The top 8 books to read in September 2020

Here are

The top 8 books
I plan to read in September 2020

Click on the covers to know more

CURRENTLY READING

The French Widow  The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

 Le Livre de Perle L'énigme de la chambre 622

📚 The French Widow (Hugo Marston #9) (September 15, 2020), by Mark Pryor
Received for review

I have really enjoyed previous books by Mark Pryor, see for instance my review of The Sorbonne Affair, so I accepted this one for review.”

“A young American woman is attacked at an historic Paris chateau and four paintings are stolen the same night, drawing Hugo Marston into a case where everyone seems like a suspect. To solve this mystery Hugo must crack the secrets of the icy and arrogant Lambourd family, who seem more interested in protecting their good name than future victims. Just as Hugo thinks he’s close, some of the paintings mysteriously reappear, at the very same time that one of his suspects goes missing.”

📚 The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle (1994), by Haruki Murakami
Reading with the Haruki Murakami Online Book Club (on Discord)

“Japan’s most highly regarded novelist now vaults into the first ranks of international fiction writers with this heroically imaginative novel, which is at once a detective story, an account of a disintegrating marriage, and an excavation of the buried secrets of World War II.
In a Tokyo suburb a young man named Toru Okada searches for his wife’s missing cat. Soon he finds himself looking for his wife as well in a netherworld that lies beneath the placid surface of Tokyo. As these searches intersect, Okada encounters a bizarre group of allies and antagonists: a psychic prostitute; a malevolent yet mediagenic politician; a cheerfully morbid sixteen-year-old-girl; and an aging war veteran who has been permanently changed by the hideous things he witnessed during Japan’s forgotten campaign in Manchuria.”

📚 Le Livre de Perle (2014), by Timothée de Tombelle
Reading with another of my French students.

YA, fantasy, and historical fiction. Yes, all of that together!
This author is very well know in France.
It’s very beautifully written.

📚 L’Énigme de la chambre 622 (2014), by Joël Dicker
Reading in French with the French Book Club (on Discord) – let me know if you want to join. Besides me, the participants are French second language, we do’t correct the mistakes, we just enjoy reading and sharing in French.
The book has been translated in several languages, but not yet in English, I think.

Dicker is the author of The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair.

“Une nuit de décembre, un meurtre a lieu au Palace de Verbier, dans les Alpes suisses. L’enquête de police n’aboutira jamais.
Des années plus tard, au début de l’été 2018, lorsqu’un écrivain se rend dans ce même hôtel pour y passer des vacances, il est loin d’imaginer qu’il va se retrouver plongé dans cette affaire.
Que s’est-il passé dans la chambre 622 du Palace de Verbier?”

 

READING NEXT

  The Readers' Room The Sleepwalkers  

📚The Readers’ Room, by Antoine Laurain
To be published on September 22, 2020 by Gallic Books
Received for review.

I really enjoy Antoine Laurain’s books, such as Vintage 1954, so I’m thrilled I received it for review.

“When the manuscript of a debut crime novel arrives at a Parisian publishing house, everyone in the readers’ room is convinced it’s something special. And the committee for France’s highest literary honour, the Prix Goncourt, agrees.
But when the shortlist is announced, there’s a problem for editor Violaine Lepage: she has no idea of the author’s identity. As the police begin to investigate a series of murders strangely reminiscent of those recounted in the book, Violaine is not the only one looking for answers. And, suffering memory blanks following an aeroplane accident, she’s beginning to wonder what role she might play in the story…
Antoine Laurain, bestselling author of The Red Notebook, combines intrigue and charm in this dazzling novel of mystery, love and the power of books.”

📚 The Sleepwalkers, by Hermann Broch (1932)
This is the book I got for the last Classics Spin.
I know I will not have time to finish it, but I hope to begin it at least.
Details on the link

CURRENT AND NEXT AUDIOBOOKS

  Pandemia  Vesper Flights

📚 Pandemia, by Franck Thilliez (2015)
This French author knows how to write thrillers! There are some pretty horrific details at times, but man, this guy knows how to write!!
I decided to read this one, as the details are so so close to what we have been going through with Covid-169, yet he write it 5 years ago!!

Julie disappeared when she was 17.
Twelve years later, her dad, a cop who investigated a lot to find her, wakes up in a hotel room, not remembering anything from the past 12 years, and with ID papers bearing another person’s name. Why? What happened? Who is he? Where’s Julie?
This plot is unbelievable, so clever, with books within the book.

📚 Vesper Flights, by Helen Macdonald (August 27 by Vintage)
Ebook received for review through Netgalley
And I just received it in audio through Libro.fm!!
If you have a blog and love audiobooks, you should check that link to their Influence Program. They have amazing titles this month!

I actually listened to her previous book, H is For Hawk, she’s a great narrator, so I’m really excited about this one.

“From the internationally acclaimed author of H is for Hawk comes Vesper Flights, a transcendent collection of essays about the human relationship to the natural world. In Vesper Flights Helen Macdonald brings together a collection of her best loved pieces, along with new essays on topics and stories ranging from nostalgia and science fiction to the true account of a refugee’s flight to the UK. Her pieces ranges from accounts of swan upping on the Thames to watching tens of thousands of cranes in Hungary to seeking the last golden orioles in Suffolk’s poplar forests. She writes about wild boar, swifts, mushroom hunting, migraines, the strangeness of birds’ nests, what we do when we watch wildlife and why.
This is a book about observation, fascination, time, memory, love and loss and how we make the world around us, by one of this century’s most important and insightful nature writers.”

CURRENT GIVEAWAYS

Listed on the homepage 

List of books I can swap with yours

Review copies (historical novel and horror) available at France Book Tours
And another one will be posted today or tomorrow,
in Middle Grade Historical fiction!

PLANS FOR SEPTEMBER

📚 Now the big news for September 29 is my 10th blogiversary!!!
I want to do something special, but don’t know yet exactly what, so come back on September 4 to help me plan this big event!

Eiffel Tower Orange

HAVE YOU READ
OR ARE YOU PLANNING TO READ
ANY OF THESE?
WHAT ARE YOUR READING PLANS FOR SEPTEMBER?

Save

The top 8 books to read in August 2020

Here are

The top 8 books
I plan to read in August 2020

Click on the covers to know more

CURRENTLY READING

The Inugami Curse

 Le Livre de Perle       Psalm 118 

📚 The Inugami Curse (August 25, 2020 – first published in 1972), by Seishi Yokomizo
Received for review

A fiendish classic murder mystery, from one of Japan’s greatest crime writers.
In 1940s Japan, the wealthy head of the Inugami Clan dies, and his family eagerly await the reading of the will. But no sooner are its strange details revealed than a series of bizarre, gruesome murders begins. Detective Kindaichi must unravel the clan’s terrible secrets of forbidden liaisons, monstrous cruelty, and hidden identities to find the murderer, and lift the curse wreaking its bloody revenge on the Inugamis.
The Inugami Curse is a fiendish, intricately plotted classic mystery from a giant of Japanese crime writing, starring the legendary detective Kosuke Kindaichi.

📚 Le Livre de Perle (2014), by Timothée de Tombelle
Reading with another of my French students.

I rarely read YA and fantasy, but I’ll do almost anything to adjust to the interest of my students, so here I am in a new adventure.
This author is very well know in France for these genres.
Its very beautifully written, fantasy actually combined with a historical novel.

📚 Psalm 118: A Commentary by Theophan the Recluse (1815-1894)
Psalm 118 is my favorite of all psalms, with its fascinating structure. This commentary is so rich! I only read a bit every day.

READING NEXT

Killer Come Back to Me Vesper Flights

Don't Look for Me

📚 Killer, Come Back to Me: The Crime Stories of Ray Bradbury
To be published on August 18th 2020 by Penguin Random House
Ebook received for review through Edelweiss”

I had no idea he wrote crime stories, so it will be fun to discover (and will count for The Classics Club). Don’t you love the cover?

“Celebrating Ray Bradbury’s centennial, a collection of his finest crime stories — tales as strange and wonderful as his signature fantasy.”

📚 Vesper Flights, by Helen Macdonald
To be published on August 27 by Vintage
Ebook received for review through Netgalley

I rarely read essays, but I’m very much interested in the topic and I really enjoyed her previous book, H is For Hawk

“From the internationally acclaimed author of H is for Hawk comes Vesper Flights, a transcendent collection of essays about the human relationship to the natural world. In Vesper Flights Helen Macdonald brings together a collection of her best loved pieces, along with new essays on topics and stories ranging from nostalgia and science fiction to the true account of a refugee’s flight to the UK. Her pieces ranges from accounts of swan upping on the Thames to watching tens of thousands of cranes in Hungary to seeking the last golden orioles in Suffolk’s poplar forests. She writes about wild boar, swifts, mushroom hunting, migraines, the strangeness of birds’ nests, what we do when we watch wildlife and why.
This is a book about observation, fascination, time, memory, love and loss and how we make the world around us, by one of this century’s most important and insightful nature writers.”

📚 Don’t Look For Me, by Wendy Walker
To be published on September 15, by St. Martin’s Press
Book received for review for Criminal Element

I have really enjoyed the author’s three previous books, All Is Not Forgotten, Emma in the Night, and The Night Before, so this is a must.

“The greatest risk isn’t running away.
It’s running out of time.
The car abandoned miles from home.
The note found at a nearby hotel.
The shattered family that couldn’t be put back together.
They called it a “walk away.”
It happens all the time.
Women disappear, desperate to leave their lives behind and start over.
But is that what really happened to Molly Clarke?”

CURRENT AND NEXT AUDIOBOOKS

Il était deux fois The Big Four

📚 Il était deux fois, by Franck Thilliez (2020)
I have already listened to two other books by this famous French author of thrillers. There are some pretty horrific details at times, but man, this guy knows how to write a thriller!!

Julie disappeared when she was 17.
Twelve years later, her dad, a cop who investigated a lot to find her, wakes up in a hotel room, not remembering anything from the past 12 years, and with ID papers bearing another person’s name. Why? What happened? Who is he? Where’s Julie?
This plot is unbelievable, so clever, with books within the book.

📚 The Big Four, by Agatha Christie (1927) Hercule Poirot #4
For my project to listen to all of Hercule Poirot’s novels and stories, in chronological order, to honor the 100th anniversary of his first appearance.

“Framed in the doorway of Poirot’s bedroom stood an uninvited guest, coated from head to foot in dust. The man’s gaunt face stared for a moment, then he swayed and fell. Who was he? Was he suffering from shock or just exhaustion? Above all, what was the significance of the figure 4, scribbled over and over again on a sheet of paper? Poirot finds himself plunged into a world of international intrigue, risking his life to uncover the truth about ‘Number Four’.”

CURRENT GIVEAWAYS

Listed on the homepage 

List of books I can swap with yours

Review copies (historical novel and horror) available at France Book Tours

PLANS FOR AUGUST

📚 20 Books of Summer 2020
I have already read 21/20!

📚 Bout of Books
Aug 17-23.
Though it has a different format this year, with reading sprints replacing the daily challenges, so I doubt it’s going to work with me with my work schedule.

📚 Classics Club Spin #24
I will post my list on August 6, and on August 10, you will know which book I got. I will have until end of September to read it.

📚 Review several books received through The Callisto Publisher’s Club. I still have several  books behind

📚 I have a few reviews to catch up with, and mostly, I’d like to post more notes from the last theological book I read, and from the one I am currently reading.

📚 Do more Tweeter/Periscope short videos for my daily reading  journal

📚 Update my Links page!

Eiffel Tower Orange

HAVE YOU READ
OR ARE YOU PLANNING TO READ
ANY OF THESE?
WHAT ARE YOUR READING PLANS FOR AUGUS?

Save

Sunday Post #30 – 4/26/2020

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

Hmm, it’s been a month since my last Sunday Post.
I hope you are all well.
I’m good. My usual life style being usually on the quiet side, the present situation hasn’t really changed much for me, except ordering food for delivery and the one major thing: not being able to go to church. Thanks to the Internet, we have been praying with the monks of Holy Cross Monastery in West Virginia, as we have live stream videos of their prayer services and Divine Liturgy. So Holy Week and Easter (for us Orthodox Christians on April 19) were actually extremely prayerful.

One more change actually: we have already been having our monthly book club virtually twice. I like to use Google Meet: you generate a link that people just have to click on and it opens in their browser. You can even join the audio conversation with a regular phone number and PIN to join. Nothing to download.

My absence from blogging is only indirectly related to the Covid-19: I have right now more French classes to teach (I have been teaching one on one through Skype through 12 years), with a few students preparing very demanding exams (AP and IB) that require a lot of preparation.
So I got very late on my reading (I can only read in the evening, and I’m sometimes too exhausted after my classes) and reviewing. I’m slowly catching up with that. I still need to go through a few hundreds emails before starting visiting more of your book blogs again.

JUST READ

  Wild Dog La nuit du carrefour

📚 Wild Dog, by Serge Joncour
Published on 4/2/2020
5
stars. My review is here

📚 La nuit du carrefour, by Georges Simenon
(Maigret #7) (The Night at the Crossroads)
Read with one of my French students. Counts for The Classics Club

I’m more and more enjoying this Maigret series.
Simenon is brilliant at the evocation of a place and time period, with many passages comparable to a camera zoom, and lots of fascinating details making the events so real. He focuses often on the weather. His characters are so true to life.
The body of a diamond merchant was found in Andersen’s garage. But even after 17 hours of interrogation, Maigret didn’t get any confession from this refined character. So he has to broaden his investigation and look more closely at this intriguing group of three houses set at a crossroad.
The plot was very satisfying and the answer brilliant and original. I’m actually not sure if this was the first time thieves had that type of idea, but a quick look at news made me realize that maybe thanks to Simenon, the idea has been adopted by many since then!
The group of characters involved was quite unique!
If you need a quick and great classic mystery, try this one. You don’t need to have read the first ones in the series.

CURRENTLY READING/LISTENING TO

Lessons From Walden The Mirror and the Light

Three Hours in Paris

📚 Lessons from Walden: Thoreau and the Crisis of American Democracy, by Bob
Expected publication: March 30th 2020 by Pepperman Taylor
Received for review through Edelweiss Plus.

Slowly but surely, still reading this one.

Throughout this original and passionate book, Bob Pepperman Taylor presents a wide-ranging inquiry into the nature and implications of Henry David Thoreau’s thought in Walden and Civil Disobedience.
As Taylor says in his introduction, ” Walden is a central American text for addressing two of the central crises of our time: the increasingly alarming threats we now face to democratic norms, practices, and political institutions, and the perhaps even more alarming environmental dangers confronting us.”
Taylor pursues this inquiry in three chapters, each focusing on a single theme: chapter 1 examines simplicity and the ethics of “voluntary poverty,” chapter 2 looks at civil disobedience and the role of “conscience” in democratic politics, and chapter 3 concentrates on what “nature” means to us today and whether we can truly “learn from nature”–and if so, what does it teach?
Taylor considers Thoreau’s philosophy, and the philosophical problems he raises, from the perspective of a wide range of thinkers and commentators drawn from history, philosophy, the social sciences, and popular media, breathing new life into Walden and asking how it is alive for us today
.”

📚 The Mirror and the Light, by Hilary Mantel.
Finally, third book on Cromwell. The beginning is brilliant.
I’m around age 300, where things are slowly (but surely, we already know) shifting for Crum’.

📚 I recently listened to the excellent latest mystery by Michel Bussi, Au Soleil Redouté. I’m currently reading it now, with one my French students.

📚 As for spiritual books, I’m currently reading Maximus the Confessor’s commentary on the Divine Liturgy. I’m actually reading two different translations of it at the same time. A recent one, and an older one that actually makes things easier to understand!

📚 And in audiobook, I chose a free book at Libro.fm:
Three Hours in Paris, by Cara Black
I have read and enjoyed several mysteries by Cara Black, all set in a different neighborhood of Paris. So I saw this one among the free titles of the month and didn’t even take time to look what this was about.
It’s actually a historical mystery, set during WWII, a topic I usually try to avoid these days. So I was first disappointed it was not a regular Aimée Leduc mystery, but actually it’s very good and I’m enjoying it.

BOOK UP NEXT

A Hundred Million Years and a Day

📚 A Hundred Million Years and a Day, by Jean-Baptiste Andrea, Sam Taylor (Translator)
To be published on 6/16, by Gallic Books
Received for review

‘On the mountain, the only monsters are the ones you take with you.’
Summer 1954. Stan has been hunting for fossils since the age of six. Now, having made a career out of studying the remains of tiny lifeforms, he hears a story he cannot forget: the skeleton of a huge creature, a veritable dragon, lies deep in an Alpine glacier. And he is determined to find it.
Leaving his life in Paris behind, Stan sets out in pursuit of a legend. But he is no mountaineer, and to attempt his dangerous expedition he must call on loyal friend and colleague Umberto, who arrives with an eccentric young assistant, and expert guide Gio. Time is short: the four men must descend before the weather turns. Bonds are forged and tested as the hazardous quest for the earth’s lost creatures becomes a journey into Stan’s own past
.”

LAST 2 BOOKS ADDED TO MY GOODREADS TBR

In Praise of Shadows Replay

📚 In praise of Shadows, by Jun’ichiro Tanizaki
Published in 1933

“An essay on aesthetics by the Japanese novelist, this book explores architecture, jade, food, and even toilets, combining an acute sense of the use of space in buildings. The book also includes descriptions of laquerware under candlelight, and women in the darkness of the house of pleasure.

📚 Replay, by Ken Grimwood
Published in 1987

“Jeff Winston was 43 and trapped in a tepid marriage and a dead-end job, waiting for that time when he could be truly happy, when he died.
And when he woke and he was 18 again, with all his memories of the next 25 years intact. He could live his life again, avoiding the mistakes, making money from his knowledge of the future, seeking happiness.
Until he dies at 43 and wakes up back in college again…”

BOOK RECEIVED THIS PAST WEEK

Zoo animals

📚 Zoo Animals: A Search and Find Book for Kids
Expected publication: ? May, by Rockridge Press
Received for review through Callisto Publisher’s Club

“Get everything you could want out of search and find books for kids. Not only is Zoo Animals bursting with search and finds―each with 10 different things to discover―it’s also filled with fun facts about all kinds of incredible creatures.
From the deserts of the world to the reptile house, you won’t have to search far to find (and find out about) some of the world’s wildest and most interesting animals. Challenge your knowledge of wildlife while learning about different habitats and what you can do to help keep the world healthy in one of the best word search books for kids.”

BOOK JOURNAL

Hoping to restart doing this this coming week

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

  • Book review: Wild Dog
  • Restarting slowly…

📚 Book of the month giveaway: a book of your choice!

COMING UP ON
WORDS AND PEACE
MYRTLE SKETE
FRANCE BOOK TOURS

  • Reviews of books received from Callisto Publisher’s Club
  • A few late reviews
  • More Orthodox book notes

As I’m catching up on things, I didn’t participate in the Classics Spin.

HOW WAS YOUR WEEK?