I’m changing things a bit again. If you follow the blog regularly, you will know that I’ve been trying to publish a “Five on Friday” post for the last several months. The problem is, however, that the school year is so busy that having the time to find all five books, films, events etc. to recommend sometimes doesn’t happen within the span of seven days. The space between posts is getting longer and longer. Rather than being a slave to the format, I’m going to just rename these posts “Friday Finds” and publish as many as I’ve been able to gather – even if it has to become a “Friday Find.” Alors, on y va!
- Oscar Wilde: L’Impertinent absolu – Oscar Wilde is one of my favorite authors and the Petit Palais in Paris has an exhibit dedicated to the controversial author and playwright who died in Paris in 1900.The exhibit assembles 200 manuscripts, photographs, letters, drawings, and paintings from international collections as well as France. The exhibit is on now and will continue until January 15, 2017.
- Paris Reborn: Napoleon III, Baron Haussmann, and the Quest to Build A Modern City, by Stephane Kirkland – I’m planning to go to the exhibit at the musée d’Orsay about the Second Empire when I get to Paris for Christmas, and I’ll get even more out of it after having read this account of the era. The book gave me a much deeper understanding than simply that Haussmann had carved great swathes of broad boulevards through the city, tearing down anything in his path. The financing of the grands travaux also drove the city into massive debt and was a contributing factor to the disastrous Franco-Prussian war and the end of the Empire. The book’s a wee bit dry at times – I reread an entire section without realizing it for an alarming amount of time – but I learned a lot.
- Le Prénom (What’s in a Name) – I really enjoyed this 2012 movie, headlined by Patrick Bruel and Valérie Benguigui. It’s based on a play by the same name that featured almost the identical cast. Benguigui won a César (the French version of an Oscar) for this role shortly before she died of breast cancer. The premise is that a group of friends and family have gathered for dinner. One discloses that he is planning to give a rather controversial name to his first-born, stirring up a heated debate that ends up opening a great many emotional cans of worms. The dialogue crackles with biting wit and intelligence. I saw it on Netflix, but it’s also available on Amazon. In some ways, it reminded me of Le Dîner de Cons, so if you like that classic, you may also enjoy this film.
- Les Chatelles – I’m definitely going to check out this shoe boutique when I’m in Paris. I love flats, but I can rarely wear them due to my weird feet and back. These flats are super cute, they come in tons of colors and they’re customizable. Add tassels, have your initials embroidered or wear them as is. If I can wear them, a pair is coming home with me. If you’d like to step out in these beauties and you’ve got feet that are normal enough to make mail order shoes a viable option, use the code “FLATISSEXY” until November 30 to receive 30% off your purchase. You have 100 days to return them if they don’t work out.
- If you are interested in picking up a classic French pea coat or striped shirt from St. James, use code ESSENTIAL20 to save 20% through this Monday at Halsbrook.com. These basics rarely go on sale, so this is a good deal! I just treated myself to the red and blue striped shirt in the photo.