Category: BGA

Things We Didn’t Talk About When I Was a Girl

Why would a good person commit a terrible act?

Fifteen years ago, Jeannie’s relationship with a close friend ended in rape. With the rise of the #MeToo movement, recurring nightmares of the event that plagued her as a girl have returned. To process her conflicted feelings of betrayal and take back control, she resolves to face her trauma head-on by interviewing her rapist.

Through their transcribed conversations and discussions with her closest friends, Jeannie’s compelling memoir explores how the incident impacted both of their lives, while examining the culture and language surrounding sexual assault and rape. Things We Didn’t Talk About When I Was a Girl is a necessary contribution to the wider conversation around sexual violence from a brave, new voice. 

***PRAISE FOR THINGS WE DIDN’T TALK ABOUT WHEN I WAS A GIRL***

A Time magazine ‘The 42 Most Anticipated Books of Fall 2019’ 

A Bustle ‘The 20 Best New Books for Fall 2019’ 

Bustle ‘10 New #MeToo Movement Books to Read in Fall 2019′

An Esquire ‘Best Fall Books of 2019’: ‘Perhaps the most important book of the season.’

A Nylon ‘34 Books You’ll Want to Read This Fall’: ‘Thought-provoking, unmooring and haunting.’

A Domino  ‘Best Fall Books of 2019: ‘A compelling, nuanced look at trauma and survival.’

A NetGalley UK’s Top Ten Books for October

‘Brave and compelling… Vanasco muddles through the silt of her thoughts to create a language for something we don’t talk about.’ The Paris Review, staff pick

‘With deep self-consciousness, courage, and nuance, the author reveals the inner universe of her survivorship… An extraordinarily brave work of self- and cultural reflection.’ Kirkus Reviews, starred review

‘A powerful memoir… a painful reminder of the ugly ways some men treat women, and Vanasco’s nuanced story will resonate with those who’ve endured sexual inappropriateness in any form.’ Publishers Weekly

 ‘Vanasco has written exactly the book we need right now. I wish everyone would read it.’ Melissa Febos, author of Abandon Me

‘A gorgeous, harrowing, heartbreaking book. Vanasco is whip-smart and tender, open and ruthless.’ Carmen Maria Machado, author of Her Body and Other Parties

Flirting with French

William Alexander is not just a Francophile, he wants to be French. It’s not enough to explore the country, to enjoy the food and revel in the ambiance, he wants to feel French from the inside. Among the things that stand in his way is the fact that he can’t actually speak the language. Setting out to conquer the language he loves (but which, amusingly, does not seem to love him back), Alexander devotes himself to learning French, going beyond grammar lessons and memory techniques to delve into the history of the language, the science of linguistics, and the art of translation. Along the way, during his travels in France or following his passion at home, he discovers that not learning a language may be its own reward.

The Bonjour Effect

Julie Barlow and Jean-Benoit Nadeau spent a decade traveling back and forth to Paris as well as living there. Yet one important lesson never seemed to sink in: how to communicate comfortably with the French, even when you speak their language. In The Bonjour Effect Julie and Jean-Benoit chronicle the lessons they learned after they returned to France to live, for a year, with their twin daughters. They offer up all the lessons they learned and explain, in a book as fizzy as a bottle of the finest French champagne, the most important aspect of all: the French don’t communicate, they converse.To understand and speak French well, one must understand that French conversation runs on a set of rules that go to the heart of French culture. Why do the French like talking about "the decline of France"? Why does broaching a subject like money end all discussion? Why do the French become so aroused debating the merits and qualities of their own language? Through encounters with school principals, city hall civil servants, old friends and business acquaintances, Julie and Jean-Benoit explain why, culturally and historically, conversation with the French is not about communicating or being nice. It’s about being interesting. After reading The Bonjour Effect, even readers with a modicum of French language ability will be able to hold their own the next time they step into a bistro on the Left Bank.