Book review: Four soldiers

Four Soldiers

Four Soldiers
by Hubert Mingarelli
Translated by
Sam Taylor
The New Press

10/09/2018
Originally published as Quatre soldats
in 2003
Genre: Literary fiction
160 pages

Goodreads

The second book I read for the Man Booker International 2019 longlist was translated from the French. I’m ashamed I had never even heard of its author, even though Mingarelli wrote over twenty novels, won major awards, such as Le Prix Médicis, and one of his other novels was nominated for the  Independent Foreign Fiction Prize.

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The top 7 books to read in March 2019

Here are

The top 7 books
I plan to read in March 2019

Click on the covers to know more

CURRENTLY READING

     The Woman in the window

Poustinia

Don Quixote is a read-along with Nick (see his read-alongs for the whole year)
and Silvia Cachia (great input and resources). Still working slowly on it, basically on my own.

The Woman in the Window
I hadn’t read it yet, so I thought it would be good to do it with a readalong for #MarchMysteryMadness
Talk about unreliable narrator! And possibly also unreliable author, who seems to have too closely followed a couple of movies for his plot, but it seems to be well written so far, and that’s what ultimately counts for me.

Poustina is a classic of spirituality on silence, solitude, and prayer. I actually think I read it some thirty years ago in French, but it’s good to revisit it. Excellent passages.

I’m actually not counting here another read-along: with one of my French students, I read a couple of chapters of Les Misérables in French per day.

READING NEXT

Now, this part is tricky, let me explain.
In 2015, I joined the IFFP Shadow Panel. It’s basically a bunch of book bloggers who started this because one year, they thought the award should have gone to another book. I thoroughly enjoyed my experience and discovered amazing authors in the process. So I have decided to do it again this year.
In the meantime, the prize has been renamed the ManBooker International Prize (#MBIP2019) (and looks like next year it will still have another name, has Man is no longer the sponsor).
Tony has just posted who is part of the Shadow Panel this year, we are 11! A great reading team, I feel so honored to be part of it.
The long list will be released on March 13, so I don’t know yet which titles I’l need to read. I hope it will contain two or three titles I have already read, for instance Hear Our Defeats and Killing Commendatore.

If I have time before March 13, I may read

The Republic If you love me  

 The Republic
US release: April 30, 2019
Received for review
“A gripping academic novel about deception and self-deception, ambition, the love of history as entertainment, and the hunt for the perfect enemy.”

If You Love Me: Serving Christ and the Church in Spirit and Truth
My husband has been raving about this book, so I think that will be my next spiritual book. Plus I have really enjoyed other books by the same author, Father Matthew the Poor (Coptic Christian)

CURRENT AND NEXT AUDIOBOOKS

       Walden  Petit pays

Walden
For The Classics Club
The audio format is working well for me. I’m actually listening to a Librivox recording (volunteer readers – and YOU can become one!).
Wow, we think we invented minimalism, but this guy is absolutely the father of minimalism. “Thoreau-ly” (couldn’t resist) enjoying its ideas, though a few passages are long and preachy.

Petit Pays
The book was published in 2016 in French. It won major awards and was nominated for several others. I have a very good feeling it will be on the longlist and possibly shortlist of the ManBooker international Prize.
I have studied passages with some of my students, I think it’s high time to listen to it all.
French-Rwandan Gaël Faye is an author, composer and hip hop artist. He was born in 1982 in Burundi, and has a Rwandan mother and French father.

CURRENT GIVEAWAY

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PLANS FOR MARCH

As mentioned above, mostly the Man Booker International Shadow Panel.
And a bit of March Mystery Madness.

Eiffel Tower Orange

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

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2019: February wrap-up

FEBRUARY WRAP-UP

It’s still insanely cold around Chicago, so what better to do than curl up with a good book? I did read some interesting ones this month.
And I also DNFed two:

  • A Deadly Affection, by Cuyler Overholt. I explain why here
  • I tried briefly the upcoming In the Blink of an Eye, but found it super confusing and stopped quickly. So I have this brand new ARC, if anyone is interested in some swap

Let’s talk about good things now.
I’m still reading Don Quixote, basically by myself, as the people who organized the read-along seem to have stopped. I’m also late in the schedule, but slowly but surely, I’ll manage.
Everyday, I also read a chapter of Les Misérables in French, a read-along with one my students. It’s kind of neat to see her reactions, as she hasn’t read it yet, and doesn’t know what’s coming. Even though I read it decades ago, I no longer have the effect of surprise. We are almost done with volume 1.

So here is what I finished in February:

8 books:
7 in print 
with 2,391 pages, an average of 85 pages/day
(wow! I’m impressed: 2 were long books, one of them a manga!)
1 in audio
with 11H06, an average of 23 mn/day

4 in literary fiction:

  1. La vie mode d’emploi, by Georges Perec – in French
  2. The Goose Fritz, by Sergei Lebedev – ebook, for review
  3. Trace, by Pat Cummings – book won, middle grade
  4. The Library of Lost and Found, by Phaedra Patrick – ebook, for review

1 in poetry:

  1. Cocktails with a Dead Man, by Joe Albanese

1 in nonfiction:

  1. Earthern Vessels: The Practice of Personal Prayer According to the Patristic Tradition, by Gabriel Bunge

1 in manga:

  1. Orange, volume 1, by Ichigo Takano

1 in between nonfiction and historical fiction!!

  1. HHhH, by Laurent Binet – audio, in French

So yes, I finally found a manga that I really loved and devoured! It’s YA and romancy, two genres that I usually don’t like, but it’s a very interesting story actually, and the art is beautiful. I’m saving volume 2 for March, and I found the latest one by the same author as well!

MY FAVORITES IN FEBRUARY

HHhH Earthen Vessels

READING CHALLENGES & RECAP

Classics Club: 42/50 (until end of 2020)
2019 Calendar of Crime Challenge 1/12
Where Are You Reading?: 21/50 – to be finished in ??
Total of books read in 2019 = 15/100
Number of books added to my TBR this past month= 30, BUT I did manage to delete a lot of old ones.

Blog wise, you may have noticed a few posts for Thursday Travels. I’ll try to do this on a regular basis.

MOST POPULAR BOOK REVIEW THIS PAST MONTH

Are We French Yet

click on the cover to access my review

MOST POPULAR POST THIS PAST MONTH
– NON BOOK REVIEW –

Born a Crime chapter 9-14:
read along at Book Bloggers International

BOOK BLOG THAT BROUGHT ME MOST TRAFFIC THIS PAST MONTH

Modern Mrs Darcy
please go visit

TOP COMMENTERS OF THE MONTH

Judy at Keep the Wisdom
Karen at Booker Talk
Angela at Musings of a Literary Wanderer

BLOG MILESTONES 

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Be sure to check the giveaway posted on my homepage!

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Come back on Monday
to see the books I plan to read in March
and my exciting plan!

Eiffel Tower OrangeEiffel Tower OrangeEiffel Tower Orange

How was YOUR month of February?

2019-Monthly-Wrap-Up-Round-Up_300

Nicole at Feed Your Fiction Addiction
has created a Month In Review meme
where you can link your monthly recap posts
Thanks Nicole!