Sunday Post #50 – 1/23/2022

Sunday Post

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A post to recap the past week on your blog,
showcase books and things we have received.
Share news about what is coming up
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for the week ahead.
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Sunday Salon    Stacking the Shelves  Mailbox Monday2

 It's Monday! What Are You Reading2  IMWAYR  WWW Wednesdays 2

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#WWWWednesday #WWWWednesdays

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and on the book covers to access synopsis or review

Woohoo, jubilee edition: this is the 50th time I’m participating!
And with another productive week.

  • everyday exercise – I think it’s here to last, so I won’t mention it again
  • thanks to cute Instagram posts by @erraticelle, I FINALLY decided to start some type of visual dotted journal. One thing I’m doing is documenting discoveries in a visual way, like for instance Neurographic art:


  • I’m thinking of creating series of bookmarks!
  • And my husband suggested I combine that with my love of rockpainting, so I’ve been trying on rocks with markers (instead of paint, to make it easier to do it at my desk). They will get better with non-washable markers!


  • Since last Sunday, I wrote a review for Red is My Heart
  • And on The Wild Geese
  • I posted Top Ten 2021 Releases I Was Excited to Read But Didn’t Get To
  •  And Friday Face Off on a Scifi written in 1975 or before
  • And Friday night, I celebrated (online!) the 10th anniversary of the book club I created for my block in January 2012.
    We’ve met 11 times per year, for 10 years! Unbelievable.
    And it means we talked about zillions of books, as our characteristic is at each meeting, for each member to share about the book they just read.
    We LOVE our format, as it makes us discover so many books in various genres. Which reminds me, I haven’t shared any of these titles for a while, I should get back to doing that.
    For the occasion, I created a variation of a Jeopardy game, and need now to prepare bags of books and fun gifts for our 3 winners!


The Wild Geese   Wabi sabi

Entre deux mondes

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

VERDICT: Short novel with a good social portrait of the time, but disappointing in its pace and ending.
Click on the cover to read my full review

📚  Wabi Sabi: Japanese Wisdom for a Perfectly Imperfect Life, by Beth Kempton
Published in 2018
Nonfiction / Japan

Neat book to get more acquainted with Japanese wisdom and life style values.
I especially liked the parts where the author refers to her experience in Japan, and the wonderful people she met there, and how she little by little got introduced to these gem ideas for a “perfectly imperfect life”.
Actually lots of concept sound very close to Orthodox spirituality (that is, the spirituality of the first Christians), which is also more lived as a way of living than a religion, with less emphasis on dogma that Roman Catholicism. Attention to the present moment is for instance a major element in our spirituality.
I enjoyed less the parts where the author showed how to apply these elements to daily life, even though that’s the whole point of the book, I know. But self-help books are not really my favorite.
But if you love self-help books, and you need a guide to help you live a simplified life, with more meaning, this is the book for you!
I shared a couple of excerpts on instagram: and

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

Phew, what a punch in the stomach. Can I listen to a more powerful historical mystery in 2022? I doubt it.
This is about the terrible situation of migrants in our world today, from Syria to the awful Jungle, the Calais refugee camp in France, just before it was dismantled. With their dreams of crossing to the UK.
The story focuses mostly on a Syrian policeman arriving in Calais where he is supposed to meet his wife and daughter who fled their country shortly before him. And a little boy, finally in the camp after an incredible journey.
What will now happen to them?
It is about all the obstacles refugees have to face, and the foes and friends they may meet.
I hope this will soon be translated into English.
After listening to this, I want to cry even more on our world, and on the so little we can do.
I knew of the Calais Jungle, but nothing in detail, this was a shock.
The writing is superb, totally on target. The author, a policeman himself, knows his stuff.

The following day, without looking for it, I stumbled on an article on a current association looking for funds to help refugees who are still there, aroun1,000.
You can donate here.


How Do You Live  L'Affaire Saint-Fiacre

L'inconnue de la Seine📚  How Do You Live, by Genzaburo Yoshino
Published in 1937
Middle grade historical fiction
Reading for The Japanese Literature Challenge 15
The 2022 Books in Translation Reading Challenge
and The Classics Club

To be ready when Miyazaki‘s movie comes out, I decided to read this classic, very famous in Japan.
I discovered in the Preface that Neil Gaiman read it for the same reason. Am in good company!
It’s a neat book full of wisdom. What’s fun is that I often catch myself visualizing what Miyazaki could do with this. It almost feels like the book was written to be made into an anime one day bythe Master!

“First published in 1937, Genzaburō Yoshino’s How Do You Live? has long been acknowledged in Japan as a crossover classic for young readers. Academy Award–winning animator Hayao Miyazaki (Spirited AwayMy Neighbor TotoroHowl’s Moving Castle) has called it his favorite childhood book and announced plans to emerge from retirement to make it the basis of a final film.
How Do You Live? is narrated in two voices. The first belongs to Copper, fifteen, who after the death of his father must confr📚ont inevitable and enormous change, including his own betrayal of his best friend. In between episodes of Copper’s emerging story, his uncle writes to him in a journal, sharing knowledge and offering advice on life’s big questions as Copper begins to encounter them. Over the course of the story, Copper, like his namesake Copernicus, looks to the stars, and uses his discoveries about the heavens, earth, and human nature to answer the question of how he will live.”

📚  L’Affaire Saint-Fiacre, by Georges Simenon
Published in 1932
Translated as The Saint-Fiacre Affair
(Inspector Maigret #14)
Reading it with one of my French student, and
for  The Classics Club

“When an ominous note predicting the time and place of a death finds its way to Maigret’s desk in Paris, his investigation brings him to Saint-Fiacre, the place of his birth.  It isn’t long before a darkness descends on Maigret and the town, as the prediction becomes a brutal reality and the Inspector discovers he is not welcome in the place he once called home.
As much a thriller as a meditation on alienation, The Saint-Fiacre Affair displays Simenon’s unique and searing perspective of the struggles we all are forced to endure.”

🎧 L’Inconnue de la Seine, by Guillaume Musso
Not yet available in English
Published on 9/21/2021

I have read an enjoyed several books by Musso. Check this one in English for instance.

“Par une nuit brumeuse de décembre, une jeune femme est repêchée dans la Seine au niveau du Pont-Neuf. Nue, amnésique, mais vivante.
Très agitée, elle est conduite à l’infirmerie de la préfecture de police de Paris… d’où elle s’échappe au bout de quelques heures.
Les analyses ADN et les photos révèlent son identité : il s’agit de la célèbre pianiste Milena Bergman. Mais c’est impossible, car Milena est morte dans un crash d’avion, il y a plus d’un an.
Raphaël, son ancien fiancé, et Roxane, une flic fragilisée par sa récente mise au placard, se prennent de passion pour cette enquête, bien décidés à éclaircir ce mystère : comment peut-on être à la fois morte et vivante ?”



📚  Dojoji, by Yukio Mishima
Published in 1957
Will be reading for The Japanese Literature Challenge 15
The 2022 Books in Translation Reading Challenge
and The Classics Club

I have read and enjoyed a lot The Sound of Waves, so now I’m curious to see what the author can do in a play. Plus I don’t remember if I ever read a play translated from the Japanese!

“Mishima’s play is called Dojoji, and takes place in a secondhand furniture shop. The Dealer has organized a private auction for some very rich customers. He is selling a giant wardrobe, big enough to fit a double bed in. The Dealer explains that the wardrobe is up for auction because it belonged to one of the rich families who “has gone down a bit in the world” since the end of WWII, so they must sell their furniture. The wardrobe is very impressive, and soon the bidding hits three million Yen.
However, just as the bidding reaches a climax, a woman enters the scene, bidding only three thousand Yen for the wardrobe.


Zen and the Art of Saving the Planet

📚  Zen and the Art of Saving the Planet, by Thich Nhat Hanh
Published on 10/5/2021

Thich Nhat Hanh passed away yesterday. I know one of my book club members appreciates him very much, so I shared the info with her. She already knew, and she told me she’s currently reading this book.
I want to read it too, to honor the great memory of meeting him when I was 10 years old. And realized only 12 years later who this impressive neighbor I had met was, when I saw his picture on the back cover of a book!!

“In this masterful work, one of the most revered spiritual leaders in the world today shares his wisdom on how to be the change we want to see in the world.
In these troubling times we all yearn for a better world. But many of us feel powerless and uncertain what we can do. Thich Nhat Hanh (Thay) is blazingly clear: there’s one thing that we have the power to change-and which can make all the difference: our mind. How we see and think about things determines all the choices we make, the everyday actions we take (or avoid), how we relate to those we love (or oppose), and how we react in a crisis or when things don’t go our way.
Filled with powerful examples of engaged action he himself has undertaken, inspiring Buddhist parables, and accessible daily meditations, this powerful spiritual guide offers us a path forward, opening us to the possibilities of change and how we can contribute to the collective awakening and environmental revolution our fractured world so desperately needs.”


Beside a coloring book!


Constellation   The Queen's Lover

Review in your own time!

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




69 thoughts on “Sunday Post #50 – 1/23/2022

    • Listening to another language is definitely more challenging than reading. One was to train your ear is to listen and read at the same time. There are lots of French short stories on youtube for children with text and audio.
      There are also some for classics, for instance this awesome short story by Maupassant, Le Horla – just a bit above an hour:
      Great narrator and cool pictures as well


  1. Congratulations on ten years of your neighborhood book club. It sounds like your format is one that works well for all of you. I hope you will share more soon.

    I’m very interested in hearing more about your Orthodox spirituality, too. I’ve been reading a lot of Richard Rohr in the past few years, a leader in encouraging a focus less on dogma and more on spirituality in the Catholic Church.

    Have a great week, Emma!


    • I used to share on this blog titles we talk about at my book club. Planning on posting it next week for our 10th anniversary episode.

      Lots of people I know (outside Orthodoxy) have been reading Rohr, but I have also heard that he has recently been going off the railing.
      I like the balance in Orthodoxy, between tradition and spirituality


  2. I’ve never heard of neurographic art and I had to look it up. I still don’t understand it, lol. I may have to watch a video😁 Looks like you have some good reads coming up, have a good week!


  3. You seem to be doing well with the Japanese literature challenge. I have a few Japanese reads on my TBR as well, but doubt I’ll get to them in January. Dojoji sounds intriguing although I’ve never got into the habit of reading plays. I much prefer to see them in the theatre!


    • You are right, plays are made to be watched, not read (so many people would love even more Shakespeare if they watched his plays instead of reading them), but that’s in an ideal world not accessible to me. Too expensive or too far. And alas, I can’t even find a version of Dojoji online. I found 3 other plays by him, but not this one

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I haven’t read any of these I am afraid! I am glad to hear you have discovered a new hobby/artform. My own reading has been low due to be tired from work and celebrating my birthday! Take care and happy reading. 🙂


    • Just put a note in all the mailboxes on your block, and start your own group! I think if you choose our format, instead of the same book for everyone, you get more chances to have people interested, men and women, young and old

      Liked by 1 person

      • I actually just posted on our Facebook page a few minutes ago! I am scared that no one will want to do it and scared they will, LOL! I am such an introvert that it is SO hard to put myself out there like that! Wish me luck!


        • Good for you, congratulations for doing the first step, I’m so proud of you!
          So all the people on your block have Facebook? It’s not the case on my block, and I’m glad I didn’t go this way, because we have some awesome participants who would not have known about it.
          You can also host the first meeting, and see if you can rotate between houses. In our group, the host prepares simple snacks for all [well, before Covid – we have been meeting through Google Meet since the beginning of Covid!!], and it’s ‘bring your own drink’, so it’s not overwhelming for anyone. We do a potluck in January, on the anniversary month of our foundation, and everyone brings a dish.
          We don’t meet in December, as people have so many other get togethers.
          I also often give away books (received from publishers and/or found at my library weekly sales). And I organize games (Jeopardy style) in January, with nicer gifts for the winners.
          Be sure to let me know when your group meets for the first time and how it evolves.

          Liked by 1 person

          • No, not everyone on my block is on FB, I did a post for our neighborhood. I have met most of the neighbors on my actual block and most of them would not be interested/have time for a bookclub. How do you do the giveaways, more like door prizes for coming? I appreciate the helpful comments and support!!


  5. I haven’t read any of the books that you mentioned, but it’s great to see that you are finding reads that you enjoy this week! I’m especially interested in L’inconnue de la Seine. I think the French language is so beautiful and would love to try to continue learning through books 🙂 My week was slow-going, but things will be picking up soon as I am returning to college for my spring semester tomorrow! Your painted art is also beautiful.

    claire @ clairefy


  6. Happy 50! That’s neat too about the book club.

    Wabi Sabi sounds interesting, especially the similarities with Orthodoxy. I didn’t know that but have felt myself drawn to/ curious about Japanese sprituality, even though I’m a Christian. Food for thought.


  7. Interesting assortment of books I have never heard of. Your tastes seem quite eclectic. Congrats on the longevity of your neighborhood book group. Come see my week here. Happy reading!


  8. I like the idea for your book club, rather than everyone reading a single book and discussing that. I’ve actually never found those very satisfying. Each member talking about the book they just read would be kind of like blogging, but in real life!


  9. A bookmarks series sounds like it will be fun to do. Happy Anniversary to your book club! It is awesome it has lasted so long. May it last many more years to come.

    I hope you have a great week and continue to enjoy your reading!


  10. I have a couple of wonderful books by Thich Nhat Hanh, was sorry to hear the news. How lovely that you have met him. And I’ve read others about Wabi Sabi, too. There is a special picture book by that name. Thanks for sharing so much!


  11. I had to look up Neurographic art, too, and love the way you have adapted it to rock painting. (great idea to use markers!) You have some very interesting Japanese titles here… I am planning to start a novel by Hiromi Kawakami soon. Have a good week!


  12. Congratulations on 10 years with your book club! I’ve been in a few but they always fizzle out. I think it’s because they were connected with mom clubs and not people who just love books. That’s great about the regular exercise! I always feel so much better when I’m getting regular activity. Have a wonderful week!


    • For us, the longevity is due to our format. I know that even personally, I wouldn’t last long in a club where we all read the same book. In fact, I have some connections with an online club, but have participated only once, because all the other books didn’t really grab my interest


  13. Congratulations to your book club. Amazing. Time goes quickly when you have fun. Your reading statistics is also impressing. A great variety of books, of which I have not read any. I am wanting to read more Japanese books, so maybe I will join this challenge next time.


  14. Congrats on your book club. I started one in 2006 with a couple of friends, we grew to 8 members, but we stopped meeting when COVID hit. We haven’t started back up, Sadly, I think I am the only one missing the book discussions, but it was great getting together with a group of friends to just socialize. We all miss that.

    Have a great week and happy reading!


    • Yes, these discussions are important. I’m glad we have been able to do it online since Covid. We did one in hybrid actually in Summer, with a few people in the house, and some online. Post-Covid, I will keep the hybrid format, so former neighbors who moved can keep participating


  15. It’s lovely that you created a neighborhood book club and have run it for so long—spreading a love of books in your community is such a wonderful thing to do! And all of these books look excellent—it’s so cool that you’ve been reading a lot of Japanese titles recently. And the art you’ve been doing is gorgeous too! Thanks so much for the wonderful post, Emma!


    • How Do You Live? is very different from contemporary American middle grade books, but I did enjoy it a lot. Good luck for the giveaway.
      And thanks for visiting so many of my posts and leaving several comments. Much appreciated


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