Year of reading 2020 part 3

And after my list of 2020 favorites,
as well as my 2020 stats,
here is to a fun wrap up:

Year of reading 2020 part 3

There are a lot of those online, but these are my favorites. The idea is to finish the sentences and answer the questions exclusively with titles I read in 2020.

If you are intrigued by a title, just copy and paste it in the search button, and you will access the review. If nothing shows up, look it up in Goodreads

– When I was younger I was The French Widow
– People might be surprised to discover that I’m The Missing Sister
– I will never be Celle qui pleurait sous l’eau [The girl who was crying under the water]
– At the end of a long day I need (a) Second Sister
– Right now I’m feeling (like) The Girl Behind the Wall
– Someday I want to (have a) Summer of Reckoning
– At a party you’d find me… no ! Don’t Look For Me!
– I’ve never (been) Complètement cramé
– I really don’t enjoy Migrations
– In my next life I want Inhabitation

– If you could go anywhere, where would you go: Au Soleil redouté
– Your favorite form of transportation: Vesper Flights
– Your best friend is La Panthère des neiges [The Snow Leopard]
– You and your friends are The Letter Killers Club
– What’s the weather like: The Inugami Curse
– Favorite time of day: A Thousand Mornings
– If your life was: A Hundred Million Years and a Day
– What is life to you: L’Humanité en péril
– Your fear: Wild Dog
– What is the best advice you have to give: Civil Disobedience [NB: as understood by Thoreau!!]
– Thought for the Day: Or What You Will
– How I would like to die: Upstream
– My soul’s present condition: A Wild Sheep Chase

I began the day with Black Coffee.
On my way to work, I saw Le Chien jaune [The Yellow Dog]
and walked by The Gate,
to avoid The Norwegian Wood,
but I made sure to stop at The Haunted Bookshop.
In the office, my boss said, I Will Judge You by Your Bookshelf 
and sent me to research The Murder on the Links.
At lunch with The One and Only Bob,
I noticed (a) Silver Spoon
under La Tête d’un homme [A Man’s Head],
then went back to my desk (in)  The Readers’ Room.
Later, on the journey home, I bought The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle
because I have Three Hours in Paris.
Then settling down for the evening, I picked up The Book of Tea
and studied The Education of Delhomme
before saying goodnight to La Femme au carnet rouge [The Red Notebook].

I have so much fun with this every year!
Have you tried with the titles of the books you read in 2020?

***

A big Thank You to all of you,
book bloggers
and other readers who subscribed to this blog
through email, bloglovin, wordpress, facebook, twitter,
linkedin, pinterest, instagram, youtube,
thanks for stopping by and leaving comments,
with great reading recommendations!
Thanks again for following this blog!

Happy year of reading 2021 to each of you!

Please leave the link of your post in a comment
if you did some of that fun stuff
with the titles you read yourself in 2020

Year of reading 2020 Part 2: Statistics

After the list of my 2020 favorites, here are my statistics.
Then tomorrow you can see the fun I had with the titles I read in 2020.

Year of reading 2020
Part 2: Statistics

As I wrote yesterday, if I personally didn’t experience a reading block this past year due to Covid-19, as unfortunately several other book bloggers went through, still, these statistics reveal some major new trends in my recent reading habits.

Ok, let’s go into numbers:

My total numbers of books read/listened to is actually the highest ever since I have started tracking it seriously through Goodreads and Google sheets:
76 books reads (90 in 2019), and 47 listened to (28 in 2019) = 123, which is an average of 10.25/month (118 books in 2019, with a monthly average of 9.8).

Books read in 2020:
76
. That’s an average of 7.5/month
Total of 20,317 pages (23,033 in 2019), which is an average of 55 pages/day (63 in 2019).
That’s an average of 267 pages/book (255 in 2019).

So I read far less books and pages (3 thousand less!), but the books I read were slightly bigger than in 2019 – probably because I read less mangas!

Books listened to in 2020:
47
[28 in 2019]. This is an average of 3.9/month (2.3 in 2019)
Total of 16,937 mn (14,323 min in 2019) with an average of 46 mn/day (39 in 2019)
That’s an average of about 6 hours/audiobook. (8 hours/audiobook in 2019).

As you can see, the major difference is an explosion in audiobooks: 67% more than in 2019!
The content is mostly my two audiobooks projects: I meant to reread the whole Bible, and decided to do it as audiobooks. And I’m in the process of listening to the whole Hercule Poirot canon, as I did for Sherlock Holmes.
But more audiobook time means also more cleaning around the house and exercise!

In graphs, this is what it looks like:

2020 average pages_day

So quite erratic!

2020 average minutes_day

It definitely increases with Covid!!
And becomes nice and steady, whereas last year it was very inconsistent.

2020 genre

Nice diversity, with each group more represented.
More mystery, but also 7% more nonfiction than last year.
And historical fiction still decreasing.

2020 format

Less graphic novel than last year.
But 13% more audiobooks!

2020 authors

4% more female authors than last year.
Though male/female doesn’t matter for me,
as long as they know how t write well!

2020 nationality

5 less nationalities than last year,
probably due to the fact that this year, I wasn’t on
the Man Booker International Prize Shadow Panel

2020 languages

5 less nationalities than last year,
due to the same reason as above.

Still, I’m glad that 50% was not originally written in English

In translation: 48 [51 in 2019]:

  • 17 from the Japanese
  • 15 from the Hebrew
  • 5 from the French
  • 4 from the Greek
  • 3 from the Russian
  • 2 from the Chinese
  • 1 from the Spanish
  • 1 from the German

29 in original language: in French (16 in 2019)

Out of a Total of 79 authors (90 in 2020)
34 were new to me (43%. It was 58% in 2018)
It reflects my desire to read more of he authors I love.

Books by the same author: 50 [32 in 2018]
(which goes along with the above number):
11 by Agatha Christie
9 by Georges Simenon
4 by Haruki Murakami
4 by Franck Thilliez
3 by Natsume Soseki
3 by Michel Bussi
and 2 by Hirimu Arakawa, Mary Oliver, Nnedi Okorafor, Katherine Applegate, Antoine Laurain, Sylvain Tesson, Nicolas Beuglet, and Maxiums the Confessor.

Re-Reads:
17 (mostly Bible books).
And I also read twice a book by Michel Bussi (one as audio, and then again in print with one of my students),
and twice a book by Maximus the Confessor, in two different translations.

Oldest: The Book of Judges (8th BC)
Newest: And the Earth Will Sit on the Moon – rescheduled publication for April 6, 2021.

2020 publication year

Wow, only 50% of very recent books. Thanks to my Classics project
If I count Biblical books, I actually read 47 classics,
that is 38% of all my 2019 books

2020 source

Most books bought are part of my EStories audio subscription.
4% less books received for review than last year,
preferring to go with books on my shelf or on my TBR – 
thanks to my public library!
Among the free books are a lot of audio through youtube

33 countries these books led me to (21 last year):
France (34),
Japan (18), Israel (15), England (15), US (12)
Russia (6), Egypt (3)
2 were set in Namibia, Iran, Poland, Italy, Iles Marquises
1 was set in Wales, Peru, Iceland, Spain, Argentina, Turkey, Iraq, Switzerland, Brazil, Antarctica, Ireland, Australia, The Netherlands, Tibet, Germany, Belgium, Lebanon, China, Hong-Kong, and Norway.
Plus Space (2), the digital virtual world, old Mesopotamia, and mythology.

I also visited 7 US States:
Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Virginia

Shortest book: Civil Disobedience, by Thoreau –  33 pages

Longest book: The Mirror and the Light, by Hilary Mantel 757 pages

Shortest audiobook: The Book of Esther – 28 minutes

Longest audiobook: Atomka, by Franck Thilliez – 17H10

Funniest: Complètement cramé, by Gilles Legardinier

Most Unique Book: Binti, by Nnedi Okorafor – a mix of Himba culture and science-fiction!

Most tearjerker: Crenshaw, by Katherine Applegate

Most disappointing: Foundation, by Asimov

Creepy: Atomka, by Franck Thilliez

Eye-opener: L’Humanité en péril, by Fred Vargas – very detailed info on catastrophic results on how we have been treating our planet

Best reading companion: Lessons from Walden, by Bob Pepperman Taylor, on books by Thoreau

Beautiful illustrations: Goddess Power, by Yung In Chae

Biggest discovery: Nnedi Okorafor, Serge Joncour, Jo Walton

Favorite characters of the year:
Alex (Eagle Strike), Maime (Au Soleil redouté), Kate (Three Hours in Paris), François (If You Cross the River), De Marco (No Woods So Dark as These). Andrew (Complètement cramé), Bob (The One and Only Bob), Armand Gamache (All the Devils are Here), and Zyzo (La Chute du soleil de fer).

Classics I finally got to read:
If I count Biblical books, I actually read 47 classics, that is 38% of all my 2019 books
The Book of Tea, by Kakuzo Okakura
The trilogy Sanshiro / And Then / The Gate, by Natsume Soseki
Selected Poems, by Masaoka Shiki
The Haunted Bookshop, by Christopher Morley
Civil Disobedience, by Henry David Thoreau
Foundation, by Isaac Asimov
The Letter Killers Club, by Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky
A Child’s Christmas in Wales
A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens
The first 9 books by Simenon
The first 11 books with Hercule Poirot

Books present for a while on my TBR that I finally got to read (other than the classics just mentioned):
The Ten Loves of Nishino, by Hiromi Kawakami
Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World; A Wild Sheep Chase; The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, by Haruki Murakami
If You Cross the River, by Geneviève Damas
The Vexations, by Caitlin Horrocks
La grande escapade, by Jean-Philippe Blondel
A Very Russian Christmas – a collection of Russian Christmas stories
La Femme au carnet rouge, by Antoine Laurain
L’Énigme de la chambre 622, by Joël Dicker

Which authors new to me in 2020 that I now want to keep reading?
Chan Ho-Kei, Joncour, Andrea, Myamoto, McConaghy. Jo Walton, Geneviève Damas, Stephen Baxter, and Nnedi Okorafor

New Series I want to pursue:
Flood, by Stephen Baxter
N.E.O. by Michel Bussi

Best title:
Killer Come Back to me
Écouter le noir

Longest book title:
Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, by Haruki Murakami

Shortest book title:
Luca, by Franck Thilliez

MORE FUN RECAP ON FRIDAY!

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Sunday Post #32 – 12/6/2020

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

Sunday Salon    Stacking the Shelves  Mailbox Monday2

 It's Monday! What Are You Reading2  IMWAYR  WWW Wednesdays 2

#SundayPost #SundaySalon
#StackingTheShelves #MailboxMonday
#itsmonday #IMWAYR
#WWWWednesday #WWWWednesdays

Click on the logos to join the memes,
and on the book covers to access synopsis or review

I haven’t done a Sunday Post since June, trying to come back.
But things are busy here, with more new French students, and more virtual book tours. I already posted one for January 2021, and will post two more next week!
I also FINALLY created a Patreon page, so you can more easily support Words And Peace and France Book Tours, and receive goodies for it (books for now, merch down the line).

But my reading schedule is going well.

JUST READ

  Ichi-F  To Hold Up the Sky

Murder on the Orient Express   

📚 Ichi-F: A Worker’s Graphic Memoir of the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant, by Kazuto Tatsuta
Published in 2017

I particularly enjoy nonfiction graphic “novels”.
This one by written (text and illustrations) by a manga artist who has also worked at Fukushima. This is not about the 2011 disaster, but about the huge efforts of cleaning up the area.
Ichi-F means 1-F, in other words the Fukushima first nuclear reactor.
The author was amazed by all the wrong rumors about the place, so he set up to show what’s really going on there, with tons of security measures and very careful work.
This is fascinating, with lots of details on the complicated work conditions. For instance, you may need one hour to put on all your protective gear, but if you work in a particularly heavy radiation zone, (some are more or less on the site), you may end up working only thirty minutes a day. Each worker wears a device counting the radiation. They cannot go over a certain limit per day, per month, and per year. So sometimes, you can only work for three months. Hence the slowness of the work and the need for so many workers. Still, the author shows how much has been done within the four years or so he has worked there.
The author only talks about the workers daily life, where they live, what they eat, and talk about.
The book was absolutely fascinating. This is a big book, 561 pages, with a lot to read on each page.

📚 To Hold Up the Sky, by Cixin Liu
Published on October, 20.
Ebook received through Netgalley

I haven’t written my review yet. I’ll just say it’s written by the author of Supernova Era, which I so enjoyed.
So we are staying in Asia, with an awesome collection of Chinese scifi short stories. Great author!

📚 Murder on the Orient Express (Hercule Poirot #10), by Agatha Christie
Published in 1934. Audiobook.
For my project to listen to all of Hercule Poirot. Counts for The Classics Club

According to Goodreads, I had read it in 2012. Then I watched the three movie/TV versions (the BBC one is bar far the best, according to me – who can surpass David Suchet??). So I had actually forgotten I had read it.
The narrator of this one was actually also David Suchet. I realized that even though I knew so many details about the story, I still very much enjoyed it, especially by noticing the little clues here and there. Masterful.

CURRENTLY READING/LISTENING TO

The Vexations Atom[ka]

📚 The Vexations, by Caitlin Horrocks
Published in 2019
Lent by a friend

I know Judy at Keep the Wisdom has really liked it, but I have to say I’m a bit disappointed. I was expecting much more about Erik Satie himself, but it seems the book actually focuses more on his sister. I have other issues with the book, which I will talk to you about next Sunday hopefully.
Bu there ARE some neat passages on Satie’s music and the ambiance of the time.

📚 And in audiobook, Atom[ka], by  Franck Thilliez
Published in 2012
French audiobook

As mentioned above, I just read this book on Fukushima, so staying somewhat in the same field with this amazing thriller around Chernobyl (I think one of the three threads is about that). There are riveting descriptions in a mental hospital, and tons of suspense as usual with Thilliez.
The narrator is spectacular, Michel Raimbault, like for most of the books in this series.

BOOK UP NEXT

The Letter Killers Club

📚The Letter Killers Club (1926), by Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky
Published in 1926.
This is the book I got for Classics Spin #25.
I presented it in my December titles post.

LAST 2 BOOKS ADDED TO MY GOODREADS TBR

  Dojoji Knots and Crosses

📚 Dojoji, by Yukio Mishima
Japanese play, published in 1957
I’m planning to read it in January, for the Japanese Literature Challenge, and for The Classics Club

“Mishima’s play is called Dojoji, and takes place in a secondhand furniture shop. The Dealer has organized a private auction for some very rich customers. He is selling a giant wardrobe, big enough to fit a double bed in. The Dealer explains that the wardrobe is up for auction because it belonged to one of the rich families who “has gone down a bit in the world” since the end of WWII, so they must sell their furniture. The wardrobe is very impressive, and soon the bidding hits three million Yen.
However, just as the bidding reaches a climax, a woman enters the scene, bidding only three thousand Yen for the wardrobe.”

📚 Knos and Crosses, by Ian Rankin
Published in 1987
I have heard about this author twice this past week, so that’s a good sign!

“Detective John Rebus: His city is being terrorized by a baffling series of murders…and he’s tied to a maniac by an invisible knot of blood. Once John Rebus served in Britain’s elite SAS. Now he’s an Edinburgh cop who hides from his memories, misses promotions and ignores a series of crank letters. But as the ghoulish killings mount and the tabloid headlines scream, Rebus cannot stop the feverish shrieks from within his own mind. Because he isn’t just one cop trying to catch a killer, he’s the man who’s got all the pieces to the puzzle…
Knots and Crosses introduces a gifted mystery novelist, a fascinating locale and the most compellingly complex detective hero at work today..”

BOOK RECEIVED THIS PAST WEEK

L'Origine

📚 L’Origine, by Lilianne Milgrom
Published on July 28
Historical novel set in France. Received for France Book Tours

We still have a couple of spots on the tour!!

L’Origine‘ traces the extraordinary, clandestine odyssey of an iconic 19th century painting that shook up the author’s world and continues to scandalize all who set eyes upon it.
Gustave Courbet’s portrait of a woman’s exposed torso and sex – audaciously entitled ‘L’Origine du monde’ (The Origin of the World) – was so shocking it was kept hidden for a century and a half, surviving revolution, Nazi plunder and the foibles of its eccentric owners.
Today it draws millions of visitors to Paris’ Orsay Museum. Lilianne Milgrom brings a fresh, feminine perspective to an iconic work of art created specifically for the male gaze.
L’Origine‘ offers readers more than a riveting romp through history–it also reflects society’s complex attitude towards female nudity.

NB: this is a historical novel, no explicit scenes

BOOK JOURNAL

📚 Wow, I forgot I has been doing this! Will try to restart this. Maybe for my exclusive Newsletter!

THIS PAST WEEK ON
WORDS AND PEACE
MYRTLE SKETE
and FRANCE BOOK TOURS

📚 Book of the month giveaway

COMING UP ON
WORDS AND PEACE
MYRTLE SKETE
FRANCE BOOK TOURS

  • Late reviews?
  • More Orthodox book notes?
  • Two new tours will be posted on Monday and Tuesday

HOW WAS YOUR WEEK?