Book review: The Readers’ Room

The Readers' Room

The Readers’ Room
by Antoine Laurain
Le Service des manuscrits
was first published in Jan 2020.
Translated from the French by
Jane Aitken/Emily Boyce/Polly Mackintosh
Gallic Books
US release date 9/22/2020
176 pages
Literary fiction/Mystery


Buy the book

With his previous novels, especially The President’s Hat (2013) and Vintage 1954 (2019), Antoine Laurain has created an expectation of great plots and fascinating characters for his fans. They will not be disappointed with The Readers’ Room, with an additional plus of a book on books! Click to continue reading

Recap: 20 Books of Summer 2020

20 books of summer

Once again, organized a special challenge:

20 Books of Summer
June 1-August 31

Summer is already over so it’s time to see how it went for this challenge.

I’m happy with the amount of books I read:
I reached 20 books on July 28, and ended up reading 28 books.
These were not necessarily the 20 I had lined up, I had to adjust to urgent books coming my way for review.
Unfortunately, I only reviewed 6 of these.

And I was planning to connect with participants of this challenge, which I didn’t do much at all, by lack of time.

Out of these 28, 15 books were in print, and 13 in audio (6 of these were Bible books)
12 were mysteries/thrillers

Books I especially liked?:
scratch that, there are too many!!

I will just highlight four books that were different, types of revelations:

  Or What You Will If You Cross the River

Or What You Will:
An amazing author, totally new to me.
Great structure, so many references
VERDICT: Unique fantasy love letter to the Renaissance. Luscious!
See my review, with excerpts

If You Cross The River:
I got this in 2019, why did I wait so long to read it?
Incredible writing. I devoured it in no time

  Migrations Killer Come Back to Me

wow, certainly one of my favorites of the year so far.
VERDICT: Both beautiful and heart-wrenching. And of course, a must for all birders.
See my review, with pictures and data

Killer, Come Back to Me
BIG revelation, I didn’t even know he had written crime fiction. Did you?
And he is so so good at it!

So here is the file with my 28 books.

Did you participate?
What was your favorite book this Summer?

Bout of Books 29: Day 2 recap

Day 2 recap

Boutofbooks 29

This is my 16th participation in #boutofbooks

Click on the logo to join the fun!

The Bout of Books readathon is organized
by Amanda Shofner and Kelly Rubidoux Apple.
It’s a weeklong readathon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 17th
and runs through Sunday, August 23rd in YOUR time zone.
Bout of Books is low-pressure.
All reading-in-place times, Twitter chats,
and exclusive Instagram challenges a
re completely optional.
For Bout of Books 29 information and updates,
visit the Bout of Books blog
. – From the Bout of Books team


Here is what I read on DAY 2:

  1. Le livre de Perle, by Timothée de Fombelle = 60 pages
  2. L’énigme de la chambre 622, by Joël Dicker = 17 pages
  3. Audiobook: The Big Four, by Agatha Christie = 18 pages – FINISHED
  4. Audiobook: Pandemia, by Franck Thilliez = 4 pages

Total for Day 2:  99 pages
TOTAL so far:  303/525

I caught up with the pages I needed to read for my read along with a student on Le Livre de Perle, so I started reading L’énigme de la chambre 622, for a French read-along on Discord – we read and comment in French. Let me know if you are interested.

📚 For the 9:30 p.m. Central reading-in-place, I read 30 pages.

I also did the Instagram challenge, featuring a beautiful book cover.


Here is what I read on DAY 1:

  1. Le livre de Perle, by Timothée de Fombelle = 63 pages
  2. Audiobook: The Big Four, by Agatha Christie = 141 pages

Total for Day 1:  204 pages
TOTAL so far:  204/525

I had a lot of house chores to do today: wash, gardening, cooking, dishes, so ended up with almost 3 hours of audiobook listening!

📚 For the 9:30 p.m. Central reading-in-place, I read 27 pages.
Not many, because I take notes to help for reviews.
I didn’t participate in the Twitter Chat, but I already met interesting readers through the #boutofbooks hashtag

I also did the Instagram challenge


I’m setting my goal at 525 pages, that is, 75 pages per day. 

Here are the books I plan to read from. Some I’m currently reading.

  1. Killer, Come Back to Me: The Crime Stories of Ray Bradbury
  2. Le livre de Perle, by Timothée de Fombelle
  3. L’énigme de la chambre 622, by Joël Dicker
  4. Vesper Flights, by Helen Macdonald
  5. Psalm 118: Commentary by Theophan the Recluse
  6. Audiobook: The Big Four, by Agatha Christie FINISHED
  7. Audiobook: Pandemia, by Franck Thilliez


For Bout of Books 29, no daily challenges will be hosted on our blog. Instead, we’ll have reading-in-place times!

Reading-in-place times, or reading sprints, happen daily on Twitter. If you don’t have Twitter, make note of these times and report your reading progress on your platform of choice.

All reading-in-place times last 30 minutes.

Daily Reading-in-Place Times

📚 10 a.m Eastern | 7 a.m. Pacific
📚 4 p.m. Eastern | 1 p.m. Pacific
📚 10:30 p.m. Eastern | 7:30 p.m. Pacific

Twitter Chats

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

Monday: 9 p.m. Eastern | 6 p.m. Pacific
Saturday: 11 a.m. Eastern | 8 a.m. Pacific

Click on the logo to sign up