Sunday Post #48 – 1/8/2022

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This has been a busy week, with finally my Christmas celebration – I’m an Orthodox Christian, so we celebrate the Nativity of Christ at about the same time earlier Christians did, before the Gregorian (current civil) calendar was adopted. Hence 13 days later than other Christians.
We had a very prayerful Vespers service Thursday night, and the Divine Liturgy (=Orthodox Mass) on Friday.
Hence, I had set my #BoutofBooks goal rather low, but am actually ahead of the game.


Red is my Heart  Gravé dans le sable

📚 Red is my Heart, by Antoine Laurain
Expected publication: January 18th 2022 by Gallic Books
Literary fiction –  received for review
Counted for The 2022 Books in Translation Reading Challenge

Click on the cover to access my video, where I speak about it, show you a few cool pages, and present all my January TBR!
This is an unusual book, in that Laurain partnered with Parisian artist Le Sonneur to create a beautiful heart-break story, full of heart and art. The black and red illustrations are unique and add a lot to the story and the ambiance. Come back for my review on January 17 to know more!

🎧  Gravé dans le sable, by Michel Bussi
First published in 2007 – 477 pages / 11H37
Historical thriller
Sorry, not available in English

Wow, this was Bussi’s first novel ever, and it is already so impressive.
It’s actually a historical thriller, that begins on D Day in Normandie.
A soldier is afraid to be among the first 20 to reach the beach, sure to die, so he exchanges his place for money with another soldier.
And from then on, so many ramifications and lives changed for a few decades for several people, in France and in the US.

I loved it all: all the historical and geographical details (from Normandie to several states in the US), the power of politics and money, daily life in a French village.
Great characters, more complex than at first site.
Also, how some very powerful women take fate in their own hands, and others end up victims.
And obviously an incredible suspense.

I also liked a lot the style used with Nick the detective, where you get both the real dialog and what he thinks in his mind –the narrator Benjamin Jungers was fantastic with his tone in these parts. It adds some great humor, that does help to lighten the mood.
Great balance.
Fantastic first audio of 2022!

Hopefully, it will soon be translated into English, so I’m not going to reveal any more.
I did a video some years ago to present Michel Bussi to my English speaking friends – lots of his books are available in English translation.


The Three Body Problem  Les Fourmis

📚  The Three Body Problem (Remembrance of Earth’s Past #1), by Cixin Liu
Published in 2006
Chinese science-fiction
Reading for my public library Winter Challenge
and The 2022 Books in Translation Reading Challenge

Much more technical and complex than Supernova Era. Think Ready Player One + +astrophysics + metaphysics!

“Set against the backdrop of China’s Cultural Revolution, a secret military project sends signals into space to establish contact with aliens. An alien civilization on the brink of destruction captures the signal and plans to invade Earth.
Meanwhile, on Earth, different camps start forming, planning to either welcome the superior beings and help them take over a world seen as corrupt, or to fight against the invasion. The result is a science fiction masterpiece of enormous scope and vision.”

🎧  Les Fourmis, by Berbard Werber
Translated as Empire of the Ants
Published in 1991

Nothing like this scifi novel to learn so many things on ants!
Fascinating, though Jonathan has just been back from his first trip to the cellar, and things are starting getting really scary…

“Unique, daring, and unforgettable, it tells the story of an ordinary family who accidentally threaten the security of a hidden civilization as intelligent as our own–a colony of ants determined to survive at any cost….
Jonathan Wells and his young family have come to the Paris flat at 3, rue des Sybarites through the bequest of his eccentric late uncle Edmond. Inheriting the dusty apartment, the Wells family are left with only one warning: Never go down into the cellar.
But when the family dog disappears down the basement steps, Jonathan follows–and soon his wife, his son, and various would-be rescuers vanish into its mysterious depths.”


The Wild Geese

📚 The Wild Geese, by Ogai Mori
Published in 1911
Literary fiction
Will be reading for The Japanese Literature Challenge 15
and The 2022 Books in Translation Reading Challenge
and The Classics Club

“In The Wild Geese, prominent Japanese novelist Ogai Mori offers a poignant story of unfulfilled love. The young heroine, Otama, is forced by poverty to become a moneylender’s mistress. Her dawning consciousness of her predicament brings the novel to a touching climax.:


All About H. Hatterr

📚  All About H. Hatterr, by G. V. Desani
Published in 1948

Found this on another blog, sounds exactly the type of quirky writing that I might enjoy. Have you read it? What did you think?

“Wildly funny and wonderfully bizarre, All About H. Hatterr is one of the most perfectly eccentric and strangely absorbing works modern English has produced. H. Hatterr is the son of a European merchant officer and a lady from Penang who has been raised and educated in missionary schools in Calcutta. His story is of his search for enlightenment as, in the course of visiting seven Oriental cities, he consults with seven sages, each of whom specializes in a different aspect of “Living.” Each teacher delivers himself of a great “Generality,” each great Generality launches a new great “Adventure,” from each of which Hatter escapes not so much greatly edified as by the skin of his teeth. The book is a comic extravaganza, but as Anthony Burgess writes in his introduction, “it is the language that makes the book. . . . It is not pure English; it is like Shakespeare, Joyce, and Kipling, gloriously impure.””


Entre deux mondes

🎧  Entre deux mondes, by Olivier Norek
Not available in English
Published in 2017

Focusing on Syrian refugees in France.
I really enjoy this author (Impact for instance), and saw this one was available in audio.


Constellation   The Queen's Lover

Review in your own time!

1 copy available: first come first serve!
Alina_A Song For the Telling




54 thoughts on “Sunday Post #48 – 1/8/2022

  1. Hi Emma! How interesting to read about your Christmas. I don’t know much about Orthodox believes, always interested in learning!

    You have a very diverse selection of books on your post today. Variety is the spice of life for sure!

    Have a good week and take care of yourself!

    Elza Reads


  2. Red is My Heart is exactly the sort of surprising book that I love to read. All About H. Hatterr sounds intriguing, too.

    I think I’ve only done Bout of Books once. I always seem to find out about it too late to plan for it. I’m glad that it turned out that you had more time to read for it than you thought you’d have.

    I’m trying to read a little for the Japanese Literature Challenge, too.


    • Here are the dates for the next #boutofbooks, so no excuse, lol:
      Upcoming Read-a-Thons
      Bout of Books 34 – 5/9/2022–5/15/2022
      Bout of Books 35 – 8/15/2022–8/21/2022
      Bout of Books 36 – 1/2/2023–1/8/2023
      I think you would definitely enjoy Red is my Heart!


  3. I just saw someone on Booktube talking about The Three Body Problem. It definitely sounds interesting and I might pick it up at a later stage. Will look out for your review!


  4. You’re off to a great start with your Books in Translation challenge! I watched a bit of your video and Red is My Heart looks intriguing.

    My husband’s family celebrates Three Kings Day. The same day is called Old Christmas in my part of the Appalachians, though my family never observed that. Interesting that they’re so close to Orthodox Christmas. I would have assumed they’re all on the same day for some reason. I guess that’s why you shouldn’t assume. It sounds like you had a lovely holiday.

    Enjoy your week!


    • Originally Nativity (Christmas) and Theophany (Three Kings Day), were one feast, if I remember well my liturgy classes.
      And then, it became two feats. And maybe when the Gregorian calendar was adopted, they were on the same day. But because of specifics with lunar calendar (it’s quite technical), the gap between Julian and Gregorian calendar keeps expanding. In our time, it’s 13 days. But it has been less, and will get more in later centuries!


    • Yes, all our liturgical calendar is 13 days later.
      Except Easter, same date for all Orthodox, but it varies from the other Christians, because it’s based on a different way of calculating the equinox, another crazy complicate story!! So sometimes it happens to be the same day, or much earlier, or much later, depending on the year!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I hope you had a nice Christmas celebration, Emma! And it looks like you’ve been reading some wonderful books as well. Thanks so much for the excellent post!


  6. Pingback: Books That Caught Our Eye | Mailbox Monday

  7. All these books sound so interesting. I hadn’t heard of them before. Gravé dans le sable caught my eye. Thanks for sharing and for visiting my blog.


  8. My Greek Orthodox relatives celebrate in December, and just looked at me funny when I assumed their holiday was in January. So I’m delighted to see that I didn’t just make them up somehow! I really appreciate your reviews for their broad reach!


    • Yeah, Greek Orthodox have adjusted to a lot of things in the US, like civil calendar, organ in the church. Russian and Serbian Orthodox tend to keep to the original way: Julian calendar, and only human voices, among other things.
      Thanks for stopping by! What’s your site? The comment doesn’t show its ID


  9. Pingback: 2022: January wrap-up | Words And Peace

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