The top 7 books to read in December 2021

Here are
The top 7 books
I plan to read in December 2021

Click on the covers to know more

This month, I think I’m going to slowly venture towards what could be my 2022 reading journey: mostly focusing on my various TBRs.

📚 CURRENTLY READING 📚

  Katherine's Wish    Ficciones

📚 Katherine’s Wish, by Linda Lappin
Re-released in 2021. Review copy received through France Book Tours.
Click here to get your own copy (you can review it in your own time).

“In this dramatic, fictional retelling of New Zealand writer Katherine Mansfield‘s final years, and of the events which led up to her meeting with P.D. Ouspensky and G. I Gurdjieff, novelist Linda Lappin transports the reader like a time traveler into Mansfield’s intimate world.
Scrupulously researched and richly evocative, the novel has been praised by Mansfield scholars as “creative scholarship.”
With vivid detail and beautiful language and style, Lappin has built on journals, letters, and diaries to fashion a true-to-life mosaic, using themes, motifs, and methods of Mansfield’s own writing.
Katherine’s Wish celebrates Mansfield’s deep love of life and its final message is a life-affirming one of joy and of wholeness achieved.”

📚  Ficciones, by Jorge Luis Borges
Published in 1944
Started reading with The World’s Literature Goodreads Club, it was their October selection.
I will keep reading. It counts for The Classics Club and the Books in Translation Challenge.

“The seventeen pieces in Ficciones demonstrate the whirlwind of Borges’s genius and mirror the precision and potency of his intellect and inventiveness, his piercing irony, his skepticism, and his obsession with fantasy. Borges sends us on a journey into a compelling, bizarre, and profoundly resonant realm; we enter the fearful sphere of Pascal’s abyss, the surreal and literal labyrinth of books, and the iconography of eternal return. To enter the worlds in Ficciones is to enter the mind of Jorge Luis Borges, wherein lies Heaven, Hell, and everything else in between.”

📚 READING NEXT 📚

  L'ombre chinoise   Dictionnaire amoureux du polar

The Blackhouse

📚 L’ombre chinoise (Inspector Maigret #13), by Georges Simenon 
Published in 1932. Translated as The Shadow Puppet
Will be reading in French with one of my French students, and for The Classics Club

“Gripping domestic tragedy, set in Simenon’s very own neighborhood.
One by one the lighted windows went dark. The silhouette of the dead man could still be seen through the frosted glass like a Chinese shadow puppet. A taxi pulled up. It wasn’t the public prosecutor yet. A young woman crossed the courtyard with hurried steps, leaving a whiff of perfume in her wake. Summoned to the dimly-lit Place des Vosges one night, where he sees shadowy figures at apartment windows, Maigret uncovers a tragic story of desperate lives, unhappy families, addiction and a terrible, fatal greed.
 ”

📚 Dictionnaire amoureux du polar, by Pierre Lemaitre
Published on October 22, 2020

I can’t believe I started reading this book last February. I loved it, but then other more urgent things came up. Time to finish it!
Lemaitre, a very renowned author of thrillers (see for instance Three Days and a Life – highly recommended) himself, shares his love of the genre by presenting other authors, books, and themes related to it.
His comments are not too academic, I like the style, and I am listing all kinds of books I want to try!

📚 The Black House (Lewis Trilogy #1), by Peter May
Published on 2/1/2011

This is one of the 3 books I planned to read last summer and never did. Really looking forward to it, as I enjoyed a lot Coffin Road.

“A brutal killing takes place on the Isle of Lewis, Scotland: a land of harsh beauty and inhabitants of deep-rooted faith.
A MURDER
Detective Inspector Fin Macleod is sent from Edinburgh to investigate. For Lewis-born Macleod, the case represents a journey both home and into his past.
A SECRET
Something lurks within the close-knit island community. Something sinister.
A TRAP
As Fin investigates, old skeletons begin to surface, and soon he, the hunter, becomes the hunted.”

🎧 CURRENT AND NEXT AUDIOBOOKS 🎧

Noor  Les Mystères de Paris 2

🎧 Noor, by Nnedi Okorafor
Published on 11/9/2021 – Audiobook received through Libro.fm

I really enjoyed a lot the Binti trilogy by this author. This is also African futurism – a mix of science-fiction and African culture. Quite unique and fascinating!

From Africanfuturist luminary Okorafor comes a new science fiction novel of intense action and thoughtful rumination on biotechnology, destiny, and humanity in a near-future Nigeria.
Anwuli Okwudili prefers to be called AO. To her, these initials have always stood for Artificial Organism. AO has never really felt…natural, and that’s putting it lightly. Her parents spent most of the days before she was born praying for her peaceful passing because even in-utero she was wrong. But she lived. Then came the car accident years later that disabled her even further. Yet instead of viewing her strange body the way the world views it, as freakish, unnatural, even the work of the devil, AO embraces all that she is: A woman with a ton of major and necessary body augmentations. And then one day she goes to her local market and everything goes wrong.
Once on the run, she meets a Fulani herdsman named DNA and the race against time across the deserts of Northern Nigeria begins. In a world where all things are streamed, everyone is watching the reckoning of the murderess and the terrorist and the saga of the wicked woman and mad man unfold. This fast-paced, relentless journey of tribe, destiny, body, and the wonderland of technology revels in the fact that the future sometimes isn’t so predictable. Expect the unaccepted.
 ”

🎧  Les Mystères de Paris, volume 2, by Eugène Sue
Translated as: The Mysteries of Paris

Published in 1843 – French audiobook, for The Classics Club. 

I listened to book 1 in September and really loved it. It’s fun to see what Victor Hugo took from it and how he transformed it.

“The brilliant epic novel that inspired Les Misérables.
From July 1842 through October 1843, Parisians rushed to the newspaper each week for the latest instalment of Eugene Sue’s The Mysteries of Paris, one of France’s first serial novels. The suspenseful story of Rodolphe, a magnetic hero of noble heart and shadowy origins, played out over ninety issues, garnering wild popularity and leading many to call it the most widely read novel of the 19th century. Sue’s novel created the city mystery genre and inspired a raft of successors, including Les Miserables and The Count of Monte Cristo.
Sensational, steamy, tightly-plotted, pulpy, proto-socialist, heartbreaking, and riveting, The Mysteries of Paris is doubtless one of the most entertaining and influential works to emerge from the 19th century.”

GIVEAWAYS – until 12/31, your choice between these 3

  Alina_A Song For the Telling Seven Houses in France The Queen's Lover  

BOOK AVAILABLE TO REVIEW
Get it now, review in your own time!

UNTIL 12/31
Memoir

The Vanished Collection

PLANS FOR DECEMBER

  • Write some short reviews?? Sounds like a joke…

Eiffel Tower Orange

HAVE YOU READ
OR ARE YOU PLANNING TO READ
ANY OF THESE?
WHAT ARE YOUR READING PLANS FOR DECEMBER?

8 thoughts on “The top 7 books to read in December 2021

  1. I’ve read many short stories by Borges, and he’s astonishing. Often, I was perplexed by the stories and had to read them again — and was rewarded by their complexity and density. He’s not one for creating characters that I care about, but the curving stories are crafted very well. As for my reading, I’m currently on “Babel-17” by Samuel Daleny — and I’m planning on a Phillip K. Dick novel after that.

    Like

    • I read several books by Borges in my teens, probably including this one. So I thought it was time to revisit. I want to take time with this and read essays around to help me understand better his content. Yes, what a brilliant mind!
      Wow, thanks so much for mentioning Babel-17. I had never heard about it. But a scifi, focusing on language, and published in the awesome year 1966, too good to pass, so I added to my TBR!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You always read such interesting books! I really hope, you’ll enjoy The Black House. I loved Coffin Road as well, but I think The Lewis Trilogy is even better – perhaps a bit more impactful with really strong characters.

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