Sunday Post #73 – 01/08/2023


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2023 is starting very slow, with lots of time at church for our Nativity (yesterday), and more events until Tuesday.
But I did manage to post my usuall annual stats, and even to review the first book I finished.

Posted this week:

Here are the book I finished this past week:


The Red Thumb Mark

🎧 The Red Thumb Mark
(Dr. Thorndyke Mysteries #1),
by R. Austin Freeman
Published in 1907
224 pages
It counts for The Classics Club

This was a satisfying beginning to a new series for me.
I was really looking forward to the medical-legal elements, but they mostly really come near the end.
Even though this is not officially an inverted detective story (as apparently the author is famous for), it was all pretty obvious from the beginning, but the fun was to see how Dr Thorndyke was going to prove the man innocent with his scientific methods.
I listened to the book, and this edition has a long introduction by the editor, who insisted a LOT on the fact that he took out some elements that were too racist.
I’m not too eager on that type of edits, that makes past styles and authors judged according to our current standards, but that was the only audio version I could find, through my library.
The narrator Luke Barton was good at changing his voice for all the characters, including crazy old ladies.
I am planning on listening to volume 2.



Death of a Red Heroine

📚 Death of a Red Heroine
(Inspector Chen Cao #1), 

by Qiu Xialong
Chinese Mystery
First published in 2000 (in English)
482 pages

I had to read a good amount of pages for books I’m reading with French students, so I couldn’t go faster on this one, though it’s really good.
It was chosen for me by my local public library staff, as part of their Winter Reading Challenge.

I like all the historical and political background.

“A young “national model worker,” renowned for her adherence to the principles of the Communist Party, turns up dead in a Shanghai canal. As Inspector Chen Cao of the Shanghai Special Cases Bureau struggles to trace the hidden threads of her past, he finds himself challenging the very political forces that have guided his life since birth. Chen must tiptoe around his superiors if he wants to get to the bottom of this crime, and risk his career—perhaps even his life—to see justice done.”

Week-end à Zuydcoote📚 Week-end à Zuydcoote,
by Robert Merle

French historical fiction
Published in 1949
244 pages
It counts for The Classics Club

My French student F. wanted to try a French historical novel. Among the titles I proposed, she chose this one, set during WWI, in June 1940 at Dunkirk.
It was actually trasnalted into English as Weekend in Dunkirk.

This book is raw, and yet a lot of humor at the same time. It tells the life of a group of French soldiers trapped in the pocket of Dunkirk, for two days, after the Franco-British defeat.
The humor at the beginning makes me fear this is going to get from bad to worse for the four friends…

after the Franco-British defeat.

L'Os de Lebowski📚  L’Os de Lebowski,
by Vincent Maillard
French mystery
Published in 2021
202 pages
Reading with French student S.

S. wanted to read a contemporary French mystery, and in my list, she chose this one.
This is my first book by Maillard. I like the humoristic style, and I’m at the point where the plot starts getting intriguing!

The book hasn’t been translated into English.
It’s narrated in the first person by Jim Carlos, a gardener working at Prés Poleux, owned by a rich family.
Jim has a very lazy dog (Lebowski), who spends its time sleeping, but one day it manages to dig, and finds a human bone (hence the title: Lebowski’s bone).
So, whose bone is it? What happened to that person?
Why is the bone on this property?
And then, Jim disappears…!

L'empire de la mort

🎧 L’Empire de la mort (N.E.O. #3), by Michel Bussi
French YA fantasy
Published on June 16, 2022
640 pages

I really enjoyed the first two volumes in this series,
so it’s good to go back to these characters.

It is set in post-apocalytic time in and around Paris and Versailles, with different groups of young people who survived a weird cloud that may have killed all adults.



Hell Screen📚 Hell Screen,
by Ryunosuke Akutagawa
Japanese short story
Published in 1918
Not sure yet of the translator
58 pages
It counts for the Japanese Literature Challenge
and The Classics Club

I have read several short stories
by this author,
but not this one yet.
I can’t remember why I put it on my TBR,
but I want to keep the surprise right now,
so am not looking at the synopsis.
I’ll tell you more about it later.


Wine and War


📚  Wine and War: The French, the Nazis, and the Battle for France’s Greatest Treasure,
Don and Petie Kladstrup
Nonfiction, history, wine, France, WWII
290 pages
Published in 2001

“The remarkable untold story of France’s courageous, clever vinters who protected and rescued the country’s most treasured commodity from German plunder during World War II.
In 1940, France fell to the Nazis and almost immediately the German army began a campaign of pillaging one of the assets the French hold most dear: their wine. Like others in the French Resistance, winemakers mobilized to oppose their occupiers, but the tale of their extraordinary efforts has remained largely unknown-until now. This is the thrilling and harrowing story of the French wine producers who undertook ingenious, daring measures to save their cherished crops and bottles as the Germans closed in on them. Wine and War illuminates a compelling, little-known chapter of history, and stands as a tribute to extraordinary individuals who waged a battle that, in a very real way, saved the spirit of France.”



Please share what books you just received at Mailbox Monday




20 thoughts on “Sunday Post #73 – 01/08/2023

  1. I think it would be so fun to read with your French students. It gives you an authentic reason to speak in French. I would have to read the French equivalent of Dr. Seuss, I’m afraid.

    I will look for Wine and War. I bet my sister would like to read that, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Happy new Year!

    I love the architectural style of the house on the cover of the Mailiard book. Although I don’t speak French so my reading it would be a tough one lol


  3. Pingback: 2023: January wrap-up | Words And Peace

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