French Language Blog

French Books to Read in the Summer Posted by on Jun 24, 2011 in Culture, Vocabulary

C’est l’été, enfin! (It’s the Summer, finally!)

Many friends of mine have been telling me as of late how they’re excited to seize the opportunity of the sudden extra free time in their hands to catch up with la lecture de loisir (leisure reading)—As opposed  to the force-fed textbook “reading assignments” of the school year- and they especially asked me about some good book titles to read en français

Naturellement, not everyone is necessarily into “les classiques”, but if you are, and are at a loss as to where to begin, here is a short list which should help you decide par quel livre entamer vos vacancs d’été (through which book to kick-start your Summer holidays)—It’s of  no particular order, so it’s all up to you!

  • Le Petit Prince“, by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
  • L’Étranger,by Albert Camus
  • Phaedra” by Racine
  • Tartuffe ou L’Imposteur“, L’École des femmes“, or Le Bourgeois gentilhomme, all great works by Molière
  • Candide“,byVoltaire
  • Mémoires d’Outre-Tombe (meaning literally “Memoirs from Beyond the Grave”) by François-René de Chateaubriand
  • Le Rouge et le Noir” (“The Red and the Black”), and “La Chartreuse de Parme” (“The Charterhouse of Parma”), by Stendhal
  • Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
    • Here is a famous movie adaptation by Claude Chabrol, with the celebrated actress Isabelle Huppert:
  • La Bête humaine“, Germinal, orAux Bonheur des Dames” (translated as “The Ladies’ Delight“, or “The Ladies’ Paradise) by Émile Zola
  • Pierre et Jean, or Bel Ami, by Guy de Maupassant
  • Notre-Dame de Paris“, or, of course, “Les Misérables“, by Victor Hugo
  • Pantagruel” or “La vie très horrifique du grand Gargantua(often known simply as “Gargantua”), by François Rabelais
  • Eugénie Grandet“, or “Le Père Goriot“, both from Honoré de Balzac’s “La Comédie Divine
  • À la recherche du temps perdu(“In Search of Lost Time“), or Du côté de chez Swann (“The Way by Swann’s), byMarcel Proust

* * *

Je souhaite une très bonne et agréable lecture à tous nos amis!

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  1. Neil Lucock:

    Lettres de mon moulin par Alphonse Daudet vaut bien de lire

  2. Shannon Fabry:


  3. Diana:

    With summer starting so soon, I am heading straight for the beach with my light and easy read! What better way to immerse myself in the French Culture while improving my French than to read light French literary classics! I have printed out your list and are heading straight for the book-store!