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Reading Nights

The French Reading Nights, taking place from Thursday 21 to Sunday 24 January 2021, were created by the Ministry of Culture to celebrate the pleasure of reading. Besides, in the current health context, the act of reading has offered a real bubble of escape for many around the world, and as we believe in the comfort of a good bedtime story, we have curated a list of documents surrounding the magical theme of the “night”. There are suggestions to read some more books! But there is also video and audio content available. So go and have a browse on the free e-library Culturethèque.


Dans les draps de la nuit by France Quatromme and Hitomi Murakami | Lirabelle

What do you do at night? Sometimes, Arthur doesn't sleep. He follows his friend, Whale, and together they live incredible adventures! They fly high in the sky, switch on thousands of stars, fish clouds, give big hugs to the moon, and when they are tired, the wind kindly lets them slide of her back to bring them home on planet Earth so that they can finally rest a little bit!

Loupiote by Camille Tisserand and Catherine Latteux | Père Fouettard

When a wolf finds a blue-eyed baby girl abandoned in a forest late at night, she immediately comes to her rescue and drops her off in front of a lighted house. But when the wolf comes back to visit a few days later, she realises that not all humans are capable of showing goodwill and kindness. As such, the wolf will one more time save the little girl!

Poèmes du soir by Géraldine Hérédia and Corinne Dentan | Le port a jauni

The Evening Poems are a ritornello dedicated to what frightens us, what we do not know, the tiny that swarms under the earth or which rummages in the dark when night has come, the concerns that creep into us ... These are poems around the theme of twilight and mystery, a night that is both frightening and attractive, with rhymes, play on words, alliterations in -oir and in -uit.

L'aube sera grandiose by Anne-Laure Bondoux | Gallimard

Nine, sixteen, won't be going to the party as planned. Her mother decided otherwise. Instead, she takes her daughter to an unknown destination, a secluded cabin on the edge of a lake. It is time to reveal the existence of a carefully hidden past. As such begins a long night of revelations....

Winner of the 2017 Prix Vendredi (The Goncourt of Youth Literature), the novel is a suspenseful mother-daughter drama.

New Moon by David Dufresne | Seuil

1986. David Dufresne is 18 years old and arrives in Paris. The New Moon is a tiny cabaret but for him it is the center of the world, the refuge of his nights. Thirty years later, he tells with poetry the different lives and metamorphoses of the place. The music slams, the eras collide. Piaf meets Mano Negra and Virginie Despentes meets Antoine la Rocca (known as la Scoumoune, a famous Corsican bandit). The story progresses in spurts through a century of Paris, cracked by photos, police reports, songs and funny advertisements to meticulously construct a bewitching literary dive.

L'interprétation sociologique des rêves by Bernard Lahire | La Découverte

French sociologist Bernard Lahire has long been interested by the mysterious images created within one’s head while dreaming. Dismissing some of Freud’s theories, he argues that dreams are both a reflection of our deep-rooted existential concerns as well as our secret social ambitions. It is a unique terrain where censure is not at play and our minds take this opportunity to enter in an intimate dialogue with ourselves. Therefore finding keys to understanding which life experiences need more scrutiny is needful and this essay turns out to be quite fascinating.


Insomnie, voyage au bout de la nuit | France Culture

Do you know that nearly a fifth of France's population is suffering from insomnia? This science podcast provides an overview of the current knowledge in this field. Medical specialists give keys to understanding the mechanisms of sleep, the genetic part of this disorder and share the latest behavioural and cognitive therapies.

Listen on Culturethèque

Musique de nuit by Ballaké Sissoko & Vincent Segal | No Format

Combining two seemingly incompatible instruments, Malian Kora player Sissoko and French cellist Segal have created their own hybrid music style. Drawing on the West African griot tradition and the heritage of Baroque music, their music shows a clear modern sensibility. Segal's elegant cello playing blends seamlessly with the melodic kora masterfully played by Sissoko. Partly recorded at night on his rooftop in Bamako, Musique de Nuit is a soulful, soothing and poetic album.

Listen on Culturethèque

Claire de lune by Tatiana Samouil & David Lively | Indesens

A wonderful compilation of early twentieth century pieces by French masters of chamber music Debussy, Faure and Ravel, this album offers a performance of great elegance by Russian violonist Tatiana Samouil and French-American pianist David Lively. The musicians' playing complement each other perfectly, including on the piece giving the album its title, Clair de lune (Suite bergamasque) by Debussy, which is a transcription for both their instruments by Alexandre Roelens. This is beautiful music that can be enjoyed over and over, at any time of the day or night.

Listen on Culturethèque


Animals and Witchcraft by Dominique Hennequin | Arte

Wild animals have been associated with many legends and superstitions since time immemorial. With drawings by John Howe, famed for his artworks inspired by J.R.R Tolkien’s worlds, this wildlife documentary takes a fresh look at creatures from folklore.

Watch on Arte in English

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