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showcase books and things we have received.
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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!
JUST READ / LISTENED TO
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: https://www.instagram.com/p/CYe_8kSLYQJ/ and https://www.instagram.com/p/CYiCn-8LIkP/
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.
CURRENTLY READING/LISTENING TO
📚 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 Away, My Neighbor Totoro, Howl’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 ?”
BOOK UP NEXT
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.“
LAST BOOK ADDED TO MY GOODREADS TBR
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.”
NO BOOK RECEIVED THIS PAST WEEK
Beside a coloring book!
BOOK AVAILABLE FOR REVIEW
Review in your own time!