March Potpourri: Tableaux, Toasts, Trees, and Uplifting Tales

Focus Image Brusseler

Throughout the month I come across a fair number of francophile-related articles, blogs, images, books, or videos that I’d like to share with readers. I’ve combined this potpourri of news items into a single post. Below are some of the gems from March. However, if you only have time for one…

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Fiction that Enlightens: Learning Something Adds to the Enjoyment

Oleanders and Books, Van Gogh

For many years, I avoided reading fiction. The world is vast and there is so much to know that I just couldn’t justify reading a novel. In addition, there are so many talented journalists-turned-author that it’s easy to find nonfiction on almost any subject that grabs and holds your attention—history,…

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Jules Verne, Captivating Storyteller and Harbinger of the Future

Jules Verne on Magazine Cover

Almost 150 years after the publication of Around the World in 80 Days, people still refer to Jules Verne’s fictional adventure each time someone comes close to breaking a record for circumnavigating the globe. Such was the case for this year’s Vendée Globe, a round-the-world sailing challenge, where the winners…

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Dark Days, Here’s to the Truthtellers and Brighter Times Ahead

focus image

Shortly after the dark day that marked George Floyd’s murder, a friend of mine posted an article on her Facebook page, written by the Haitian filmmaker, Raoul Peck. While Floyd’s death was hardly a surprising piece of news, given the prevalence of similar incidents, his brutal killing seemed to have…

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Let’s Eat France! A Fun and Fascinating Guide To French Cuisine

Back in October, I was reading a post on Bleu Blonde Rouge, a blog by Claudine Hemingway. In it, Hemingway wrote about her favorite French cookbooks. I love to cook so jotted down a couple of the titles to see if I could find them at my library. I was…

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Surviving A Massacre—Catherine Meurisse And Art’s Curative Power

Catherine Meurisse

Yesterday marked the 6-year anniversary of the savage terrorist attack on the satirical French magazine Charlie Hebdo. That morning, two gunmen killed 12 members of Charlie Hebdo’s staff and left 11 injured. I wrote about one of the courageous survivors, Coco, back in 2017. The word courageous, however, doesn’t do…

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The Story of French and How it Became a Remarkably Popular Language

Last week I began summarizing some of the highlights from The Story of French, by Jean-Benoît Nadeau and Julie Barlow. My post left off in the midst of the French Revolution. I read much of the book in November. During the week of our election, I was learning that at…

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The Mystifying Popularity of the French Language Revealed

Parlez-vous français?

Today, France lands at number 22 in the list of countries when ranked by population size. Yet, French is the 5th most spoken language in the world, behind English, Mandarin, Hindi, and Spanish. It’s an impressive status for a relatively small country—49th in the world in terms of geographic area.…

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