John Nalan

Je ne parle pas français du tout, mais ça peut être notre petit secret

Yesterday, one of our library users came in to ask about France. She was planning a trip and wanted to learn a little more about the place. I am sure that, for her, it seemed to be a simple enough question. For me, however, the question just created more questions, so I started asking her them.

Would you like to learn some tips about traveling in France?

We have a large selection of up-to-date travel guides. For example, we have the newest Rick Steves guide to both France and Paris. They contain information on all sorts of sites to see, tipping and transportation advice, fold out maps, and itineraries for one- to three-day stops in dozens of cities across the country. 

Are you interested in picking up some language skills?

One of our great language resources is the Libby app. You can download it onto your cell phone. It lets you hear audiobooks or read ebooks. People love the language learning audiobooks that are available. We also have more traditional language items like small phrase books, language courses on CD, and foreign language dictionaries.

Will you be visiting any World War II memorials?

There are a lot of books on the Second World War in our library. Normandy, the French Resistance, General Patton – we have just about anything you would like. The war remains a very popular topic for history books. Our newest is titled “Spearhead.” It is a harrowing account of an American tank gunner named Clarence Smoyer.

Does French food interest you?

A person could learn a lot about French cooking at our library. Of course, we have cookbooks by Julia Childs, but we also have a variety of other books on the subject. One of my favorites is “French Lessons: Adventures with Knife, Fork, and Corkscrew.” The author, Peter Mayle, has a way of bringing out both the passion and humor in almost any French meal.

Are you interested in French literature?

We have most of the classic works of French literature to read before your trip. For example, we have the great French novel, “Les Miserables,” by Victor Hugo. There are several translations of the book. I recommend the Simon & Schuster translation. It is simply translated and contains nice explanatory notes. We also have two versions of the movie in our collection. So whether you prefer Liam Neeson or Hugh Jackman to sing the part of Jean Valjean, we have you covered. 

Are you planning to exercise or see any sporting events in France?

We have some resources that will help you get the most out of the experience. We have books on fencing, soccer, rock climbing, cycling, or just about anything else you could do or see in France.

France is an amazing place. However, it is not the only place to visit in the world. We can help you make the most out of your trip to just about anywhere, whether it is 50 miles away or 5,000 miles away. Just stop in and share your plans.

Coming up @ your library:

Thursday, Aug. 22, Getting Your Ducks in a Row: The Home Visitor Program and Healthcare Directives, 1 p.m. 

Our series for adults continues with representatives of the Home Visitor Program discussing the importance of health care directives and the support services they provide seniors feeling isolated.

Saturday, Aug. 24, Saturday Story Time 10:15 or 11:15 a.m. 

Join us in the Story Circle for books and songs. Then move to the Community Room for a snack, a craft, and time to play and visit. Families may earn one Baby Steps coupon for attending Story Time.

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