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Weeks go by too quickly, and I haven’t participated in this meme for three months!
I am glad to be back, to try to post short reviews of recent reads.
📚 JUST READ / LISTENED TO 🎧
I already read 7 books this month. Here are four of them, I don’t have time to do more today.
📚 La Disparition/Les Revenentes et autres lipogrammes, by Georges Perec
Published in 1969 and 1972
Georges Perec is probably the most important author in the Oulipo group, authors who try to write differently. Another writer I really enjoy in this group is Italo Calvino.
This volume has fabulous essays on Perec and his work, short works, and two larger ones: La Disparition and Les Revenentes.
La Disparition was translated as A Void in English. It’s a very famous work, as it was written without ever using the letter e! The English translator managed the same feat! Besides the ludic aspect, it’s also a very smart work, focused indeed on a disparition. So it also reads like a thriller. It was fascinating to see all the ways the author used to be able to a-void the e, just as essential a letter in French as in English.
The book can be hilarious, but it also contains many wow moments, seeing the prouesse of the author.
And from the title of the next work, Les Revenentes (The Exeter Text in English), you can easily guess what type of lipogram is used in this one: now there’s no vowel but the e! I found it less interesting at the level of writing, as the author uses much more freedom to get around not using any over vowel. And the content was very shocking, too sexual, erotic, and even perv!
📚 The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing, and the Future of the Human Race, by Walter Isaacson
Published on 3/9/2021 – Won through Goodreads
VERDICT: Essential, fascinating, and easily accessible presentation of Jennifer Doudna. A must if you want to stay up to date on CRISPR and its moral questions.
You can read my full review here
📚 The Apothecary Diaries vol.1, by Natsu Hyuuga
Manga published in Japanese in 2017, in English in December 2020
– read for the Books in Translation Reading Challenge
It is sometimes hard for me to find a manga I would really enjoy. I actually think I found this one first on a French blog. This is not all too common teen romance type of manga. It has an extra historical dimension, as it focuses on life in the inner palace.
Young Maomao was trained in the art of herbal medicine, but at one point she was kidnapped. She ends up as a lowly servant in the inner palace.
But she starts going up in ranks when she helps identify the cause of all the royal babies dying. Then handsome eunuch Jinshi notices her and promotes her as a court food taster. I’m now curious what Jinshi has in store for her in the next volumes.
🎧 Evil Under the Sun, by Agatha Christie (Hercule Poirot #24)
Published in 1941
Listened to for the Classics Club, and personal project to listen to all of HP.
Great plot, though I found the denouement going on and on.
“It seems that no matter how hard he tries, Poirot never quite gets a holiday. This story sees him in Devon, Agatha Christie’s home county, and, of course, among the scantily clad sunbathers, a murdered woman is found.
It was not unusual to find the beautiful bronzed body of the sun-loving Arlena Stuart stretched out on a beach, face down. Only, on this occasion, there was no sun… she had been strangled. Ever since Arlena’s arrival at the resort, Hercule Poirot had detected sexual tension in the seaside air. But could this apparent ‘crime of passion’ have been something more evil and premeditated altogether?”
📚 CURRENTLY READING/LISTENING TO 🎧
📚 BOOK UP NEXT 📚
📚 When All Light Fails, by Randall Silvis
(Ryan DeMarco Mystery #5)
To be published in August1st, 2021
Received through Netgalley
This will be the concluding volume in this series, so I really want to read it, even though vol 4 was very dark.
“When powerful men pull strings to get what they want… someone almost always ends up dead.
There’s not much that would convince retired police sergeant Ryan DeMarco to take on another private investigation case, but he can’t refuse a nine-year-old Michigan girl begging for help finding her biological father. The road trip to the Upper Peninsula promises DeMarco and his partner, Jayme, a chance to heal from their last case, which ended in a traumatic brush with death for DeMarco. But things aren’t as they first appear in the woods of Michigan, and the seemingly simple paternity investigation soon morphs into something deadly.
The deeper DeMarco, Jayme, and the rest of their team dig, the more ugly truths they reveal, all while doing their best to keep one member of their team, from falling prey to her own kind of darkness. This investigation just might be the most emotionally troubling one DeMarco and Jayme have yet encountered, for there are plenty of people who will do whatever it takes to shut them down before the truth comes to light.”
📚 LAST 2 BOOKS ADDED TO MY GOODREADS TBR 📚
📚 BOOKS RECEIVED RECENTLY 📚
Received for review, from Gallic Books:
GIVEAWAYS AND BOOK AVAILABLE FOR REVIEW
your choice between 6 books!