5 Novels to Help You Reach Reading Nirvana

What is happiness? Positive psychologists might answer that happiness depends on your ability to enter “a flow state”. In short, the more you are capable of fully immersing yourself in the activity that you’re carrying out, the happier you are.

For us, a flow state = reading a good book = happiness.

Here’s a selection of fiction that will fully engross you, make you step outside of time, and propel you into reading nirvana.

Reading List

Floridaby Lauren Groff

After you’ve finished reading Floride (Florida), you might want to ask me why I chose to include this collection of short-stories set in a snake and alligator infested Florida about women who have become prey to dangerous wildlife and a no less threatening climate in a summer reading list. The reason is quite simple: because I haven’t read any fiction nearly as good in a long long time! Read more.

Floride, a collection of short stories by Lauren Groff, trans. from the English by Carine Chichereau, editions de l’Olivier
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Et rien d'autreby James Salter

Yes, All That Is exudes nostalgia for an era where misogyny, racial, and religious discriminations were the order of the day. But how can one not be astonished by Salter’s luminous prose, by how he effortlessly describes the end of an era where books used to matter in public affairs, as well as the evanescence of human life in fleeting graceful sequences. Read more.

Et rien d’autre, a novel by James Salter, trans. from the English by Marc Amfreville, édition de l’Olivier

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La Saison des feuxby Celeste Ng

Family secrets, smashed ambitions, racial tensions: welcome to Celeste Ng’s world! In this riveting page-turner, the bestselling author pursues her investigation of mother & daughter relationships and American suburban life. Read more.

La Saison des feux (Little Fires Everywhere) by Celeste Ng, translated from the English by Fabrice Pointeau, Pocket

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Summerby Monica Sabolo

Summer, 19 years old, daughter of a wealthy Swiss family, was last seen at a family gathering, on the spectacular shore of the beautiful Lake Leman (Switzerland ). 25 years after her disappearance, her brother Benjamin is overwhelmed by memories of his sister. Summer haunts his nights and unveils the secrets of a family plagued by silence and the preservation of bourgeois appearances. How can one live with ghosts?

Monica Sabolo has written a powerful, poetic, and bewildering novel that brings to mind the atmosphere of Modiano’s novels.

Summer by Monica Sabolo, le livre de poche.

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Des raisons de se plaindreby Jeffrey Eugenides

A large majority of American writers translated in France are praised for their powerful, ambitious, realistic epic novels. But there is another form that they have mastered: the short story. And with the publication of Des raisons de se plaindre (Fresh Complaints), we can now add Jeffrey Eugenides’s name to this list.

Des raisons de se plaindre (Fresh Complaints), a collection of short-stories by Jeffrey Eugenides, translated from the English by Olivier Deparis, éditions de l’olivier

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After almost two decades of working in publishing, and a few round trips between Paris and New York, Miriam has decided to settle down at Albertine to do what she enjoys most: recommending books she loves. Somehow this also includes taking bizarre pictures for Albertine's social media outlets.
Other recommendations by Miriam Bridenne