The Art of Sleeping Alone: Why One French Woman Suddenly Gave Up Sex By Sophie Fontanel

A formerly insatiable woman eventually finds her way out of impotence (and, from what I can tell, a series of bad relationships) by sleeping with someone else's husband. I was irritated beyond reason for most of this (thankfully short) book, maybe because at an age when apparent impotence should be approached and pondered with wisdom and reason and some self-confidence, I was getting more of a girlish, sex-obsessed, self-absorbed twat vibe. On the other hand, it was interesting enough that I read the whole thing. And now, having done so, I'm just mad. English I thought this was going to be a tawdry memoir or one those those French women do it better books on not having sex. Instead the book is series of philosophical introspective abstract vignettes from her years of sleeping alone. At first I found the author annoying because it was so obvious she needed a break from men because early on her life she created a template for relating in men in a submissive and unhealthy manner. But after I got over that I started to enjoy her commentary on her life and how it affected those around her.

Quick read. English This was honestly the most boring and pointless book I've read in a long time.

There's no explanation on why one french woman suddenly gave up sex other than the one provided in the first 10 pages - then it turned into a bunch of short episodes about her friends and random people in Paris. I don't understand why the publisher decided to change the title since in French it definitely made more sense (L'Envie)? English I really loved the idea of this book from just reading the title and the description. Not to mention, the cover! It's so cute. But while reading it, I feel like the writing style was just too much for me? I wanted something much more straight forward which you don't get while reading this. Not only that, but sometimes she came off kind of offensive which I didn't get offended by personally but some other people might.

While the premise was fantastic because she did focus on how she went without sex because she felt almost suffocated by the men in her life, it felt lost near the end of the book. The book is very short (like 150 pages?) but she walked the line most of the book. I got bored and kind of confused through out it because she would tell stories that kind of related but not really? English This is a fascinating quick read if you are behind on your challenge. I sure enjoyed it and hope to find more books by Sophie Fontanel. I had also hoped to do lots of quiz questions for the book but had a headache all day so not up to that. English

Read ê eBook, PDF or Kindle ePUB Ç Sophie Fontanel

Madame Fontanel's latest book has been badly misrepresented by its translation. This is not a book that celebrates being alone. This is a book about envying those that are in partnerships--hence L'Envie the original title.

It's too bad, because I was looking for something that finally, FINALLY, appreciates the beauty of being single. Mme. F. briefly touches on a few of those things, the moments of being surrounded by children who love on you, able to connect with them because of your lightness. Or the ability to live on the fringes, to be free, invited to travel because of your flexibility.

But then, she rejects two of the best parts of being alone. She gives up reading--I'd piled my books up and taken them down to the garbage. Their contents served no purpose. All they did was tell stories. And she refuses yoga, The movements to be performed, however, were admirable. The simple action of standing still and dropping your chin while exhaling washed you clean of ugliness...No, this discipline was not for me. I had already explored all the solitary pleasures.

I don't believe that she has fully explored solitary pleasures--I do not hear any joy in these pages. Madame Fontanel makes a bold start, but ultimately she portrays singlehood as melancholic and tragic. (Yes, she's French, she can't help it.) Yet I wish she had been a better ambassador.
English This is one of those where I think that I need to give it a reread just so I can appreciate the language properly. Fontanel writes in a very sophisticated way and I have to admit that her use of words challenged my English at times. But, the reading experience was a pleasure anyways and all the praise goes to the translator as well.

Content wise, I liked what I read. While not everything the author said was something I could agree on, I enjoyed a lot of points she brings to the table.

When it comes to recommendations, I think this memoir requires a specific kind of audience in order to be enjoyed, and I'm not sure I can judge who fits into that category. I found it to be refreshing, and if you, judging by the blurb, think that this is something you would be interested in, you should give it a shot.

I'm counting this for the Around the World in 80 Books challenge as a book set in France. English Although this book is about living for some time without sex, the way other people react to it makes me think the reaction could apply to doing also some other things differently, or just refusing to do it - like not-drinking, for example. This book has been a bestseller in France; it takes a look on what the impact of it was for her, and there's many observations relating to love and sex from her, in these stories.

The author decided to take a break from having sex (and because of that, also relationships) for a while, mostly because her body seemed to want to reject intimacy... and I think it's also partly due to what her first time was like (at 13, and he knew, and I don't think it was consensual enough to be nothing but rape, even if she doesn't say it's like that). The break was of great benefit for her, both mentally and physically - she could get a good view of it from the 'outside', see the positive and negative of it in the lives of strangers and friends (and friends' relationship storms).

She also had lavender milk baths and massages in Goa, sleeping in a comfy way with a good pillow, taking part in a Sahara rally, and doing yoga. She read Night Flight (which I've wanted to read again) and watched a film with Robert Redford seeming to break the fourth wall *grins* I don't know what I would've done if I'd come across a Hermès wallet, or would I get rid of all my books (I think she had less than me though, so her move of them was easily easier haha). The Vietnamese restaurant scene was in my opinion the funniest scene in this book...

She does find a good man at just the right moment, when she's starting to feel ready to get back to dating (and bed-sharing) life, and I feel happy for her. This taking-a-break was clearly good for her, a way of adjusting her life before starting again, in a better way. Although this book's subject was sex life and being without it for a while, it did make me think of how being different from others, even for a while, can bring up how much others do expect certain 'rules' from you, yet you can do your own thing, and find value and insight from it. Much deeper stuff than it can seem at first. English This is the first book translated into English by this French writer, and I thought it was a lovely little collection of moments that captured the author's self-imposed period of sexual inactivity. The moments give us hints into what the she thought and felt, and if you're clever, you can suss out what happens. Personally, I liked that she never spells things out completely, because she gives the reader some credit for being intelligent and makes you work a little for the story.

I finished this book and then skimmed the other reviews to see what people thought of it... and I'm pretty frustrated that most North American readers seem to have entirely missed the point of it. Many readers have characterized it as selfish and egotistical and about nothing. I just wanted to make a couple points.

One: the author was raped when she was 13. I don't know if thats clear to readers, but that little story at the beginning about the Mexican tourist is the story of her rape. The rest of the book is about the author's attempt to finally figure out how to take care of herself and recover from this terrible childhood trauma. There is nothing selfish about self-care. Yes, she goes on extravagant trips and she's clearly got cash. Don't be jealous.

Two: the English publishers of this book are obviously kind of terrible at marketing and assigning misleading titles. This is not one of those project books about cooking 100 recipes or getting happier in a year. Please don't start this book and expect a how-to feel better about being single. This is a memoir about self-imposed celibacy after experiencing trauma. The author is French and it requires close reading. You've been warned.

Lastly: I wouldn't read this book if you've got strict ideas about morality and relationships. You'll get your panties in a twist. English This is well-written but left me feeling lonelier than I thought I was at all. First of all, it is rather annoying to read about narrators who have such vapid, superficial friends, especially the whole couples scene. About half way through this memoir, I wanted to scream to the narrator, not having sex is not the problem, your friends make you feel lonely and odd. While one may read this and think this is something unusual, brave and original, it is not. I hate to break the news to this memoirist, but most of the women I know who are single, including myself, know that it is not about having sex that is the problem in our lives. It is the lack of truly emotionally mature, responsible, adult male companionship that is wanting. Sex is easy if you want it, relationship is not. I believe the premise behind the tome could have been much more engaging and memorable had the writer chose to draw us in with more of an honest look at why she would choose celibacy consciously. I do not mean emoting for the sake of gory details. I just would have liked more poignancy to her story beyond a few glimpses into past exploits that neither explained nor offered an underlying motive for her choice. I literally read this in one sitting. English

At the age of twenty-seven, after many years of having (and, for the most part, enjoying) an active sex life, French author, journalist, editor, and fashion blogger Sophie Fontanel decided she wanted to take a break. Despite having it all—a glamorous job, plenty of dates and boyfriends, stylish clothes, and endless parties to attend—she still wasn’t happy, and found herself wanting more. She chose to give up her sex life, and in so doing shocked all of her friends and colleagues. What she discovers about herself is truly liberating and raises a number of questions about the expectations of the society in which we live. As she experiences being the only non-coupled one at dinner parties, weekend getaways, and summer vacations, she muses inspiringly on what it means to find hap­piness and fulfillment alone. The Art of Sleeping Alone: Why One French Woman Suddenly Gave Up Sex