lundi 26 novembre 2012

November Newsletter


New books

The new books have arrived, you will have seen the list in the last Newsletter, we really do have a very good selection now of literature for all tastes. We have added the latest J K Rowling “A Casual Vacancy”

Library opening hours

The schedule for January through June will be out soon. We will not be open on Wednesday 26th December, Boxing Day. Members may take out more books over the holiday period.

Upcoming events

Play in English, Tomorrow’s Parties” at the Domaine d’O on 6th December, we have had a very good response and hope it will be an enjoyable evening. The play starts at 7pm. Your tickets will be at the “accueil” in envelopes with your names on. There will be a meeting with the actors after the play, Foal will be helping to lead the debate and, if necessary, with the interpretation although the Domaine d’O will be providing a translator. The play lasts about 1h20 and the meeting with the actors about 30 minutes.

Christmas Party on Saturday 15th December at 2 Place de la Chapelle Neuve at 6pm for FOAL members. You are invited to bring some finger-food, the members of the Board will be providing the drinks. Please let us know before 5th December if you will be attending: send an email to  to tell her what you plan to bring, she will be organising the finger-food so that we have a selection of sweet and savoury. Do come along with your significant other half

Book Quiz   Philip  Claringbull has agreed to be quiz master and to ensure a rapid, quick-fire exchange of questions and answers. The same range of questions as before will be asked on fiction before and since 1900, on well-known non-fiction titles, on drama and poetry, on books that were made into films and on well-loved whodunnit titles. The format will be changed, there will be four teams competing and everyone in the audience will be able to participate.

Date  11 January at 6pm   Venue: Martin Luther King Annex, 27 Boulevard Louis Blanc

There will be a small charge of 5 euros which will also entitle you to drinks and nibbles. Please send an email to before 5th January to let us know if you plan to attend so that we can organise quantities. This event is open to all.

Play Reading  The day after St Valentines day, very appropriately, we  are offering a play reading called Love Letters, written by A R Gurney, which has been performed in theatres, humble and noble, tens, if not hundreds, of times since Gurney first wrote it in 1988. Liz Taylor once featured in a benefit one-night production of the play for an AIDS charity. The play involves just two characters who exchange letters over a span of 50 years. One correspondent is eager to write, the other more diffident and the result is a correspondence that is pithy, exhilarating and funny, and well as wise, wistful and tinged with in-your-face reality, love and sadness. Don’t miss this special play-reading production.

Date  15 February at 6pm     Venue: Martin Luther King Annex, 27 Boulevard Louis Blanc

There will be a small charge of 5 euros which will also entitle you to drinks and nibbles. Please send an email to before 5th February to let us know if you plan to attend so that we can organise quantities. This event is open to all.

In April FOAL will be organising another event called “Shards of Light”, we shall give you more details later on.

For those of you who might be interested, the Domaine d’O is organising a showing of Robert Altman’s film “Short Cuts” based on short stories and a poem by Raymond Carver at the Utopia cinema on Wednesday 16 January at 2pm. We don’t know yet if there will be a discussion afterwards. The Domaine d’O is also putting on a play about Carver (in French) from Wednesday 30 January to Friday 1st February.

dimanche 16 septembre 2012

New books on order September 2012 and donation



The end of the wasp season                        Denise Mina

Bones are forever                                        Kathy Reichs

The Girl on the Stairs                                  Louise Welsh

Tom-all-alone’s                                            Lynn Shepherd  (Corsaire)

Vengeance in mind                                      N J Cooper

The Kingmaker’s daughter                        Philippa Gregory

Winter of the World                                    Ken Follett

Sweet Tooth                                                 Ian McEwan

The Song of Achilles                                               Madeline Miller

San Miguel                                                   T C Boyle

Tigers in red weather                                  Lisa Klaussmann

In One person                                               John Irving

The Dinner                                                   Herman Koch

The Best of me                                             Nicolas Sparks


We have also received a large donation from one of our members, the following books are already in the library

We have received a large donation from one of our members and have started processing the books. You will find below some interesting « oldies » that have been incorporated into the collection

General Fiction

T.C.Boyle                                          Inner Circle

T.C.Boyle                                          Water Music

A Brookner                                        Falling slowly

J Franzen                                            The Corrections

D Baldacci                                         The Christmas train

F McCourt                                         Tis

J Winterson                                        Lighthousekeeping

S Faulks                                             Engleby

R Seiffert                                           The Dark room

H Mantel                                            An Experiment in love

M Amis                                              Yellow Dogs

M Bragg                                             Crossing the lines

M Atwood                                         Alias Grace

T Parsons                                           Man and Wife

A Mathews                                        Apothecary’s House

A Brink                                              The other side of silence

A Soeuif                                            The Map of Love

K Follett                                            A Dangerous Fortune

W Lamb                                             The Hour I first believed

P Auster                                             New York Trilogy

Potok Chaim                                      The gift of Asher Lev

D Leavitt                                           The page turner

D Leavitt                                           The Indian Clerk

C McCann                                         Songdogs




H Mankell                                          Before the Frost

H Mankell                                          Depths

N French                                            Catch me when I fall

N French                                            Death in a strange country

PD James                                           The Murder room

PD James                                           Shroud for a Nightingale

B Vine                                                           The Blood Doctor

E George                                            With no one as witness

E George                                            A Traitor to memory 

E George                                            A Place of Hiding

I Rankin                                             Simisola

I Rankin                                             Watchman

Reginald Hill                                     The Lake of Darkness

Reginald Hill                                     The Woodcutter (this is his most recent book and it is an 

                                                            exceptionally good crime novel, an absolute page turner)

I Rankin                                             Dead Souls

M Walters                                          The shape of snakes

M Walters                                          The Devil’s feather

Q Jardine                                           Skinner’s Trail

D Leon                                               Death at La Fenice

D Leon                                               Memory Game

Non Fiction

A Beevor                                           The Mystery of Olga Chekhova


September Newsletter


Hope everyone had a good summer and that you did not suffer too much from the heat !

We held a Board Meeting on 6th September and we have lots of exciting events to tell you about.


The library is going strong in spite of the fact that we are still in our temporary premises, you will find below two lists ; some books from a recent donation which are already in the library, and the other, new books on order. Our policy at the library is to keep abreast of recent publications and to stay at the cutting edge of literary actuality. On the other hand, we are quite inundated with donations from kind donators (too many given our current situation), remember, there is a Permanent Book Sale at the library and we hope to hold another Book Sale before Christmas.


We have quite a lot of events in the works

The first is the Play in English at the Domaine d’O (same place as the Christopher Crimes talk). After the play which lasts 1 hour and twenty minutes we will meet the actors for a debate. The company is very well-known and was at Avignon this summer. This event will take place on Thursday 6th December at 7pm. A wonderful opportunity for those of us who are deprived of theatre in English ! Foal will be leading the discussion with the actors in partnership with the Domaine d’O team. There is a special price of 8 euros for Foal members and supporters. If you wish to come, please send a cheque for 8 euros to : Victoria Metherell 31bis Avenue St Lazare Bât O 34000 Montpellier, made out to FOAL before 15th November. I will centralise the cheques and get the tickets. For those of you who came to the Christopher Crimes talk last year you will remember there is a bar at the theatre….

Forced Entertainment presents


Forced Entertainment’s latest performance explores ideas and clichés of hope. Writing and collecting future scenarios as well as small narratives concerning optimism and despair, the company investigates the speculative nature of anticipation and the myriad possibilities the future holds in store. Tomorrow’s Parties draws on ideas of utopian and dystopian projections, the optimistic stories we tell ourselves and on the pleasures of invention that arise as the work twists and turns in performance. From these conjectures, day dreams and gripping but well-worn narratives the piece will move out in different directions to other kinds of speculations – the realistic, the personal and the evidently fantastical. Tomorrow’s Parties is Forced Entertainment in intimate and comical mode - a playful, poignant and at times delirious look forwards to futures both possible and impossible.

Forced Entertainment

Since forming the company in 1984, the six core members of the group have sustained a unique artistic partnership for quarter of a century, confirming their position as trailblazers in contemporary theatre. The company’s substantial canon of work reflects an interest in the mechanics of performance, the role of the audience and the machinations of contemporary urban life. The work is distinctive and provocative, delighting in disrupting the conventions of theatre and the expectations of audiences. Forced Entertainment’s trademark collaborative process – devising work as a group through improvisation, experimentation and debate – has made them pioneers of British avant-garde theatre and earned them an international reputation.

The next event is a Christmas Party for members of Foal. We thought it would be a good idea to have a party for all our members and their spouses. The Claringbulls have kindly offered to hold the “aperitif dinatoire” at the library, Place de la Chapelle Neuve on 15th December at 6pm. You are invited to bring some finger food, the members of the Board will be providing the drinks. Please let us know nearer the time if you are coming: send an email to

Next we come to the Literary Quiz, this will be held again in January with a rather different formula, members of the public who wish to, can be part of one of the four teams, the organisers feel that more people would like to participate. This event will be held at the Martin Luther King venue.

In February we plan a Play Evening, a performance of A.R.Gurney’s Love Letters and later next spring an evening’s entertainment by members of BookChat, more about those events nearer the time.

We are very lucky to have such a dynamic and motivated Board, the library has problems at the moment but FOAL is alive and kicking. This is also thanks to your support which we need to survive.

Thank you all for your support, if you haven’t signed up yet  you can  send a cheque made out to Foal to : Sunshine Erickson Mas de Calage, Chemin de Calage, 34130 St Aunès

(active member 25 euros  benefactor 40 euros  student 15 euros)

mardi 7 août 2012

Annual General Meeting

We held our Annual General Meeting in June. Our accounts should be healthy for the coming year thanks to a grant we have received from the Mairie. As you will know if you follow the blog, there has been quite a lot of activity since our last AGM. Foal has organised the Christopher Crimes talk, the Literary Quiz which was a great success and which will become an annual event, we have enhanced the collection with the "100 Best Novels of the XX century" and we add recent literature to the collection on a regular basis. We had a successful partnership with the Mairie at the Comédie du Livre and enjoyed our talks with two of the visiting authors. We held a Book Sale before our move to our temporary premises and there is a permanent book sale at the library. The new opening hours are on the first Saturday of every month from 10-12.30 and the second and fourth Wednesday of every month from 3-6pm at Place de la Chapelle Neuve in Montpellier.
The regular Book Chat meetings are very popular. There are one or two events in the works and you will be informed in due time. Our next objective is to find permanent premises, if you have any suggestions, please contact us at

                                                        Photos taken at the AGM

Membership is down, probably because some people joined in the first flush to show support for our efforts, we still need you so don't hesitate to ask us for information about how to join. Even if you are not a great bibliophile, you can participate in our events, happily we have a very active Board and we do try hard to keep up the good work.

mardi 5 juin 2012


As the photos will show, FOAL was present at the Comédie du Livre, and after a few snaffles, we got the computers up and running and the public was able to come and listen to selected recordings of authors and poets from the BBC archives. The stand was manned by Foal volunteers, to whom many thanks. The CDs are now available for loan at the library. We actually didn’t have a lot of people because the part of the stand we occupied was rather hidden away, but we managed to hand out quite a few flyers and hope this will eventually bring in some new members.

We had two very successful breakfast meetings with two British authors, Kate Summerscale and Roger John Ellory. The latter, who we have discovered thanks to the books that the Mairie bought for us (we have 6 of his in the library now), is an extraordinarily pleasant guy and we had a great talk with him. Those of us who have read one or more of his books are really smitten with the quality of the writing and the stories he tells. I told him we were going to set up a Fan Club ! He signed three of his books for Foal including his latest offering, « A Dark and Broken Heart » which came out two days ago (we can’t get more recent than that !) Kate Summerscale signed « Mrs Robinson’s Disgrace », also her latest publication. We took advantage of the fact that authors were signing books during the event to get a signed copy of David Lodge’s latest, « A Man of Parts » and of Marina Lewycka’s « Various pets alive and dead ». She wrote a book that has become quite a cult,  « A Short History of tractors in Ukraine ».
                                                                                                      Kate Summerscale signing her book

For those of you who haven’t yet put the date in your diaries, don’t forget the Annual General Meeting on 15th June at the Martin Luther King venue at 6pm. E-mail your presence to so that we can provide enough food and drink !

 Some members in front of the stand and Roger Jon Ellory signing his latest book

lundi 14 mai 2012

Move to new premises, new books

Unfortunately we have to leave Rue Maguelone and we have been offered temporay premises. We shall be reducing our opening hours to one Saturday morning and one Wednesday afternoon a month. However, to compensate for this, members will be able to borrow three or four books if they can only come once a month. For details of new address, send an email to

As soon as we are installed in the new premises which are centrally located, we shall receive our order for new books and we have also received 9 new books bought by the Mairie by the authors we shall be meeting at the breakfast meetings at the Comédie du Livre, Kate Summerscale on Saturday 2nd June and Roger Jon Ellory on Sunday 3rd June. There is still time to sign up at the Foal email.

Books on order May 2012

William Boyd             Waiting for Sunrise
John Grisham             The Litigators
Mary Higgins Clark    The Lost Years
Harriet Lane               Alys, Always
Hilary Mantel             Bring up the bodies (second in the « Wolf Hall »trilogy)
Jo Nesbo                     Phantom
Edward St Aubin       At Last (final volume of « The Patrick Melrose novels » we are also buying a volume which includes the whole set of the previous novels in the series : Never Mind ; Bad news ; Some hope ; Mother’s milk)

Kathryn Harrison       Enchantments

Don't worry, folks, Foal will keep going strong in spite of this temporary setback!

jeudi 19 avril 2012

FOAL at the Comédie du Livre (1st 2nd 3rd June)

I have had several meetings with Régis Penalva at the Mairie as he wished Foal to become involved with the Comédie du Livre (1st 2nd 3rd June), British authors invited this year. I put forward three suggestions, a Quiz, a Round Table and readings by British authors and poets from the BBC archives. Although I made these proposals at least a month ago, time has flown by, Régis became a proud father and took paternity leave and it is now too late to change the schedules of the authors to organise the quiz and the round table. However, he and Laurence Patri from the association “Coeur de Livres” do like my idea of readings. The plan is to set up some computers at the Ville de Montpellier stand so that people can come and listen (they would be informed that the selection was made by Foal so our name and logo will be somewhere at least). I have ordered the CDs and will make a first selection to be confirmed along with suggestions from Régis P and LPatri.

The better news is that they are going to organise for Foal members two breakfast meetings with two authors; Kate Summerscale and Roger Jon Ellory at la Maison des Rélations Internationales (I attach the bios of the two authors). This will be the Saturday and Sunday morning (2nd and 3rd June) so clear your diaries as we will need a good turnout. The Mairie is going to order some of the books of the two authors and donate them to Foal so that we can do some reading before we meet the authors.

They will need to know numbers in order to know how much coffe to make and how many croissants to order(!) so you will need to send me an email at to confirm your presence (lets say by the end of April).

mercredi 4 avril 2012

Annual General Meeting 2012 Date changed

Date change for Annual General Meeting 2012

The AGM will take place on 15th June at 6pm at Martin Luther King, 27 Boulevard Louis Blanc

mercredi 21 mars 2012

Books bought by Foal since opening of the library

Non Fiction

Margaret Atwood                                          Payback

Peter Baldwin                                                 Narcissism of minor differences

Rosamund Barlett                                         Tolstoy : A Russian life                                 

Michael Caine                                                The elephant to Hollywood  

Stephan Clarke                                              One thousand years of annoying the French

Theodore Dalrymple                                      Spoilt rotten   

Guy Deutscher                                              Through the language glass

Joshua Foer                                                    Moonwalking with Einstein: The art and science    

                                                                       of remembering everything      

 Antonia Fraser                                              Must you go  

Judy Golding                                                The children of lovers            

Christopher Hitchins                                     Hitch-22                                                                                

Ivana Lowell                                                             Why not say what happened: A memoir

Robert Mc Crum                                          Globish: How English became the world’s


 David McCullough                                      The Greater Journey – Americans in Paris

Wendy Moffat                                              E.M. Forster; A new Life                 

V.S. Naipaul                                                  The Masque of Africa           

 Joyce Carol Oates                                         A widow’s story: a memoir

Andrew O’Hagan                                          Life and opinions of Maf the dog and of his

                                                                      friend Marilyn Monroe                          

Olivier Philippoonat                                      Life of Irene Nemirovsky     

Edmund de Waal                                          The Hare with amber eyes                                        


Kate Atkinson                                                           Started early, took my dog

Paul Auster                                                    Invisible

Julian Barnes                                                 Pulse  

Sebastian Barry                                              On Canaan’s Side

William Boyd                                                Ordinary Thunderstorms

Andrea Camilleri                                           The wings of the sphinx

Peter Carey                                                    Parrot and Olivier in America

Justin Cartwright                                           Other  people’s  money

Michael Chambon                                          Amazing adventures of Kavalier and Clay

Michael Connolly                                           The drop

Don Delillo                                                    The falling man

Robert Edric                                                  London Satyr

Ken Follet                                                      Fall of giants

Ariane Franklin                                              A murderous procession

Jonathon Franzen                                          Freedom

Nicci French                                                  Complicit

Esther Freud                                                   Lucky break

Jane Gardam                                                  The man in a wooden hat

Elisabeth George                                           This body of death

Robert Goddard                                            Blood count   

Shilipi Gowda                                                           Secret daughter

Michel Gregario                                             A visible darkness

Philippa Gregory                                           The Red Queen

Philippa Gregory                                            Lady of the rivers

Elly Griffiths                                                 The house at sea’s end          

Paul Harding                                                 Tinkers

Robert Harris                                                  The Fear Index

Elisabeth Haynes                                            Into the darkest corner

Susan Hill                                                       The  betrayal of trust

Michael Holroyd                                           Book of secrets

Howard Jacobson                                          The Finkler Question            

PD James                                                       Death comes to Pemberly     

Jonathan Kellerman                                       Evidence

Steven King                                                   Full dark, no stars      

Donna Leon                                                   Drawing conclusions 

Deborah Levy                                                 Swimming home

Penelope Lively                                             How it all began

Michelle Lutze                                               Ballad of Trenchmouth Taggart

Sofi Oksanen                                                 Purge

Tom McCarthy                                              C

Val McDermid                                              Trick of the dark

Jo Nesbo                                                        The Devil’s star (the new Stieg Larsson)     

Jo Nesbo                                                        The Redbreast

J Carol Oates                                                 Little bird of heaven

Edna O’Brian                                                Saints and Sinners                 

Sofi Oksanen                                                 Purge

Michael Ondaaje                                            The Cat’s table

James Patterson                                             Worst case

Jodi Pecoult                                                   Sing you home                      

Kate Pullinger                                                The Mistress of nothing

Tom Rachman                                               The Imperfectionists

Kathy Reichs                                                  Flesh and Bones

Ruth Rendall                                                             Tigerlily’s orchids

Andrew Rosenheim                                       Fear itself                  

Philip Roth                                                    Nemesis

Polly Samson                                                 Perfect lives   

C.J.Sansom                                                    Heartstone

Kathyrn Stockett                                           The Help

Antonio Tabucchi  (new translation)             Pereira Maintains       

Colm Toibin                                                   The empty family      

William Trevor                                               Love and summer

Joanna Trollope                                             Daughters-in-law

John Updike                                                  My father’s tears

David Vann                                                   Caribou Island           

Hal Vaughan                                                 Sleeping with the enemy