Last month I wasn’t completely sure I would finish my book list. And although I failed to finish one book, The Poetics of Space, I did complete the three other books, which is quite a success for someone who only read about four or five books last year. My favorite book from my January book list was a tie between My Freshman Year: What a Professor Learned by Becoming a Student and Marie Antoinette: The Last Queen of France. The first book was completed in one Saturday morning sitting. The author utilized ethnographic research, which is my favorite research methodology, to unveil different themes prevalent in the life of a college student. I found her discussions on diversity and the perception international students have of the American college student and educational system to be very fascinating. The biography on Marie Antoinette was very interesting, but it also gave me mixed feelings. Although I could understand how the people of France developed negative feelings towards her, I also found myself having genuine pity for her and the role she was placed in. I think she came across very frivolously and without much needed self-awareness, but I also saw how her youth and the unpreparedness she had for her role become a barrier. Because her story was very intriguing to me, I’ve decided to incorporate a second biography about her life into this month’s book list. It is my hope to one day travel to France and walk through the historic buildings with a sense of awareness regarding the stories of those who once dwelled in those rooms or walked through those gardens.
For this month, I’ve included the following reads:
1. Picture This: How Pictures Work by Molly Bang
This book focuses on composition and the different elements to a photograph and what those elements communicate.
2. Paris Letters by Janice MacLeod
This book was recommended on the blog World of Wanderlust. Since I have this deep interest in Parisian life, I am of course excited to add another book to my collection on Paris.
3. Napolean: A Life by Andrew Roberts
To continue with my interest in French History, I have decided to read about Napolean Bonaparte, the first Emperor of France. Apparently he is one of the most written about humans, which makes sense given his many conquests and the impact he had on French law. He also greatly influenced French furniture and interior design through his inspiration of Egyptian, Roman, and Greek artifacts and ruins.
4. Marie Antoinette: The Journey by Antonia Fraser
Like I mentioned, her story was so fascinating to me that I asked an Instagrammer in France which biographies she recommended about Marie Antoinette, and this was one of them.
5. The Poetics of Space by Gaston Bachelard
Book from last month that I need to finish. 🙂