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New Books - Nonfiction

Vive la France!

Enjoy some of the best new books on French history and culture, available from the Ferguson Library.


Baxter, John
Paris at the End of the World
944.3610814 B355p

Brings to life one of the most dramatic periods in the city's history.  During World War I, the terrifying sounds of the nearby front could be heard from inside the French capital. And yet in its darkest hour, Paris blazed more brightly than ever. Its taxis shuttled troops to the front, its great railway stations received reinforcements from across the world, and its grand museums housed the wounded.  Source: From the Publisher


Levingston, Steven
Little Demon in the City of Light
364.1523 L665l

In this true crime story about a sensational murder connected with hypnotism in late 19th-century Paris, the author describes the murder of a court official by a con man and his mistress.  The book is entertaining yet informative and was produced from years of research into Gabrielle Bompard, the woman called "The Little Demon" by the French press, and her lover, hypnotist Michel Eyraud.  Source: Library Journal, March 01, 2014


Baraton, Alain
The Gardener of Versailles
712 B226j

For gardening aficionados and Francophiles, a love letter to the Versailles Palace and grounds from the man who knows them best. In Alain Baraton's Versailles, every grove tells a story. As the gardener-in-chief, Baraton lives on its grounds, and since 1982 has devoted his life to the flowers, orchards, and fields that were loved by France's kings and queens.  Source: From the Publisher


Marchand, Greg
Frenchie:  New Bistro Cooking
641.5944 M315f

On a quiet cobblestoned side street north of Les Halles in Paris, a food revolution is happening thanks to chef Greg Marchand's game-changing restaurant, Frenchie.  Chutneys, pestos, and flavored vinaigrettes take the place of heavier French fare, and the juxtaposition of ingredients (like watermelon with ricotta salata) adds energy to a once hidebound bistro tradition.  Source: From the Publisher


Symonds, Craig L.
Neptune:  The Allied Invasion of Europe and the D-Day Landings
940.5421421 S988n

Naval historian Symonds  makes an important contribution to the history of the 1944 invasion of Normandy as he explores  Operation Neptune.  He describes with great clarity the specialized amphibious landing craft necessary to make the largest invasion in history possible, and he captivates the reader with individual narratives of soldiers and sailors who participated in the operation.  Source: Publishers Weekly, March 03, 2014


Jager, Eric
Blood Royal:  A True Tale of Crime and Detection in Medieval Paris
944.026 J24b

On a November evening in 1407, Louis of Orleans, brother of the mentally unbalanced French king Charles VI, was bludgeoned and stabbed to death on a Parisian street by several masked men. With France still embroiled in the Hundred Years' War with England and facing severe internal threats to the monarchy, the murder had far-reaching implications.  Source: Booklist, Feb 15, 2014


McAuliffe, Mary Sperling
Twilight of the Belle Epoque
944.081 M117t

Fascinating trivia about artists in turn-of-the-century Paris adds layers of insight to a time of growth and experimentation. The famed Belle Epoque was a period of artistic and cultural flowering in Paris that began in 1900 and ended with the First World War. monumental figures came together in the City of Light at roughly the same time.  Picasso, Cocteau, Stravinsky, Proust, Rodin, and Stein all contributed to a feverish atmosphere of growth and experimentation.  Source: Foreword Magazine, Feb 01, 2014


Berkin, Carol
Wondrous Beauty:  The Life and Adventures of Elizabeth Bonaparte
943.5506 B698B

Here is the remarkable life of Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte, renowned as the most beautiful woman of nineteenth-century Baltimore, whose marriage in 1803 to Jérôme Bonaparte, the youngest brother of Napoleon Bonaparte, became inextricably bound to the diplomatic and political histories of the United States, France, and England.  Source: From the Publisher


Mazzeo, Tilar J.
The Hotel on Place Vendome
940.5344 M477h

The author chronicles a destination frequented by the upper crust of an increasingly international Parisian society at its most compelling historical moment, as the epicenter of Hitler's occupied Paris. The book describes the various personages, from novelists Marcel Proust and F. Scott Fitzgerald to the Duke and Duchess of Windsor to actress Marlene Dietrich, who made the Hotel their home.  Source: Library Journal, May 01, 2014