Must-read books to devour before fall

What if the greatest gift of summer was simply free time? Long days that stretch endlessly while our calendar gets lighter and the pressure of work fades away? Now is the perfect time to catch up with your to-read piles. With this in mind, we have selected ten books, published between August 2020 and June 2021, that struck us–consider them your must-reads before the fall comes with its share of new releases!

Reading List

Yoga by Emmanuel Carrere

Emmanuel Carrère is undoubtedly unequaled, all while writing about only himself, in making us reflect on the fundamentals of our lives. Though pain is present throughout the narrative–rarely will you read more precise descriptions of depression and the inner struggles that it brings–Emmanuel Carrère also offers us a lot of breathing room. Yoga is one of those precious books that make us want to try to become better human beings, for others as much as for ourselves–and get into Tai Chi! Click here to read Sandrine’s staff pick.

Yoga by Emmanuel Carrere, ed. P.O.L.

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La petite dernière by Fatima Daas

Fatima Daas has described herself as an “intersectional feminist,” and this book captures the term in all of its complexity. After all, being a gay French Muslim woman involves so many different, overlapping perspectives that are so entirely at odds with the cis-white-secular/Catholic world of France that it is no wonder that Daas felt the need to write it all out.

This is an important book that will launch a thousand conversations. Highly recommended!

Click here to read Adam’s staff pick.

La petite dernière, a debut novel by Fatima Daas, ed. Noir sur Blanc
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La Tannerie by Celia Levi

A stunning coming-of-age novel, La Tannerie is also a wonderfully accurate portrait of our cultural world, of the vacuity of its language, of the duplicity of its political positioning; a great novel about youth, the modern day, and its language. Click here to read Miriam’s staff pick.

La Tannerie by Celia Levi, ed. Tristram

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Chavirer by Lola Lafon

After The Little Communist Who Never Smiled (ed. Seven Stories Press, Actes Sud) and Mercy Mary Patty (ed. Actes Sud), Lola Lafon continues her exploration of the psyches of young girls–their fragility, their resilience–with Chavirer. Just like Nadia Comaneci and Patty Hearst, Chloé is a young girl whose destiny bears witness to the violence inflicted on women in our societies.
Click here to read Miriam’s staff pick.

Chavirer by Lola Lafon, ed. Actes Sud

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Serge by Yasmina Reza

Yasmina Reza achieves something rather unique here in translating traumas, complicated family relationships and mid-life crises into one of the most delightful and fun pieces I have ever read. Click here to read Alice’s staff pick.

Serge by Yasmina Reza, ed. Flammarion

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Canoës by Maylis de Kerangal

Canoës, the splendid collection of interconnected short stories–or a novel in pieces, your choice–that Kerangal has just released places itself equally in this balance between life and death. The author explores how grief traverses her characters through a minute study of their voices. Click here to read Miriam’s staff pick.

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Canoës by Maylis de Kerangal, Verticales


L'Inconnu de la poste by Florence Aubenas

L’inconnu de la poste is the account of a news story that shocked Montréal-la-Cluse—a small city in the Ain region of France–as well as the rest of the country in 2008. Florence Aubenas does not play at being a detective, completely removing herself from the narrative. What interests her above all is the place and its history–a small spa town that had been turned into a center for plastic production during the Trente Glorieuses. Click here to read Miriam’s staff pick.

L’inconnu de la poste by Florence Aubenas, ed. Eds De l’Olivier

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Ivo et Jorge by Patrick Rotman

Yvo & Jorge is a journey through the 20th century, from the 1930s to Perestroika, where you cross paths with luminaries like Simone Signoret, Édith Piaf, Ernest Hemingway, Costa-Gavras, Marilyn Monroe, and Arthur Miller. Click here to read Sandrine’s staff pick.

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Ivo et Jorge by Patrick Rotman, ed. Grasset et Fasquelle


Un vagabond dans la langue by Matthieu Mével

Love between brothers has inspired many great texts, and in our humble opinion, with the publication of Un vagabond dans la langue, Matthieu Mével adds a title to this list. Click here to read Miriam’s staff pick.

Un vagabond dans la langue by Matthieu Mével, ed. Gallimard

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Bluebird, bluebird by Attica Locke

This investigation in a small town where everyone knows each other sheds light on the many historical layers and unexpected human connections that sustain it, a complex network that only reflects the extent of the region’s troubled past over property, race, and love. A wonderful story of love and hate. Click here to read Miriam’s staff pick.

Bluebird, bluebird by Attica Locke, ed. Liana Levi

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Other recommendations by Albertine Team
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