I’ve always been a bit of a Francophile, although I’ve never been to France. It’s definitely on my to do list. French culture, from philosophy to food to fashion to art have always excited me. I’ve been learning the language using library resources for a few years now. Although my progress has been slow, I have been learning. What I really need is more live practice; maybe I should get to one of the library’s French Conversation Club sessions.
Anyway, I’ve always thought that France and French are awesome, and here’s some stuff available from the library that either is French or pertains to France.
The Story of French by Jean Benoit Nadeau and Julie Barlow – The complete history of the French language, from Roman times through the present. The authors visit the entire francophone world and delve into the histories, events, and other languages that have helped French evolve into the major international language that it is today. This book reads more like a biography than a book on linguistics.
The Intouchables – The heartwarming story of a truly unlikely friendship: A quadriplegic bourgeois and an ex-con hired to help him results in an amazing bond. This film is touching, inspirational, funny and entertaining.
Carla Bruni – Now I must say, here in the United States we have a pretty awesome first lady. I love Michelle Obama’s style, grace and commitment to healthy living and to our veterans. In contrast, this former first lady is a pop star, and that’s pretty darn cool too. Her music is nice and relaxing, and for me a good way to practice my French.
French Cooking – One of the things that I learned from the The Story of French is that both the word restaurant and the institution began in France. Prior to the revolution, chefs worked in the homes of the nobility. When the revolution began, many of these nobles were sent to the guillotine or headed into exile, and the result was food professionals who had to come up with another outlet for their craft. Their product is now celebrated throughout the world, just as the French methods of cooking are. This link isn’t to any one particular French cooking book, but all of them in our catalog, as there are too many good choices to stick with just one.
My Life in France by Julia Child – Capturing the time frame from when Julia fell in love with French cooking up through her culinary education in France. Julia was really an amazing person. She didn’t find her passion for cooking until she was already in her 40s, after serving in the US military and following her husband, a diplomat, all around the world. Celebrate both a great country and a great personality with this vivid memoir.
What about you all, are there any other Francophiles around? What French books/movies/cultural things do you love?