Sunday, March 8, 2009

Books & Brussels

One of my favorite activities when in Brussels is to wander in bookstores. Not that there are none in Amsterdam (there are plenty and very high quality bookstores like Athenaeum Boekhandel), it's just that I miss being surrounded by books written in French when I enter a bookstore. Athenaeum has a fairly good section of French speaking books and I can always order online. But I still love going to a bookstore, seeing what's new, discovering some jewel of a book chosen by the employees that month, or just touching the hard and paper back covers, opening and going through the pages. So last week I've been to Tropismes for the wide choice of fiction, theatre and poetry, to Brüsel for the graphic novels and comic books but also the very nice gallery, and although impersonal and too big I've been to FNAC (avoid the place on Saturday!) because of the wide space. Here are some titles I've bought during my visits:
"Entre les murs" by François Bégaudeau (you will certainly know the adaptation to cinema from Laurent Cantet: "The Class"), "De cendres et de fumées" by Philippe Blasband and "Pyongyang" by Quebecois graphic novelist Guy Delisle. Other acquisitions are translated works: "Le Dieu Manchot" by José Saramago, "Le voyage dans le passé" by Stefan Zweig and two mangas: "The Outsider" by Gou Tanaber and"Le Champ de l'arc-en-ciel/Nijigahara Holograph" by Inio Asano.

My hunger for books has been satiated during my stay in Brussels. The Brussels Book Fair began when I was still there! I've spoken to some authors, discovered new publishing houses, listened to Enki Bilal talk about his new work ANIMAL'Z , lied to Joseph Joffo about willing to buy one of his books but claiming I needed to go to the ATM (I have read "A Bag of Marbles" in high school and didn't want to buy old fashioned editions of his books - but there's no excuse, I feel bad, I shouldn't lie!), discovered the work of Karin Tuil during her talk and listened to interviews of authors on the radio on my way back home to Amsterdam, a bag full of publisher catalogs, promotional bookmarks and books on the passenger seat.


Mu said...

new books are like new friends: you never know what's gonna happen, but if you like what you read, the love story could last as long as you live. Very good choices, my last purchase are "the lord of the ring", "Gone with the wind" and "Destruction d'un coeur" de Zweig. And I try NOT to buy "born to be a larve" de Boulet.
But my will is too weak...

Ayse Erin said...

Thanks Mu! Destruction d'un coeur is really brilliant! I love Zweig. I didn't know Boulet, looks cool.