It’s raining all day (all week?) in Atlanta, so really, it’s the perfect time to talk about books. I’m curious: what are you reading right now? I’m in the middle of a book I picked up in France by a Marseillais author, René Frégni. Sous La Ville Rouge (Under the Red City) is the story of Charlie Hasard, a boy born in the projects of Marseille, who at a pivotal moment in his late teens, amidst a swirl of petty thefts and petty dalliances, becomes obsessed with the written word. He has two passions in life: writing and boxing. After dedicating his twenties to the craft, to the exclusion of all other life’s pleasures, he finally gets a nibble from a publisher in Paris. Is this the moment he’s dreamed of? The pay-off to all his sacrifices and hard work? Frégni is a literary crime writer and Sous La Ville Rouge follows in that tradition when you are least expecting it. Tightly wound and full of suspense, Sous La Ville Rouge is an hommage to, as Frégni puts it in the book’s dedication, “all those who write with passion solely for the trash can.”
Seeing as my French is a bit rusty, Frégni is not exactly leisurely reading. I’m having to look up every other word in my handy Larousse dictionary, which is why I was glad to have this book on hand when we got back from our trip. My Bookstore: Writers Celebrate Their Favorite Places to Browse, Read and Shop is basically as good as it sounds, with writers of various genres from all different states sharing short essays about the bookstore(s) that inspired them and often encouraged them to do what they do. I also love that they are short essays, so easy to pick up, read one or two, and then go back to work. Pure indulgence.
So now it’s your turn. What are you reading these days? Any recommendations? I’d love to hear!
(The top gif is from it’s no biggie tumblr)