The top 8 books
I plan to read in April 2022
Click on the covers to know more
I don’t have the energy to do a video today, so here is a post for my April TBR.
📚 CURRENTLY READING 📚
📚 Vanda, by Marion Brunet
Expected publication: April 19th 2022 by Bitter Lemon Press
Received for review
Reading for the Books in Translation Challenge
I really enjoyed Summer of Reckoning, and this one seems to be quite intense as well.
“A psychological thriller set in Southern France. Brunet has followed on from the success of “the Summer of Reckoning” with this magnificent portrait of a woman and a mother, a beautiful and often poetic tale that is unflinching about social and personal violence.
Set in Marseilles, this is the story of Vanda, a beautiful woman in her thirties, arms covered in tats, skin so dark that some take her for a North African. Devoted to her six-year-old son Noé, they live in a derelict shed by the beach. She had wanted to be an artist; she is now a cleaner in a psychiatric hospital. But Vanda is happy living alone, like a mama bear with her cub.
“The two of them against the world”, as she says. Everything changes when Simon, the father of her son, surfaces in Marseilles. He had left Vanda seven years earlier, not knowing that she was pregnant. When Simon demands custody of his son, Vanda’s suppressed rage threatens to explode. The tension becomes unbearable, both parents fully capable of extreme violence.”
📚 Death Going Down, by María Angélica Bosco
Mystery, published in 1954 (Argentina)
Reading for the #1954Club (April 18-24), hosted by Stuck in a Book
It counts for The Classics Club and for the Books in Translation Challenge
I’m just reading one book for the #1954Club, as this was the only 1954 book on my TBR shelves, and I’m really trying hard to focus on them.
I’m thrilled this is actually an Argentinian mystery, I can’t even remember if I ever read a mystery from that country. Really enjoying it so far.
“In the early hours of the morning, a woman is found in the elevator of a plush apartment block on Santa Fe Road, Buenos Aires. She’s young, gorgeous and dead. With this opening image starts one of the greatest crime novels ever written in Argentina. A woman has been murdered and it is immediately apparent that all the suspects have secrets to hide.
Death Going Down contains all the ingredients of a classic detective novel, and is set during the aftermath of World War II, when many immigrants were making their way to Argentina, some of them with dark pasts in Europe to hide…”
📚 La Nuit des temps, by René Barjavel
Science-fiction published in 1968 (France)
Was published in English as The Ice People
Reading with one of my French students.
It counts for The Classics Club
I read this book about forty years ago, and can’t remember anything of it at all. So as one of my French students enjoys classic scifi, we decided to read it together. Enjyoing the beginning.
“When a French expedition in Antarctica reveals ruins of a 900,000 year old civilization, scientists from all over the world flock to the site to help explore & understand. The entire planet watches via global satellite tv, mesmerized, as they uncover a chamber in which a man & a woman have been in suspended animation since, as the French title suggests, ‘the night of time’. The woman, Eléa, is awakened.
Through a translating machine she tells the story of her world, herself & her husband Paikan & how war destroyed her civilization. She also hints at an incredibly advanced knowledge her still-dormant companion possesses, knowledge that could give energy & food to all humans at no cost. But the superpowers of the world are not ready to let Eléa’s secrets spread, & show that, 900,000 years & an apocalypse later, humankind has not grown up & is ready to make the same mistakes again.”
📚 READING NEXT 📚
📚 The Man in the Queue (Inspector Alan Grant #1), by Josephine Tey
Published in 1929
Will be reading for The Classics Club (Spin #29)
“Inspector Alan Grant searches for the identity of a man killed in the line at a theater and for the identity of the killer—whom no one saw.
A long line had formed for the standing-room-only section of the Woffington Theatre. London’s favorite musical comedy of the past two years was finishing its run at the end of the week. Suddenly, the line began to move, forming a wedge before the open doors as hopeful theatergoers nudged their way forward. But one man, his head sunk down upon his chest, slowly sank to his knees and then, still more slowly, keeled over on his face. Thinking he had fainted, a spectator moved to help, but recoiled in horror from what lay before him: the man in the queue had a small silver dagger neatly plunged into his back. With the wit and guile that have made Inspector Grant a favorite of mystery fans, the inspector sets about discovering just how a murder occurred among so many witnesses, none of whom saw a thing.”
📚 Moshi Moshi, by Banana Yoshimoto
Published in 2010
Will be reading with the TW Book Club (The Tokyo Weekender Book Club, on Goodreads)
I have read a couple of books by Yoshimoto (The Lake for instance), and am looking forward to this one.
“In Moshi Moshi, Yoshie’s much-loved musician father has died in a suicide pact with an unknown woman. It is only when Yoshie and her mother move to Shimokitazawa, a traditional Tokyo neighborhood of narrow streets, quirky shops, and friendly residents that they can finally start to put their painful past behind them. However, despite their attempts to move forward, Yoshie is haunted by nightmares in which her father is looking for the phone he left behind on the day he died, or on which she is trying—unsuccessfully—to call him. Is her dead father trying to communicate a message to her through these dreams?
With the lightness of touch and surreal detachment that are the hallmarks of her writing, Banana Yoshimoto turns a potential tragedy into a poignant coming-of-age ghost story and a life-affirming homage to the healing powers of community, food, and family.
Published in 2010 in Japanese in Tokyo, it has sold over 29,000 copies there so far. “In Moshi Moshi, Banana’s narrator addresses the poignant question, how do you rebuild your life when your much-loved father loses his life in shocking circumstances?”
📚 Under Lock & Skeleton Key (Secret Staircase Mystery #1), byGigi Pandian
Published March, 15 2022, by Minotaur Books
Received for review through Netgalley
I have enjoyed another book (Michaelangelo’s Ghost) by this author, and even though I’m late on this review copy, I’m looking forward to finally get to it.
“Under Lock & Skeleton Key layers architecture with mouthwatering food in an ode to classic locked-room mysteries.
An impossible crime. A family legacy. The intrigue of hidden rooms and secret staircases.
After a disastrous accident derails Tempest Raj’s career, and life, she heads back to her childhood home in California to comfort herself with her grandfather’s Indian home-cooked meals. Though she resists, every day brings her closer to the inevitable: working for her father’s company. Secret Staircase Construction specializes in bringing the magic of childhood to all by transforming clients’ homes with sliding bookcases, intricate locks, backyard treehouses, and hidden reading nooks.
When Tempest visits her dad’s latest renovation project, her former stage double is discovered dead inside a wall that’s supposedly been sealed for more than a century. Fearing she was the intended victim, it’s up to Tempest to solve this seemingly impossible crime. But as she delves further into the mystery, Tempest can’t help but wonder if the Raj family curse that’s plagued her family for generations—something she used to swear didn’t exist—has finally come for her.”
🎧 CURRENT AND NEXT AUDIOBOOKS 🎧
🎧 Code Lupin, by Michel Bussi
Published on 6/10/2021
As you know, I really enjoy Michel Bussi and I have tried to listen to all his books.
This one was actually his very first book I think. He republished it last year.
I started it last month. When I realized it was speaking so much of L’Aiguille creuse (The Hollow Needle), one of the most famous novels with Arsène Lupin, I stopped to listen to this classic with Lupin (I had only read the first volume with Lupin). I even found the French audio available on Hoopla! Kuddos to my public library!
So now I’m back into this one. Bussi does an awesome spin-off on the mystery featured in The Hollow Needle and makes tons of other references to Arsène Lupin and its author Maurice Leblanc.
It’s so fascinating that now, I’m getting close to the decision to listen to all of Arsène Lupin (26 books), just as I did with Sherlock Holmes and Hercule Poirot.
🎧 Nouvelle Babel, by Michel Bussi
Published on 2/3/2022
I have a couple of other more recent books by Bussi to listen to, this time in scifi. Or rather, it seems this one is a great mix of scifi and mystery, and possibly more!
This is a total of 8 books, and so far this year, I have an average of 13 books per month.
So I’ll probably have time to read many more. I have 3 other books received for review. And I will finally launch into my TBR Reading Challenge list.
HAVE YOU READ
OR ARE YOU PLANNING TO READ
ANY OF THESE?
WHAT ARE YOUR READING PLANS FOR DECEMBER?
Under Lock and Skeleton Key sounds intriguing. I look forward to hearing what you think about it.
She’s a great author, hoping this one will be good
I’ve read only one Yamamoto novels – Goodbye Tsugumi – which I really enjoyed. Will look forward to seeing what you thought of Moshi Moshi
Thanks, I’m going to check that title
Thank you for sharing these great books! I’m checking a few of them out.
I’m doing the #AtoZChallenge – writing a speculative fiction short story.
On the main A to Z site today for “B” I shared a list of books. Check it out!
At Operation Awesome we’re doing the A to Z Challenge and running a survey to pick the next Pass or Pages query contest genre.
Nice. Where is the survey link? I went to your site, read you last post on this challenge, but I didn’t find any recent survey, only link to your 2021 survey
The post on Operation Awesome is from March 25.
“#PassOrPages Poll – What Will Our Next Query Contest Genre Be? #amquerying #writingcommunity”
What a nice mix! The Argentine mystery and La Nuit des temps sounds amazing too. I’m always a sucker for lost civilizations and an Antarctica setting.
Under Lock sounds neat also.
My review of Death Going Down will be live on April 20.
My student and I are 40% done with La Nuit des temps, and yes, you really need to read this one – The Ice People in English
Interesting titles for April. I would go for Tey and Bussi, favourites of mine.
I just finished the latest by Bussi, so good!
I seem to remember “La nuit des temps”. Very sixties. Hmmm. Je dois l’avoir quelque part…
Have a great week.
Oui, très 60s, avec des choses maintenant difficiles à digérer par rapport aux femmes, mais en même temps une écriture très agréable
LikeLiked by 1 person
Barjavel écrivait bien si je me rappelle… Je ne l’ai pas ici. Peut-être dans un carton à Paris… Je n’ai que “Ravage”. Hmm. Maybe I’ll read it again… Running out of authors. (Most the ones I like are dead!) Je vais voir si je le retrouve cet été. Sinon, ça doit pouvoir se trouver sur les quais pour 5 Euros… 😉
J’ai définitivement envie de relire Ravage. Est-ce que vous lisez des livres numériques ? Si oui, je peux vous envoyez La Nuit des temps par email
Merci Emma. (Ou est-ce Emmanuelle) C’est gentil, mais j’ai vraiment du mal avec le numérique… Je le trouverai bien dans un carton ou sur les quais… (Je suis déjà en train de faire ma petite liste…)
(On se tutoie non?)
Officiellement Emmanuelle. Mais quand je suis arrivée aux États-Unis, mes amis ont trouvé ça trop long, alors c’est Emma depuis. D’accord pour le tutoiement. Bonne chance pour la chasse aux livres.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Très bien Emma. A+
Au début c’était dur, parce que je ne supporte pas Jane Austen, mais après j’ai pensé à Emma Lazarus, alors ça m’a réconciliée avec ce prénom
LikeLiked by 1 person
Haha. Jane Austen? Pas mon genre non plus. Il m’a fallu rechercher Emma Lazarus… (Que les vies étaient brèves…) It did anchor things for me.
“Give your tired, your porr, your huddled masses…” I remembered the words, I’d forgotten the author…
Thanks for the reminder. Bonne semaine.
She’s indeed often forgotten. Bonne semaine à toi aussi
LikeLiked by 1 person
Et pourtant, que ce texte est beau…
looks like a nice variety. hope you enjoy them
sherry @ fundinmental
So so far so good, yes, thanks!
I’ve read Kitchen and Asleep by Yoshimoto but around 17 years ago so I obviously need to catch up with her work!
I’m about 40% done with Moshi Moshi. It’s ok, nice writing, but the focus on family life is not a topic I enjoy much
You always have the most interesting reading challenges Emma!
Under Lock and Skeleton Key is a popular choice at the moment, I think I will take a look at what the fuss is about. It does sound interesting though.
Have a good weekend Emma!
Thanks. I have read another book by Pandian, she writes well