Friday, September 23, 2011

Reading: French or Foe?

French or Foe?: Getting the Most Out of Visiting, Living and Working in France
via goodreads
This year I have steadily been making through the French history/culture section at the library. And in no particular order this book happened to be next, French or Foe? by Polly Platt.

Originally published in 1994, then revised in 2000, it's written by Polly who had moved to France in 1967 and started a company 20 years later called Culture Crossings which helped newly transferred corporate employees and their families adjust to their new country.

Because of her own experiences and those of her clients she has a lot of funny anecdotes to draw from, from getting pulled over by the gendarmes to school life and the dinner party. Polly reveals hidden codes and the "Ten Magic Words" to use that will get a visitor by in France without looking too touristy and thereby getting your point across to get what you want.

It read well as it was wrote in a conversational tone and it was funny. At 272 pages this is easy reading and one could finish it in a week (I did just by reading it night).

Now the down side, it was revised in 2000 so it is a bit outdated (again) and Polly Platt passed away in 2008, but not before her last book "LOVE À LA FRANÇAISE" was published. (looking through the website it's seems French or Foe is on it's third edition). I'm definitely going to look up "Love à La Française" next time I'm at the library.

I would recommend this book to anyone who's interested in french culture as it's interesting, humorous and makes me one want to book the next trip with Rick Steves to see if those 10 little words and a little flirting really do work!   Another one to check out that I like a lot is "French Women Don't Get Fat." That one is also written in a conversational tone and it gives some great tips and answers the question "How do they eat croissants and all those butter sauces and still stay thin?!"

Anyway, today yesterday was Theme Thursday hosted by Reading Between Pages... and the

Theme Thursdays

Theme is: music/sound.

My snippet today is kind of a long one but it really stuck with me when I thought about sound....

"I promise you, it was a beautiful and sensual experience watching these authors...speaking their word. Slowly. Up the throat, through the mouth, lips forward, the word emerged into the room, and into the rooms of perhaps seven million viewers. "Nuance, because it's sonorous and is the finesse of our language". "Tendresse....because it's both active and soft." "Silence..." "Nostalgie..." "Plaisir..." "
pg. 158 - French or Foe - Polly Platt


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