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:
A 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.
A book that changed my world: Your Ticket Is No Longer Valid by Romain Gary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.
A 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?