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Eva Marie

Blogger and cat lover In love with books, pizzas and DiCaprio Writing is my passion

About me

Hi

I'mEva Marie

French student and blogger

Welcome to my blog, where I love to write about anything that comes to my mind, with no taboo. I’m 24, I’ve got freckles (you get it now) and I’m a grumpy French, sometimes, who writes in English. I love books, cats, le barbu, pizzas and Dicaprio. Besides that, there is not much that you need to know about me. Except that his blog has seen is first day back in 2017, and I'm proud that I manage to keep it that long.

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What did I read this month? #12


I'm finally back at reading a lot more this month, the end of the thesis is coming (finally) and I have a bit more me time. I also wanted to finish the gigantic Thilliez's book. Done! Here are some of the books I read in May.


Les Possibles by Virginie Grimaldi
I've been waiting for this one since she announced it a few weeks/months ago. Grimaldi is one of my favorite French author. Everything she writes is beautiful. I've talked about it before but certain French author have this capability to write in such a delicate and beautiful way, while being able to make readers laugh or cry. Virginie Grimaldi is one of those who make you feel so many things in just one page. Her story was about aging and losing memories. It was sad, yet it made readers understand how much we should enjoy our memories and our loved ones. I definitely cried and laugh at the same time with this book, it was quite amazing.


 

Le syndrome [E], [GATACA] and Atom[ka] by Franck Thilliez
I'm going to talk about the three in just one review because they were really similar to me. They all have this sense of darkness, deep darkness. They were all sensibly the same in many ways. The reader tend to discover and learn many things with these books: sciences, the Evolution, you name it. Thilliez shows the worse of humankind and it can be interesting as much as it can make you inconfortable. At least, they were not as morbid from what I'm used from him, but I feel like the next ones are going to be even darker. 
 
Les Dieux voyagent toujours incognito by Laurent Gounelle
I don't know if this book can be classified as a self-help book disguised into a fiction. In general, I don't like self-help book, they make me feel like I need to change in a specific way, as if who I am not is not fine. This one wasn't about the reader but about the story, and I liked that. The first half was well done and interesting. As for the second half, I'm not sure I liked it very much. It became too much a fiction and just... well, too much in general. I listened to this one and I was a bit lost from time to time, it became hard to stay focus towards the end. 

21 lessons for the 21st century by Yuval Noah Harari
I listen to this one because the size of that book didn't make me want to read it. It's been a on my TBR for a while and I still wanted to see what's the fuss was all about. It was interesting. The author has clearly A LOT of knowledge and curiosity towards our world and various civilisations. I've learn things, but I feel like it's a book to tell you what to think. Even if it's base on facts and examples most of the time, it's still a book written by someone who put his thoughts in it. I did laugh from time to time by the rawness of the writing, I thought it was brilliant to be that honest of one's thoughts. Not sure I will read the other ones, but it was nice to know what it was about.

TBR on my shelves


Today, I'm only talking about the physical books on my shelves. I don't even want to get started on my Kindle TBR, it's too much. I sort of have a difficulty to stop buying books even though I haven't read all of those which are on my shelves. I feel like I dishonor them and miss out. What if my next favorite books is just waiting there?

Another difficulty for me with physical books I own is the impossibility to not finish it. So I have to read them all, even if it's taking me ages (hello the Outlander series). That's why some of them like the second GoT book has been unread for years.

Here are some of the books I need to read ASAP.


Il faut qu'on parle de Kévin by Lionel Shiver

Oh boy. This one has been on my tbr for years. Since I've seen the films years ago actually. It was devastating, terrible, horrific but brilliant and I wanted to read the book so much after that. Might do that one day.


Emma by Jane Austen + Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

I'm a bit ashamed that I haven't read this book yet, especially during my English degree. I mean, who has an English degree without having read one of these? I want to correct that, especially with this gorgeous edition.

 




The Goldfinch by Dona Tartt

The Secret History was brilliant, I'm expecting this one to be just the same. Yet, the size of it is quite intimidating even if you're used to read. I tend to wait a bit longer to read larger books. We'll see how it goes.


La Jouissance by Florian Zeller

This is the book that has been on my tbr the longest. I started reading it actually, but thought it was a bit weird. I try not to be disappointed and will try to pick it up later.


Commonwealth by Ann Patchett

Frankly, I bought this book by mistake. I thought it was an entirely different story, and therefore it's been waiting since then. The cover is gorgeous and might be on of the first reason I'll read it. Who knows, maybe I'll love it still.


Life and books lately


Hi. It's me again. Just taking a moment to write something else than my thesis. Might do me good. It's been a while since I haven't talked about books and I miss it even though I haven't had the opportunity to read that much lately. I bought books, obviously, but they are just joining the rest of my TBR stack on my shelves. Waiting. Desperately. 

I finally read The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern. It's brilliant, super well written with this unique style. This writer is frankly amazing when you compare this one to The Night Circus. How can someone have that much imagination to create a whole world that makes your imagination going crazy. This is the whole point of books: makes your imagination wonder, travelling places you couldn't imagine yourself. It's been lovely to go in this imaginary world during lockdown number 3729. I don't read a lot of fantasy as I don't really like it in general, but this: I love!

I also finished The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles. WW2 era is just so fascinating to me and I try to read books about it as much as I can, especially when it happens in France. It's devastating, but you always learn a lot even if it is a work of fiction. This one started quite badly, if I'm honest. It wasn't that bad, but it was a bit too… American. When you are French, you are used to work of fiction during this time, you are used to history and how it's been told. And with this book, I felt like I had the American point of view, not the French's. Paris was all romantic, wonderful and full of love. The war was about to happen but everything was beautiful still. I hated that, it was not realistic at all as it's often the image we have of Paris of France in general when you don't live there. Yet, the book became really good once the war broke. It was all about the library and the amazing job they did during this difficult time. It was about loss, friendship, love and survival. I really like the two stories in one book, even if it felt like it wasn't written the same way. The 80s part was really american, whereas the 40s part was definitely more European. I would really recommend this book if you're into the whole WW2 thing. 

I read a lof of Franck Thilliez's book. He is a famous thriller writer in France. His book are disturbing, really (really) dark so it's not something I grab if I'm feeling a bit down. Yet, they are great. The characters have a real personality, they aren't flat. The stories often follow the same pattern than thriller do, yet they have their own style. Thilliez is really good with writing horrible stories.

That's pretty much it for me. I will now go back to finish writing my thesis. Yes, I'm always mentioning it at the moment because except work, I don't do much except writing this flipping thing and watching Ginny & Georgia on Netflix (well, I did watch Dark for the 3rd time). 


So, I tried audiobooks ...

When I had my Kindle, it was a revolution. I doubled the amount of books I read in one year, I found VO books without struggling so much and basically: it was the best and easiest thing to have for a reader who try to read more. I only saw the benefit, but still preferring physical books. I never saw it as a replacement, just as another way to incorporate more books into my life.

This is how I saw audio books as well. But, there is something different about them that always made me skeptical to try them. For me, it didn't count as reading but more like listening to a podcast. I know it's a big topic in the reader's world but I really don't count it as reading. It even felt like cheating, which is ridiculous as it's not a race or anything of the sort. Still, I didn't think it was for me. So when I looked for The Four Winds by K. Hannah to download and also found the audio version, I just tried it. I was too curious to see how it felt to give it up without trying at least once.

I'm not sure it was the best book to start this new format. The voice of the reader was a bit off and robotic, I disliked the different voices and accents she made and was too focused on trying to be focused whilst experiencing something new that the first hour was difficult. But then, I just listen to it more as a background without trying too hard and it actually worked: I was focused in the story. Yet, it was still not that great. I don't know if it was the story, the reader or the whole new experience but it still didn't feel like reading.

 
 

So I tried with another book in French by an author I like at the moment. In my mother tongue, it should be easier to follow without having my mind wandering off. It was actually better this time. The voice was really deep and serious which stick to the ambiance of the story (a thriller), the different characters were distinguishable without him trying too hard. But it's so hard for me to stay focus on the story while doing something else. Walking is fine because I don't have to focus on something else, but otherwise I always wonder what's going on and what I missed while daydreaming.

I won't say I love audio books, but I will probably try to listen to them a bit more this year, especially when I'm cooking or cleaning the house (I don't listen to music that much at the moment, so this will be a great alternative). However, I'm curious to know your thoughts on the subject. Do you count listening to audio books as reading? Do you have a favorite audio book?

Studying literature in France


I'm one of those stereotype who reads all the time and did literary/history studies. And let me tell you, I love it! 

I first had my first bachelor's degree in English - languages, literature and civilization (basically, how to be fluent and know the culture of all the main English-speaking countries) then in French literature ("Lettres modernes" - which is not modern at all and not always French). Those two degrees gave me plenty of books to read and words to put together in many essays and dissertations. It was four years in total where I dreamed in English and thought about Ronsard even when I ate. Yes, it was intense and I actually enjoyed it all (mainly). 

What I loved the most was learning about other's civilization. Yep, it's sad to say when I intended to write a blog post about literature and not history. But I'm getting on that! I became obsessed with the Victorian Era and the 20th century in the US. The more I learned, the more I wanted to know.

Then comes literature. I have plenty to think about when I remember those four years. I did love it, but not all of it. Some books were amazing such as Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. Others were supposed to be amazing but didn't feel so at the time like Margaret Atwood's best seller: The Handmaid's Tale (oh yes, I had bloody amazing feminist teachers!). And some were just plain boring (sorry for those of you who loves Emily Dickinson's poetry - I didn't). And between that, lots of writing about those books.

In France, we got different classes with different books and teachers every semester. That's why I had a lot of different books to read for various classes. I probably had around 3 to 6 books I had to read every semester (plus additional one for the most determined). Some I had to read three times (never did, I hate re-reading a book in order to understand it properly). And because I am a very obedient girl, I read them all. 

 


Before uni, I thought that those studies where about classics and boring/long books that nobody wants to read anymore. I was wrong. We did studied classics like Shakespeare, Henry James, Jane Austen and F. Scott Fitzgerald, but we also studied more modern literature like Atwood, Arthur Miller, Brian Evenson or Ben Marcus. I also discovered that some classics were far better than modern books. The whole end of the world/apocalyptic class I took was a disaster: I hated them all. Whereas I discover a passion in Great Expectations which was such a huge book to read at the time. Dickens won my heart, just like Jane Austen did. 

Then came French literature, which actually was not all French. Baudelaire, Ronsard, Racine, Euripide (really, REALLY not modern at all), Rousseau, Sartre: they weren't for me. I probably had to read 12 for this one year and I probably liked only 3 of them. It was disappointing, especially when the teachers were not captivating (expect the one who looked like John Snow). I was a lot to read for just one year as we have at least 2 books for each literary class. I didn't love "Lettres modernes" as much as I love my English degree. It was not captivating and the book were not always the best to study. We had to do those huge essays, in writing or orally (my cup of tea, as you could imagine) every other week (or what felt like it) and it just put this big weight the whole year. I really hated it when I had to speak alone for 40 minutes about literature. It actually benefited me, but the stress and anxiety it gave me was probably just too much to be okay with it in the end. And I just missed learning about history anyway. In another life, I might just do a whole History degree. Who knows?

I'm now over with literary studies as I'm doing a Master degree in web design - which I love, especially since I had zero books to read (= plenty of time to read the books I chose to read). But I'm grateful for the culture it gave me, the classics I read and the ability I have to write pages and pages of essays without dreading it anymore.

The list of all the books I read in those four years: 

  • The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald 
  • Death of a Salesman - A. Miller
  • Various poems - E. Dickinson
  • The Handmaid's tale - M. Atwood
  • Romeo and Juliette - W. Shakespeare
  • Great Expectations - C. Dickens ♥
  • The Flame Alphabet - Ben Marcus
  • Immobility - Brian Evenson
  • Daisy Miller / In the cage / The beast in the Jungle / The figure in the carpet / The Death of the lion  - H. James
  • Pride and Prejudice - J. Austen ♥
 
  • Britannicus - J. Racine
  • Les Bacchantes - Euripide
  • Macbeth - W. Shakespeare 
  • Les Confessions - J-J. Rousseau
  • Les fleurs du Mal - C. Baudelaire
  • Les mots - J-P. Sartre
  • Les amours - P. de Ronsard
  • Extension du domaine de la lutte - M. Houellebecq
  • Le quai de Ouistreham - F. Aubenas ♥
  • Petites natures mortes au travail - Yves Pagès
  • Aux animaux la guerre - Nicolas Mathieu ♥
  • Les Pensées - Pascal

Quotes

Don't feel stupid if you don't like what everyone else pretend to love.

Emma Watson

Actress and Feminist

I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is: I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat.

Rebecca West

Author and Feminist

I used to think that freedom was being not attached to anything. I've been working on redefining that, that freedom is not about being not attached to people. You can still be free when people love you.

Jemima Kirke

Actress

EVA MARIE
Rennes, France

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