London French Lessons

Native French Tutor

Vive la lecture!

From a young age, I have had a passion for reading and I am glad I am still a keen reader now. I read equally in French and English and have started reading in Spanish too. Really, nothing beats reading in the original version and it is a great way to develop your vocabulary and comprehension skills. I will recommend a few books I like on this page but I recommend you to go to the bookshops and libraries directly to browse and look for books that inspire you. 


Barbican Library

If you want to borrow French books, you can try the Barbican Library in Central London as they have a selection of books in foreign languages and the membership is free. The only thing is I think you will need to live or work in the City. 

http://www.barbican.org.uk/visitor-information/barbican-library 


The French Intitute

Possibly the biggest pool of resources, books, DVDs and CDs in French in the French Institute 'Médiathèque'. There is a registration fee of £45 for a Classic Adult membership for a year but you can borrow up to 20 books, DVDs, Magazines, CDs for 3 weeks at a time. 

http://www.institut-francais.org.uk/la-mediatheque/


The European Bookshop

One of the very first stop if you want to buy French books is the European Bookshop. They have a good selection of French books, premium or paper backs and also educational books for learning/teaching. 

http://www.europeanbookshop.com/contact.php


Waterstones Picadilly Circus and Gower Street

I am usually not keen on chains but the Waterstone Piccadilly Circus is a real book lover paradise with 8 floors dedicated to books and a foreign book department. I sometimes go to Waterstone Gower St too. 

http://www.waterstones.com/waterstonesweb/


Foyles 

The foreign language department at Foyles, the massive bookshop on Charing Cross is good and you could have a look at their selection of French books if you are in the area. 

http://www.grantandcutler.com

Chanson Douce

My latest acquisition but it starts on a very dark note so not sure I will read it soon...

It got the famous French literary prize 'Prix Goncourt' in 2016 and the critics are positive. 


Nââândé!?

This book is really funny and highly recommended if you want to know more about French culture. It has been written by a Japanese woman and 'nââândé!' is what Japanese people say when something shocks them. It is short and easy to read so a good book at intermediate level.  

How to Be Parisian Wherever You Are

It has been great fun reading this book over summer in Paris Montmartre. Some very good chapters and some not to be taken too seriously...

I will remember this quote by Sacha Guitry: 'Will you be my first wife?' to illustrate the French sense of humour and lifestyle. 

Very light, fun and easy to read as it is in English. 

Au revoir, là-haut

Two of my students have just offered me a Kindle for Christmas. 

The very first book I downloaded is 'Au revoir là haut' from Pierre Lemaitre. 

It won the prestigious French literary prize 'Prix Goncourt' in 2013 and was recommended by a very good friend.  

Will tell you more once I have read it... 


http://www.amazon.co.uk/Au-Revoir-Là-Haut-Pierre-Lemaître/dp/2226249672/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1420997595&sr=8-1&keywords=au+revoir+la+haut

Les nouveaux créateurs à Paris 

My student Damien, a beautiful model and art specialist, gave me this book a few weeks ago. It has just been released and is great if you are looking for really nice designs, clothes, shoes and jewellery (...) in Paris. A lot of addresses and recommendations with an idea on price as well. 

As it is written in French, I will give you a description in French as well.

'Si vous en avez assez de porter les mêmes vêtements/bijoux que le commun des mortels, ce livre est pour vous. Il recommande 50 nouveaux créateurs de talent avec une idée de prix, des anecdotes sympa et de jolies illustrations. On sent une passion des beaux vêtements/objets tout au long du livre et on y trouve aussi de très bonnes adresses, astuces et recommandations. J'ai hâte de retourner à Paris pour faire un tour dans toutes ces jolies boutiques.'

http://www.amazon.fr/nouveaux-créateurs-à-Paris/dp/2812310758/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1420548034&sr=8-1&keywords=les+nouveaux+créateurs


La Mode Parisienne

If you are a woman and have always found the French style interesting but can't quite recreate it, this book is for you. 

It compiles interviews, tips, recommendations and good illustrations that explain clearly the basis of the parisian street style. You can learn the implicit rules (like not showing clivage and legs at the same time) and the importance of good quality accessories and shoes. It is in English, easy to read and the pictures are inspiring. 


Paris Street Style - A guide to effortless Chic 

By Isabelle Thomas & Frédérique Veysset 


http://www.amazon.co.uk/Paris-Street-Style-Guide-Effortless/dp/1419706810/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1376738772&sr=8-1&keywords=paris+street+style

Yasmina Reza

I love spending time in bookshops and libraries looking for my next book to read, like a chance encounter. 

Lately, I have discovered the book 'Heureux Les Heureux' From Yasmina Reza and thoroughly enjoyed it. Like a patchwork of intertwined lives it unfolds with a constant underlying sense of humour. 

I am now reading her theatre play 'Art' and it is a real delight. Highly recommended. 


http://www.amazon.co.uk/Art-Yasmina-Reza/dp/221075447X/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1376739910&sr=8-5&keywords=yasmina+reza


http://www.amazon.co.uk/Heureux-heureux-Yasmina-Reza/dp/2081294451/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1376739910&sr=8-4&keywords=yasmina+reza

Annie Ernaux

While on holiday in the Alps, I discovered this book by Annie Ernaux and really enjoyed it. 

She writes in a way which is very descriptive and seems at the same time emotionless. 

The book is about her father who was from a different social background, from Normandy, and the way she slowly made her way up the social ladder.  

One of my friends studied this book at university as it is a good sociological description of life at that time. 

Ce qu'il advint du sauvage blanc...

I was not expecting it but I thoroughly enjoyed this book. My very first job as a Teacher Trainer and Teaching Advisor was in the South Pacific and I was lucky to spend some holidays in Australia and New Zealand. This book reminded me of my time in Oceania although it is set up at a completely different time. It is beautifully written with some constant shifts from life with the 'sauvages' and life back in civilised Western society and it clearly shows the lack of understanding and communication between the two worlds at that time.