dimanche 11 décembre 2016


We had a great party as usual. Unfortunately, this year we had to have a cut off number of guests, but next Christmas we shall probably hold the party at the Library & we won't have to restrict numbers. The raffle was a great success, below a photo of all the goodies on offer. Members of the board worked very hard to get the prizes, there were lots of them so people had a very good chance of winning

jeudi 8 décembre 2016

The cosy area Rue Lakanal

We are feathering our nest in the the new premises Rue Lakanal. The room where we have the children's books & where you can have a cup of tea or coffee is looking really cosy. See below
We shall be open on the 14th & 17th December & then closed for the holidays until Wednesday 4th January

vendredi 2 décembre 2016

The new catalogue (Author Alphabetical Order) is now online. To download it, just click Here.
Also available : Title Alphabetical Order Here.

Click on “télécharger avec votre navigateur” (download to browser) and then on “ouvrir” (open) or "Enregistrer le fichier" (to save it on your computer).

jeudi 24 novembre 2016

The first Bookchat meeting at the Library. We have a good-sized meeting room in which Book Chat meetings will be held from now on. We usually have the permanent book sale on the tables but book chat members made short shrift of getting the boxes off & back in place at the end of the meeting. Members were able to have a cup of coffee or tea which is always on offer when you come to the Library  
. Book Chat meets once a month to talk about books people have read. If you would like to sit in on a meeting before joining (Foal members) you can send an email to mishex@wanadoo.fr
We have some pictures to put on the walls which are still rather bare..

lundi 21 novembre 2016


No, the newsletter is not becoming a monthly publication but there is a lot of news so I thought I’d write again this month

 Grand Opening

Was a great success, you will have seen the articles in the press & the photos on the blog & Facebook. Unfortunately, the Midi Libre journalist has a rather scant knowledge of English & wrote that we were a book shop (librarie) rather than a library. I contacted ML as soon as I saw the article & they corrected the error in an issue later in the week. On the strength of the ML article, I was contacted by a journalist from Divergences FM who came to interview me about the library. The interview was aired two days later at 8am, I doubt any of you heard it but it was another publicity plug for Foal.

We had lots of visitors including Mr Castre from City Hall who was delighted with the way we had set up the library. By chance  there was a young child sitting on the floor in the cosy, children’s room which is just the kind of thing CH is looking for when they allocate premises, they like to know that their premises are being used  to good effect. We had 13 new sign ups which brings us up to nearly 60 members now. I would like to thank all of the long-term members who have supported us through thick & thin over the years & of course, the Claringbulls & Glynis without whom we would have had to close.

Christmas Raffle
Lots of super prizes again this year.  The Board goes to great lengths to get the prizes & I hope you will all buy tickets for yourselves & friends in support of the library.  (ticket 1 euro  10 tickets for 8 euros)


·        Radio designed by Philippe Stark for Alessi, almost a museum piece, exhibited at MOMA

·        Voucher for an evening meal for two at the Casino Brasserie at the Grande Motte 

·        A manucure in a swish beauty parlour

·        Voucher for 50 euros at the restaurant Le Grillardin

·        Simili jet glass bead necklace from the Musée d’Orsay

·        A professional vegetable slicer

·        An ice cream door jam

·        A hand-decorated plate

·        Voucher for a « gouter » at Deli’s café

·        Bamboo pen & propelling pencil set

·        3 bottles of wine Domaine de Causse

·        Voucher from B’Cosse for « something nice »

·        Modern serving plate

·        Market list notepad                 MORE TO COME


Opening days over the Christmas holiday

In December we shall be open on Saturday 3rd & Saturday 17th & Wednesdays 7th & 14th. Back to normal schedule from the Wednesday 4th January opening  onwards (1st & 3rd Saturday & every Wednesday)


Foal’s famous literary quiz will be held at Martin Luther Quiz on 27th January. I don’t have an exact time yet for the opening of the doors. Quite early so that you have time for a drink to build you up before we start.

Conversation sessions

We would like to offer twice-monthly conversation sessions to anyone who might be interested. We already have 4 sign ups but we need a few more before we can set this up. Send an email to foal34@gmail.com

St Valentine’s Day  10 ukuleles

I have taken an option for the St Valentin’s Day evening at the Domain d’O. We had a great evening two years ago & this time there will be 10 musiciens with 10 ukuleles in a cabaret atmosphere as in 2015. We were astounded last time when we saw what they had done with the space  & I reckon this is not to be missed. The evening starts at 8pm & goes on for an hour & a half & should  be terrific fun. Sign ups before end of December to foal34@gmail.com  Special price 12 euros

Voces 8

I haven’t had many sign ups yet for this. It is still a long way off but I have an end of January deadline. An English group of singers called VOCES 8 some of whom are former pupils of Westminster Abbey will be singing all sorts of music  from classical to jazz to American crooners, a capella at the Domaine d’O on 28th March.  This will be a brilliant concert

Email to  foal@dbmail.com  Special price 12 euros

 Book Sale

The book sale is a permanent fixture. If you have any recent books in good condition, send a list to foal34@gmail.com , some can be added to the collection & some can go into the book sale. We made quite a lot of money with the Book Sale on Grand Opening day, it is a good way to raise funds for new purchases. We also sell CDs, I have mentioned this before, try & go through your CD collection & see if there          are any titles you don’t  listen to any more & bring them along to the library. Every little counts !

 Teddy Bears

It would be a nice idea to have a few cuddly toys on the shelves above the children’s book, there are already a couple. If you have one to donate (not too chewed up!) do bring it along. If you are fond of teddy bears, the Heathrow Christmas ad (you can see it on You Tube) is absolutely sweet & considered the best of the Christmas ads for the moment


lundi 14 novembre 2016

Loads of new titles added to the collection in November 2016

We have added a load of new books to the collection from various donations which will cater to all tastes! Travel & other excellent non-fiction, lots of novels & crime. If you are thinking of donating books, we have to be a bit strict. We ask for a list with author, title, publication date & condition. The Book Acquisitions Committee then decides which books to keep. From past experience & in the days when we were a fledgling library, we accepted donations sight unseen only ot discover that we had been had because people were offloading their chestnuts (ancient, well-thumbed, read in the bath kind of thing!) so we are more wary now.
You can also donate CDs which have been selling at a good pace in the permanent sale.
If you would like the list of the new titles send an e-mail to foal34@gmail.com

dimanche 6 novembre 2016


We had a very successful day yesterday, a lot of people came, we had a good number of new signups & we sold a lot of books and Raffle tickets (the prizes are coming in and they are really good as usual). Mr Castre from City Hall came along & he was impressed by our installation & thinks we will be a really useful addition to the area & Montpellier in general. A journalist  from Midi Libre & his photographer came to cover the event, the article will come out tomorrow (7th November)

So we are up & running & will be open every Wednesday from 3-6pm & the first & third Saturday each month. The new books are in and although there is still quite a lot of shelf space to fill, we shall do so slowly but surely with good literature. The Book Sale will be permanent, we do accept donations but only from a list, otherwise we would be overwhelmed with books.
The special offer for joining up still holds, free membership until the end of the year for new signups.

1 General view of the Library  2. A good crowd  3 Drinking the fizzy    4  Signing up   5 The cosy area & children's books   6 Vicki in front of the premises 23 rue Lakanal

mardi 25 octobre 2016


There will be a Special Offer on the Grand Opening Day (5th November)  Free membership for November & December when you sign up

lundi 24 octobre 2016


The Mairie is finishing the renovation (which will have taken a long time, since June!) and we can finally set a date for the GRAND OPENING.

Saturday 5th November
10-12.30 & 2-6pm
We shall be holding a Book Sale on that day & soft drinks & biscuits will be on offer. We are hoping to get a lot of new sign ups with a special deal: free membership for November & December 2016
The first "normal" opening will be on Wednesday 9th November 3-6pm so please wait to bring your books back
New opening hours
Every Wednesday 3-6pm
First & third Saturday 10-12.30




The Pigeon Tunnel                                                    John Le Carre  (Autobiography)

Les Parisiennes : How the women of Paris

lived, loved and died in the 1940s                            Ann Sebba  (Historical)

Van Gogh’s ear : The true story                                Bernadette Murphy

Peacock & Vine                                                        A.S.Byatt  (Art biography)

SAS : Rogue Heroes                                                 Ben Macintyre  (Wartime adventure)


Nutshell                                                                     Ian McEwan   (Historical fiction)

A Banquet of Consequences                                     Elisabeth George   (Detective novel)

The Gustav Sonata                                                    Rose Tremain  (Historical fiction)

Hot Milk                                                                    Deborah Levy   (Contempory fiction)

Conclave                                                                   Robert Harris   (Thriller)

His bloody Project                                                    Graeme Macrae Burnet   (Crime, shortlist

                                                                                  Booker 2016)

I see you                                                                    Clare Mackintosh  (Psychological thriller)

When the Music’s over                                             Peter Robinson  (Thriller)

Commonwealth                                                         Ann Patchett  (Family saga)

The Senility of Vladimir P                                        Michael Honig  (Fictional biography)

Breaking Cover                                                         Stella Remington   (Spy fiction)

Snow Garden                                                            Rachel Joyce  (Short  stories)



mercredi 5 octobre 2016


Lots of news this time.  Foal will be moving into a new phase of its life with the move to 23 rue Lakanal (planned for mid October, followed by a Grand Opening and Book Sale). The premises is being thoroughly renovated by City Hall, we are currently waiting for the flooring to be laid and the new plumbing put in. Then we shall be able to organise the move, re-shelving and general organising of the new place. (volunteers  welcome)  Of course, you will be informed of the date of the Grand Opening. One of our members, Murielle, who teaches in a college, has found us tables and chairs which the college was getting rid of. This will be a big saving. Thank you Murielle.

Antigone des Associations

Dedicated volunteers staffed our stand and we garnered a lot of email addresses of interested people to whom info will be sent.

Staffing the library

Opening hours will be enlarged in the new premises and volunteers from membership are welcome (email to foal@dbmail.com    ) We plan to open every Wednesday from 3pm to 6pm and the 1st and 3rd Saturday each month from 10am to 12.30. Board members will staff through until end of January and I plan to hold a meeting in January with volunteers and board members to sketch out staffing until the summer break.

New books

A new order has been placed and the books will be in the library for the G.O. We shall open a Children’s Section with books provided through donations, so if you have any interesting children’s books in good condition, you can bring them along.


There will be a raffle at the party and prizes are starting to come in. If you have anything in your attic which would make a good prize, don’t hesitate to donate. Please try and buy plenty of tickets, you can buy for friends who want to support the library. Even if they don’t belong to Foal they might want to support you.

Concert at Domaine d’O

An English group of singers called VOCES 8 (from classical to jazz to American crooners, a capella) will be coming to the Domaine d’O on 28th March. I have taken an option for Foal for 15 tickets. I will remind you nearer the time but if you are interested, do send me an email  foal@dbmail.com  so that I can get an idea about numbers. Special price 12 euros

Grand Opening & Super Book Sale

According to the latest information, the renovation should be finished by the third week in October which would enable us to move and set up in week 25th -29th. Then we would have a normal opening on Wednesday 2nd November and the Grand Opening on Saturday 5th November. This is the best case scenario, the worst case is move on 31st October and GO on 12th November with a normal opening on 9th November (we would rather not have people bringing back books on day of GO so that we can concentrate on the Book Sale and signing up new members). You will be kept informed. Refreshments and biscuits will be on offer


vendredi 2 septembre 2016

Antigone des Associations 11th September and new premises

FOAL has a stand at the Antigone des Associations on Sunday 11th September  N°00616 on Place Thessalie Don't hesitate to drop by to have a chat with the Foal members who will be staffing the stand and leave your email addresses so that we can keep you informed about the move to the new, permanent premises at 23 Rue Lakanal in Montpellier which we hope should take place some time in October.
The premises are pretty big (76 sq metres), we will be reintegrating all the books which are currently in various attics and cellars and it will be great to find the whole collection again. (see catalogue which has just been updated with the June buys).
We plan to hold a Grand Opening with a special price for new members and a giant Book Sale. From then on, FOAL will be going from strength to strength!

jeudi 1 septembre 2016

New catalogue available (June 2016) !!

The new catalogue (Title Alphabetical Order) is now online. To download it, just click Here.
Also available : Author Alphabetical Order Here.

Click on “télécharger avec votre navigateur” (download to browser) and then on “ouvrir” (open) or "Enregistrer le fichier" (to save it on your computer).

jeudi 16 juin 2016


Non fiction
History’s People : Personalities and the Past      Margaret MacMillan
Everyone  brave is forgiven                               Chris Cleave
The North Water                                                Ian McGuire
Penance                                                              Kate O’Riordan
Finders Keepers                                                  Stephan King
End Watch                                                          Stephan King
This must be the Place                                        Maggie O’Farrell
How to measure a Cow                                      Margaret Forster
The Poison Artist                                                Jonathan Moore
Thomas & Mary : a love story                           Tim Parks
A woman much missed                                      Valerio Varesi
The Fox was ever the hunter                              Herta Müller
My name is Lucy Barton                                    Elizabeth Strout  
Avenue of Mysteries                                           John Irving
Did you ever have a family ?                              Bill Clegg



We had a good turnout and very quickly moved on to the party and a glass (or two) of excellent « crémant d’Alsace » which people remarked upon. There was a wonderful spread of delicious food that our cordon bleu members brought along, the weather was perfect (not too hot, not too cold) and a great time was had by all. I shall be posting some photos on Foal’s Facebook page and the blog when I get them. (the blog foal34.free.fr is a good place if you wish to look at the catalogue)

OPENING DAYS JULY (before the move)
We will be open on Saturday 2nd  & Wednesday 13th July so that you can take out your summer reading (you are allowed more books for the summer) The new books will be in the library from 22nd July so you will have plenty to choose from


We have great plans for the new premises once we get up and running. There is a lot to be done getting the place to rights, City Hall will be doing most of the work but our bricoleurs will have plenty to do too. We will have a CHILDREN’S SECTION and you are invited to donate recent children’s books (in good condition) since we don’t plan to actually buy any books for youngsters. Patricia Robb has volunteered to set up story telling sessions for the kids.

We would like to increase the MAGAZINE SECTION thanks to donations of VERY recent issues of magazines (TIME, THE ECONOMIST, etc.)

We shall be increasing OPENING HOURS and we will need VOLUNTEERS for staffing (send an email to foal@dbmail.com with your possible slots). We plan to open every Wednesday(3pm-6pm) and the first and third Saturday of each month (10am-12.30am).

 Dates (subject to change) We hope to have a normal opening  on Saturday 3rd of September but you will be kept informed (it depends on how the renovation goes) and a GRAND OPENING AND BOOK SALE on Saturday 24th September from 10-12.30 & 2pm-6pm. I hope lots of you will come along on that day. It will be announced in the Press and we hope to enroll new members. All this to be confirmed. I met the technicien from City Hall ; work on schools over the holidays takes precedence, so, at the present time, it is impossible to set up an agenda. However, they do plan to do a thorough renovation with new flooring, ceiling and plumbing, so the premises will be spanking new when we move in.

We will need plenty of CHAIRS in the new premises where we plan to hold the Book Chat sessions and the Board meetings so if you have the odd chair to donate, send an email to the foal address (see above) and you can bring them along on an opening day. An armchair or two wouldn’t come amiss as we have a small room where we shall be able to sit and have a cup of tea or coffee and a chat.


We shall have a stand at the Antigone des Associations in the International section on Saturday 11th September. Now that we shall able to publicise the library with an address, it will be easier to promote so there will be special flyers, and info about the Grand Opening.


This is probably getting ahead of ourselves but the good news is that the Claringbulls have very kindly offered to hold the party at theirs on 10th December. We will have a cut off for numbers so when we get nearer the time you will be asked to sign on very fast. Meanwhile, rummage in your attics for hidden treasures which could make good prizes for the raffle and let me know.

mardi 3 mai 2016


Well, the good news has been confirmed.
After 6 years of existence and 4 years with a premises dossier at City Hall, we have finally be given permanent premises!!!!! Very near the town center on rue Lakanal, quite big (76 sq metres), will need a bit of sprucing up but we should open at the beginning of September which will give us time to get things organised. We have books all over the place in various cellars and attics, some belong to the library proper and others will go into a Book Sale which we shall hold on opening day. Of course this calls for a celebration and we shall be drinking fizzy at the AGM on 11th June (open to paid up members) before the al fresco lunch in one of our member's lovely garden. If you feel like joining up now, send an email to foal@dbmail.com and you will be eligible for the party too!


mardi 22 mars 2016



I can'r seem to be able to copy the images that are in the Newsletter, the one that should be in this space is of a couple of champagne glasses. This explains the first sentence of the text below


I expect you are surprised to see this festive image but drinking some fizzy might soon be a reality. Indeed, I was informed this week that the Premises Commission had held its meeting and that Foal’s dossier had been given an « avis favorable » by the Mayor. The next step is for them to find suitable premises but it does look as if we are well on the way to getting something permanent. If and when this happens, which might be in the not so distant future, Foal members will be drinking fizzy and celebrating. My secret hope is that this might intervene before the AGM and the summer party which is due to take place on 11th June (I hope the date is already in your agendas) so that we can do our celebrating then.

The new books will be in the library tomorrow (23rd March), another excellent selection as you have already seen.


This is a very short newsletter, I just wanted to share the good news.

There was another image here of some party hats
# # #

lundi 21 mars 2016

New Catalogues !!!

The new catalogue (Title Alphabetical Order) is now online. To download it, just click Here.
Also available : Author Alphabetical Order Here.

Click on “télécharger vers navigateur” (download to browser) and then on “ouvrir”

vendredi 4 mars 2016




The Outsider : My life in intrigue                                      Frederick Forsyth

By the author of The Day of the Jackal, the story of a happy boy who wanted an adventurous life and got it

Stop the Clocks ** see poem below                                   Joan Bakewell

A memoir  which is not Bakewell’s goodbye. She isn’t ill; hopefully, she has more time yet. But it is, perhaps, a preparation for goodbye, being a kind of reckoning up, a wry analysis of the world she will leave behind

Gimson’s Kings and Queens                                                          Andrew Gimson

An entertaining romp through England’s monarchs

How the French think : an affectionate portrait of an intellectual people by   Sudhir Hasareesingh

In this nation of arrogant intellectuals, even the beggars make eloquent speeches – but why are the French like this ? Why do they think differently ? The French like to construct a theory and then use it to explain facts ; the British and others like to examine the facts and then construct theories.


The Man without a shadow                                                           Joyce Carol Oates

Psychological thriller, a meloncholic examination of the ways in which we define ourselves in terms of our work and relationships.

The Improbability of Love                                                 Hannah Rothschild

A novel set in the art world. « I don’t know why everyone doesn’t set their novel in the art world » Ms Rothschild said. « It’s got everything : extremes of wealth, goodies, baddies, the intangibility of beauty and desire, history, scholorship.. you name it »

The Neopolitan Novels                                                        Elsa Ferrante (4 volumes)

The series follows the lives of two perceptive and intelligent girls, Elena Greco and Raffaella Cerullo, from childhood to adulthood as they try to create lives for themselves amidst the violent and stultifying culture of their home– a poor neighborhood on the outskirts of Naples

Exposure                                                                              Helen Dunmore

A fine addition to the shelves of cold war literature, an unconventional spy thriller

Numero Zero                                                                       Umberto Eco

This wry, witty novel about the skulduggery of the Clean Hands scandal

The Noise of Time                                                               Julian Barnes

A fictional biography, Barnes gives himself the narratorial freedom to enter the workings of the composer’s (Shostakovich) mind while also offering outside context for the reader.

Blood, Salt, Water                                                               Denise Mina

Her 12th book and Denise Mina is showing no signs of losing her power to draw readers into a shadowy world of crime.

Rogue Lawyer                                                                     John Grisham

Grisham is debuting what looks to be a series featuring a so-called street lawyer named Sebastian Rudd. Rogue Laywer is so cleverly plotted, it could be used as a how-to manual in fiction-writing courses

The Moor’s Account                                                                       Laila Lalami

Long listed for the Man Booker 2015 The story of an ill-fated expedition to the New World which sets of in 1527. The reader is gripped as the expedition lurches from disaster to disaster

High Dive                                                                             Jonathan Lee

A hauntingly atmospheric tale of the 1980s. A Provisional IRA bomb explodes in the Grand Hotel, Brighton, as it hosted senior delegates at the Tory party conference. This shocking event becomes the focus of Jonathan Lee’s third novel, though its surprises are truly unexpected

Broken Harbour                                                                 Tana French

A tale about the different facets of obsession and insanity. Tana French is a very popular author at the moment

**The  title of Joan Bakewell’s memoir probably comes from the first line of a W H Auden poem which I find very moving and which was recited in the burial scene in 4 Weddings and a Funeral

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled  drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
For nothing now can ever come to any good.