The top 8 books to read in July 2022

Here are
The top 8 books
I plan to read in June 2022

Click on the covers to know more

📚 CURRENTLY READING 📚

  Upgrade Laurus  

Le Grand Meaulnes The Martins

📚 Upgrade, by Blake Crouch
Science-fiction
Expected publication: July 12th 2022 by Ballantine Books
Received for review through Netgalley

Yes, I am finally discovering Blake Crouch! So far (10%) read, I love it and the plot sounds very promising.

“‘You are the next step in human evolution.’
At first, Logan Ramsay isn’t sure if anything’s different. He just feels a little . . . sharper. Better able to concentrate. Better at multitasking. Reading a bit faster, memorizing better, needing less sleep.
But before long, he can’t deny it: Something’s happening to his brain. To his body. He’s starting to see the world, and those around him—even those he loves most—in whole new ways.
The truth is, Logan’s genome has been hacked. And there’s a reason he’s been targeted for this upgrade. A reason that goes back decades to the darkest part of his past, and a horrific family legacy.
Worse still, what’s happening to him is just the first step in a much larger plan, one that will inflict the same changes on humanity at large—at a terrifying cost.
Because of his new abilities, Logan’s the one person in the world capable of stopping what’s been set in motion. But to have a chance at winning this war, he’ll have to become something other than himself. Maybe even something other than human.
And even as he’s fighting, he can’t help wondering: what if humanity’s only hope for a future really does lie in engineering our own evolution?
Intimate in scale yet epic in scope, Upgrade is an intricately plotted, lightning-fast tale that charts one man’s thrilling transformation, even as it asks us to ponder the limits of our humanity—and our boundless potential.”

📚  Laurus, by Eugene Vodolazkin
Historical fiction
Published in 2012 in Russian,
translated by Lisa Hayden in 2015

I planned to read this one when it got published, and never did. So I’m excited to read it now with a group from my church. It’s brilliantly translated, to try to replicate some of the oldish look of Medieval language.

It is the late fifteenth century and a village healer in Russia is powerless to help his beloved as she dies in childbirth, unwed and without having received communion. Devastated and desperate, he sets out on a journey in search of redemption. But this is no ordinary journey: it is one that spans ages and countries, and which brings him face-to-face with a host of unforgettable, eccentric characters and legendary creatures from the strangest medieval bestiaries. Laurus’s travels take him from the Middle Ages to the Plague of 1771, where as a holy fool he displays miraculous healing powers, to the political upheavals of the late-twentieth century. At each transformative stage of his journey he becomes more revered by the church and the people, until he decides, one day, to return to his home village to lead the life of a monastic hermit – not realizing that it is here that he will face his most difficult trial yet.
Laurus is a remarkably rich novel about the eternal themes of love, loss, self-sacrifice and faith, from one of Russia’s most exciting and critically acclaimed novelists.
 ”

📚 Le Grand Meaulnes, by Alain-Fournier
French Literary fiction
Published in 1913
Published in English as The Lost Estate
Reading in French with a few others on Discord, it counts for The Classics Club

This is my favorite French classic.

“When Meaulnes first arrives at the local school in Sologne, everyone is captivated by his good looks, daring and charisma. But when Meaulnes disappears for several days, and returns with tales of a strange party at a mysterious house – and his love for the beautiful girl hidden within it, Yvonne de Galais – his life has been changed forever. In his restless search for his Lost Estate and the happiness he found there, Meaulnes, observed by his loyal friend Francois, may risk losing everything he ever had. Poised between youthful admiration and adult resignation, Alain-Fournier’s compelling narrator carries the reader through this evocative and unbearably poignant portrayal of desperate friendship and vanished adolescence.”

📚 The Martins, by David Foenkinos
Literary fiction
Was published in French in 2020

Expected publication: July 22nd 2022 by Gallic Books
Translated by Sam Taylor
Received for review 

I recently (finally) discovered Foenkinos with his brilliant Le Mystère Henri Pick (available in English as The Mystery of Henri Pick).
So I’m really looking forward to this one. I have just started and right away I like the writing, the directness, the short parts. And the gorgeous cover!

‘Go out into the street and the first person you see will be the subject of your next book.’
This is the challenge a struggling Parisian writer sets himself, imagining his next heroine might be the mysterious young woman who often stands smoking near his apartment … instead it’s octogenarian Madeleine. She’s happy to become the subject of his book – but first she needs to put away her shopping.
Is it really true, the writer wonders, that every life is the stuff of novels, or is his story doomed to be hopelessly banal? As he gets to know Madeleine and her family, he’ll be privy to their secrets: lost loves, marital problems and workplace worries. And he’ll soon realise he is not the impartial bystander he intended to be, but a catalyst for major changes in the lives of his characters.
Told with Foenkinos’s characteristic irony and self-deprecating humour, yet filled with warmth, The Martins is a compelling tale of the family next door which raises questions about what it means to be ‘ordinary’, and about the blurred lines between truth and fiction.”

📚 READING NEXT 📚

Eventide  The First Men in the Moon

📚 Eventide, by Kent Haruf
Literary fiction
Published in 2004

I read Plainsong, the first book in this series in 2013, and really enjoyed the writing. So it’s high time to tackle this one that’s been collecting dust on my shelf.
This is part of my effort for the TBR Challenge.

“Kent Haruf, award-winning, bestselling author of Plainsong returns to the high-plains town of Holt, Colorado, with a novel of masterful authority. The aging McPheron brothers are learning to live without Victoria Roubideaux, the single mother they took in and who has now left their ranch to start college. A lonely young boy stoically cares for his grandfather while a disabled couple tries to protect their violent relative. As these lives unfold and intersect, Eventide unveils the immemorial truths about human beings: their fragility and resilience, their selfishness and goodness, and their ability to find family in one another.”

📚  The First Men in the Moon, by H.G. Wells
Science-fiction
Published in 1901
It counts for The Classics Club
Will also be reading for the 2022 TBR Pile Reading Challenge

I bought this book at a library book sale. I didn’t know the author  had written this one! I tend to like old scifi, so we’ll see.

“When penniless businessman Mr Bedford retreats to the Kent coast to write a play, he meets by chance the brilliant Dr Cavor, an absent-minded scientist on the brink of developing a material that blocks gravity. Cavor soon succeeds in his experiments, only to tell a stunned Bedford the invention makes possible one of the oldest dreams of humanity: a journey to the moon. With Bedford motivated by money, and Cavor by the desire for knowledge, the two embark on the expedition. But neither are prepared for what they find – a world of freezing nights, boiling days and sinister alien life, on which they may be trapped forever.”

🎧 CURRENT AND NEXT AUDIOBOOKS 🎧

  Clouds of Witness  Cyrano de Bergerac

🎧  Clouds of Witness (Lord Peter Wimsey #2), by Dorothy L. Sayers
Mystery
Published in 1926
It counts for The Classics Club

This is my second try with Sayers, and alas, it will be the last.
The first 50% was good, but then it got bogged down and too long. I still have an hour or so to go.
And I don’t like the social dimension of it.
BUT the narrator Ian Carmichael is absolutely fabulous!

“Rustic old Riddlesdale Lodge was a Wimsey family retreat filled with country pleasures and the thrill of the hunt — until the game turned up human and quite dead. He lay among the chrysanthemums, wore slippers and a dinner jacket and was Lord Peter’s brother-in-law-to-be. His accused murderer was Wimsey’s own brother…”

🎧  Cyrano de Bergerac, by Edmond Rostand
French play
Published in 1897
It counts for The Classics Club

I read this one a long time ago, but want now to listen to it and rewatch the movie/play as well, with Deaprdieu.

“This is Edmond Rostand’s immortal play in which chivalry and wit, bravery and love are forever captured in the timeless spirit of romance. Set in Louis XIII’s reign, it is the moving and exciting drama of one of the finest swordsmen in France, gallant soldier, brilliant wit, tragic poet-lover with the face of a clown. Rostand’s extraordinary lyric powers gave birth to a universal hero–Cyrano De Bergerac–and ensured his own reputation as author of one of the best-loved plays in the literature of the stage.”

Eiffel Tower Orange

HAVE YOU READ
OR ARE YOU PLANNING TO READ
ANY OF THESE?
WHAT ARE YOUR READING PLANS FOR JULY?

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18 thoughts on “The top 8 books to read in July 2022

  1. I have always wanted to read Laurus and Le Grand (hoping it doesn’t lose much in translation but I will get it in Spanish not English), I am sorry Sawyers didn’t do it for you. I haven’t read this one. I started with 9 Taylors and Murder Must Advertise and those were super good but hey, if she doesn’t work for you, it is what it is.

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    • It might be a good idea indeed to read Le Grand Meaulnes (Meaulnes is the name of a boy, Augustin Meaulnes) in Spanish, they may capture better the ambiance than in English. Based on what others have told me, a lot of the ambiance is lost in the English translation. And for me, a lot of this book IS about the ambiance.
      I looked at the synopsis of Murder Must Advertise, it doesn’t really draw me in either

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve read Le Grand Meaulnes in English and French and do love it (no the English version doesn’t quite get the atmosphere). None of the others! I’ve put my lists on my blog for print and e-books and I’m progressing quite well so far … Happy reading for July!

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