Sunday Post #21 – 1/19/2020

Sunday Post

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by
Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer.
It’s a chance to share news.
A post to recap the past week on your blog,
showcase books and things we have received.
Share news about what is coming up
on your blog
for the week ahead.
See rules here: Sunday Post Meme

*** 

This post also counts for
Mailbox Monday2 It's Monday! What Are You Reading2 WWW Wednesdays 2

Mailbox Monday,
It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?
and WWW Wednesdays

Click on book covers to access synopsis or review

JUST READ

Goddess Power  Sanshiro

Goddess Power: review live on 1/20
Sanshiro was reviewed here

CURRENTLY READING

Theological Territories  And Then

Theological Territories: A David Bentley Hart Digest
Received for review through Edelweiss
Release date April 15
Orthodox theology book on Edelweiss.  By an author I like, but this collection of 26 essays is not so much about Orthodoxy so far.
See details below in the Book Journal section.

And Then, by Natsume Soseki (1909)
Reading for the  Japanese Literature Challenge 13 and for The Classics Club.
This is the 2nd volume in the trilogy I started, with Sanshiro.
“One of the central masterpieces of 20th-century Japanese literature, The Gate describes the everyday world of the humble clerk Sosuke and his wife Oyone, living in quiet obscurity in a house at the bottom of a cliff. Seemingly cursed with the inability to have children, the couple find themselves having to take responsibility for Sosuke’s younger brother Koroku. Oyone’s health begins to fail, and news that her estranged ex-husband will be visiting nearby finally promotes a sense of crisis in Sosuke and forces him temporarily to quit his life of quiet domesticity. Highly prized for the beauty of its description of the understated love between Sosuke and Oyone, the novel has nevertheless remained in many ways mysterious. An analysis of the novel by Damian Flanagan casts fresh insights into its complex symbolism and ideas, establishing The Gate as one of the most profound works of the modern age. ”

Audio book

The Haunted Bookshop

The Haunted Bookshop (1918), by Christopher Morley
Sequel to the delightful classic book on books: Parnassus on Wheels
Am listening to it for The Classics Club.
“The new life the itinerant bookman delivers to Helen McGill, the narrator of Parnassus on Wheels, provides the romantic comedy that drives the novel. Published in 1917, Morley’s first love letter to the traffic in books remains a transporting entertainment. Its sequel, The Haunted Bookshop, finds Mifflin and McGill, now married, ensconced in Brooklyn. The novel’s rollicking plot provides ample doses of diversion, while allowing more room for Mifflin (and Morley) to expound on the intricacy of the bookseller’s art.”

BOOK UP NEXT

The Gate

Last book in the trilogy after Sanshiro and And Then.
Will be reading for Japanese Literature Challenge 13 and The Classics Club.

“One of the central masterpieces of 20th-century Japanese literature, The Gate describes the everyday world of the humble clerk Sosuke and his wife Oyone, living in quiet obscurity in a house at the bottom of a cliff. Seemingly cursed with the inability to have children, the couple find themselves having to take responsibility for Sosuke’s younger brother Koroku. Oyone’s health begins to fail, and news that her estranged ex-husband will be visiting nearby finally promotes a sense of crisis in Sosuke and forces him temporarily to quit his life of quiet domesticity. Highly prized for the beauty of its description of the understated love between Sosuke and Oyone, the novel has nevertheless remained in many ways mysterious. An analysis of the novel by Damian Flanagan casts fresh insights into its complex symbolism and ideas, establishing The Gate as one of the most profound works of the modern age. ”

LAST 2 BOOKS ADDED TO MY GOODREADS TBR

  Lanark  The Good Soldier

Lanark
Published in 1981
Found on a book blog
“This work, originally published in 1981, has been hailed as the most influential Scottish novel of the second half of the 20th century. Its playful narrative techniques convey a profound message, personal and political, about humankind’s inability to love and yet our compulsion to go on trying.”

The Good Soldier
1915
Recommended by one of my French students
“”A Tale of Passion,” as its subtitle declares, The Good Soldier relates the complex social and sexual relationships between two couples, one English, one American, and the growing awareness by the American narrator John Dowell of the intrigues and passions behind their orderly Edwardian facade. It is the attitude of Dowell, his puzzlement, his uncertainty, and the seemingly haphazard manner of his narration that make the book so powerful and mysterious. Despite its catalogue of death, insanity, and despair, the novel has many comic moments, and has inspired the work of several distinguished writers, including Graham Greene.”

BOOKS RECEIVED THIS PAST WEEK

 Goddess Power   Logic Puzzles  

Goddess Power
Release day 2/4/20, received for review
Received, read, and reviewed in the same week, that’s highly unusual!!
Review live on 1/20

Logic Puzzles for Clever Kids
Release day 2/11/20, received for review

BOOK JOURNAL

1/13
📚 I managed to write 2 reviews, and I finished Sanshiro

1/14
📚 I started reading Goddess Power, and so loving it! As it’s focusing on only 10 goddesses, I was afraid it was going to be very limited, but the author actually manages to expand the focus in each chapter to offer a great overview of the whole of Greek (mostly) mythology.
📚 Am listening to The Haunted Bookshop, the sequel to Parnassus on Wheel, that I enjoyed a lot in December. Though this one starts much more slowly, with some long developments that are not very interesting and beside the plot, I think. However, like in the previous book, you can see the author had fun when he was writing it. Puns, funny remarks on society, etc.

1/15
📚 The Haunted Bookshop: more long passages outside the plot today, BUT they were actually interesting and strong positions against the War (the book was published in 1918). The plot itself is still dragging.
I wrote a review on Minimalism.
📚 I finished Goddess Power (review live on 1/20)
📚 Theological Territories: the second essay is even more difficult. It’s addressing Revelation and Givenness, by Jean-Luc Marion, an author I read decades ago. There’s also a lot about Heidegger. Alas, my fascinating philosophy years are far behind.

1/16
📚 I wrote a happy review on Sanshiro
📚
Didn’t read much tonight, as  went to see Richard III at my public library. Played by an interesting group, The Shakespeare Project of Chicago. The actors are mostly in street clothes, and they have their book, BUT believe me, it works, they are FABULOUS. I saw them play Hamlet last year. In 2020, they will play also Romeo and Juliet, and Measure For Measure.

1/17
📚 The Haunted Bookshop: it’s really not well put together, I think, at least compared to book 1 (Parnassus on Wheels) in this short series. There’s some type of mystery, but with so many digressions and reflections, it’s hardly a thriller.
Today, there were more digressions on peace/war. It made me sad to know that the author’s high hopes for peace alas after WWI , would soon be forgotten with WWII. And he died in 1957, so he witnessed another war.
There were cool passages on books. I especially like these two:
“I wish there could be an international peace conference of booksellers, for (you will smile at this) my own conviction is that the future happiness of the world depends in no small measure on them and on the librarians.”
“Long ago I fell back on books as the only permanent consolers. They are the one stainless and unimpeachable achievement of the human race. It saddens me to think that I shall have to die with thousands of books unread that would have given me noble and unblemished happiness. I will tell you a secret. I have never read King Lear, and have purposely refrained from doing so. If I were ever very ill I would only need to say to myself “You can’t die yet, you haven’t read Lear.” That would bring me round, I know it would.”
📚 I spent some time writing extensive notes for the essays I have already read in Theological Territories, to help with my final review. Otherwise, I may forget and everything will end in a mush at the end. This is NOT easy reading.

1/18
📚 Delving more in And Then. At first, the style seemed very different from Sanshiro. But now, it’s fun to identify the commonalities between these first two books of the trilogy.

THIS PAST WEEK ON
WORDS AND PEACE
and FRANCE BOOK TOURS

New book tour open for reviews/spotlights: Landing by Moonlight: a Novel of WWII, by Ciji Ware (Romantic thriller/Historical novel). Reserve your spot!

Book of the month giveaway

COMING UP ON WORDS AND PEACE

    Japanese Literature 13

January-March: Japanese Literature Challenge 13

  • 1/20: Book review: Goddess Power
  • 1/21: Top Ten Tuesday on most recent additions to my TBR
  • 1/22: Spotlight and giveaway on Permanent Weight Loss
  • 1/23: Book review: The Healthy Breakfast Cookbook
  • 1/24: Book review: Logic Puzzles For Clever Kids

HAVE YOU READ ANY OF THESE?
HOW WAS YOUR WEEK?

Sunday Post #20 – 1/12/2020

Sunday Post

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by
Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer.
It’s a chance to share news.
A post to recap the past week on your blog,
showcase books and things we have received.
Share news about what is coming up
on your blog
for the week ahead.
See rules here: Sunday Post Meme

*** 

This post also counts for
Mailbox Monday2 It's Monday! What Are You Reading2 WWW Wednesdays 2

Mailbox Monday,
It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?
and WWW Wednesdays

Click on book covers to access synopsis or review

JUST READ

The Book of Tea

The Book of Tea,
by Kakuzo Okakura
Narrated by Mike Rosenlof
Librivox
Originally written in English in 1906
Nonfiction
44 pages / Audio: 2:05 hours
Goodreads

Wow, I’m thrilled to start my Japanese Literature Challenge with this wonderful little classic.
I also listened to it for The Classics Club

I learned a lot about tea, its origin, the three major eras and ways of enjoying it – boiled, whipped, and finally steeped. Only recently have we been steeping it. And did you know it used to be drunk with salt in it?
The book also shows the tea journey from China to Japan and beyond.
But the book is so much more. It’s about Teaism, about its philosophy, its culture, and its association with so many art domains though the great tea masters. Actually originally, it was drunk in monasteries, like a sacrament.
The book also highlights some sad differences between Eastern and Western cultures in our ways of receiving and respecting the world around us, especially in the time the book was written (1906). What would he say now!!
There are some beautiful sentences.
And now I have another author to try as there’s a reference to “Chikamatsu, our Japanese Shakespeare”.
You can read the book for free here.

ADDITION on 1/16.
I was curious, so I read another introduction to the book.  Kakuzo Okakura is a very interesting person, bridging East and West. In the Penguin Classics edition, it is said that it is in this book that “Frank Lloyd Wright first came across the idea of interior space that inspired his own ‘architecture of within'”.
Kakuzo Okakura had also connections with Isabella Gardner.

Eagle Strike,
(Alex Rider #4)
by Anthony Horowitz
2003
YA/Spy thriller
259 pages
Goodreads

I enjoy these thrillers by Anthony Horowitz. Just as smart and suspenseful as his adult books. This time, young Alex is in vacation in France when all hell breaks loose.
Don’t read the Goodreads synopsis, which takes away all the suspense by the way. On the beach, Alex sees a dangerous man who almost killed him in one of his previous adventures. Alex is curious and wonder if they are looking for him. Then, his girlfriend’s house is bombed in front of his eyes, and Alex wants really to know what’s going on, who is after whom, and why. He’s making very dangerous choices to figure it out.
I liked the tough part where he has to survive in a computer game environment, though it was for real, based on the design of a game.
There were some fascinating descriptions of factory and planes – I can’t tell you more, because of spoilers.
It got totally insane near the end, but I guess you need that type of things to keep young boys interested.
Actually, my library has this series in the children department. That might work for book 1 in the series, but I think this is really YA. I was actually debating if I wanted to keep reading (there are 12 total), but then Alex and the reader got very stunning revelations at the very end of the book. It totally changes the perspective of the series, and now I absolutely need to know what’s going to happen next, so I will definitely read volume 5!!
This was a fast read, perfect for bout of books week!!

I also finished Perfect Little Children, by Sophie Hannah.
I’ll post my review on January 15

CURRENTLY READING

Theological Territories Sanshiro

Theological Territories: A David Bentley Hart Digest
Received for review through Edelweiss
Release date April 15
Orthodox theology book on Edelweiss!  By an author I like! It’s actually a collection of 26 essays.
See details below in the Book Journal section.

Sanshiro, by Natsume Soseki (1908)
Reading for the  Japanese Literature Challenge 13 and for The Classics Club (spin).
“Sōseki’s work of gentle humour and doomed innocence depicts twenty-three-year-old Sanshirō, a recent graduate from a provincial college, as he begins university life in the big city of Tokyo. Baffled and excited by the traffic, the academics and – most of all – the women, Sanshirō must find his way amongst the sophisticates that fill his new life. An incisive social and cultural commentary, Sanshirō is also a subtle study of first love, tradition and modernization, and the idealism of youth against the cynicism of middle age.”

Audio book

The Haunted Bookshop

The Haunted Bookshop (1918), by Christopher Morley
I was going to listen to another audiobook, and suddenly I remembered I so enjoyed Parnassus on Wheels recently, that I might as well listen to its sequel right away.

 

BOOK UP NEXT

The Ten loves of Mr Nishino

Received in 2019 through Edelweiss
Will be reading for Japanese Literature Challenge 13

“Minami is the daughter of Mr Nishino’s true love.
Bereaved Shiori is tempted by his unscrupulous advances.
His colleague Manami should know better.
His conquest Reiko treasures her independence above all else.
Friends Tama and Subaru find themselves playing Nishino’s game, but Eriko loves her cat more.
Sayuri is older, Aichan is much younger, and Misono has her own conquests to make.”

LAST 2 BOOKS ADDED TO MY GOODREADS TBR

 Siri who am I  Scorpia

Siri, who am I?
Release date 5/5/2020
It may be out of my comfort zone, but I’m intrigued by the geeky and social media based mystery.
“Memento gets a Millennial makeover by debut author Sam Tschida in this smart and edgy comedy about a Kardashians-obsessed woman who wakes up in an LA hospital with amnesia, a torn party dress, and a broken iPhone and must work backward, using her Instagram account, to piece together her identity, only to discover that her life is a perfect lie.”

Scorpia (Alex Rider #5)
As explained above, at the end of volume 4, Alex Rider receives stunning revelations, and he knows they are connected with something called Scorpia. I absolutely need to know what this is all about!!

NO BOOK RECEIVED THIS PAST WEEK

BOOK JOURNAL

1/5
📚 Wow, am really loving The Book of Tea (1906) (apart from the fact that I’m listening to a free audiobook, and alas this time the Librivox narrator is rather boring), I’m learning all kinds of fascinating information on “tea-ism“, its philosophy, its evolution in history – I had no idea there were three different eras, with different ways to drink it. Originally, it was even drunk with salt!
So proud of me I managed to review 2 books today!

1/6 – #boutofbooks week
📚 Nativity Eve. I was shocked by all I managed to pack today. Thanks to all the latest preparations needed for Church (food, gifts -besides the spiritual preparation!!), I managed to read a lot for Bout of Books 27.
📚 Theological territories: the first essay is more about literary criticism, though there are some theological elements. It’s about Tragedy and more specifically a reaction to Rowan WilliamsThe Tragic Imagination. Alas, I haven’t read this text by Williams, and shame on me, I haven’t read Medea (by Euripides) either (now added to my TBR!!) But I have read and studied closely Antigoneby Sophocles. So it’s hard to follow some arguments. I actually tend to disagree with some I can follow, and I’ll present that in my review.
📚 Eagle Strike: It’s definitely by the great Anthony Horowitz, with the same tension and suspense than his adult books, like for instance The Sentence is Death.
While on vacation on a French beach, the teen Alex recognizes the guy who almost killed him in a previous adventure (this is book 4 of the series, which I’m determined to read completely). As he follows him to see what he is up to now, he witnesses the bombing of his friend’s house, and from there, gets more and more involved and dangerous territories.
📚 Sanshiro: I’m actually still reading the introduction, which is a chronological survey of Soseki’s very depressing life. I had no idea! I keep reading the intro, because I think it will now give me a very different POV on his books.
And I finished listening to The Book of Tea, reviewed above.

1/7 – #boutofbooks week
📚 Nativity, so time in Church again, with such a powerful celebration. I actually love it that my Church follows the Julian calendar (that is, 13 days behind the Gregorian or civil calendar). So December 25 is more family time, with alas no religious element at all. But then, January 7 is really focusing on what happened when God came to live With Us on earth.
📚 With the little time for reading left, because I was so exhausted, I just read from Eagle Strike. Super easy read. I like how Alex has now to go through what’s the 3D reality of a virtual game.
At the beginning of this series, it was pretty mild, but plots have been getting fairly violent. I’m surprised my library has this series in the children section. Should definitely be YA.

1/8 – #boutofbooks week
📚 I keep listening to the Book of Genesis. I’m in chapter 24. Interesting how the format changes the way of reading: when I read it in print, it becomes meditation, prayer, or study. Listening to it makes me more attentive to the literary and story telling aspects.
📚 I finished Eagle Strike, see review above

1/9 – #boutofbooks week
📚 I decided to stop publishing my Read or Skip posts on Saturday for a while. Most of the books I have added on my TBR are unknown to most bloggers, so I’ll find other ideas to clean up as necessary.
📚 I wrote the above review for Eagle Strike

1/10 – #boutofbooks week
📚 With Nativity and its various celebrations, I’m almost as exhausted as after Pascha – sorry, only my Eastern Orthodox friends will understand this!
I was hesitating to participate in #boutofbooks this week, I should have chosen the way of wisdom, lol.
📚 So, I am not reading much (translate: I have to be super super exhausted then!!), BUT I’m thoroughly enjoying Sanshiro.
The ebook I’m reading is The Penguin Classics edition (ISBN13: 9780140455625), which is really cool: besides the very enlightening chronology of Soseki’s life (see above at 1/6), there’s a fantastic introduction by my dear Haruki Murakami. Sublime, a real piece of literary criticism, plus containing elements about Muramaki’s own life, and why this book is one of his favorites.
So far, I really enjoy the writing, with its great flow, nice images. But I’m not sure I like Sanshiro’s character and his lack of determination.

1/11 – #boutofbooks week
📚 So glad I had to do ironing. I finished listening to the Book of Genesis.
And I started The Haunted Bookshop (see above). Loving it! Available here.
We think we recently invented the concept of bibliotherapy. Well, it’s right there in this book written in 1918, even with this name!
It was unreal to hear the author mention The Book of Tea, that I just finished reading myself!!
“People need books, but they don’t know they need them” – Chapter 1

THIS PAST WEEK ON WORDS AND PEACE/FRANCE BOOK TOURS

COMING UP ON WORDS AND PEACE

  Bout of Books 27   Japanese Literature 13

January 6-12 was: Bout of Books 27
1/13: Final Bout of Books recap
and Book review: The Fascinating Animal Book for Kids
1/14: Book review: Essential Keto Bread
1/15: Book review: Perfect Little Chidlren
1/16: Book review: Minimalism Room by Room
1/17: Book review: Breakfast Cookbook

January-March: Japanese Literature Challenge 13

HOW WAS YOUR WEEK?

Bout of Books 27: Day 4 recap

BOUT OF BOOKS 27

Bout of Books 27

#boutofbooks

Click on the logo to join the fun!

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized
by Amanda Shofner and Kelly Rubidoux Apple.
It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 6th
and runs through Sunday, January 12th in whatever time zone you are in.
Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, Twitter chats, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional.
For all Bout of Books 27 information and updates,
be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. 
– From the Bout of Books team

DAY 4 RECAP
Here is what I read on DAY 4:

  1. Audiobook: The Book of Genesis = 10 minutes, equivalent to 2!! pages

Total for Day 4:  2 pages!!
TOTAL so far:  296/575

Who knew this was going to be the most pathetic day!!! I went to a late Christmas party and so had no time at all to read in the evening. And another party tonight, unless snow comes and changes our plans.

I did the Instagram challenge (the other one didn’t inspire me):

AND I did manage to write a short review for Eagle Strike. It will be live on 1/12 in my Sunday Post.

📚📚📚

DAY 3 RECAP
Here is what I read on DAY 3:

  1. Eagle Strike, by Anthony Horowitz = 111 pages – FINISHED
  2. Audiobook: The Book of Genesis = 1H05, equivalent to 18 pages

Total for Day 3:  129 pages
TOTAL so far:  294/575

I also did 2 challenges:

– on Twitter, bookish matchmaking, books I’m looking for
– on Instagram, a winter-themed book from my shelves

I also managed to write 2 reviews:
– For Perfect Little Children: will be live on 1/15.
– For Figure Drawings for Kids: will be live on 1/10

📚📚📚

 

DAY 2 RECAP
Here is what I read on DAY 2:

  1. Eagle Strike, by Anthony Horowitz = 80 pages

Total for Day 2:  80 pages
TOTAL so far:  165/575

I also did 2 challenges:

– on Twitter, my 2020 goal
– on Instagram, my feel-good book

With Church (Nativity celebration) and an evening party, I didn’t have much time, and decided to use the little reading time I had with an easy one, which is YA adventure/mystery.

📚📚📚

DAY 1 RECAP
NB: This is my 14th participation in #boutofbooks

Here is what I read (actually listened to) on DAY 1:

  1. Theological Territories, by David Bentley Hart = 16 pages
  2. Sanshiro, by Natsume Soseki = 4 pages
  3. Eagle Strike, by Anthony Horowitz = 30 pages
  4. Audiobook: The Book of Tea, by Kakuzo Hokakura: 1H40 minutes = 35 pages
    FINISHED

Total for Day 1:  85 pages
TOTAL so far:  85/575

I also did 2 challenges:

– on Twitter, Introduce yourself #insixwords
– on Instagram, currently reading

The Book of TeaAnd I managed to write a short review for The Book of Tea (will be live on 1/12).
So not too bad withe little time I had today.
So glad I had to cook something for Church and wrap gifts for our Nativity celebration this Tuesday – that gave me time to listen to audiobooks!

REST OF THE SCHEDULE

Saturday 1/11
If This, Then That

Sunday 1/12
Stretch Goal

Twitter Chats
(chats last approximately one hour)
TZC = Time Zone Conversion

Saturday: 10am CST (TZC)

Books I’m reading:

  1. Theological Territories, by David Bentley Hart
  2. Sanshiro, by Natsume Soseki
  3. Eagle Strike, by Anthony Horowitz = FINISHED
  4. The Ten Loves of Mr Nishino, by Hiromi Kawakami
  5. Audiobook: The Book of Tea, by Kakuzo Hokakura = FINISHED
  6. Audiobook: The Book of Genesis
  7. Audiobook: The Red House Mystery, by A. A. Milne

Save