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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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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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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Celebrate Mother’s Day in France

An outing for Mother's Day might be to the Mothers monument in Paris 13th. Some consider the Monument aux Mères Françaises in the eponym park at 21 boulevard Kellermann to be austere and soviet-styled, but we must take into consideration that it was inaugurated in 1938 and thus view it in context of the between the wars depression era.  The sculptures laud Mothers after the tragic loss of so many men and boys in the first world war and encourage them to stay at home to care for the family.The monument was renovated in 2013 and the cleaned sculpture is much less sad looking. There are 5 sculpted groups by artists Pierre d'Euville, Henri Bouchard et Alexandre Descatoire. The three texts on the momument are by Albert Lebrun, Edmond Labbé and Victor Hugo. Plants and flowers brighten this little garden in the 13th arrondissement. It is perhaps not the prettiest sculpture from today's viewpoint, but do you know any other cities that honor their mothers with a monument? In that way Fr…
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Bill & Rosa’s Book Room

What is Bill & Rosa's Book Room ? 

First of all, for us, a Book Room is a comfortable place to spend some time. Think of it as the reading lounge on the ocean liners of yore. Our maître-mots are

Read, Write, Relax. Buy, Borrow, Donate.

Bill & Rosa's Book Room has several aspects. It is first a USED BOOK SHOP and a LENDING LIBRARY. There are many novels of all genres for sale plus non-fiction, biographies, history, some poetry, cookbooks, cats, books on Paris or France, memoirs and children's books. Most books are in English, but also in French and even a few bilingual. Prices start at just 2€.

The lending library has four sections :

The Sylvie and Henry Noullet Library: novels mostly in English Bill and Rosa's Library of the American West includes novels, non-fiction and art books…
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Brighten your day. Books are the perfect antidote for the gray and gloomy.

At Bill & Rosa’s Book Room, we have the perfect antidote for the gray and gloomy winter weather: books, a lot of them, to suit all tastes and demands! Iasmina has selected a few to help pass the time and brighten your day. All our books are pre-loved so you'll love the prices too!

Tea Time for the Traditionally Built (4€), The Full Cupboard of Life (3€) The Kalahari Typing School for Men (4€) by Alexander McCall Smith

There’s nothing better to take your mind off the cold and the rain than a plunge into the world of the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, a series of detective novels by Alexander McCall Smith. Travel far away from rainy days with this novel set in Botswana and featuring Precious Ramotswe, the founder of the first and only female-run detective agency in the country. With unique characters, a good dose of kindness and vivid descriptions of Botswanan life, these are detective novels like no other. These thre…

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The Statue of Liberty in France

The Statue of Liberty, whose full name is Liberty Enlightening the World, was one of the greatest gifts ever given. The original was given by the people of France to the United States in 1886 and was installed in New York's harbor but did you know there are lots of Lady Libertys in France today? There are at least 25 in France and even more throughout the world.

In Paris alone there are quite a few. The one you need to know about is the one on the Allée des Cygnes which was a gift from the American community of Paris to Paris to commemorate the centennial of the French Revolution. On her tablet is the date July 14, 1789, as well as July 4, 1776. Then there's the one in the Luxembourg Gardens, inside a private lobby on rue du Cirque, there is one on the roof of a peniche near the Eiffel Tower and one in the Musée d'Orsay. Yet another is very tiny and hard to see; it is incrusted in the torso of César's Centaure (place Michel Debré Paris 6th) near his le…

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