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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.
JUST READ / LISTENED TO
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
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.
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.
CURRENTLY READING/LISTENING TO
The Three Body Problem (Remembrance of Earth’s Past #1), by Cixin Liu
Published in 2006
Reading for my public library Winter Challenge
and The 2022 Books in Translation Reading Challenge
“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.”
BOOK UP NEXT
“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.:
LAST BOOK ADDED TO MY GOODREADS TBR
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.””
BOOK RECEIVED THIS PAST WEEK
🎧 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.
BOOK AVAILABLE FOR REVIEW
Review in your own time!