The top 8 books
I plan to read in October 2020
Click on the covers to know more
📚 L’Énigme de la chambre 622 (2014), by Joël Dicker
Reading in French with the French Book Club (on Discord).
Dicker is the author of The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair.
So far, I find this one a bit confusing, there’s a lot of back and forth, and going back ito different times in the past.
“Une nuit de décembre, un meurtre a lieu au Palace de Verbier, dans les Alpes suisses. L’enquête de police n’aboutira jamais.
Des années plus tard, au début de l’été 2018, lorsqu’un écrivain se rend dans ce même hôtel pour y passer des vacances, il est loin d’imaginer qu’il va se retrouver plongé dans cette affaire.
Que s’est-il passé dans la chambre 622 du Palace de Verbier?”
📚 The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle (1994), by Haruki Murakami
Reading with the Haruki Murakami Online Book Club (on Discord)
There are some amazing passages I so enjoy here, for instance about the well, and some type of Transfiguration-like experience.
And at some other passages, I’m nearing a Murakami-overdose!!
“Japan’s most highly regarded novelist now vaults into the first ranks of international fiction writers with this heroically imaginative novel, which is at once a detective story, an account of a disintegrating marriage, and an excavation of the buried secrets of World War II.
In a Tokyo suburb a young man named Toru Okada searches for his wife’s missing cat. Soon he finds himself looking for his wife as well in a netherworld that lies beneath the placid surface of Tokyo. As these searches intersect, Okada encounters a bizarre group of allies and antagonists: a psychic prostitute; a malevolent yet mediagenic politician; a cheerfully morbid sixteen-year-old-girl; and an aging war veteran who has been permanently changed by the hideous things he witnessed during Japan’s forgotten campaign in Manchuria.”
📚 The Girl Behind the Wall: Edgar Allan Poe, The Girl, And the Mysterious Raven Murders (October 21st, 2020), by Bruce Wetterau
Received for review.
I’m about half done, and so far, this is one of those self-published gem. It is a fascinating use of so many stories and poems by Poe!
“Did Edgar Allan Poe know more about murder than he revealed in his bizarre stories of murder and mayhem? Was he in fact guilty of killing a girlfriend in a fit of rage many years before he became famous?
Bruce Wetterau’s taut thriller weaves a murder mystery worthy of Poe himself as it follows Poe through actual events in the last months of his life. The year 1849 saw the real-life Poe dealing with his alcoholism, failing health, poverty, and painful memories of his recently deceased child-bride wife. His life had become a psychological pressure cooker, with severe anxiety attacks and bouts of strange hallucinations.
The Girl Behind the Wall opens in early 1849. Poe is being tormented by frightening visions about murdering Annabel Lee while he was a student at the University of Virginia. Afraid of the hangman’s noose, Poe knows he can never tell anyone about the repressed memories haunting him. But a newspaper reporter named Sam Reynolds has overheard him talking erratically about Annabel while in a drunken stupor. That a man as famous as Poe could be a murderer would be the scoop of a lifetime and Reynolds will do anything to get it.
Flash forward nearly two hundred years to the present. The book’s hero, Clay Cantrell, accidentally uncovers damning evidence–Annabel’s skeleton and a locket from Poe–behind an old brick wall at the university. While the mystery of Annabel’s murder and Poe’s strange visions unfolds in flashbacks, Cantrell and friends launch a search of their own for the truth about Annabel’s death. But another murder mystery much closer to home overtakes them when a cold-blooded serial killer named the Raven claims his first victim, a UVA coed.
Obsessed with Poe, the Raven stages his murders with clever ties to Poe’s works. Clay tries to stop the murders and soon winds up in the Raven’s cross hairs. Though this isn’t the first vicious killer Clay has fought, he doesn’t know the Raven has a diabolical plan to execute him.
Will Poe finally reveal the truth about Annabel, or will he take the secret to his grave? Can Clay escape the Raven’s plot, find what drives the Raven’s murderous obsession with Poe, and at last answer the question, who killed Annabel Lee? ”
“For twelve thousand years the Galactic Empire has ruled supreme. Now it is dying. But only Hari Seldon, creator of the revolutionary science of psychohistory, can see into the future — to a dark age of ignorance, barbarism, and warfare that will last thirty thousand years. To preserve knowledge and save mankind, Seldon gathers the best minds in the Empire — both scientists and scholars — and brings them to a bleak planet at the edge of the Galaxy to serve as a beacon of hope for a future generations. He calls his sanctuary the Foundation.
But soon the fledgling Foundation finds itself at the mercy of corrupt warlords rising in the wake of the receding Empire. Mankind’s last best hope is faced with an agonizing choice: submit to the barbarians and be overrun — or fight them and be destroyed.”
📚 To Hold Up the Sky, (October 20th, 2020) by Cixin Liu
Received for review.
Cixin Liu is the author of the amazing Supernova Era, so I’m really looking forward to this one.
“From Cixin Liu, the New York Times bestselling author of The Three-Body Problem, To Hold Up the Sky is a breathtaking collection of imaginative science fiction.”
It contains 11 short stories.
📚 Alina: A Song for the Telling, (October 20th, 2020) by Malve von Hassell
Received for review, for France Book Tours
“ALINA: A SONG FOR THE TELLING is the coming-of-age story of a young woman from Provence in the 12th century who travels to Jerusalem, where she is embroiled in political intrigue, theft, and murder, and finds her voice.
“You should be grateful, my girl. You have no dowry, and I am doing everything I can to get you settled. You are hardly any man’s dream.”
Alina’s brother Milos pulled his face into a perfect copy of Aunt Marci’s sour expression, primly pursing his mouth. He got her querulous tone just right. Maybe Alina’s aunt was right. She could not possibly hope to become a musician, a trobairitz—impoverished as she was and without the status of a good marriage. But Alina refuses to accept the life her aunt wants to impose on her.
At the first opportunity she and her brother embark on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land to pray for their father’s soul and to escape from their aunt and uncle’s strictures. Their journey east takes them through the Byzantine Empire all the way to Jerusalem, where Alina is embroiled in political intrigue, theft, and murder.
Forced by a manipulative, powerful lord at court into acting as an informer, Alina tries to protect her wayward brother, while coming to terms with her attraction to a French knight.”
CURRENT AND NEXT AUDIOBOOKS
📚 The Mystery of the Blue Train, (Hercule Poirot #6, 1928) by Agatha Christie
Part of my project to listen to all of HP, for The Classics Club
“A mysterious woman, a legendary cursed jewel, and a night train to the French riviera — ingredients for the perfect romance or the perfect crime? When the train stops, the jewel is missing, and the woman is found dead in her compartment. It’s the perfect mystery, filled with passion, greed, deceit. And Hercule Poirot is the perfect detective to solve it…”
📚L’Humanité en péril, (2019) by Fred Vargas
I have listened I believe to all the thrillers by Fred Vargas, an amazing French author. This time, this is her cry (nonfiction) to try to save the planet.
« Mais bon sang, comment vais-je me sortir de cette tâche insensée ? De cette idée de m’entretenir avec vous de l’avenir du monde vivant ? Alors que je sais très bien que vous auriez préféré que je vous livre un roman policier.
Il y a dix ans, j’avais publié un très court texte sur l’écologie. Et quand on m’a prévenue qu’il serait lu à l’inauguration de la COP 24, c’est alors que j’ai conçu un projet de la même eau, un peu plus long, sur l’avenir de la Terre, du monde vivant, de l’Humanité.
Rien que ça. »
Review copies (middlegrade/historical novel and mystery/women’s fiction)
available at France Book Tours
PLANS FOR OCTOBER
📚 Start a monthly Throwback Thursday, starting with September 2010, since I’m now 10.
📚 Looking more closely at doing a monthly Newsletter, with special content.
Let me know what you would like to find in it.
HAVE YOU READ
OR ARE YOU PLANNING TO READ
ANY OF THESE?
WHAT ARE YOUR READING PLANS FOR OCTOBER?