4 Novels to Read in October

We said it before, and we’ll say it again: this literary fall is nothing short of exceptional regarding all the excellent new releases that have been coming our way. This week, we suggest that you dive into Serge Joncour’s novel about the transformations of the French countryside between 1976 and 1999 through the story of a family of farmers. In the mood for adventure? Embark with Hervé Le Tellier and the eleven characters of L’Anomalie (Gallimard) on a March 2021 Air France flight leaving Paris for New York. If you want to read about a strong woman, Liv Maria (Icinoclaste) by Juia Kerninon is here for you. And in case you are eager for a debut novel that will shake things up, then opt for Fatima Daas’s La petite dernière (Noir sur Blanc).

Reading List

Nature Humaine by Serge Joncour

Even the most urban-centric people in contemporary France remember the two natural events that form the backdrop of Serge Joncour’s latest novel: the drought of 1976 and the great windstorms of 1999.
Joncour brings to life the transformations of the French countryside between these two decades through the story of a family of farmers–particularly that of Alexandre, the son who takes over the farm with mixed enthusiasm when his three sisters move to the city. Read more.

Nature Humaine, a novel by Serge Joncour, Flammarion
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L'Anomalie by Hervé Le Tellier

L’Anomalie  should be read in one sitting, like a wonderful adventure novel where the reader holds their breath between tears and laughter. Are we truly unique? Or are we just doubles of ourselves? Characters in search of existence? This crowd of characters offers so many different opportunities for Le Tellier to explore a vast array of different literary genres: from the thriller to the intimate novel, from the love story to the bildungsroman, by way of the adventure/catastrophe novel and science fiction. Read more.

L’Anomalie, a novel by Hervé Le Tellier, Gallimard
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La petite dernière by Fatima Daas

Can a great novel be poorly written? This is a question one regularly comes across in interviews with authors (particularly in the always interesting New York Times “By The Book” series). For me, the answer has always been a resounding yes. I will gladly take an original somewhat roughly written book over an unoriginal pristinely written one any day of the week.

For a case in point, look no further than La petite dernière by Fatima Daas–a debut author whose first book has been making waves and generating controversy in France since its publication last month.

La petite dernière a debut novel by Fatima Daas, Notablioa, Noir sur Blanc
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Liv Maria by Julia Kerninon

Book after book, Julia Kerninon never stops exploring the multiple perspectives, contradictions, and infinite complexity of human beings.

Among all the forms of existences that make up a life, which one(s) reflect ourselves most faithfully? This question runs under the surface from the beginning to the end of Liv Mari, her last novel. Read more.

Live Maria, a novel by Julia Kerninon, ed. de L’Iconoclaste.
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Other recommendations by Albertine Team