vendredi 31 octobre 2008

We had a little avant-gout this afternoon when Beverley Bie Brahic stopped by at RWB. She is excited, as we are, about the upcoming poetry reading (on the 25th of November) with Jonathan Regier and Elizabeth Haukass. Needless to say, we are all looking forward to our evening of poetry!

mercredi 29 octobre 2008

Update on November readings at RWB

Exciting update on our November readings...

We have just confirmed that Agnes Desarthe will be joining Anne Marsella for our reading on the 14th of November (Friday). She will be reading from her latest book Chez Moi (Mangez Moi in french). Along with Anne Marsella's book Remedy, Chez Moi is one of our most recommended books. Penelope and I loved this book! To read a review of her book, please click and scroll down here. Needless to say, we are very excited and happy to welcome Anne and Agnes on the 14th of November at RWB!

When two favorite authors meet

Recently, I had the pleasure of attending a conference with Alberto Manguel. He is one of my favorite writers and it was such a thrill to see him and to listen to him lecture. I spent many happy enraptured hours perusing his Dictionary of Imaginary Beings and being engrossed in his monumental History of Reading. His writing is never too highbrow to detract from the clarity and vividness of the thoughts behind. And how can one not love a dictionary on imaginary beings? Naturally with the conference, I found myself looking though RWB’s shelves to discover something that I hadn’t read before. Of course, I discovered a pearl I hadn’t discovered before.
When he was 16 years old, while working at Buenos Aires’ Pygmalion bookstore, Manguel was asked by Borges if he would like to be his reader. Borges had already gone blind by the time he asked, and in fact had gotten into the habit of asking any and everyone. And so for four years, Manguel would visit three or four times a week to read to him. His book, With Borges, distills those years.
While his sessions with Borges were reading sessions, it was enough for an astute observer like Manguel to capture Borges’ essence as a writer. For fans of Borges, myself included, this is an invaluable addition to his writings. There is no doubt that Borges was a prolific and more importantly, a beautiful writer but short of having access to academic works or his biography, it is rare to find a volume that discusses his philosophy of writing in such a succinct yet elegant manner. We can never underestimate Borges influence on writing or other writers and even on his country. As Manguel points out, “Borges renewed the Spanish language…that his generous reading methods, allowed him to bring into Spanish felicities from other tongues: English turns of phrase or the German ability to hold until the end of a sentence its subject.” But more than refreshing the Spanish language, Borges’ writings have fixed Argentina permanently into the collective consciousness. “When Borges began writing, Buenos Aires (so far from Europe, the perceived center of culture), felt vague and indistinct, and seemed to require a literary imagination to impose it upon reality. Now Buenos Aires feels more real because it exists in Borges’ pages.” That’s quite a feat if you think about it.
My favorite passage, is that which talks about books. “For Borges, the core of reality lay in books, reading books, writing books, talking about books. In a visceral way, he was conscious of continuing a dialogue begun thousands of years before and which he believed would never end. Books restored the past.” As someone who lives and breathes books on a daily basis, this is one credo to live by.

lundi 27 octobre 2008

Along with all our November events, we have a stack of great new books for the upcoming vacances scolaire....

New in Fiction (in Trade edition and paperback)

1. The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff
2. The American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld
3. The Widows of Eastwick by John Updike
4. The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski
5. World without End by Ken Follett
6. Almost Moon by Alice Sebold (currently no 1 in the best seller lists in UK)
7. Biografi by Lloyd Jones
8. The Collection by Gioia Diliberto (one of my favorite books on Chanel, and to read the review I wrote, click and scroll down here)
9. Breakdowns by Art Spiegelman

New in Non Fiction

1. Payback by Margaret Atwood
2.The Anglo files by Sarah Lyall
3. The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World by Niall Fergunson
4. In Tearing Haste by Deborah Devonshire and Patrick Leigh Fermor
5. Angler: Inside the Shadow Presidency of Dick Cheney by Barton Gelman
6. Sartre's Sink by Mark Crick
7.Out of the Shadows by Francois Maspero
8. Chagall by Jackie Wulschlager

And for all Francophiles...
1. French Milk by Lucy Knisley
2.I'll Never Be French (no matter what I do) by Mark Greenside
3. Journal by Helene Berr

lundi 20 octobre 2008

Upcoming events

The month of October is drawing almost to a close and we're excited to tell you all the upcoming events for the month of November and December! Maybe its a bit early, but it can't be too early to write down these dates...

14th of November (Friday)--RWB reading with Anne Marsella. She will be reading from her book Remedy, which was included in the Telegraph's article of 50 Most Worth Talking About Books. For more details on the article, see... Anne will also be presenting Patsy Boone her first book in French.

25th of November (Tuesday)---a night of poetry with Beverly Bie Brahic, Elizabeth Haukass and Jonathan Regier. Beverly will be reading from "Against Gravity," and her translations of Hélène Cixous’s "Portrait of Jacques Derrida as a Young Jewish Saint," "Manhattan," "Dream I Tell You" , as well as from "Unfinished Ode to Mud," her new selection of prose poems by Francis Ponge. Elizabeth will be reading from her new poetry collection, Leap which won the Walt McDonald First-book Award for Poetry. Jonathan Regier will be reading from his debut collection of poems titled Three Years from Upstate.

4th of December (Thursday)---RWB will be at the official Paris launch of Corkscrewed:Adventures in the New French Wine Country by Robert V. Camuto at Juveniles Wine Bar 47, rue de Richelieu, 1e, Mº Pyramides. There will be a book signing and, since its all about wine, set in a wine bar, its only fitting that there will also be wine tasting.

Eh voila..marvelous things coming up! Keep reading us for further details about all the exciting things going on at your favorite bookstore!

jeudi 16 octobre 2008

He walked in today, quiet as you please but with an affable smile. "I didn't realize there was an english bookstore here" were his initial words and I was happy to tell him that RWB was on its 8th year. He browsed carefully and finally, confessed almost shyly that we had his books. His newest books in fact! And so I made my acquaintance with Andrew Miller, whose latest novel One Morning Like A Bird, we received recently. This is his fifth book and this time it is set in Tokyo in the 1940s. It has received favorable reviews thanks to his meticulous attention to detail and the way he captured beautifully the mood and atmosphere of those times in far away Japan. It was certainly a pleasure to meet the nice man behind One Morning Like a Bird.

mardi 14 octobre 2008

Literary News

The Man Booker judges have just announced that the winner for this year's prestigious Man Booker Prize is Aravind Adiga, author of White Tiger. I had the pleasure of reading his book over the summer when it was longlisted ( see review under RWB Fiction category) and I was quite blown away by his story and prose. For more details on the news, see

Get your copy now of White Tiger at RWB!

On other news, it was recently announced that Jean Marie Gustave LeClezio has just won the Nobel Prize for Literature. He is the 14th French writer to win the prize, which includes among others Jean Paul Sartre and Albert Camus. For more details please see

Author visit and other things...

Last Friday, RWB had a lovely visit from Orel Protepescu the charming author of Two Sticks. Being THE children's bookstore in Paris, she stopped by to show us her book. Two Sticks is the story of Maybelle, a spirited young girl who uses her Two Sticks to rattle, click and clack her way out of a peculiar situation. Its a book as charming and lively as the author and it was wonderful to meet Orel. We are looking forward to her next children's book!
Being in the bookstore biz, we couldn't help but cackle when we found the Black Book Shop..
And finally, remember when Stephen Clark came out with his newest book Dial M for Merde? It seems that people will believe anything, which I think, is the reason why he was obliged to come up with his own stint over at You Tube...

lundi 6 octobre 2008

RWB Event of the Month

After Amy Bloom and Cara Black, RWB is pleased to announce a reading with Joe Ashby Porter on the 13th of October at 8pm. He is a professor of English and Theater studies at Duke University. He is the author of a number of books, both non-fiction (The Drama of Speech Acts and Shakespeare's Mercutio, his edited Critical Essays on Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, and his eight co-edited volumes of Renaissance Papers) and fiction (Eelgrass, Resident Aliens, and The Near Future, and the collections The Kentucky Stories, Lithuania: Short Stories and Touch Wood: Short Stories.). He has won Pushcart Prizes and the NEA/PEN Syndicated Fiction awards. He will be reading from his newest collection of short stories All Aboard.

We are looking forward to seeing everybody at RWB on the 13th of October for Joe Ashby Porter's reading!

New month, new stack of reading material to indulge in..

New in Hardcover Fiction
1. The Whiskey Rebel by David Liss
2. Happy Families by Carlos Fuentes
3. The Wednesday sisters by Meg Waite Clayton
4. The Dancer and the Thief by Antonio Skarmeta
5. A Good Husband by Anne Cherian

New in Paperback Fiction
1. Diary of a Bad Year by J.M. Coetzee
2. The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry
3. The Pyramid by Henning Mankell
4. The Given Day by Dennis Lehane
5. The Comfort of Saturdays by Alexander McCall Smith
6. Tales from the Town of Widows by James Canon
7. Anathem by Neal Stephenson
8. Taxi by Khaled Al Khamiss
9. The Abstinence Teacher by Tom Perotta
10. Sweetsmoke by David Fuller
11.Confessions of a Fallen Angel by Ronan O'Brien
12. A Time to Every Purpose Under Heaven by Karl O. Knausgaard
13. The Other Hand by Chris Cleave
14. Me and Kaminski by Daniel Kehlmann
15. The Bend Boys by Richard Lange