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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:
- Monday: 2022 December wrap-up
- Tuesday: The top 9 books to read in January 2023
- Wednesday: Year of reading 2022 – My top 22 books
- Thursday: Year of reading 2022 – Stats
- Friday: Year of reading 2022 – part 3, fun with titles
- Saturday: Six degrees of separation: from beach reading to beach walking
Here are the book I finished this past week:
JUST READ/LISTENED TO 🎧
🎧 The Red Thumb Mark
(Dr. Thorndyke Mysteries #1),
by R. Austin Freeman
Published in 1907
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.
CURRENTLY READING/LISTENING TO
📚 Death of a Red Heroine
(Inspector Chen Cao #1),
by Qiu Xialong
First published in 2000 (in English)
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,
by Robert Merle
French historical fiction
Published in 1949
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,
by Vincent Maillard
Published in 2021
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 (N.E.O. #3), by Michel Bussi
French YA fantasy
Published on June 16, 2022
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.
BOOK UP NEXT
📚 Hell Screen,
by Ryunosuke Akutagawa
Japanese short story
Published in 1918
Not sure yet of the translator
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.
LAST BOOK ADDED TO MY GOODREADS TBR
Wine and War: The French, the Nazis, and the Battle for France’s Greatest Treasure,
by Don and Petie Kladstrup
Nonfiction, history, wine, France, WWII
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.”
📚 MAILBOX MONDAY: NO BOOK RECEIVED THIS PAST WEEK 📚
Please share what books you just received at Mailbox Monday
You always have such a wide variety of books😁 I hope your week is a good one!
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.
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I’m fortunate to have some really advanced French students, so it makes for great reading buddies.
Lots of French contemporary authors are very easy to read. Plus if you read them on an ereader, it’s so easy to install a bilingual dictionory on your device, and check a word when you are not sure by just clicking on it, plus doing this will help you grow your vocabulary tremendously!
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Great idea! Thank you, Emma.
You are welcome
Wine and War sound interesting. I did my whole research paper for my horticulture degree on viniculture and the history of vineyard in Virginia.
Oh wow, that sounds like a fascinating paper!
Wine and War sounds intriguing, I see my library has an audio copy I can borrow.
Oh thanks for mentioning the audio, I didn’t think of it! And my library also offers it rhough Hoopla, so I put myself a reminder to listen to it, thanks!
I like the cover of the book by Bussi, very interesting! I hope you have a great week! https://cindysbookcorner.blogspot.com/2023/01/stacking-shelves-55-sunday-post-52.html
You are right, neat cover!
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
Yes, really cool cover.
Happy New Year to you too!
All your books are new to me, I hope you enjoy all of them!
Yes I tend to read off the beaten tracks, lol
I should do more of that, I tend to read the same genres every year.
Well, if you need recommendations for something different, you know where to ask, lol
Busi’s”Be Lâches Pas Ma Main” left a deep impression on me.
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