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Books, Like You’ve Never Seen Before

This Friday’s Summer Reads list pushes all sorts of boundaries. Everything from the passions of a butcher, a laconic account of unfinished or missing pieces, and asking your boss for a raise are all explored as topics in these unprecedented works.

Comme une bête, Joy Sorman (Gallimard, 2012)This very peculiar literary work tells the story of a butcher called Pim, who is obsessed with the beauty of cows and meat. It is an interesting and exhilarating reflection on our relation with the animals we eat.

The Missing Pieces, Henri Lefebvre (Semiotexte, 2014)This book lists a series of works that are either unfinished, lost, forgotten, destroyed, or that were never even made. This inventory of absences becomes an incantation: if only for an instant, it transmits a presence to these “units” that had previously been lost to the history of human creativity and thought. 

The Art of Asking your Boss for a Raise, Georges Perec (Verso, 2011)This title is a hilarious account of an employee losing his identity—and possibly his sanity—as he tries to put on the most acceptable face for the corporate world with its rigid hierarchies and hostility to ideas and innovation. When he decides to ask for a raise, his neurosis is let loose.

Too hot, too cold, too angry, too quiet, too busy, too lonely? We have the solutions here! Fun, fear and passion await. Each week, we will post thematic lists of great titles so you can let your bookworming desires run wild. Follow us on Twitter @FrenchBooksUSA