The top 10 books to read in April 2020

Here are

The top 10 books
I plan to read in April 2020

Click on the covers to know more

CURRENTLY READING

    Hard-boiled wonderland   Lessons From Walden

  The Mirror and the Light Le Chien jaune

  Summer of Reckoning The Kingdom of God

I know, reading 6 books at the same time is insane. But 2 are readalongs, and one is spiritual, that I read only a bit every day, as slow meditation.

📚 Hard-Boiled Womderland and the End of the World
Reading with the Murakami online book club
Very weird, as usual, otherwise it wouldn’t be by Murakami, but also very enjoyable, because well, that’s by Murakami!

📚 Lessons from Walden
Published on March 30th 2020 by Pepperman Taylor
Received for review through Edelweiss Plus
I’m late on this one. I read Walden last year, but I decided to read also Civil Disobedience, because this work is on both. Very good so far

📚 The Mirror and the Light
Finally, volume 3!
And it turns out I got it a day or two before my library closed, so I can take my time with it. It’s so good, from page 1!

📚 Le Chien jaune
Maigret #6, by Georges Simenon.
Readalong with one of my French students.
Counts for for The Classics Club
I enjoy more and more Simenon’s style, with great details on everyday life.

📚 Summer of Reckoningby Marion Brunet, translated from the French
Expected publication: April 15, 2020 by Bitter Lemon
Received for review

📚 The KIngdom of God, by Archbishop Dmitri Royster
I really enjoyed his style in The Parables, so now we have several by him.
Deep and very accessible at the same time.

READING NEXT

Wild Dog   Inhabitation

📚 Wild Dog
Received for review
Release date: April 2! by Gallic Books.
Another one I’ll be late with.

“Franck and Lise, a French couple in the film industry, rent a cottage in the quiet hills of the French Lot to get away from the stresses of modern life.
In this remote corner of the world, there is no phone signal. A mysterious dog emerges, looking for a new master. Ghosts of a dark past run wild in these hills, where a German lion tamer took refuge in the First World War…
Franck and Lise are confronted with nature at its most brutal. And they are about to discover that man and beast have more in common than they think.”

📚 Inhabitation
Received for review through Edelweiss
Release date: July 2019!

CURRENT AND NEXT AUDIOBOOKS

  Au soleil redouté The Mysterious Affair at Styles

📚 Au Soleil redouté
The latest French thriller by Michel Bussi
Fascinating, I am almost done!

📚 The Mysterious Affair at Styles (1920)
Will be listening for The Classics Club
On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of Hercule Poirot’s first appearance, I plan on listening to the whole canon, at least start this year. I have already read some, but it will be interested to listen to all of them in order.

CURRENT GIVEAWAYS

Listed on the homepage

List of books I can swap with yours

PLANS FOR APRIL

📚 Take part in Bout of Books is reading-in-place April 6-12. See here
The reading-in-place times are:
11 a.m ET | 8 a.m. PT
4 p.m. ET | 1 p.m. PT
9 p.m. ET | 6 p.m. PT
See more on Twitter @boutofbooks and #boutofbooks

📚 Review several books received throughThe Callisto Publisher’s Club

📚 Respond to several comments left on my blog these past weeks, and restart visiting other blogs.

📚 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.

📚 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 APRIL?

 

Save

Sunday Post #29 – 3/15/2020

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

It’s been quite a week…
I hope you are all doing well and keeping safe and healthy. Now is the time to stay home and enjoy those books that have been waiting for you on your shelves!

JUST READ

On Tyranny

📚 On Tyranny, by Timothy Snyder
Published in 2017
I know, this was not a scheduled reading, but I have heard so much about it recently, that I thought the time had come!
I did a post where I shared some passages that I thought very important.

📚 I also finished listening to the Book of Numbers.
See a few reflections here below, under Book Journal

CURRENTLY READING/LISTENING TO

Lessons From Walden   Hard-boiled wonderland

Here we go again, reading an insane number of books at the same time:

📚 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.

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
.”

📚 Civil Disobedience, by Thoreau
Published in 1849
Reading for The Classics Club

I started this one months ago, shortly after finishing Walden, but never finished it. To better understand Lessons from Walden, which is also about Civil Disobedience, I decided to restart reading it from the beginning.

📚 Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, by Haruki Murakami
This is the book we are reading now in our online Murakami book club.
Reading it to for the Japanese Literature Challenge

We had to read sections 7-13 this week.
After Norwegian Wood, it’s a relief to find again the real Murakami, with some weird settings, making you wonder where you are at: in reality, almost, or not at all. And there are some hilarious details at the same time.

📚 Le petit livre de la vie réussie, by Anselm Grün
New edition published in 2019, by Salvator
Received for review

This is a collection of short essays by a German Benedictine monk, on essential values to live a successful life, drawing from so many different cultural sources.

📚 The Mirror and the Light, by Hilary Mantel. Yes, I just started her third book on Cromwell!

And I’m still listening to the latest book by Michel Bussi
📚 Au Soleil redouté
An author has invited five women to a writing workshop on The Marquesas islands, and now he has disappeared. Is it part of the writing prompts? Or is he dead? drowned? Murdered?
So far, the audio is a bit confusing, because I’m not yet able to identify completely whose writing journals we are reading. It would have been great to have different narrators for this one. I may have to read it after I listen to it. Or it might be just as confusing in the writing text, as the author is great at tricking his readers.

BOOK UP NEXT

Summer of Reckoning

📚 Summer of Reckoning, by Marion Brunet, Gregor Katherine (Translator)
To be published on 4/15, by Bitter Lemon Press
Received for review

“A psychological thriller set in the Luberon, a French region that evokes holidays in magnificent pool-adorned villas. For those who live there year-round, it often means stifling poverty and boredom. Sixteen-year-old Céline and her sister Jo, fifteen, dream of escaping to somewhere far from their daily routine, far from their surly, alcoholic father and uncaring mother, both struggling to make ends meet.
That summer Celine falls pregnant, devastating news that reopens deep family wounds. Those of the mother Severine whose adolescence was destroyed by her early pregnancy and subsequent marriage with Manuel. Those of the father Manuel, grandson of Spanish immigrants, who takes refuge in alcoholism to escape the open disdain of his in-laws. Faced with Celine’s refusal to name the father of her child, Manuel needs a guilty party and Saïd, a friend of the girls from an Arab family, fits Manuel’s bigoted racial stereotype. In the suffocating heat of summer he embarks on a drunken mission of revenge.”

LAST 2 BOOKS ADDED TO MY GOODREADS TBR

  Why We Sleep The Operator

📚 Why We Sleep, by Matthew Walker
Published 6/19/18

“With two appearances on CBS This Morning and Fresh Air‘s most popular interview of 2017, Matthew Walker has made abundantly clear that sleep is one of the most important but least understood aspects of our life. Until very recently, science had no answer to the question of why we sleep, or what good it served, or why we suffer such devastating health consequences when it is absent. Compared to the other basic drives in life—eating, drinking, and reproducing—the purpose of sleep remains more elusive.

Within the brain, sleep enriches a diversity of functions, including our ability to learn, memorize, and make logical decisions. It recalibrates our emotions, restocks our immune system, fine-tunes our metabolism, and regulates our appetite. Dreaming creates a virtual reality space in which the brain melds past and present knowledge, inspiring creativity.”

📚 The Operator, by Gretchen Berg
Published on 3/3/20

“Nobody knows the people of Wooster, Ohio, better than switchboard operator Vivian Dalton, and she’d be the first to tell you that. She calls it intuition. Her teenage daughter, Charlotte, calls it eavesdropping.
Vivian and the other women who work at Bell on East Liberty Street connect lines and lives. They aren’t supposed to listen in on conversations, but they do, and they all have opinions on what they hear… especially Vivian. She knows that Mrs. Butler’s ungrateful daughter, Maxine, still hasn’t thanked her mother for the quilt she made, and that Ginny Frazier turned down yet another invitation to go to the A&W with Clyde Walsh.
Then, one cold December night, Vivian listens in on a call between that snob Betty Miller and someone whose voice she can’t quite place and hears something shocking. Betty Miller’s mystery friend has news that, if true, will shatter Vivian’s tidy life in Wooster, humiliating her and making her the laughingstock of the town.
Vivian may be mortified, but she isn’t going to take this lying down. She’s going to get to the bottom of that rumor—get into it, get under it, poke around in the corners. Find every last bit. Vivian wants the truth, no matter how painful it may be.
But as Vivian is about to be reminded, in a small town like Wooster, one secret usually leads to another. . . .”

BOOKS RECEIVED THIS PAST WEEK

  Intermittent Fasting Gone by Midnight

📚 Intermittent Fasting for Beginners: A Complete Guide to the Fasting Lifestyle, by Amanda Swaine
Expected publication: 3/31/2020 by Rockridge Press
Received for review.
I am very interested in this.

“Intermittent fasting is a practice of scheduling regular breaks from eating. A safe and simple approach, fasting helps you burn fat, achieve weight loss, have more energy, and feel younger. Intermittent Fasting for Beginners makes your fasting journey a breeze with proven advice, weeklong easy-to-follow meal plans for 6 types of fasts, and simple recipes using delicious whole foods.
Explore the science and history of fasting before learning about daily and weekly intermittent fasting plans. Learn about the incredible health benefits, including managing Type 2 diabetes and chronic inflammation―and get expert advice on combatting hunger, safely breaking your fast, and succeeding with fasting in the long-term.”

📚 Gone by Midnight, by Candice Fox
Published on 3/10/2020 by Forge
Won or received for review, not sure.

Anyway, I have really enjoyed Candice Fox’s two previous books, so I’m really glad I received this one.
“Four young boys are left alone in a hotel room while their parents dine downstairs. When Sara Farrow checks on the children at midnight, her son is missing.
Distrustful of the police, Sara turns to Crimson Lake’s unlikeliest private investigators—disgraced cop Ted Conkaffey and convicted killer Amanda Pharrell. For Ted, the case couldn’t have come at a worse time. Two years ago a false accusation robbed him of his career, his reputation, and most importantly, his family. But now Lillian, the daughter he barely knows, is coming to stay in his ramshackle cottage by the lake.
Ted must dredge up the area’s worst characters to find the missing boy. The clock is ticking, and the danger he uncovers could well put his own child in deadly peril.”

BOOK JOURNAL

3/7-8
📚 Two over-filled days. I was so exhausted that I just read a few pages from On Tyranny.

3/9
📚 While doing the dishes (I tell you, just get rid of your dishwasher, you’ll have lots of opportunities to listen to audiobooks), I listened to chapters 10-15 from The Book of Numbers.
It struck we that “fake news” is alas nothing new. With all their bad consequences as well…
📚 I finished On Tyranny.
See post here.

3/10
📚 I kept reading from Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, for my online Murakami book club
.
📚 I also started Le petit livre de la vie réussie, by Anselm Grün. I apologize for the wrong information I gave last week. I confused this author with another German monk. This one is still a Benedictine monk.

3/11
📚 I finished chapters 7-13 of Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, the sections my online Murakami book club will begin talking about on Sunday.

3/12
📚 Le petit livre de la vie réussie, by Anselm Grün, up to chapter 26.
📚 I started reading La Tête d’un homme, Maigret #5, by Georges Simenon, a readalong with one of my online French students.
Just as Book 4 in this series started with Maigret apparently making a mistake, this time, he strongly asked important people in the law system to let a man condemned to death go. 

3/13
📚
I listened to chapters 16-20 from The Book of Numbers. Thanks to all the ironing I had to o. I’m telling you, house chores are awesome for audiobooks.
Amazing how circumstances can give a new light to these passages of the Torah. Here all the purification laws, and the mentions of the plague…

3/14
📚 Le petit livre de la vie réussie, by Anselm Grün, up to chapter 42.
📚 I finished reading the first 6 chapters of La Tête d’un homme, ready to share with my student on Tuesday.
We still don’t know if the apparent culprit is “crazy or innocent”. Though it does seem that Maigret has at least two or three possible culprits in mind. This is all so well done.
📚 Another crazy addition to my reading list, totally unscheduled: The Mirror and the Light, by Hilary Mantel. Yes, finally her third book on Cromwell.
📚 Civil Disobedience, by Thoreau.
I restarted reading this one to better understand Lessons from Walden, which is both on this book and Walden, read last year.

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

📚 Book of the month giveaway: The Missing Sister

COMING UP ON
WORDS AND PEACE
MYRTLE SKETE
FRANCE BOOK TOURS

    Japanese Literature 13

  • January-March: Japanese Literature Challenge 13
  • More book notes from Orthodox Prayer Life
  • It’s been a super busy week, like for many of you I’m sure. I hope to be posting more reviews this week.

HOW WAS YOUR WEEK?

 

Sunday Post #28 – 3/8/2020

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

JUST READ

Le Pendu de Saint-Pholien   Theological Territories

📚  Le Pendu de Saint-Pholien, [The Hanged Man of Saint-Pholien] which is Maigret #4, by Georges Simenon, read with one of my French students.

This time, the book is not set in France, but at the border between Germany and The Netherlands.
Maigret follows a man that seems to be dong something suspicious, and then he witnesses the man committing suicide. This is another way of presenting his inspector as a anti-hero, as Maigret understands he’s probably the one to blame: the man must have killed himself because of Maigret’s tracking him and its consequence.
The first chapter on the cat-mouse chase is really good!
And then obviously, Maigret can only follow his investigation to know what was really going on.
Like in book 3, there’s some identity issue at play. But I was totally unable to guess what this was all about. And the “arrival” of the hanged man of the title was a surprise.

I really enjoy more and more how Simenon manages to recreate the ambiance of places. And some of his descriptions of characters and of their looks are excellent as well.
Some details given make you really see a scene, like Maigret thinking and chewing on the end of his pipe between two sentences he’s writing down. It’s almost cinematographic.
Same for some very intense scenes near the end of the novel with all the main characters gathered in the same room. This may make you think of Poirot’s denouements, but no, this is all about ambiance.

📚 Theological Territories, by David Bentley Hart
Expected publication: 4/15/2020 by University of Notre Dame Press
Received through review through Edelweiss.
I’m going to try to review it this week

CURRENTLY READING/LISTENING TO

Lessons From Walden   Hard-boiled wonderland

📚 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.

I am actually just starting this one.
I really enjoyed Walden last year, so I thought it might be good to revisit it this year through this analysis:
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
.”

📚 Hardboiled Wonderland and the End of the World, by Haruki Murakami
This is the book we are reading now in our online Murakami book club.

We had to read the first 6 sections this week.
After Norwegian Wood, it’s a relief to find again the real Murakami, with some weird settings, making you wonder where you are at: in reality, almost, or not at all. And there are some hilarious details at the same time.

And I’m still listening to the latest book by Michel Bussi
📚 Au Soleil redouté
An author has invited five women to a writing workshop on The Marquesas islands, and now he has disappeared. Is it part of the writing prompts? Or is he dead? drowned? Murdered?
So far, the audio is a bit confusing, because I’m not yet able to identify completely whose writing journals we are reading. It would have been great to have different narrators for this one. I may have to read it after I listen to it. Or it might be just as confusing in the writing text, as the authoris great at tricking his readers.

And I’m currently listening as well to The Book of Numbers.

BOOK UP NEXT

 

Le petit livre de la vie réussie

📚 Le petit livre de la vie réussie, by Anselm Grün
New edition published in 2019, by Salvator
Received for review

This is a collection of short essays by a German Benedictine monk.

LAST 2 BOOKS ADDED TO MY GOODREADS TBR

  The Sleeping Lord Tokyo Performance

📚 The Sleeping Lord, by David Jones
Published in 1974

I found reference to this book in the collection of theological essays I’m reading. I’m intrigued by this modernist poet. Have you read anything by him?
“‘The Sleeping Lord is perhaps the best introductory volume to Jones’s work; the contours can be seen most clearly here, and the textures, though rich, are less elaborate than in The Anathemata, since there is an open, dramatic quality running through the book.’ Peter Scupham, New Statesman.
Published months before David Jones’s death in 1974, and modestly presented by the author himself as a collection of ‘fragments’, The Sleeping Lord continued the exploration of themes begun by its predecessors In Parenthesis and The Anathemata. Set mainly in different parts of the Roman Empire, either in the Holy Land or on the Celtic fringes, animated by his Catholic faith and by his own experiences as a soldier, formidably erudite and of a visionary intensity, the book springs from a lifetime’s concern with questions of history, culture and religion. Mysterious, musical and alive with a sense of the wilderness and the elements, the poems show the startling development of Jones’s imagination in his later years.”

📚 Tokyo Performance, by Roger Pulvers
Published on 11/23/2018
Recommended by Davida 

“Tokyo Performance is set in the pre-internet age, brilliantly captures the zeitgeist of Japan at the time. In this riveting, entertaining and wholly poignant tale, a Japanese celebrity receives a phone call while live on air that will change his life forever.
Nori, a high profile Tokyo-based celebrity chef with his own weekly television show, is famous and beloved and he knows it – but he’s about to put in his strangest performance.
Award-winning writer, playwright and film director, Roger Pulvers, brings his love and deep fascination for Japanese culture to Tokyo Performance, a funny and, at times, tragic story, which explores the cost of fame.”

BOOKS RECEIVED THIS PAST WEEK

  Dont Look for Me Vocabulary Workbook for 6th Grade

📚 Don’t Look For Me, by Wendy Walker
Expected publication: 9/15/2020 by St. Martin’s Press
Received for review for Criminal Element.
Too bad the picture doesn’t do justice to the cover. The rain (? I assume) is actually all silvery and embossed. It really create a gorgeous. effect.

I have really enjoyed Wendy Walker’s three previous books, for instance The Night Before, so I’m really looking forward to this one.
“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?”

📚 The Vocabulary Workbook for 6th Grade, by Kelly Anne Mclellan
Expected publication: 3/24/2020 by Rockridge Press
Received for review

“Turn your 6th grader into a real word wizard with these vocab-boosting challenges.
Improving vocabulary is essential for young readers, so why not help them power up? The Vocabulary Workbook for 6th Grade is packed with fun activities that help kids learn new terms perfectly suited for their current reading level!
Each weekly lesson in this vocabulary workbook focuses on a handful of words, reinforcing what they mean and how they’re used over a series of different activities, like determining a word’s definition based on usage, exploring its roots, or finding synonyms and antonyms. Get ready to be wowed―your 6th grader is about to develop an outstanding vocabulary!”

BOOK JOURNAL

This past week for the first week of Lent, in the Christian Orthodox Church.
The first week is intense, with prayer services every night. So my reading time got reduced by half, and I focused more on spiritual reading. And didn’t really take time to write much for this journal. So here are just a few notes.

3/2
📚 The last part of Theological Territories, by David Bentley Hart, is fascinating and much easier to understand. These essays focus on his recent translation of The New Testament.
Some of these pages are fascinating and real eye openers, like the one about how the Our Father reads in Greek, and what it really meant before the spiritualization we made of it. DBH focuses on the words, and the meaning of these words in the time and culture when they were written, using other works written around the same time, to better understand their real meaning.
📚 In keeping with this special week, and especially today, Clean Monday, I didn’t listen to my current French thriller (Au Soleil redouté), but instead started listening to The Book of Numbers.

3/3
📚 Theological Territories
📚 I started reading to the second half of Le Pendu de Saint-Pholien. To be sure I’m done when I have my next class with my French student, for our readalong.

3/4
📚 Theological Territories
📚 I finished Le Pendu de Saint-Pholien. See my review above.
📚 With my online Murakami book club, we will start our conversation on Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of the World
on Sunday 3/8. So I started reading a few sections.

3/5
📚 Theological Territories
📚 More sections of Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of the World

3/6
📚 Theological Territories
📚 I finished section 6 of Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of the World.
So I’m ready for our Sunday conversation.

3/7
📚 I finished Theological Territories
📚
I listened to chapters 8-9 from The Book of Numbers

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

📚 Book of the month giveaway: The Missing Sister

COMING UP ON
WORDS AND PEACE
MYRTLE SKETE
FRANCE BOOK TOURS

    Japanese Literature 13

  • More book notes from Orthodox Prayer Life
  • More book notes from Theological Territories…
  • …And hopefully the review of it as well
  • Book review: Word Detective 3
  • 3/13: Spotlight and giveaway: Landing by Moonlight

 

HOW WAS YOUR WEEK?