Sunday Post #62 – 7/17/2022

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Here is what I posted this past week.
I have not posted daily for #ParisinJuly this week.

I finished 3 books:


The Martins

📚 The Martins, by David Foenkinos
Literary fiction
Translated from the French by Sam Taylor

US Expected publication:
July 22, 2022, by Gallic Books
Received for review

Here is my final word:

VERDICT: Neat French metafiction on the world of books, authors, and characters, with insightful snapshots on social behaviors. Could life be as strange as fiction?

Come back on July 21 to read my whole review.

L'Écluse n1


📚 L’Écluse N.1 (Maigret #18),
by Georges Simenon

Published in 1933
Translated in English as Lock No. 1
Read with a French student

I like the ambiance of Simenon’s books, but the plot in this one is a bit confusing for me. I am not sure I understood everything that’s going on here.

This is about relationships between people, men and women, some cheating on others, some others wrong about who is cheating on whom. I think.

A is for Alibi


🎧 A is For Alibi, by Sue Grafton
Published in 1982

I thought I REALLY needed to try this series.
It started ok, then a bit muddled. And really, no surprise at all about the main killer. So obvious.
But most of all, I could less and less bear Kinsey Millhone. There are way too many descriptions of her everyday meals and snacks. And really, I am not interested in her sex life at all.
I listened to the book, and the narrator Mary Peiffer fit the bill, she was good. And had the perfect voice for a person in real life I would end up finding annoying and uninteresting.

Did I make many enemies here?


The First Men in the Moon

📚  The First Men on the Moon, by H. G. Wells
Science-fiction / classic
Published in 1901

It counts for The Classics Club

Still working on this one, and enjoying it a lot. Quite funny!

“His “first men in the moon” prove to be the eccentric Mr. Cavor and his traveling companion, Mr. Bedford, who navigate a gravity-defying sphere through space before executing a rough landing on the moon. As castaways from earth, they practice lunar locomotion, get lost in the wilds of a moon jungle, and confront intelligent life forms living in lunar caverns. Through the adventures of these two earthlings, the author is able to look at mankind from a distance and, in his words, “burlesque the effects of specialization.” The result is a delightful tale filled with adventure, romance, and fantasy that is still capable of stirring the imagination of readers in the 21st century.”


🎧 Confessions, by Kanae Minato
Published in Japanese in 2008
Translated into English by Stephen Snyder in 2014
One of the Japanese books I didn’t have time to read this year during the Japanese Literature Challenge

I’m glad I found the audio version through my public library. The narrator Elaina Erika Davis is excellent, great tone with constant underlying threat, perfect for the story.
So far, it’s a lot on bullying and revenge, with terrible consequences. But I have heard it’s going to get even worse…
Great psychological study!

“After calling off her engagement in wake of a tragic revelation, Yuko Moriguchi had nothing to live for except her only child, four-year-old Manami. Now, following an accident on the grounds of the middle school where she teaches, Yuko has given up and tendered her resignation.
But first she has one last lecture to deliver. She tells a story that upends everything her students ever thought they knew about two of their peers, and sets in motion a maniacal plot for revenge.
Narrated in alternating voices, with twists you’ll never see coming, Confessions explores the limits of punishment, despair, and tragic love, culminating in a harrowing confrontation between teacher and student that will place the occupants of an entire school in danger. You’ll never look at a classroom the same way again.



📚 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
Yes, still planning to begin this one soon!!

“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.”


Prisoners of Geography

📚  Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Tell You Everything You Need to Know About Global Politics, by Tim Marshall
Published in 2015

“In the bestselling tradition of Why Nations Fail and The Revenge of Geography, an award-winning journalist uses ten maps of crucial regions to explain the geo-political strategies of the world powers.
All leaders of nations are constrained by geography. Their choices are limited by mountains, rivers, seas, and concrete. To understand world events, news organizations and other authorities often focus on people, ideas, and political movements, but without geography, we never have the full picture. Now, in the relevant and timely Prisoners of Geography, seasoned journalist Tim Marshall examines Russia, China, the USA, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Japan and Korea, and Greenland and the Arctic—their weather, seas, mountains, rivers, deserts, and borders—to provide a context often missing from our political reportage: how the physical characteristics of these countries affect their strengths and vulnerabilities and the decisions made by their leaders.
In ten, up-to-date maps of each region, Marshall explains in clear and engaging prose the complex geo-political strategies of these key parts of the globe. What does it mean that Russia must have a navy, but also has frozen ports six months a year? How does this affect Putin’s treatment of Ukraine? How is China’s future constrained by its geography? Why will Europe never be united? Why will America never be invaded? Shining a light on the unavoidable physical realities that shape all of our aspirations and endeavors, Prisoners of Geography is the critical guide to one of the major (and most often overlooked) determining factors in world history.





45 thoughts on “Sunday Post #62 – 7/17/2022

  1. I’m very curious about Confessions, I’ve seen it around but I don’t think I ever read the blurb. I’m looking forward to your final thoughts😁


  2. I have not read anything by Kent Haruf but I have heard the books are really good, especially Plainsong. If I am remembering correctly, there’s a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie made from the novel Plainsong with the title being the same for the movie.


  3. No books received this week? What is this strange situation?? Looks like some great ones there. I read both those Harufs a while ago and really liked them. I just started Larry McMurtry’s Moving On, which is a substantial tome but very immersive and engaging.


    • I’m very rarely requesting books these days, preferring to focus on so many books on my TBR. I do receive unsolicited books translated from the French, from time and time, and I make an exception for these, as I usually like what Gallic Books publishes.
      Oh wow, Moving On is huge, and first volume of a series!
      I’m not sure I have ever read a Western, to tell the truth

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I am currently reading The Martins right now, it’s so interesting! I am only halfway through it, but I find the characters fascinating, and his insights fresh. Every so often I’m marking a page with a paper flag. Maybe some of us who think our lives are boring need to rethink that? Talking to myself, here.☺️ Looking forward to your review.


  5. The only Sue Grafton I have is one of her last – X. I also find that the novels add too much that’s not essential to the mystery and that makes me lose interest.


  6. First Men in the Moon looks wild, and it’s funny how we can go back and read these early SF works and marvel at how different they saw or imagined things. It’s not a book I ever thought much about until I saw some really cool concept art a while back, and it totally changed my way of thinking about the book!


  7. Give the Kinsey Millhone series another chance. I have all the books, but only have read the books starting with J or K. The books I have that are previous to those were paperbacks. The rest hardcover and I prefer hardcover over all other formats. The series does get better and doesn’t keep mentioning the foods she eats or her sex life. The author wanted to write books starting with every letter of the alphabet in the title. She almost made it, but passed away before she completed Z.
    I have many books by HG Wells but haven’t read “The First Men in the Moon”.


  8. I began reading the Sue Grafton ABC mysteries back when they were first published, perhaps in 1982. I was a different person then, and I liked the series just fine. I think later I developed new preferences for reading, and my interest lagged. So I understand your thoughts about this series completely.

    I’m curious about First Men in the Moon. I’m surprised that it is funny.


  9. I’ve read L’écluse #1 and my Simenon strategy is never to expect much of the plot. I just like the idea of Maigret puffing away on his pipe (c’est un pipe!) and, in this one, how he rides a bike from one lock to the next for kms and kms. Also, the scene with Willy on the bed, smoking, and talking to Maigret. I also like how much broken phrasing serves for dialogue, like a telephone conversation where you can only hear one of the speakers. (I had to use a 2nd-language dictionary for all the nautical terms I didn’t know in French!)


  10. Pingback: 2022: July wrap-up | Words And Peace

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