2018: June-July-August wrap-up

June-July-August 2018 wrap-up

I can’t believe I have not posted a summary for 3 months. End of June I was just back from vacation and had a zillion other things to do. Then end of July was my husband’s open-heart surgery, so no time for blogging either. Thanks for everyone who expressed their support through social media. It’s amazing to feel help from so many people we have not even met. He’s now on the road to full recovery.

So here are the books I read these past 3 months.
Not tons. I’m far behind my usual numbers. One reason being I started and DNFed quite a few books that had been on my shelves for far too long. They may have been good, but I was not in the mood for these.

But I have done many more translations – I’m mostly the one translating posting in English here (yes, it’s nonfiction, so I translate from French-English for a change): when I have to face some ordeals, I’m in better mental health if I make my brain work actively; reading is not enough. I have always noticed that in my life, and studies have always been a great safety net.

Not sure if this is related, but these days, I also spend more time learning languages – hence less time for reading.
You may have noticed here how much I enjoy Calvino. One of my dreams would be to read him in Italian. So after starting-abandoning-restarting so many times, I’m finally doing it a bit everyday. I use Duolingo and enjoy it a lot. I’m currently studying prepositions, which is the most challenging for me. Otherwise, Italian is close enough to French, Spanish, and Latin, so not really a big deal.

While I was at it, I thought it might be good to review my Spanish. I can still read and listen to it pretty easily, but I’d like to be more comfortable again to speak it.

AND, jamais deux sans trois, three is a charm, I have restarted learning Russian – lots of members of my Orthodox Church speak Russian. NOW, that’s a bit more challenging, and I can actually FEEL physically my head is working when I study it. I love working with other alphabets (I taught myself Biblical Hebrew and Koine Greek), it’s like a game. Now it’s super easy to turn your American keyboard into any alphabet, so I just clicked on each key to figure out where each Russian letter was on my keyboard. I just need to keep the eyes on that list, et voilà ! Duoligo does a great job to teach you progressively each letter of the alphabet, starting with words that sound the same in English, such as radio, motor, sweater, Mama, Papa, taxi, circus, or funny things such as: том – тим там ? = Tom, is Tim there?

So, is this wrap-up coming or not? ok ok, here it is! The above might actually be a sign of a slight change in the format of this blog, we’ll see.

What I read in June-July-August:

13 books:
9 in print and 4 in audio 
with 2,850 pages, an average of 30 pages/day
4 in audio
with 34H14, an average of 22 mn/day

7 in mystery

  1. Sans feu ni lieu, by Fred Vargas – audio in French

  2. Whose Body?, by Dorothy L. Sayers – audio, for Classic Club

  3. Coffin Road, by Peter May

  4. Alex Rider: Stormbreaker, by Anthony Horowitz

  5. Ceux qui vont mourir te saluent, by Fred Vargas – audio in French

  6. The Mystery of Three Quarters, by Sophie Hannah – ebook, for review

  7. Le temps est assassin, by Michel Bussi  – audio in French

3 in nonfiction:

  1. Conan Doyle for the Defense, by Margalit Fox – ebook, for review

  2. Elder Sebastian of Optina, by Tatiana Torstensen

  3. Journal de mon voyage d’Amérique, by Louis-Philippe – in French

2 in historical fiction:

  1. The Romanov Empress, by CW Gortner  – ebook, for review

  2. Defy the Night, by Heather and Lydian Munn

1 in literary fiction:

  1. Smoking Kills, by Antoine Laurain – for review


My favorites in June – July – August

  Coffin Road Conan Doyle for the Defense

Reading Challenges recap

Classics Club: 24/50 (until end of 2020) or 36/62!
The 2018 TBR Pile Challenge: 3/12, but not none reviewed yet !!
Where Are You Reading?: 21/50 – to be finished in ??

Total of books read in 2018= 40/100

Number of books added to my TBR these last 3 months= 24

Most popular book review these last 3 months

Something in the water

click on the cover to access my review.

Most popular post these last 3 months
– non book review –

Born a Crime
chapters 1-3 read-along at
Book Bloggers International

Book blog that brought me
most traffic these past 3 months

Edith’s Miscellany

Top commenters of the month

Kristyn at Reading to Unwind

Karen at Booker Talk

Freda @Fredalicious

Blog milestones

1,814 posts
over 4,490 subscribers
over 158,400 hits

Plans for September

Catch up with reviewing, ah!! By the way, we have a great giveaway on France Book Tours!


Come back on Monday
to see the books I plan to read in September!

Eiffel Tower OrangeEiffel Tower OrangeEiffel Tower Orange

How was YOUR month of  August?

Month in Review

Kathryn at The Book Date
has created a Month In Review meme
I’ll now be linking my monthly recap posts
Thanks Kathryn, great idea!


21 thoughts on “2018: June-July-August wrap-up

  1. I really enjoyed your sharing your Duolingo experience! I use it too (Italian and Portuguese). I’m slowly learning a little Biblical Greek as well.
    I cheer for your getting through a challenging summer for your family. I wish your husband’s recovery continued flourishing! Blessings to you!


    • Thanks so much Lucy! Congrats on your Biblical Greek! I used to read the Gospel of the day in Greek everyday, it was a lot of fun, and when you make connections between different words, it’s so thrilling. Some words are connected, but you don’t know it when you read them in translation – that’s easy Greek, compare to classical.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh you have had a very tough time with your husband’s surgery. So good to hear he is on the mend but not easy. Yes I think keeping your brain busy when worried is a great way to go. Well done with all those languages. I am hopeless at new language learning but you obviously have the talent and the will to put in the hard work. All the best for September. Oh I remember reading Stormbreaker when I was still teaching.


  3. I am envious of people who can use even one language other than their own but your multi language abilities are breathtaking. You taught yourself Hebrew?. That must have been tough. I’ve tried French and German and find I can grasp the grammar pretty well but it’s the oral side that lets me down every time. My accent is appalling. Any suggestions?


    • If you do want to learn a language not just to read it but to listen to and speak it, you definitely need a lot of PRACTICE, that’s the key word. There are lots of great free online tools, for instance the BBC has an amazing page to learn languages: http://www.bbc.co.uk/languages/, with video and audio content. For French, this site is fantastic for exercises based on videos related to the news. Here is the A1 level: http://apprendre.tv5monde.com/fr/niveaux/a1-debutant, but higher levels are there as well. You can also listen to youtube videos by teachers, being sure they are really French – for the accent.
      And for conversation, there’s me! I teach French with Skype if you are interested.
      There are also lots of great FREE language forums. The format is usually something like: for 30 mn you only speak French with a native, and for 30 mn this native will only speak with you in English, so that THEY can practice their English in turn. You both help each other, that’s why it’s free


      • Wow, I just clicked on the tv5monde video – way above my level right now (so fast!). Bless you for giving me all these tips. I’m going to start with the BBC site I think. I also have a set of CDs produced by Michel Thomas – I listened to a few years ago and they were very helpful but I didn’t practice so have lost a lot of ground. My husband has agreed he will give it a go too so we can practice together ….


    • Donna, if you want, I also teach French. I could teach you French for reading, which is much easier than speaking it, and we could work on excerpts of novels very recently published, in whatever genre you prefer. I teach through skype


  4. Wow! I think it’s so impressive that you enjoy translating while reading and intentionally choose to do something that engages you more. I have to admit that when I get busy or overwhelmed, I’m more likely to gravitate towards activities that require less thinking than reading. I’m sorry to hear you had a tough summer, but I’m glad you still found some good reads and I hope things start settling down for you and your husband 🙂


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