English Books Paris: New at Bill & Rosa’s Book Room

Each week in the Book Room online, we recommend newly published English books that we love. This week we are featuring the theme of Cathedrals with books from the Book Room.

Come join us at The Book Room on 15 January at 16h for a casual discussion in English of the building and development of cathedrals. We'll base our conversation on The Pillars of the Earth, but it is not necessary to have read the book to participate. Please sign up via brbookroom@gmail.com

The principle of Gothic architecture is infinity made imaginable. When we build, let us think we build forever.

--Samuel Taylor Coleridge

THE PILLARS OF THE EARTHThe Pillars of the Earth is a historical novel by Ken Follett published in 1989 about the building of a cathedral in the fictional town of Kingsbridge, England. Set in the 12th century, the novel covers the time between the sinking of the White Ship and the murder of Thomas Becke…

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Why is it called? Part 3: Foods

Why is it called? Part 3: Foods Have you ever asked yourself why something is called by a particular name? Why are certain mushrooms called champignons de Paris? How do foods get named? There is often a story. Here is a short list of someFrench foods or dishes that are well-known in the Paris area and how they got their names. We invite readers to add their own favorites or ask about other foods for which they would like to know the origin in the comments. Champignons de Paris The first mushrooms in France were grown in 1670 by Jean de La Quintinie, gardener to Louis XIV. (You may still visit the King's garden in Versailles, it's called the Potager du Roi and it is a fascinating history of gardening and early techniques.) Under Napoleon I, mushrooms were grown in Paris in areas protected from sunlight, notably in the catacombs. Later in the XIXth century the majority of former quarries and grottos under Paris, which had the perfect constant temperature of 17°C were used to c…
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Why is it called? Part 2: French place names

Why is it called… Part 2: French place names or toponyms Have you ever asked yourself why something is called by a particular name? Place names are also called toponyms. We've learned Paris was named for the Celtic tribe the Parisii who lived in the area (why the Parisii were called that is still up for discussion), that the Seine was named for the nymph Séquana. Here are some other topoynms from the Paris area. Feel free to add your town in the comments. Versailles: The most likely origin of the name Versailles, first mentioned in 1038 as land belonging to a person named Hughes, comes from the Latin word versare which means to turn over (verser, reverser in French) and probably referred to Hughes’s agricultural efforts of clearing and preparing his land for planting. “Un versailles” or “versail” in old French refers to cleared land. Stains: The name of the town of Stains, a town north of Paris, rings strangely in anglophone ears because we hear a noun that means "a mar…
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Discover 90+ Ways You Know You’re Becoming French

90+ Ways You Know You're Becoming French This cute little book that fits in your hand was inspired from the original article 20 Ways You Know You're Becoming French The article got such good response from our readers that author Shari Leslie Segall had the great idea to make it into a book. We teamed up with an artist  for watercolor illustrations and thought up more than 90+ points that are ways you know you are becoming French. Such as: would never conceive of a holiday menu without foie gras, oysters and glazed chestnuts ask everyone you know about their recent/upcoming vacances know who Marianne is Judith, an American in Paris since the 1990s, had this to say after reading the book 90+ Ways You Know You're Becoming French:

"This is really funny--I actually improved my quality of life from "Becoming French". The one about saying bonjour to the bus driver and not your neighbor? I realized I didn't often greet the bus driver so …

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Bicycle visibility

Darkness is coming: Visibility for biking and jogging When daylight savings time ends and you have daylight from only 8 am to 4 pm there's a lot of bike riding that is done in the dark. How can you put the odds of being seen on your side? Bicycle visibility = Shine! Some things are pretty obvious: florescent shirt or jacket, reflective vest, headlights and tail lights. That's the minimum. But you can do more and with more panache too! I ride with multiple forms of light and reflectors and for that matter I use all of my visibility techniques during broad daylight too. The way I see it you can never be too visible. The next FUB 'Cyclists, Shine!' ‘Cyclistes, brillez !’ Campaign will be held from November 1-7, 2021. The FUB (FÉDÉRATION FRANÇAISE DES USAGERS DE LA BICYCLETTE) invites its associations, partners and all defenders of active modes to mobilize and make cyclists aware of the importance of good lighting: in fact, in autumn and winter, cyclists without lighting o…
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The Saints on the map of Paris

Whether you walk across Paris or look at the metro or street map, you often see places named after a Saint. Such familiar names as St Genevieve, St Denis, St Vincent de Paul etc... Have you ever wondered who were these saints on the map of Paris and what their history was? We did! Here is a bit of history on the Saints on the map of Paris.

Sainte Geneviève

Logically the patron saint of Paris, St. Geneviève, is the one you come across most often. Her statue by Paul Landowski graces the Pont de La Tournelle in the 4th district. There is also one in Jardin du Luxembourg. She is on the front of Notre Dame as well. The Catholic church is celebrating the 1600th anniversary of Genevieve this year. A relic, her index finger, and her sarcophagus is in a chapel dedicated to her in the church of St Etienne du Mont a church in the 5th arrondissement on the Montagne Sainte Geneviève where she lived and prayed.

She was born in Nanterre in about the …
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Furnishing your Paris apartment creatively and on a budget

Furniture

Ikea is practical, intelligent, not too expensive and usually looks good. It is not a bad way to furnish your Paris apartment. But you do have to first bring it home then spend hours putting it together (unless you call someone to do it for you – see the Services section). But perhaps you’d like something different in your Paris apartment, after all everyone shops at Ikea - it is far from unique. Here are a few ideas for some personalization that doesn’t cost too much.

FUSAC For Sale ads and other websites are a treasure trove of used items. If you find an ad for a moving sale just after it goes up you can possibly furnish a whole Parisian apartment at once! And more than just furniture you’ll find the practical items like small appliances and ironing boards for a song. If you find more than you can carry give a quick call to one of the man with a Van ads to schedule a pickup (again see the Services section).

Izidore: Is the online « garage sale …

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Click and Collect at Bill & Rosa’s Book Room

Follow the links below to view pdf files of the current inventory of Bill and Rosa's Book Room. More than 7000 titles!

Available for Click and Collect pick up or delivery, just email fusac.office@gmail.com with your selection, we'll send you a link for payment via CB (or take check or cash when you get the books) and arrange for pick up. 

Are you in the Yvelines? Free delivery to these towns: Villepreux, Les Clayes-sous-Bois, Plaisir, Feucherolles, St Nom-la-Bretèche, Rennemoulin, Fontenay-le-Fleury, Noisy-le-Grand, Bailly. Minimum order 25€.

Anyone who orders 5+ books will receive a free copy of Elaine Sciolino's La Séduction (A book about France and the French and how seductions of all types, not just sexual, make them tick.)

The inventory list is organized by Sections and within the section by author. To find out more about a particular book you could copy the ISBN number and do an internet search. Nearly all of them …

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