Le Journal de Maya by Coralie Frei

cat on cover of kindle, black and white

[note: I read this in the original French as it is not yet available in translation]

a nutshell: at times hilariously melodramatic and perfectly ‘feline’, this diary of a five-year-old Siamese cat will have many familiar scenes for cat lovers such as myself

a line: “this is my philosophy: Patience, virtue of cats”

an image: Frei renders even the simplest of acts beautifully, such as when joy gives Maya the wings to jump and land heavily on the sink

a thought: I thoroughly enjoyed reading these observations from a cat’s perspective – particularly the comment on how humans possess the art of complicating their lives (if only we took a leaf out of our cat’s book!)

a fact: Frei is the first Comorian woman to have written a novel, and has also written poetry

want to read Le Journal de Maya? visit here

Those Without Shadows by Françoise Sagan (tr. Irene Ash)

a nutshell: a sardonic magnifying glass on a circle of Parisians bemoaning their ill-fated romances and lack of purpose in life

a line: “Everyone is familiar with these infinitely small circumferences which love creates in the heart of a great city”

an image: Bernard’s failure to light a damp cigarette symbolises the lives of those who never know real happiness but feel it’s of no importance

a thought: I got through this slim book quickly and came away feeling downbeat and listless … a sign of success on Sagan’s part in conjuring so effectively a sense of emptiness?

a fact: I bought this vintage 1964 Penguin Books edition in The Second Shelf and had lovely conversations while there – which included learning that Sagan was just 18 when she wrote Bonjour Tristesse (a sensational novel about a hedonistic teenager’s careless antics)


want to read Those Without Shadows? visit here