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Position:Candide - The Dead All Have the Same Skin - The Waitress Was New - Book review


Katie Capaldi is from Missoula, Montana.

If you're looking for books to push the boundaries of convention and make you smile even as it pokes fun at your existential crises, look no further than my favorite French books--both fiction and nonfiction.


Or Optimism

By Voltaire


In Voltaire's rather bold approach to vicious satire and explicit political and social commentary, Candide is the often deluded and bumbling protagonist, searching for love, fame, and fortune in all the wrong places. Witty and endlessly thought-provoking, this cautionary tale deserves a place of importance on any bookshelf of hungry readers.

The Dead All Have the Same Skin

By Boris Vian


Originally published in 1947, The Dead All Have the Same Skin is quintessential Vian: he provides shockingly violent snapshots of skewed racial tensions in a New York City with which he fancied himself very familiar, despite having never visited the United States.

The Waitress Was New

By Dominique Fabre


This poignant gem of a novel chronicles a mere few days in the life of Pierre, a middle-aged, divorced waiter at a Parisian cafe. Strange circumstances and dark secrets unfold quickly at the workplace, forcing Pierre to reflect on his quotidian existence.

The Only Son

By Stephane Audeguy


In Audeguy's latest novel, we discover the 18th-century Paris underworld through the eyes of Jean-Jacques Rousseau's older brother Francois. A family outcast because of his libertine philosophies, Francois offers his own manifesto in direct opposition to his brother's renowned Confessions.

The Voyage of the Short Serpent

By Bernard du Boucheron


Penned in the style of a medieval text, The Voyage of the Short Serpent is a standard of the "myth of utopia," revealing the oppressive conditions that drive an otherwise typical citizen to strike back with all the unadulterated and impassioned vengeance of a wild creature.

Cooking with Les Dames D'Escoffier

At Home with the Women Who Shape the Way We Eat and Drink

Edited by Marcella Rosene with Pat Mozersky


Les Dames d'Escoffier was founded in response to August Escoffier's all-male Service a la Russe Association. It remains to this day an impressive collective of female culinary professionals who believe that the most significant meals are those shared with family and friends. In this joint cookbook and...

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