My French Odyssey and Ways to Improve Language Skills

Learn French!

Like many people, every January I give some thought to my long and short-term goals and come up with several resolutions. This year, however, I’ve been floundering—that is, thrashing about like a flounder hoping to flop its way off the deck of an aircraft carrier. A persistent problem for me…

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Depictions of The Great War: Film and Graphic Novel

Madame Livingstone

Since translating a French military citation for a friend, I’ve been on a bit of a World War I jag. Both of my grandfathers served in the American military during the Great War. Yet, luckily for me, neither served as soldiers. One worked in a Washington bureau; the other drove…

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Wine & War, France’s Fight to Protect its Greatest Treasure

Nazi soldier in Burgundy Vineyard

There was a time in my life when I thought I hated history. My irritation with the subject developed in high school. History classes were taught by athletic coaches, most of whom didn’t seem particularly interested in the subject matter and I found our textbooks to be completely devoid of…

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My 10 Best Nonfiction Picks from 2022

Nonfiction November focus image

Since it’s “Nonfiction November” I thought I’d spend some time reviewing my favorite nonfiction reads from this year. I’d say that on the whole, 2022 has been a better-than-usual year for nonfiction—basing that statement on nothing other than my personal experience. I feel like this year I broke through a…

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Revolutionary Lafayette Through Eyes of a 21st-Century Translator

Lafayette in Battle

This summer I’m featuring a few guest posts from fellow francophile bloggers. Below you’ll find an interview that centers on the remarkable life of the Marquis de La Fayette. Known in the United States as Lafayette, the young French marquis played a pivotal role in helping America defeat the British…

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Alain Passard, Revolutionary 3-Star Michelin Chef Who Went All Veggie

Kitchen of Alain Passard

I love to cook and I love French bandes dessinées, so when I learned that the comic author and artist, Christophe Blain, had written a book about one of France’s top chefs, I wanted to check it out. Published by Gallimard in 2011, En cuisine avec Alain Passard is the…

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The 100-Year Anniversary of Proust’s Final Night on the Town

Location of Proust's Last DInner Party

On May 18, 1922, one of Paris’ grandest hotels was the site of a legendary dinner party. Pablo Picasso, Igor Stravinsky, Sergei Diaghilev, James Joyce, and Marcel Proust, were among the attendees. The evening is featured in a book, titled Proust at the Majestic: The Last Days of the Author…

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