North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell

Margaret Hale has been living happy and peacefully in a Southern small village: Helstone, when suddenly her father - a parishioner - announced that he has decided to leave the Church due to his "miserable doubts". As it was disgraceful in 19th century, he must leave Helstone, and consequently with the whole family, to live in a Northern industrial (cotton manufacturing) city called Milton.Like the...

Post Zoladdiction, and Some Future Reads

I may still be in a hangover from Zoladdiction - I just can’t take my brain off Zola! No, not reading more of his books – I think two books in a row is my limit – but I keep getting thirsty of Zola-ish things. The other day I spent my morning at work browsing Zola’s traces in modern France. Did you know that at least four cities in France have named their public squares or streets with Zola?...

Black Count and The Man in the Brown Suit [Mini Reviews]

Black Count by Tom ReissThe subtitle of this biography of General Dumas (Alexandre Dumas's father): Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo, tells you exactly what this book, written by Tom Reiss, is about.General Thomas-Alexandre Dumas was a son of a renegade nobleman: Marquis de la Pailletarie and his slave: Marie-Cessete Dumas. He was born in 1762 in French sugar colony:...

#Zoladdiction2019 Wrap Up

April has gone, and so has Zoladdiction 2019. For me, especially, it has been a thoroughly fun and inspiring. I dare say that #Zoladdiction2019 was the best I've ever hosted. Thirteen participants (the biggest number since I hosted it in 2011 for the first time) have decided to join in. We have talked about Zola's works, shared our posts as well as our reads. We have made new friends with some Zola’s...

Understanding Émile Zola’s “La Joie de Vivre” in Van Gogh’s “Still Life with Bible” Painting

Have you ever had any idea that Vincent Van Gogh – the famous Dutch post-impressionist painter – was a Zola’s fan? In his letters to his brother Theo, Van Gogh often quoted some excerpts from Zola’s books, and he was thoroughly influenced by Zola’s ideas. Van Gogh was born into a religious family; his father was a minister of the Dutch Reformed Church. Before plunging headlong into painting,...

His Excellency Eugène Rougon by Émile Zola

Reading a political novel right after election (in Indonesia, where I live) is really not a good choice! But it's Zola, and I thought if there's any writer who could make politics - the most boring subject for me - slightly interesting, it should be Zola (he wrote about miners poetically in Germinal, after all!) I'm not entirely wrong, this sixth book of Rougon-Macquart cycle provides some enjoyable...

The Bright Side of Life by Émile Zola

The twelfth novel of the Rougon-Macquart cycle turned out to be the most autobiographical of Zola's. He wrote The Bright Side of Life when he was 44 years old, and was in one of his much mental instability cases caused by the death of his two friends – one of them was his mentor: Gustave Flaubert – then followed by his mother's. From age 30, Zola too has been suffering from necrophobia(irrational...

The Classics Club Spin #20

Alright, I’m not supposed to squeeze any book into my tight schedule at present. Yet, who can ever resist The Classics Club Spin, although I have said earlier that I’d skip this round? Following Brona’s example of picking only “slim volumes” from her list, I tried to do the same. So here’s my list, consisting of books under or equal to 300s pages.The Red Badge of Courage (Stephen Crane)Othello(William...

Zola: Photographer

Near the end of his life, Émile Zola became a passionate photographer. He learned the subject from his journalist friends, and along the way he even perfected a shutter release system that allowed him to take a selfie – sorry, the word hasn't even been invented that time :P – I mean to photograph himself. Like his writing, Zola always worked wholeheartedly. This book is a compilation of 208 photos,...
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