je ne sais pas quoi lire...from " Je ne sais quoi".
Great topic for winter! Here are a few ideas that I have gleaned . I hope others will add their own , we could have quite a list.
Some suggestions which were made by others and on other sites:
Camus ( L'Etranger is a good one) ; L'élegance du Herisson; G .Simenon; Maupassant (short stories)
I would add: A. Gavalda, Philippe Labro ( his autobiographical writing of summers in the USA) , Marc Levy (some easy reading), Marcel Pagnol (esp.the regional writings: La Gloire de mon pere, le chateau de ma mere, le temps des secrets// Jean de Florette, Manon des sources, and the plays if you like theatre.) A. Nothomb (not always easy to follow but fairly easy style) , Boileau-Narcejac (mystery) and I put le Petit Prince in the lead. Another suggestion from one of my students: Les Orphelins Baudelaire
There are some books which are published w/ a glossary on the left page: nice for learners ; however, they are expensive.
I also like Daniel Pennac a lot. Also, Nicole de Buron: very easy reads.
I think that Zola would be a bit difficult; H. Bazin 's Vipère au poing is good also.
Another thought: it can be interesting and helpful to read a book which has a film version: for instance Nothomb's Stupeurs et tremblements. Also interesting : reading young adolescents' books which you have read in English.
I don't think the passé simple needs to be an obstacle: you can easily recognise the verb root and you get used to the endings in the context of tense choice.
More ideas later: I am going to the médiathèque this week and I will look ...
Bonne lecture à tous.