Archive for the ‘Book’ Category

Great news that Book In Bar will re-open on Tuesday 12th May at 10:00 albeit with slightly altered conditions.

They explain:
“We are doing all we can to provide a safe environment for everyone, while trying to hold on to the atmosphere and personality of Book in Bar that we all hold so dear. To begin, the bookshop will be open Tuesday to Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm nonstop.
The sitting area of the café will remain closed but drinks and cakes will be available for take out.
Secondly, we ask that you wear a mask while at the store, as well as use the hand sanitizer provided at the shop entrance. We also request that the required social distance be respected for your own safety, that of the other clients and of our team.
We also reserve the right to limit access to the shop if deemed necessary.
We would prefer bank card payments.
Finally, the click and collect system will remain open for those who wish to avoid all contact with others. For this, place your order via our website www.bookinbar.com
or by email and collect at a given time. We are also setting up a delivery service (free from 30€ sale, for the historical
part of town).
Sadly, we have to cancel the bookclubs and any other gatherings until September.
The team is looking forward to seeing you all again”.

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One here for all Aix book-lovers and a message for us all from Phil Shaw, a brilliant digital artist who has recreated real book titles in this display.

He designs the book spines on his computer and then places them in order to make a narrative.  ‘I became so tired of the doom and gloom,’ Shaw told The Times. ‘So I thought: Let’s try to do something positive about it’.

Ten per cent of the proceeds from the sales are going to the NHS and Medecins Sans Frontieres.  £1,500 a pop – but 100 sold in first 24 hours. https://rebeccahossackartgallery.tumblr.com/

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Good for Book in Bar who are working within the current rules and regs to bring a contact-free book sales system to Aix.  This is how it will work:

  • Choose a title from their existing stock (the national supply/distribution channels aren’t working). This list can be found on their internet site or Facebook page.
  • Phone in your order, Tues-Sat 10-13hrs; or send an email to bookibaraix@orange.fr; or use their internet site
  • Collect from the shop doorway, Tues-Sat 10-13hrs – you will be given a slot
  • Payment by card preferred.

Starts 28th April

Even more good news – they are also selling take-away carrot cake, cookies and brownies!

Details: http://www.bookinbar.com/


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Last summer, this book caught my eye while browsing in a second-hand bookstore in Edinburgh: it seemed to be very Paris-centred and I put it back on the shelf, preferring to read books set in Provence; but something made me go back into the shop and invest my £3, and I was happy I had done, as Provence certainly comes into this story!  Here’s the outline: (more…)

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Getting fluent in French seems like a  never-ending task to me but I very much enjoy reading thrice-weekly posts from French Word a Day. 

Its author, Kristi, is an American, married to a Frenchman with whom she has two bilingual offspring.  The family are based at La Ciotat from where she sends us observations on French life both in her town or on her travels (then) or tales from house and garden (now).  Each post introduces new words and expressions to help us extend our vocabulary in a very painless way. https://www.french-word-a-day.com/  Recommended … as is her book!




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Here’s a book, in English, which takes readers off the usual tourist routes into hidden corners of Provence to find curiosities, probably not even known by locals: a statue of a pregnant Virgin Mary, a moondial in les Alpilles, a hotel room in a tree or a gypsy caravan, a village’s phallic balconies, a fountain that flows with wine, a church in a theatre, an erotic mediaeval bas relief, a countess who returned to life, a Provençal Villa Médicis, a false volcano at La Roquebrussane, a “sheep bridge” at Arles, a rain-making saint, an alchemist’s garden…

Near to Aix, there is lots of information on the tomb of Mary Magdalene at Saint Maximin along with background on the saint whose skull is preserved in the crypt. Author Jean-Pierre Cassely also provides interesting facts about the nearby grotto, its royal visitors and strange inscriptions.

Moving west to Maillane, I was intrigued to read about a cushion in the Frederic Mistral Museum: ‘made from beige leather and roughly sewn it bears the portrait of a face. This ‘cushion of life’ belonged to Native American chief Silver Eagle, who came here during the Buffalo Bill circus tour of France’.  Nobody seems to know how the cushion came here – but Cassely goes on to describe the impact of the tour locally, and the novel ‘The Heartsong of Charging Elk’ which it inspired.  William Cody enters our story yet again.

‘Secret Provence’ is a book to keep in the car, to read as you explore, or an addition to the bookshelf of a hotel/AirBnB.  It’s left me with a list of things to explore, starting with ‘The House of She Who Paints’ at Pont-de-L’Etoile’.

It covers the area from the Camargue up to Bollene, across to Digne-les-Bains and down to Hyeres, a large chunk of the south of France, but oddly both Aix and Marseille are excluded. That’s apparently because they each have a book devoted to them, but in French.

Incidentally, the author who lives locally gives tours of ‘Unexpected Aix’ via the tourist office: https://booking.aixenprovencetourism.com/french-walking-guided-tour-unexpected-aix-2h.html


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This one is not to be missed!


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We were all saddened when the Librarie de Provence in the cours Mirabeau closed at the end of March last year – it was yet another in a series of closures of independent bookshops.  So  it’s a great pleasure to report its rebirth in very distinguished premises, (more…)

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Aix: Book Club at Book-in-Bar

The final Book Club meeting of the year at Book in Bar takes place on Thursday 19th Dec at 17:30.  They will be discussing ‘The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society’ by Mary Ann Shaffer.  Here’s what the Guardian had to say: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2008/aug/09/fiction4

Just 12 days to get hold of a copy and read it!

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This Coming Weekend in Aix

        • New Photo Exhibition at Musée Granet
        • Cinema Promotion
        • Enormous Sale of English books


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