Sunday Post #66 – 09/11/2022

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I only posted once this past week:

But I reached an important landmark: I finished my 3rd list for The Classics Club:
I was supposed to read 137 classics between November 2020 and November 2025, and I am already done.
Well, I read 137 classics since November 2020, but only 25 were from my original list, lol.
I’m in the (loooong) process of preparing my massive 4th list – it will have at least 200 titles I think.
I’ll post a recap on my 3rd list and announce this new list soon, I hope.

Here are the two books I finished this past week:


Malice📚 Malice (Kyoichiro Kaga #4), by Keigo Higashino
Published in 1996
Translated from the Japanese by Alexander O. Smith (2014)

In this series, I really enjoyed Newcomer. Malice is another very smart mystery by Higashino.
“Acclaimed bestselling novelist Kunihiko Hidaka is found brutally murdered in his home on the night before he’s planning to leave Japan and relocate to Vancouver. His body is found in his office, a locked room, within his locked house, by his wife and his best friend Osamu Nonoguchi, both of whom have rock solid alibis.”

I knew right away that things were not as simple as they seemed, but the author still managed to twist things around, and twist them even more in the very last pages of the book!

I liked all the plot and details related to authors and book writing, and the twisty elements on the relationships between Hidaka and his friend Osamu, who is also Kaga’s former colleague.
It’s of course fun to see how Detective Kaga gets lost at figuring out what happened, who did what, and why, and how finally he put everything together.

I liked the structure of the book, with alternating accounts by Osamu and notes by the Detective Kaga.

I won’t give any details to avoid spoilers, but I was surprised to find again here the theme of bullying – so important in another Japanese novel I read recently: Confessions, by Kanae Minato.

I’m really looking forward to our Zoom meeting tomorrow with the Virtual Crime Book Club on this book.

The Sword in the Stone

🎧  The Sword in the Stone (The Once and Future King #1), by T. H. White
Children’s Historical fiction
Published in 1938
Narrated by Neville Jason
It counted for The Classics Club

I had never read anything by T. H. White, but was  impressed by all the references to his book The Goshawk in H is For Hawk, by Helen Macdonald. So when I read her book in 2015, I decided to explore more T. H. White, with this famous series of 5 books.

Oh wow, so glad I finally listened to this book. One of the best coming of age stories I have ever read. It has everything: education, good manners, nature, life of animals, dinosaurs, planets, beginning of the world.
Plus lots of humor and hilarious references.
I actually listened to it (thanks to my public library – through Hoopla) with the FA-BU-LOUS narrator Neville Jason. He’s amazing at doing all the different voices, including the various animals, and singing all the melodies and songs!!
It was fun realizing at the very end of the book who the young boy Wart was!





📚 Eventide, by Kent Haruf
Literary fiction
Published in 2004

When I read some of it yesterday, I realized why I’m taking so much time to read this one:
it’s simply because I so enjoy the narrative,
the slow pace,
the characters.
I just don’t want to leave them!
I feel like staying there in Holt, Colorado, with them.

Autour de la lune


📚 Autour de la Lune, by Jules Verne
Published in 1865

Reading it in French with another of my students
It counts for The Classics Club

I read From the Earth to the Moon with a student last month, so we decided to read the sequel, translated in English as Round the Moon, or All Around the Moon.
I’m in the part where they are approaching the Moon, and it’s also getting very technical, like in book 1. There are still hilarious details and reflections on people, based on funny stereotypes, especially on the French and the American.
Sometimes, I’m curious to know more about what we really knew about the moon when Verne wrote the book.

Le Chant du monde


📚 Le Chant du monde, by Jean Giono
Literary fiction
Published in 1934
Was published in English as The Song of the World

Reading it in French with another of my students
It counts for The Classics Club

I read Jean Giono a long long time ago, and possibly not even this one. My student wanted to try another genre, so we decided on this one.
I just started it, and am already haunted by the beauty of the first pages. I know it will probably turn ugly, and there will be much more than the beautiful pastoral setting, but I’m basking in it for now.

“Of Sailor’s twin sons, the elder is dead and the younger is missing. A simple woodsman, Sailor resolves to find the boy, fearing the worst. Soon after he and his friend Antonio set off, they stumble across a blind girl giving birth. This strange circumstance proves typical of their journey into the heart of the forest. Sailor and Antonio discover that, though the lost Twin is alive, he is the target of a manhunt. As Sailor and Antonio attempt to rescue Twin, the adventures unravel at breathtaking speed. The net tightens around the three men until one of them is trapped and killed. And only then does the real action of this remarkable picaresque novel begin. In Giono’s universe, no murder shall go unavenged.
This tale of primitive love and vendetta is cast in a timeless landscape of rive, mountain and forest. With its taut, fast-paced story and pastoral setting, The Song of the World is another triumph from the celebrated author of the Man who Planted Trees.”

The Witch in the Wood

🎧  The Witch in the Wood (The Once and Future King #2), by T. H. White
Children’s Historical fiction
Published in 1939
It counts for The Classics Club

I just listened to Book 1 in the series, as mentioned above, so I have decided to listen to the four books in a row.

This one begins with many more details about English history. 
It’s not as rich for now as book 1, as for the ambiance and group of people and creatures. We are no longer in the magical world of childhood, Wart has grown up a bit and has some responsibilities.
In fact, there are even tough and dramatic scenes, especially with what happens to the unicorn, that shows that yes, childhood is over.


Murder in the Crooked House

📚  Murder in the Crooked House (Kiyoshi Mitarai #2), by Soji Shimada
Japanese mystery
Published in 1982
Translated by Louise Heal Kawai (2019)

This is the sequel to The Tokyo Zodiac Murders, presented last week.

“The Crooked House sits on a snowbound cliff at the remote northern tip of Japan. A curious place to build a house, but even more curious is the house itself – a maze of sloping floors and strange staircases, full of bloodcurdling masks and uncanny dolls. When a guest is found murdered in seemingly impossible circumstances, the police are called. But they are unable to solve the puzzle, and more bizarre deaths follow.
Enter Kiyoshi Mitarai, the renowned sleuth. Surely if anyone can crack these cryptic murders it is him. But you have all the clues too – can you solve the mystery of the murders in The Crooked House first?”


No One Round Here Reads Tolstoy

📚 No One Round Here Reads Tolstoy, by Mark Hodkinson
Nonfiction / Book about books
Published on 2/3/2022

“Mark Hodkinson grew up among dark satanic mills in a house with just one book: Folklore, Myths and Legends of Britain. His dad kept it on top of a wardrobe with other items of great worth – wedding photographs and Mark’s National Cycling Proficiency certificate. If Mark wanted to read it, he was warned not to crease the pages or slam shut the covers.
Fast forward to today, and Mark still lives in Rochdale snugly ensconced (or is that buried?) in a ‘book cave’ surrounded by 3,500 titles – at the last count. He is an author, journalist and publisher.
So this is his story of growing up a working-class lad during the 1970s and 1980s. It’s about schools (bad), music (good) and the people (some mad, a few sane), and pre-eminently and profoundly the books and authors (some bad, mostly good) that led the way, shaped a life. If only coincidentally, it relates how writing and reading has changed, as the Manor House novel gave way to the kitchen sink drama and working-class writers found the spotlight (if only briefly).
Mark also writes movingly about his troubled grandad who, much the same as books, taught him to wander, and wonder.”





48 thoughts on “Sunday Post #66 – 09/11/2022

  1. I think I would love Malice! And I read the T.H. White books as a kid, quite long ago so I don’t remember them. No One Round Here Reads Tolstoy sounds really good. Have fun reading this week😁


  2. I’ve read a number of Japanese mystery authors, including those you mentioned. I really enjoy the way they re-create the English mystery genre, especially the way they loved locked room mysteries. I do like some of them better than others, though.

    best… mae at


    • Bu their perspective is different, they tend to focus more on how the detective figures it out. Sometimes (in older classic ones), they even tell you right who the killer is. This is less interesting for them


  3. Wow! You have finished your third Classics Club list! Congratulations, Emma! I’m not positive, but I think you may be the first person to do so.

    I am glad to see how much you enjoyed Sword in the Stone. It sounds like the reader is fantastic. I bet they looked hard to find just the right reader for this great book.

    I’m intrigued about No One Around Here Reads Tolstoy. It’s a book I’m interested in reading, too.


    • No, I think I have read about other members who have read 3 lists. But maybe by number of books? 50+50+137
      Though my problem is I’m far from having reviewed them all.
      Yes Neville Jason is an amazing narrator, I can’t believe I didn’t know him before. He’s the one narrating the whole In Search of Lost Time in English!


  4. Hi there Emma!

    I haven’t read any of these no.. BUT I have made a note to spend more time on my Classics Club and I might change my signup sheet. A friend and myself really want to travel to England somewhere next year and feel I need to brush up on my history. I’ve read a few, but think a clever timeline might help me a lot!

    The Sword in the Stone and The Witch in the Woods draws my attention. I will take a look.

    Have a wonderful week ahead and happy reading.

    Elza Reads


    • Yes, that’s how it works, You make a list with titles of your choice, and you have 5 years to read it.
      And a few times a year, you make a sub list of 20 titles, they pick a random number, and you have 3 months to read the book that had that number on your personal list. Lots of fun and discovering so many classics you have never heard of


  5. You deserve an award for reading all of those classics so quickly! All of these books are new to me. Murder in a Crooked House sounds really interesting and I don’t think that I have ever read a Japanese mystery. Happy reading!


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