Saturday, February 27, 2016

My March book list

The other day my husband mentioned how behind he felt on all the good TV shows out there, to which I replied how I felt so behind on all the good books out there. Ever since this new year began, I have been so motivated to
pursue a year of reading. Although I find much pleasure in my favorite shows like Blacklist and Suits, reading is a different kind of pleasure and I enjoy the power it has to bring enjoyment, broaden my perspective, teach me, and sometimes even cater to my daydreams.

Reading has always been something I have loved. Even as a kid, I remember frequent trips to the library and a long chart to keep tally of all the books I had completed. The ability to read became this new and exciting adventure. But over time, I noticed how my love for reading sort of dissipated. Maybe it was because of all the books that needed to be read in school or the busyness of life that ensued. But ever since beginning these book lists, there is a part of me that feels reinvigorated. I almost feel like my seven year old self again, captivated by the stories and information printed in pages and bound together.

For this month, I've decided to keep the trend going with books that feed my interests in history and France. I tried to identify a favorite from last month, but truthfully, they were all so good and so different from each other. I found Paris Letters to be inspirational in this quest of pursuing the things I am most passionate for. The author describes saving up money to trade in a corporate lifestyle to one of art and travel. I also enjoyed Picture This: How Pictures Work, a short book, which explained what certain elements in a photograph communicate. This book primarily focused on colors, direction of lines, shapes, and size, as a way of demonstrating the message that is being communicated. For example, horizontal lines evoke a sense of stability and calmness compared to diagonal lines, which demonstrate movement and instability.

Lastly, I was very intrigued by the biographies on Napoleon and Marie Antoinette. Although we have to take history classes throughout our education and into college, I can only remember certain events and names of importance. But I never felt I had the opportunity to really delve into European history. I did grow up with a curiosity regarding the events of World War II and the Holocaust, but not so much outside of that. Therefore, I was a bit embarrassed to realize my lack of knowledge regarding how important the lives of Napoleon and Marie Antoinette were in the history of France and the events of that time. I have found these books to only increase my desire to grow in my knowledge of European history and how it has influenced our world today.

Book list for March:

1. The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer

2. Paris was Ours by Penelope Rowlands

3. A Moveable Feast by Earnest Hemingway

4. Napoleon: A Life by Andrew Roberts
This book is so big (about 800 pages), so I have carried it over to this month.

To view past book lists, click here.


  1. Hi, Esther! Whenever I refer back to my reading logs of years past, I'm always transported back to grade school library trips and the chart with the stickers boasting how many books each person completed. Good times, indeed.

    Your books lined up for March sound lovely! Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales is definitely an enjoyable read. If your trend in books is leaning towards France and history, mine are towards Italy and memoirs. My favorite Italy book so far is A Thousand Days in Venice by Marlena de Blasi. Which of your favorite books would you say most embodies Paris?

    1. Hi Jamae! A Thousand Days in Venice sounds like a fun and romantic read. I'll have to keep that on my list of future books to read. My favorite book on Paris is Paris to the Past. It's more history than culture, but I think it is a perfect guide of the city. I plan on bringing it with me whenever I make it over to Paris. I really liked Paris Letters as a romantic story which takes place in Paris. Lunch in Paris is also a love story, but includes French cuisine. There are other books on Paris that I also enjoy, but I think they all are somewhat different due to the areas the stories focus on. I am looking forward to reading Paris Was Ours this month. It talks about Paris through the lens of 32 different writers who weren't originally from Paris. I'm curious to read about their different encounters. :)

  2. All of these books on Paris sound so intriguing. I'm definitely adding Paris to the Past and Paris is Ours to my list of books to be read. City guides in narrative form can make exploring the area fun and engaging without being tiresome. I'm also looking forward to reading all thirty-two distinct perspectives on Paris from non-Parisians. The premise alone seems interesting. (:

    1. I'm so glad you'll be adding Paris to the Past to your booklist! It's really my favorite. The author is Ina Caro. She has another book that focuses more on French history in general, which is also really good. I just began reading Paris Was Ours yesterday, but when I'm finished, I'll let you know what I really think about it.