Triple Choice Tuesday

Triple Choice Tuesday: Book Around The Corner


Welcome to Triple Choice Tuesday. This is where I ask some of my favourite bloggers, writers and readers to share the names of three books that mean a lot to them. The idea is that it might raise the profile of certain books and introduce you to new titles, new authors and new bloggers.

Today’s guest is Emma, who blogs at Book Around The Corner.

Emma is French but decided to write her blog in English because she wanted to be in contact with readers outside of the Francophone world. “It worked beyond my expectations,” she tells me. “I also love the English language and its different yet familiar way to put our world into words.”

Emma says she has always loved reading but hated literature classes: “This explains why I’m a corporate executive and why I don’t have a degree in literature. To sum it up: I write about books without any academic baggage in literature or any writing skills and in a language that is not my native tongue. Yes, I’m cheeky.”

Without further ado, here are Emma’s choices:


pride-and-prejudiceA favourite book: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

I’m not much into re-reading books even if reading Madame Bovary again as an adult has proven to be a fascinating experience. I had totally missed out on how Flaubert makes fun of society. I think that Pride and Prejudice is the only one I’ve read several times. It’s not a very original choice, I know. Why this one?

Pride and Prejudice is a rose. It’s lovely, it smells good and not offensive but it has thorns. Pride and Prejudice unveils the fate of women in Austen’s society. I love her feminism. I love that she created female characters who do not faint, cry or go into hysterics when things go tough. I admire her for showing to the world how limited a girl’s options were. And she’s had a witty sense of humour and incredible observation skills.

your-ticket-is-no-longer-validA book that changed my world: Your Ticket Is No Longer Valid by Romain Gary

I was 17 and something clicked between him and me. I fell in love with his prose, his turn of mind and his sense of humour. He always thinks out of the box and looks at things through a different prism. He was a humanist and his personal story influenced his writing. He was Jewish and emigrated to France in his teens. He was a diplomat and lived in different countries. His first wife was British and his second one American. He was truly a citizen of the world and assessed our world with amazing lucidity.

I would not recommend starting reading Gary with this one but with Promise at Dawn. There is more about this excellent French writer on my Reading Romain Gary page.

Going to meet the manA book that deserves a wider audience: Going to Meet the Man by James Baldwin

Writing about Baldwin after writing about Gary makes me think that they have things in common. They know the feeling of being outsiders and being judged for it. Both lived in France and in America. Both remain kind towards humanity without ignoring the horror and its flaws. Both are lucid but hopeful.

No one I’ve read describes better the inner damages of racism than Baldwin.

Thanks, Emma, for taking part in my Triple Choice Tuesday!

But I’m not sure that my ever-growing TBR pile feels the same way. I need to add both Gary and Baldwin to the list asap. As for Jane Austen, what can I say? Lots of people have chosen this one as their favourite book ever since Triple Choice Tuesday began back in 2010, but I’ve yet to read it myself. I know. I know. I’ll go crawl back under my rock right now…

What do you think of Emma’s choices? Have you read any of these books?

Triple Choice Tuesday

Triple Choice Tuesday: The Paperback Princess

Triple-Choice-TuesdayWelcome to Triple Choice Tuesday. This is where I ask some of my favourite bloggers, writers and readers to share the names of three books that mean a lot to them. The idea is that it might raise the profile of certain books and introduce you to new titles, new authors and new bloggers.

Today’s guest is Eva, who blogs at The Paperback Princess.

Eva is based near Vancouver, Canada, where she lives with her husband and her German Shepherd, Henrik. She has been blogging about books since late 2011.

“I pretty much eat, breathe and sleep books, aside from the mandatory eight hours a day that I spend working in a non-bookish place,” she says. “I read pretty much anything, aside from science fiction and most fantasy. I used to hate CanLit (which is shameful) but I’m on the road to recovery now.”

Without further ado, here are Eva’s choices:

House-of-mirthA favourite book: The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton

I was surprised at what a modern heroine Lily Bart actually is. She struggles against the conventions of her time, refusing to marry the expected man, wishing that she could live her own life by her own rules. Edith Wharton herself was such an unconventional woman and I love that she had the guts to create a story like this. Ultimately, it’s such a tragic story and serves
as a reminder of how far we’ve come and how far we still have to go in terms of the female experience around the world.

pride-and-prejudiceA book that changed my world: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

This is the book that continues to have the greatest impact on my reading. I first read it when I was 11 — I had watched the BBC mini-series with my mom and loved it and then she told me that it was based on a book and my head exploded. I read it, didn’t understand all of it, but knew that something had shifted within me. This perfect book changed me. I went on to read all of Jane Austen’s books (and continue to re-read at least one of her books every year) and moved onto the Brontes, Dickens, Eliot, Thackeray, Gaskell, Burney etc. Reading Pride and Prejudice when I was 11 turned me into a determined Anglophile and still colours my reading today — I read mostly books by female authors and an astounding number of them hail from the UK.

Far-from-the-tree A book that deserves a wider audience: Far From the Tree: Children, Parents and the Search for Identity by Andrew Solomon

This book is no joke, weighing in at 702 pages of incredibly dense text and heavy subject matter. But it’s so so important to read as human beings. This book looks at the relationships and the experiences of families who have children who are different from them. This could mean that they are deaf, have Down Syndrome, are dwarves, transgendered, criminals, or born as a result of rape, among other things. The main idea that Solomon explores is acceptance vs change. That is, those families that accept their children for who they are and those that wish that things could be changed. It’s an incredible book, that had me crying on the bus more than once. Sometimes it’s a very difficult book to read but mostly it’s one of the most important books I’ve ever read and I’m always trying to get more people to read it!

Thanks, Eva, for taking part in my Triple Choice Tuesday! 

I’ve read a couple of Edith Wharton books (before this blog so not reviewed here) and quite liked them, but dare I admit I’ve never read Jane Austen? One day I’ll change that. Promise.

And thanks for the reminder about Andrew Solomon’s book — I’ve heard very good things about this book from quite a few people now — which I’m keen to read. It won the Wellcome Book Prize, here in the UK, last year.

What do you think of Eva’s choices? Have you read any of these books?