I probably shouldn't, but I'm going to. I don't think I can resist adding a French author or two to my reading line-up this month. I'm trying not to let my ambition get the better of me (even while I am working through the mysteries I have in progress), but my list of reading possibilities seems to be growing. I'll be pleased if I can read two or three books for Paris in July (which Karen at Bookbath and Tamara at Thyme for Tea have organized). The wisest approach is to look for shorter novels, but I have a mix to choose from. Now the hard part is deciding which to pick up first.
Something by Colette! I'm not sure where to start since I have a whole row of books by her on by bookshelf, but a few that caught my eye:
Or maybe there is something even better by her that I should pick up first?
The Etruscan Vase and Other Stories by Prosper Mérimée
Bel-Ami by Guy de Maupassant
The Man with the Lead Stomach by Jean-Francois Parot -- This is the second Nicolas Le Floch mystery set in 18th century Paris. I enjoyed the first and as I have not read any historical mysteries so far, this would fit in nicely with my other reading.
Fatale by Jean-Patrick Manchette -- This is a Noir crime novel.
Something by Georges Simenon--either a Maigret mystery or one of his numerous standalones.
Or I might pick up one of my (many) unread novels by Irène Némirovsky that I have amassed.
Of course there is Zola and Balzac, but I'm not too sure if there is a shorter work in amongst their oeuvres.
Today is also the kickoff of the 7th Annual Canadian Book Challenge, which John Mutford at The Book Mine Set organizes. I managed to read nine for the last round, which for me isn't too shabby at all. I've not had a chance to come up with a proper list yet, which I will as this is a year long challenge so there is plenty of time to think about plan for it, and perhaps I should wrap up my previous year's reading.
I've just brought home The Stubborn Season by Lauren B. Davis, which came via interlibrary loan, so I think I will be reading it first. It's set in Depression-era Toronto and is a coming-of-age tale. It looks quite good and I can't wait to get into it properly. I've only made a very brief start, but so far the story looks very promising.
Off the top of my head I definitely plan on reading more by Louise Penny.
I have a stack of books by Ethel Wilson as well as Gabrielle Roy, and both will feature in my reading sometime in the coming months.
Oh, and there is a wonderful-looking epistolary novel on my TBR pile by Frances Brooke called The History of Emily Montague (published in 1769) that I have been itching to read ever since I bought it.
And Margaret Atwood. Definitely something by (an unread book or a reread . . . ) Margaret Atwood as it has been far too long since I've picked up any of her books.
Oh, and how could I forget? Maybe some more short stories by Alice Munro and something by Mavis Gallant.
And these are only the books that come to mind. I have more, I'm sure, as I have tried to make a point this year to acquire more books by Canadian authors.
I won't have any problems finding good books to read over the course of the next year for the challenge.
One more reading note--if you are looking for a chunkster to read in a group setting, Dovegreyreader is organizing a year-long readalong for Vikram Seth's A Suitable Boy. I started reading it when it first came out (how many years ago has it been now?), so am toying with the idea of reading along and seeing if I can get further than I did the last time.
For this week, however, it will be more mysteries and a few other ongoing reads, and I'll be "trying out" a few French books for size.
I bet you can't guess what I'm going to be doing over my long upcoming weekend?