The pillars of the earth by Ken Follett
This one, warmly recommended by a fellow book club member, is about cathedral building in the 12th Century. I know it’s probably not a great literary work, but it’s a hugely enjoyable read. I loved reading the Brother Cadfael books by Ellis Peters a while back, so I already knew a bit about the historical background to the Empress Maud and King Stephen’s drawn out tussle. And cathedrals are fascinating things, so it’s nice to get a little insight in how these amazing buildings were erected nearly a thousand years ago.
As you like it by William Shakespeare
I saw this with my sister recently, in English (which you don’t get to see that often in Paris), directed by Sam Mendes, and we both really enjoyed the show, so I read it afterwards. I thought there was some great acting and it was generally easy on the brain, despite it being by the Bard. Reading the play having watched it first, I was once again struck by how much easier it is to understand (well, for me to understand at any rate) Shakespeare’s plays acted rather than read. The language gap of a few centuries is largely erased with the clues provided by the actors’ and the director’s skills.