour away. I have family visiting and that would be fun to cross the border into another country, and there's a citadel way up on a hill that you can climb -- a good activity for children with a lot of energy.

Bloggers, are you participating in Paris in July? What are your plans? 


  1. Welcome back Karen. Your aspirations are great. I'll look forward to hearing your thoughts on les chouristes. I saw it a few years back.

    1. Thanks! It's been in my Netflix queue for a long time!

  2. Post pictures of the baked goods if you make them!

    I saw La Femme Nikita way back when it was first released. It is pretty good!

    1. I saw it on the big screen years ago, and the American remake with Bridget Fonda which was also pretty good. I never watched the TV adaptations though.

  3. I didn't know there is a new Zola translation coming! And apparently, The Dream will be following too. Wohoo!

    1. Yes, I think that leaves just one more translation, Doctor Pascal. Fingers crossed OUP publishes the final book soon!

  4. new challenge! I think I will save them for a Xmas treat.
    I've baked enough 'French' this month!
    Lovely selection of books and films....for #ParisInJuly.
    I would recommend 'Au Revoir Les Enfants' (1987) is semi-biographical of the director Louis Malle. Unforgettable!
    I would recommend 'Charlotte' (2014) by David Foenkinos about Jewish artist Charlotte Salomon.
    Haunting...redemptive. It was awarded Prix Goncourt des Lycéens (2014)

    1. Au Revoir Les Enfants was wonderful and heartbreaking. I might have to put off baking eclairs as it's been rather warm the past few days.