Simone Veil, Sylvain Tesson… Selections by Romain Ducuing from the Bon Marché bookstore

Simone Veil, Sylvain Tesson… Selections by Romain Ducuing from the Bon Marché bookstore

Le Bon Marché* is celebrating its 170th anniversary, and if the bookstore may not display such canonical age, it has been around for a long time. She lived on floor minus one for a long time, before fourteen years ago she went up to the second floor of a department store on the left bank. Nine bookstores share this space, which offers around thirty thousand works ranging from literature to good books, including classics and comics (all better represented). To the Parisian and loyal clientele are now added transient foreign readers who will find novels in English. Over the years, the place has become more comfortable with more meetings: either classical dedications, or conversations with authors, and also highlighting the work of publishers, such as Citadelles & Mazenod at the moment. Romain Ducuing, sales manager of bookstores and stationery, selected the following three titles.

Bestsellers: Only hope eases the pain Simon Veil

This book, published in collaboration with INA, is unpublished and retranscribes the entire series of recorded interviews between Simone Veil and historian Dominique Missika. The text is presented as a narrative written in the first person. We discover the family history of the Jacobs (name Simone Veil before marriage), from their arrival in Nice with the birth of four children, to the liberation of the camp. The end of the book is dedicated to the work of Simone Veil, her struggle for Franco-German reconciliation, the strong ties she maintained throughout her life with people who, like her, lived through the tragic experience of the camps. It is a moving book, which has not lost its power compared to the documentary film. We feel her emotions when she talks about her family or the camps, we “hears” gaps that he needs to gather. Many readers discovered her in a more intimate way thanks to her autobiography, Life. In this book we find that personality whose strength of conviction does not prevent a form of benevolence.

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Only hope eases the painSimone Veil, Flammarion, 224 pages, 19 euros.

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favorite: Blanc by Sylvain Tesson

It is always a pleasure to read a text that is at the crossroads of several genres: an adventure novel, a philosophical story, a reflection on literature and self-transcendence, an ode to nature. This book is dreamy, sometimes very witty, always lively. From In the forests of Siberia, Sylvain Tesson enjoys an aura in bookstores. Readers are looking for extraordinary stories. It would be like a personal development book, but without the hollow principles. Sylvain Tesson crosses incredible landscapes evoking Chateaubriand or Rimbaud. He has an ephemeral side that allows us to discover poets and places. Blanc is also a depiction of current events, as it takes place over three winters, one of which is closed.

BlancSylvain Tesson, Gallimard, 20 euros, 240 pages.

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Discovery: Ethnomythological small everyday objects by Tobie Nathan

This ethnopsychiatrist title refers to the mythologies of Roland Barthes and brings together the chronicles he wrote for journal of philosophy. Tobie Nathan walks in old traditions as well as in more concrete things. For example, he notes that work overalls, which have long been a real social marker, have been taken over by big names in fashion. As Barthes did for DS and boxing, he devoted himself to flip flops or Birkenstocks! He explores, with a lot of humor, the hidden meaning of everyday objects, he looks for certain meanings in ethnology, such as slim jeans, for which he finds an appearance among the Amazonian Indians. He talks about the popularity of beards among men, wondering if the metal gourd fad has environmental reasons or some other meaning. Everything is enriched with small drawings. It’s funny, educational. Have on the nightstand to read a bedtime story.

Ethnomythological small everyday objectsTobie Nathan, Stock, 250 pp., €19.50.

*24, rue de Sevres, 75007 Paris.

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