How books can multiply

About one year ago I owned exactly seven books by French authors. Somehow, France was not exactly on my radar when it came to picking books.

In March 2015 I went to Paris on a schooltrip. I had been to Paris before, but this time it felt different. The moment we arrived I realized how much I enjoy Paris and I wanted more, and for me, that usually means reading books.

I asked one of my colleagues, a French teacher, for advice for modern French writers I could read. She gave me some names and some titles and well, a little more than a year later I own a lot more than just seven books, I counted them and there are now 84 on my shelves.

Three shelves and a half, filled with amazing authors I just discovered this year. I have not read all of these books yet, but when I discover a new writer I want to own all their books right away (like I am afraid that they will not be available anymore a week later, very strange but that is how it works.)

Some of my favorite new authors? Philippe Claudel, Patrick Modiano, Delphine de Vigan and Andrei Makine are just a few I have discovered.

I do not always do a post about these books on this blog, since not all of them are translated into English and in case of Patrick Modiano, it is sometimes very difficult for me to see which translated Dutch title goes with what English translated title.

But I can assure you that you will not be disappointed when you pick up books by any of the authors I mention here, so just go and see which books are available in your library or bookshop.

Here is a little close up of the seperate shelves. Most of them are in Dutch translation, I only have an English translation when there is no Dutch version available.

A few classics on the first shelf, like The count of Monte Christo by Dumas and Les miserables by Victor Hugo, but also modern authors like Michel Houellebecq, Muriel Barbery and Pierre Lemaitre.

Papillon by Henri Charriere (the book on the far left) was a favorite of mine for a long time when I was young. Only when I learned he made most of his adventures up, I was very disappointed. I have not read it since. On this shelf (only for small books, it is very narrow), you have all of my Patrick Modiano's. I love his style very much and I am very glad I discovered him.

Two classics I still have to read on the far left, Proust (Swan's way)  and Celine (Journey to the end of the night), Delphine de Vigan, Philippe Claudel (one of my favorite authors ever!) and of course Andrei Makine (who combines Russia with France, you cannot go wrong there).

On a seperate shelf I have some books by authors that do write in French, and sometimes live in France, but are from the former colonies, like Algeria, Senegal or Libanon. Here you find Yasmina Khadra, Amin Maalouf and Marie Ndiaye. I have not read any of these yet, except for the book by Yasmina Reza, but I am very much looking forward to this.

So this is how you can go in one year from seven books to over 80! :-)


  1. That happened with my Jane Austen collection, so to speak... I had the six novels in the German translation, then got the original texts, added several biographies, collections of letters, juvenile works, plus non-fiction books about the era and the political situation, economic development etc. I think I own 8 biographies - considering that Austen died before her 42th birthday, that's quite something :-) Oh, and of course, I have several DVDs of film versions based on her books... :-)

    1. Yes, I think many people can relate, especially if we are talking about books about a specific topic we care very much about. Somehow one book is never enough. I can also understand the need for several biographies, I have 5 biographies about Marilyn Monroe, and still looking at others!
      Love your Jane Austen collection, it sounds great!

      Kind regards,


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