The top 7 books to read in September 2021

Here are

The top 7 books
I plan to read in September 2021

Click on the covers to know more


  Termination Shock The Hands On French Cookbook

📚 Termination Shock, by Neal Stephenson
Expected publication: November 16th 2021 by William Morrow

OK, this is a new plunge for me. I have been meaning to read so many books by Stephenson, and  never dared so far. But when I saw it on Netgalley, I couldn’t resist. A technothriller about climate change, totally my thing!
I usually do not request a book that long (896 pages) by a new to me author, as it means I cannot DNF it (I do not DNF books I requested). But so far anyway, I’m just loving it.

“A visionary technothriller about climate change.
Neal Stephenson’s sweeping, prescient new novel transports readers to a near-future world where the greenhouse effect has inexorably resulted in a whirling-dervish troposphere of superstorms, rising sea levels, global flooding, merciless heat waves, and virulent, deadly pandemics.
One man has a Big Idea for reversing global warming, a master plan perhaps best described as “elemental.” But will it work? And just as important, what are the consequences for the planet and all of humanity should it be applied?
Ranging from the Texas heartland to the Dutch royal palace in the Hague, from the snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas to the sunbaked Chihuahuan Desert, Termination Shock brings together a disparate group of characters from different cultures and continents who grapple with the real-life repercussions of global warming. Ultimately, it asks the question: Might the cure be worse than the disease?”

📚 The Hands On French Cookbook, by Elisabeth de Châtillon
Published on 6/2/21
For a tour on France Book Tours

“If you think French food is complicated, decadent, and heavy, think again!
If you think learning and exploring another language is difficult or boring, think again!
And if you think cooking French food and learning French at the same time is impossible, teacher and home cook Elisabeth de Châtillon is here to prove you wrong. It might sound too good to be true, but THE HANDS ON FRENCH COOKBOOK is full of healthy, simple French recipes that you can make for friends and family while you learn not only the French language but also a little bit about French culture in a relaxed, fun, tasty way.”

📚 The New Testament: A Translation, by David Bentley Hart
Published in 2017

As you may know, I’m in the process of listening to the whole Bible. I recently finished listening to all the books of the Old Testament.
As David Bentley Hart recently published a new translation, I thought I would at the same time listen to all the books of the New Testament (narrated by Alexander Scourby) AND read this new translation. The translator is Orthodox, as I am, and I’m very intrigued to see what he did here.

“From one of our most celebrated writers on religion comes this fresh, bold, and unsettling new translation of the New Testament.
David Bentley Hart undertook this new translation of the New Testament in the spirit of “etsi doctrina non daretur,” “as if doctrine is not given.” Reproducing the texts’ often fragmentary formulations without augmentation or correction, he has produced a pitilessly literal translation, one that captures the texts’ impenetrability and unfinished quality while awakening readers to an uncanniness that often lies hidden beneath doctrinal layers.
The early Christians’ sometimes raw, astonished, and halting prose challenges the idea that the New Testament affirms the kind of people we are. Hart reminds us that they were a company of extremists, radical in their rejection of the values and priorities of society not only at its most degenerate, but often at its most reasonable and decent. “To live as the New Testament language requires,” he writes, “Christians would have to become strangers and sojourners on the earth, to have here no enduring city, to belong to a Kingdom truly not of this world. And we surely cannot do that, can we?”


  Rider on the Rain The Islanders by Christopher Priest  

📚 Rider on the Rain, by Sébastien Japrisot
Published in 1969 – will read for The Classics Club and the Books in Translation Challenge. Getting republished by Gallic Books on October 5, 2021

“The bus never stops in Le Cap-des-Pins. Not in autumn, when the small Riviera resort is deserted. Except today, when a man with a red bag and a disconcerting stare steps out into the rain.His arrival will throw the life of young housewife Mellie Mau into disarray. After surviving a horrific attack, she has a dark secret to hide. But a stranger at a wedding, the enigmatic American Harry Dobbs, is determined to get the truth out of her, leading her into a game of cat and mouse with dangerous consequences …A cool, stylish and twisty thriller from cult French noir writer Sébastien Japrisot.”

📚  The Islanders, by Christopher Priest
Published in 2011

Christopher Priest is a big name in the word of scifi, but I have never read anything by him. This book intrigued me, so I chose it when I won a book of my choice a few years ago on a blog (sorry, can’t remember where).

“Reality is illusory and magical in the stunning new literary SF novel from the multiple award-winning author of The Prestige—for fans of Haruki Murakami and David Mitchell.

A tale of murder, artistic rivalry, and literary trickery; a Chinese puzzle of a novel where nothing is quite what it seems; a narrator whose agenda is artful and subtle; a narrative that pulls you in and plays an elegant game with you. The Dream Archipelago is a vast network of islands. The names of the islands are different depending on who you talk to, their very locations seem to twist and shift. Some islands have been sculpted into vast musical instruments, others are home to lethal creatures, others the playground for high society. Hot winds blow across the archipelago and a war fought between two distant continents is played out across its waters. The Islanders serves both as an untrustworthy but enticing guide to the islands; an intriguing, multi-layered tale of a murder; and the suspect legacy of its appealing but definitely untrustworthy narrator. It shows Christopher Priest at the height of his powers and illustrates his undiminished power to dazzle.”


Les deux châteaux    After the Funeral

🎧  Les deux châteaux (N.E.O. #2), by Michel Bussi
Published on June 3, 2021

Michel Bussi is one of my favorite contemporary French authors. He usually writes thrillers, but has recently launched into YA fantasy – a genre I usually don’t read. I listened to volume 1 and so loved it, that I had to listen to volume 2. I’m about half way and it’s so so good.

“Le clan du château et le clan du tipi sont réconciliés ! Grâce à l’alliance de tous, les frontières de la ville et de ses environs peuvent enfin être repoussées : le monde s’ouvre désormais à eux.
Mais au-delà des grandes découvertes, des amitiés et des amours naissants, et derrière une cohabitation en apparence sereine, Alixe, Zyzo et leurs amis devront percer de nouveaux mystères. Comment les enfants ont-ils pu survivre juste après le passage du nuage ? Quelles sont les origines des deux clans ? Qui était vraiment Marie-Lune ?
Mordélia, chassée de la ville, a conservé un objet secret qui contient peut-être des réponses à toutes ces questions. Or habitée par une féroce volonté de survivre, elle compte bien prendre sa revanche…”

🎧 After the Funeral (Hercule Poirot #33), by Agatha Christie
Published in 1953 – Part of my project to listen to all of HP, for The Classics Club

“The master of a Victorian mansion dies suddenly – and his sister is convinced it was murder…. When Cora is savagely murdered with a hatchet, the extraordinary remark she made the previous day at her brother Richard’s funeral suddenly takes on a chilling significance. At the reading of Richard’s will, Cora was clearly heard to say: ‘It’s been hushed up very nicely, hasn’t it…But he was murdered, wasn’t he?’ In desperation, the family solicitor turns to Hercule Poirot to unravel the mystery.”

🎧 I will probably also listen to 3 other books with Hercule Poirot.
🎧 And a few books of the New Testament, as explained above.


Listed on the homepage 

List of books I can swap with yours


  • Hopefully write 3 reviews for books received for review through Edelweiss Plus and read last year

Eiffel Tower Orange



27 thoughts on “The top 7 books to read in September 2021

  1. Some great books there. I doubt you will be able to read the whole New Testament in one month but it’s a good beginning.
    “After the Funeral”, I really liked the adaptation but haven’t read the book. One day …. one day.


    • The NT in this translation, including a good size and preface and long final explanation on the translation is only 577 pages actually.
      I’m not doing “lectio divina” with it, meaning prayerful reading, where I could stay 15 minutes on a word or a verse. I have done this for 20 years of my life. I want to read it more like I would read literature, and read more chapters at a time to have a more global view.
      Which actually can prove very fruitful on the spiritual level as well. For instance, yesterday I read the first 15 chapters, and I found a connection between the narrative on the Magi and the Temptations, that I had never seen before, even though I have studied the Gospel of Matthew in many details. I would have seen it if I had read it in Greek (this translator indeed dos not avoid reusing the same word, if the same word is used on Greek alas, official translations often translate the same one word in different ways, sometimes to avoid repetitions, which was an important element of ancient style. Again, I did study many passages in Greek, but more like separate passages, not as a whole. Which didn’t allow me to see connections like the one I saw yesterday


      • Interesting. You are right, the NT isn’t all that long. I once read the whole bible in a year, we got about the same length for every day, not much.

        I hate when translation are inaccurate and I do see them as inaccurate if the translator takes too many excursions just for the sake of sounding “better” (doesn’t always happen). So, I guess that is a great one to take on. Thanks.


  2. I am eager to read The Hands On French Cookbook this month. I plan to start it after Labor Day.

    And now I want to look for The New Testament: A Translation. I’m doing a fall Bible study with an online group and I’ve been reading lots of different translations of Psalm 1, lots of different commentary on Psalm 1. “The ungodly” is sometimes translated as “sinners” and sometimes as “the restless.”


    • Looking forward to see what you think of the French cookbook.
      I think you would really enjoy Bentley-Hart’s translation, and especially his introduction where he explains the direction he followed in his translation. It’s really excellent in the sense that he tries to really stick to what the Greek words mean, and keep the same translation of the same word (which alas English translations usually don’t do, so that you miss all the plays on words and repetitions that are so important for the construction of a text.
      I could say the same for the translation of the Old Testament. Before going into that, let me just add that working this way, Bentley-Hart manages to go to the root of the Gospel spirit, to its radicality that could be a shock from some of our contemporary society, for instance as far as poverty is concerned.
      So, to go back to the Old Testament. I learned Biblical Hebrew in my younger days, and I retranslated a lot of Psalms. It was so beautiful to see the structure of a psalm come out. It’s most often hidden in translation, because translators tend t avoid repetition. Whereas it was on purpose tht an author would use for instance the same word in the first and last verse of a psalm, to make it one entity.
      Maybe you should add Biblical Hebrew and/or Biblical Greek to your retirement days projects. I’m serious, you then discover so much in the text that is basically invisible in translation.
      In the meantime, be sure to look at the interlinear translations. It’s all available online these days.
      For instance for Psalm 1:1, here it is: As you probably know, the words read from right to left in Hebrew.
      From there, you can do 2 things:
      – click on the transliteration for the word you mention above: rə·šā·‘îm. It will show you all the other passages in the Hebrew Bible with that same word.
      – click on the number on top of that word: 7563 [e]. It will show you other passages as well, but also definitions, and other ways to translate.
      You can obviously turn this exercise into prayer and meditation, as you travel from one verse to another, and see more connections.
      From these passages, you can see that this word is often used in opposition to “the righteous”. So I personally like translating this word as “the wicked” or “the guilty”, definitely not restless.

      You can access the Interlinear version of the New testament in Greek as well. Just as fascinating.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Neal Stephenson is a big SFF name, though I haven’t read any of his works. Looks like he is coming up with a climate change book too now — and isn’t that call Cli-Fi these days? I hope it will leave some room for hope for humanity, and I’m glad it’s going well so far.


  4. I really enjoy seeing such a wide variety of reading interests. I’m afraid my variety is usually when I read a nonfiction among almost all fiction. My mother took a French cooking class when I was a girl – she made some good recipes!


What do you think? Share your thoughts, and I will answer you. I will also visit your own blog

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.