A Book Tree: Books That Lead to Other Books
Riffle is all about lists, and that forces one to be creative when looking at one's stacks of books, or lists of titles, books read and unread. Beyond reading everything one author's ever written--that glorious discovery of an author new to you who's already written a stack of books you can devour--there's another winding journey. I noticed a theme (mostly Parisian) and traced it back to the root of the matter. I can see many other book trees in my life., but here's one delicious journey.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (Random House Reader's Circle Deluxe Reading Group Edition): A Novel
Mary Ann Shaffer
It all started here, in this story of desperate people in desperate times, the island of Guernsey under Nazi occupation. In the beginning, despite the subject, you think it's going to be fluff--but it's not. Pulls off a novel in letters as few can do!
1 / 10
Frothy but delicious. You can feel and taste France in this sweet little memoir. Recipes home cooks can easily recreate for everyday or special occasions.
2 / 10
Beautifully edited, Julia's memoir gives a window into French cuisine and post-WWII Europe. And French apartments. This leads you to As Always, Julia: the letters of Julia Child and Avis DeVoto.
3 / 10
This month's book club book, look for review after Sept. 21.
4 / 10
Paris Wife reminded me I should re-read A Moveable Feast, since I read it last in high school. Now there is this new edition, with more things from his papers--some about Hadley. So it will be a great companion read, and a fitting place to stop the list--but of course the tree will live on and bear more fruit
5 / 10
After you read the letters between Avis and Julia, you will try to find Bernard De Voto, but outside a University library, no such luck. But you will also realize how much reading The New Yorker magazine formed you when you were a teenager and you will delight in this history! You will re-subscribe and at least the issues are piling up on the IPad instead of the coffee table.
6 / 10
So, after reading About Town, you go back to find out about Flanner's years as the New Yorker's Paris correspondent. The history is good to know, but the subject does not come to life, alas.
7 / 10
I was disappointed in this. I've read his other histories, and with this theme, so much could have been done! There is a lot of information here, especially on the scientific/industrial front. But this is a bunch of anecdotes with no overarching theme to make it one of his great books. A vision unrealized.
8 / 10
Laurie R. King
Look for the full review of this on its release date, Sept 10. Since it takes place in Jazz Age Paris, in between the wars, you might jump at the chance to read it. It's a mystery, and fiction, but it certainly is the dark side of Paris, and I remembered how I didn't like Dali so much after seeing one of his movies. Dark sides of dada and surrealism, and maybe a glimpse of what enabled WWII.
9 / 10
Bones of Paris is mostly about artists, but since you are a reader and remember that American writers in Paris revolved around Sylvia Beach (and this will fit into the bookstore theme, another book tree!) you will want to read about it in her own words.
10 / 10
Source: Em Maxwell