French & Spanish Connections – Community Languages recent picks

Explore some delightful additions to our Community Languages collection including history, romance, suspense and good movies. Enjoy!

Syndetics book coverRue des boutiques obscures / Patrick Modiano.
“Paul Modiano is a French writer who was born on July 30, 1945, in Boulogne-Billancourt. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2014 for his lifetime body of work. Modiano’s works explore the traumas of the Nazi occupation of France and the puzzle of identity. His preoccupation with the theme of identity can be seen throughout many of his works including his 2005 memoir entitled Un Pedigree. His mother and father began their clandestine relationship during occupied France. Growing up, his father was absent for most of his life and his mother was away frequently while on tour acting. He was alone much of the time and went to school because of government aid. His younger brother died of a disease at age 10 and this added to his “lost identity” feelings while growing up. Although he is well known in France, only about 12 of his works have been translated into English.” (Bowker Author Biography)

Syndetics book coverEtoile errante / J.M.G. Le Clézio.
“This is the story of two teenage girls on the threshold and in the aftermath of World War II: Esther, a French Jew who flees for Jerusalem with her mother, Elizabeth, just before the German occupation; and Nejma, a young Arab orphaned and unable to return to the ancient city of her birth, Akka, after the Israeli declaration of statehood.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverPlateforme : roman / Michel Houellebecq.
“The controversial French author turns in another unremittingly bleak novel. Misanthropic, sexually frustrated bureaucrat Michel embarks on a “Thai Tropic” package tour, amusing himself with snide commentary on his fellow vacationers and frequent visits to sex clubs. Although he is attracted to business executive Valerie, he has trouble engaging her in small talk. However, when they return to Paris, their relationship quickly turns passionate as they explore sadomasochism and public sex. Michel talks Valerie and her business partner into marketing sex tours to the Third World, selling them on his theory that Westerners have lost touch with their own sexuality. But when they decide to sample one of their own tours, their resort becomes a flashpoint for Islamic hatred. Houellebecq is unrelenting as he meticulously constructs a world that mirrors his own cold vision and that cuts uncomfortably close to the bone.” (Booklist)

Syndetics book coverJe m’en vais : suivi de Dans l’atelier de l’écrivain, entretien réalisé par Geneviève Winter, Pascaline Griton et Emmanuel Barthélémy / Jean Echenoz.
“Descubra los últimos años de la interminable dictadura de Porfirio Díaz, una época en la que México vivió en un volcán a punto de estallar. La historia de un país que había disfrutado de un extraordinario progreso económico, pero que conservaba aún el profundo lastre del analfabetismo y de la muy desigual distribución de la tierra.”(Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverContigo en la distancia / Carla Guelfenbein.
“Spanish Description: Los laberintos del amor y la mentira, y el talento desigual como desafío de una pareja son los grandes temas de esta novela de Carla Guelfenbein. A Vera Sigall y Horacio Infante los une un amor de juventud y su pasión por la literatura. También un lazo misterioso que dos jóvenes, Emilia y Daniel, intentan desentrañar. Sin embargo, este no es el único enigma en sus vidas. Una mañana, Vera Sigall cae por las escaleras de su casa y queda en coma. Al principio, la noción de que su caída no fue un accidente aparece como una sospecha para Daniel. Pero con los días y las semanas, la duda irá creciendo hasta volverse una certeza. Emilia y Daniel se encontrarán en la búsqueda de la verdad acerca del accidente de la mítica escritora pero, sobre todo, en la necesidad de entender sus propios destinos.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverEl tiempo entre costuras : una novela / María Dueñas.
“An outstanding success around the world, The Time in Between has sold more than two million copies and inspired the Spanish television series based on the book, dubbed by the media as the “Spanish Downton Abbey .” La joven modista Sira Quiroga abandona el Madrid agitado de los meses previos al alzamiento arrastrada por el amor desbocado hacia un hombre a quien apenas conoce. Con él se instala en Tánger, una ciudad exótica y vibrante donde todo puede suceder. Incluso la traición. Sola, desubicada y cargada de deudas ajenas, Sira se traslada a Tetuán, capital del Protectorado Español en Marruecos. Gracias a la ayuda de nuevas amistades forjará una nueva identidad y logrará poner en marcha un taller de alta costura en el que atenderá a clientas de orígenes lejanos y presentes insospechados. A partir de entonces, con los ecos de la guerra europea resonando en la distancia, el destino de Sira queda ligado al de un puñado de carismáticos personajes que la empujarán hacia un inesperado compromiso en el que las artes de su oficio ocultarán algo mucho más arriesgado.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverPlatos exprés : 175 deliciosas recetas listas en 30 minutos o menos / Liz Franklin ; [traducción, Eva María Cantenys Félez].
“Meal times are an opportunity to unwind and share quality time with your family–talking and laughing while enjoying savory food. This book shows you how to do just that while minimizing preparation and fuss. The cookbook is divided into six easy chapters featuring recipes that can be made in just 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, and 30 minutes. Forget prepared supermarket convenience meals or take-out. Instead, discover how to create scrumptious meals from fresh ingredients–quick. These recipes are loaded with homemade taste, are significantly cheaper than frozen dinners, and can be made in only a matter of minutes.” (Syndetics summary)

DVDs

Find them in the ‘Sound & Vision’ area

Cover from amazon.co.ukUn village français / a series created by Frédéric Krivine, Emmanuel Daucé, Philippe Triboit.
“Untold French history told with flair! Un Village Francais is a five-season series that has taken France by storm. Confronting the difficult subject of French collaboration with the Germans during WW2, it details the lives of the people of a fictional town in rural France, and shows how the machinations of war lead some to collaborate with the Nazis.” (Container)

Image from Aro VideoFolies Bergère / a film by Marc Fitoussi.
“Long married 50-somethings Brigitte and Xavier are prize cattle breeders in regional France. Life is good, but the departure of their children from home has locked Brigitte into a mind-numbing routine. She keeps hoping for something else, something more. Brigitte impulsively sets off for Paris, whereupon meeting a charming Danish gentleman, she impulsively allows herself to be flattered by his attentions.” (Container)