Chance and One Author’s Exploration of Extremism and Corruption

Jerusalem

A skeptic at heart, I’m not one to believe in providence or good luck but whenever I’m in Paris, the number of happy coincidences I experience seems improbably high. For example, last December, after visiting an exhibit of Honoré Daumier’s 19th-century farcical Parisian caricatures, I failed to find a book…

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Franz Reichelt, Shocking Story One Man’s Tragic Obsession

Reichelt's jump

Last summer, while wandering in Biarritz, I came across a quaint little bookstore two steps away from the glamorous beachfront. Browsing the display tables, an intriguing cover caught my eye. Les Envolés, by Étienne Kern, won last year’s Prix Goncourt du Premier Roman (the equivalent of a National Book Award…

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A Game for Swallows, Revealing Humanity Beneath the Rubble

Le Jeu des Hirondelles focus

I’ve long been fascinated by stories that take place in the Middle East and as a bande dessinée fanatic, when I come across a French graphic memoir that tackles the subject, I often can’t resist obtaining a copy. Such was the case last month when I discovered the French-Lebanese author…

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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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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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