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You don’t know what novels to read this summer on the beach? Three booksellers from Orléans, Déborah Éloïse and Jean-Jacques, come to your rescue

You have a furious desire to read a book this summer on the beach, but are a bit lost in the jungle of novels and don’t know which ones to slip into your suitcase… Don’t panic, the booksellers in the city center of Orléans are here to enlighten you. Small selection, in the form of “favourites” by three of them.

The 2021 “favorite” novels from Orleans booksellers may enhance your beach vacation

Déborah, from La Librairie Nouvelle

Déborah, from the New Bookstore, Place de la République. Photo: David Criff

The bookseller on the Place de la République doesn’t hesitate long when you ask about her favourites. Deborah will first look for A love (ed. Grasset,
19.50 euros, 208 pages), by Sara Mesa
, or the story of Natalia who settles in the small village of La Escapa, in Spain. “The move is going badly, the house she rents is dilapidated, its owner contemptuous”, just like the inhabitants of La Escapa.

Do they see her as an intruder or is it her paranoia that separates her from her peers? “A real psychological novel, fine and powerful.”

Climate change in an “unclassifiable” book

Deborah also advises the novel by Sophie Poirier, The signal(ed. Uneducated,
13.90 euros, 130 pages), named after a now disused residence “which actually exists in the town of Soulac-sur-Mer, in Gironde. It was originally built 200 meters from the ocean, today it is nine meters from the water. The author fell in love with this building, a symbol of climate change. She talks about her imminent destruction, a pretext to evoke mourning, oblivion and memory. An “unclassifiable” book, she says, between poetry, reportage and the novel.

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Eloise, from Chantelivre

Éloïse, from the Chantelivre bookstore. Photo: David Criff

The bookseller on Place du Martroi recommends, first of all, love songby Jane Sanderson (Actes sud, 22.80 euros, 376 pages). The pitch by Éloïse: “Two forty-somethings who loved each other as teenagers meet once they are adults, thanks to the Internet. Alison lives in Australia, Dan in Scotland. They will start exchanging playlists by email, with a lot of songs from their youth on it (Blondie, The Pretenders…). A very nice novel about the first emotions, the question is whether they will succeed in finding each other.

Small originality: the novel provides the playlists, you will know what to listen to after reading it.

A novel that is a hit in France

Éloïse also advises Selective Affinities(Les Escales, 23 euros, 553 pages) by J. Courtney Sullivana book that has already sold 500,000 copies in France.

“Elisabeth, a brilliant New York reporter, has just had her first child, with her partner, they are moving to the suburbs. She will have a hard time adjusting to her new life in a small town and will recruit a babysitter to take care of her son. A friendship between them will be born, little by little, Elisabeth will begin to live vicariously the life of Sam, in particular his sentimental life. According to Éloïse, “a true novel of friendship between two women separated by everything”.

A selection of two novels by The Rep’

The Rep’ advise you to read sukkwan islandby David Vann. Be careful, if it’s hot on the beach, this novel (taken out in your pocket) may cause the temperature to drop, until your blood freezes. The pitch: Jim decides to take his thirteen-year-old son to a wild island in southern Alaska, all in wet forests and steep mountains. It is in this setting, accessible only by boat, that they will live for a year in an isolated cabin. After a succession of failures in his life, the father intends to make a new start and get to know his son better. But the stay does not take long to turn into a nightmare. The novel, with unbearable suspense, will take you to the heart of the darkness of the human soul.

In a radically opposite style – if you don’t like to laugh, don’t – why not read The Red Boots (pocket), by the hilarious Franz Bartelt, one of the funniest French authors of his generation. Or the story of the narrator, a press correspondent from his state in the rainy east of France, who will advise his only friend and neighbor, Basile, to persevere in adultery with a young trainee from his factory, after his wife Rose has however discovered his affair. To howl with laughter…

Jean-Jacques, Modern Times

Jean-Jacques, from Les Temps Modernes bookshop. Photo: David Criff

At the Les Temps Modernes bookstore on rue Notre-Dame-de-Recouvrance, Jean-Jacques rushes to a novel, the first of the Swedish Alex Schulman, The survivors (At Albin-Michel, 19.90 euros, for 288 pages).

“The narration is very original, the book tells the day of three brothers the day after the death of their mother. It tells how they lived it with this particularity that each chapter tells two hours of this day, but starting from the end.” Between the chapters, we find elements on the childhood of the brothers “which allow us to better understand them”.

If Jean-Jacques says it, we can believe it: “It’s exciting and I have no doubt that the ending will surprise the reader, I loved it.”

A novel that will appeal to lovers of Balzac

Jean-Jacques has finally selected for you “a novel that will appeal to lovers of Balzac for its great psychological finesse”. In Between all the women,
(ed. Sabine-Wespieser, 22 euros, 298 pages), the Irish author, John Mcgahern, narrates the life of Michael, “a very authoritarian father, a real domestic tyrant
which we discover at the end of his life”. He has two sons, one of whom no longer wants to see him, and three daughters who love him and wish to accompany him to the end, although he does not has never been a father up to par. “A very great novel about education and forgiveness”.

David Criff


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