Slightly Peckish Tuesday

14 May, 2013

Umami Mart

Hi there. Continuing my culinary journey in NYC, this week I talk about some fancy brunch. So check me out at Umami Mart: Slightly Peckish!

In bookish news, I just bought a copy of Running Like a Girl by Alexandra Heminsley to try and spur me on to do more running. I’m a crappy runner, struggling from the first step, gasping for breath and with a face as red as a boiled octopus. I read Haruki Murakami’s What I Talk About When I Talk About Running which was very inspiring and impressive since he runs a marathon a year on top of writing his books.

So what I’d like to know is, what books do you read to spur you on to do some exercise?

I have also just returned from a weekend in Paris where I finally visited the Catacombs which was surprisingly well lit, beautifully maintained and did not smell although the queue was 2 hours long. I read Antoine Laurain’s The President’s Hat on the Eurostar there and came back with a copy of Asterix and the Belgians in the original French just to see how the English translations differ. Apparently quite a lot, it turns out, but I guess they can’t really do a direct translation and keep all the jokes intact. The fact that the names of the beloved characters are different was a bit of a shock though.

This has spurred me on to try my hand at reading some books in French even though my French is pretty atrocious. I put out a call on twitter for titles that are gentle for a reader wanting to improve their French reading skills which resulted in several recommendations from Camus to Fred Vargas, Collette, Sagan, Nothomb and short stories by Gravalda to children’s books such as Le Petit Nicholas, historical fiction such as Dans un grand vent des fleurs by Janine Montupet (about Grasse and the perfume industry in the 19th century) and of course French translations of English books such as Harry Potter. So thank you everyone and lots to choose from. I went and bought a copy of Fred Vargas’ Un peu plus loin sur la droite, the sequel to The Three Evangelists which hasn’t been translated into English. Let’s see how I get on.

Do you ever get the urge to read a book in another language? And what did you begin with?

3 Responses to “Slightly Peckish Tuesday”

  1. winstonsdad Says:

    look forward to your thoughts on Presidents hat ,I read slim books in german once in a blue moon but hope to at somepoint learn a bit more french and spanish so can read books in those languages as well ,all the best stu

  2. Dark Puss Says:

    The first book I read in French was Voltaire’s L’homme au quarante ecus. However I do read the Herge “Tintin” books in French (I own them all) and unlike Asterix the French is very “correct” and thus not so challenging. I know some fluent speakers of French who found Tintin a great way into the language. Most of the character names change of course other than Tintin and Haddock, the latter I think being the French for “smoked haddock” which is of course a nice joke itself.

    • sakura Says:

      Thank you for the recommendation. I used to own several Tintin books in English when I was a child but never thought of trying them in French. Must remedy that!

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