Mailbox Monday February 11

Mailbox Monday2 It's Monday! What Are You Reading2 WWW Wednesdays 2

Mailbox Monday,
It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?
and WWW Wednesdays

click on the covers to know more about them

BOOKS RECEIVED THIS PAST WEEK

Trace  The Republic

Trace:
US release date: April 2
“Haunted by flashbacks of the accident that killed his parents, the best he can do is try to distract himself from memories of the past. But the past isn’t done with him. When Trace takes a wrong turn in the New York Public Library, he finds someone else lost in the stacks with him: a crying little boy, wearing old, tattered clothes.”.
Not sure why I received this. I may have entered and won the contest, for a woman in my book club who has several grandchildren who devour books. No note was with the book. That’s Middle Grade fiction, but the story could be interesting. I’ll give it a try before giving it to her.

The Republic:
Received for review. US release date: April 30
“With a playful mix of literary and pop culture references, this novel immerses us in the world of the global intelligentsia, where the truth counts for less than what is said about it. Joost de Vries has written a biting academic satire, an absurd and exceptionally intelligent tale.”
Sounds like my cup of tea, especially as this was presented as similar to The Seventh Function of Language, by Binet, which I enjoyed a lot.
And Other Press often offers great books.

BOOKS JUST READ

FICTION

La vie mode demploi

POETRY

cocktails with a dead man

CLASSIC

The Moonstone

La vie mode d’emploi:
For classics club.
Just finished this fascinating work pertaining to the Oulipo movement.
Available in English as Life: A User’s Manual.
I’ll try to write my review soon.

Cocktails for a Dead Man:
Poetry, for review.
It was ok.

The Moonstone:
For classics club, audio.
Interesting structure. Good, but I preferred The Woman in White.

CURRENTLY READING

FICTION

The Goose Fritz

CLASSIC

don quijote

AUDIO

HHhH

The Goose Fritz: 
For review.
Russian literature. Interesting novel on the themes of personal and national history and identity.

Don Quixote:
For classics club – read-along
Thoroughly enjoying it, a chapter a day

HHhH
OMG, I’m so much enjoying Binet’s book! It’s related to Reinhard Heydrich, “the most dangerous man in Hitler’s cabinet”, but it’s also a book about writing, about writing historical fiction. The author inserts his reflections in the midst of the book, which is structured in very little chapters. So well done!
“A seemingly effortlessly blend of historical truth, personal memory, and Laurent Binet’s remarkable imagination, HHhH—an international bestseller and winner of the prestigious Prix Goncourt du Premier Roman—is a work at once thrilling and intellectually engrossing, a fast-paced novel of the Second World War that is also a profound meditation on the nature of writing and the debt we owe to history.”

BOOKS UP NEXT

FICTION

The Library of Lost and Found

MIDDLE GRADE

Trace

AUDIO

Walden

Library of Lost and Found
Really looking forward to this, because of the author.

Trace:
Won.
“In a debut novel that’s perfect for fans of Jason Reynolds and Erin Entrada Kelly, award-winning author/illustrator and educator Pat Cummings tells a poignant story about grief, love, and the untold stories that echo across time.”
I’m going to give it a try. See more above.

Walden:
For classics club.

GIVEAWAYS

2 giveaways listed on the Homepage

WHAT ABOUT YOUR READING?

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WWW Wednesday January 23

  WWW Wednesdays 2

 WWW Wednesdays

BOOKS JUST READ

click on the covers to know more about them

FICTION

Hear our Defeats

MYSTERY

The Plotters

NONFICTION

Are We French Yet

For the first 2 titles, click on the covers to access my review.
My review for Are We French Yet? will be live on February 6.
But I can already tell you my
VERDICT: Nice collections of funny and culturally aware vignettes highlighting how life can be enriched by being familiar with two cultures
Come back on January 28 to enter the giveaway!

CURRENTLY READING

FICTION

The Goose Fritz

CLASSIC

AUDIO

The Moonstone

The Goose Fritz: 
Two years ago, I was stunned by the quality of Sergei Lebedev’s writing in Oblivion. So I HAD to try his upcoming one (March 19). I just started. It’s related to Russian history.

Don Quixote:
Continuing to thoroughly enjoying this classic. Quite hilarious!

The Moonstone:
And still listening to this classic – 22 hours in audio. It really helps that the edition I chose has a cast of different narrators, it makes it easier to follow the different levels of the story. I think I know what’s going on with this mysterious precious stone, but I may be totally wrong!

BOOKS UP NEXT

FICTION

The Library of Lost and Found

MYSTERY

a deadly affection

AUDIO

HHhH

The Library of Lost and Found
“When Martha discovers a clue within a book that her grandmother may still be alive, she becomes determined to discover the truth. As she delves deeper into Zelda’s past, she unwittingly reveals a family secret that will change her life forever”.
Books? Library? Clues? I’m in!
By the author of The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper

A Deadly Affection:
Another book received during BEA in Chicago (2016!) that I have not read yet…
“In 1907 New York, a psychiatrist, Dr Genevieve Summerford, must prove her patient’s innocence…or risk being implicated in a shocking murder”. Should be good.

HHhH
“A seemingly effortlessly blend of historical truth, personal memory, and Laurent Binet’s remarkable imagination, HHhH—an international bestseller and winner of the prestigious Prix Goncourt du Premier Roman—is a work at once thrilling and intellectually engrossing, a fast-paced novel of the Second World War that is also a profound meditation on the nature of writing and the debt we owe to history”.
About time to read/listen to this book. I had so loved The Seventh Function of Language

GIVEAWAYS

There are 2 giveaways featured
on the homepage

***

WHAT ABOUT YOUR READING?

Bout of Books 24: final recap

boutofbooks 24

#boutofbooks
#bob24igphoto

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly Rubidoux Apple. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 7th and runs through Sunday, January 13th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 24 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

BOUT OF BOOKS 24
DAY 7 RECAP – and final recap

Bout of Books 24 is over.
I read a total of 761, which is less than my target of 805. And I finished 2 books.
It’s an average of 108 pages per day, which is actually slightly less (111) than my previous book of books. Still, I’m happy about being over 100 pages a day.

I also did a few challenges, and several instagram challenge. I didn’t have time to join the Twitter chats. I followed a few new book bloggers, but not too many, as most seem to be too many decades younger than me, and I start feeling the gap in our reading interests.
All in all, a good experience.

I will be posting about the winner tomorrow Hope to seeing you at Boot of Books 25 on May 13.

Let me tell you a bit more on what I read:

prayers by the lakePrayers by the Lake, by Nikolaj Velimirovic
Saint Nikolaj Velimirovic  (1920-1956) was a bishop in the Serbian Orthodox Church. He’s very famous for the Orthodox, for his numerous writings, especially The Prologue from Ohrid, a collection of lives of the saints and homilies for everyday of the year.
The book I’m reading right now, Prayers by the Lake is a “century”, that is, a collection of 100 prayers written in a “poetic prose” style. They re very profound and intense, and use a lot the imagery of nature. So a few per day gives you a lot to chew on.

Are We French Yet

 

Are We French Yet?, by Keith Van Sickle
I finished this book. It’s a good collection of memoirs of a couple of American expats spending a few months every year in Provence. Funny, cute, and right on target. I’ll be reviewing it for France Book Tours at the beginning of February.

 

berlin alexanderplatz

 

Berlin AlexanderPlatz, by Alfred Döblin
I started reading this with NYRB Goodreads group.
Like several other readers in this group, I’m struggling, but trying to persevere with it. It’s weird, and the style is reminding me a bit of Ulysses, by James Joyce, though slightly easier so far. But I have heard it’s going to get worse… So I may DNF it, we’ll see.
Have YOU read it? What did you think? Should I keep going?

Hear our Defeats

 

Hear Our Defeats, by Laurent Gaudé
Another intense and a bit weird book as well. Though Gaudé’s writing is amazing. I have to chew a bit more on it before writing my review, to be able to highlight the ultimate meaning of the book. It’s like a collage of major defeats in world history, (Hannibal, American Civil War, etc), with some contemporary elements.

The Plotters

 

The Plotters, by Un-Su Kim
As I had finished my ebook, I decided to start another one, and chose this one, as I have to review for the end of the month.
An unusual Korean thriller set in Seoul, with a special kind of mafia. It starts with lots of humor, but gets darker…
I really enjoy his writing style

don quijoteDon Quixote, by Cervantes
I started to read it all (why do I keep reading classics that are not on my list of 50 classics I set myself to read over 5 years?), when I realized Nick was doing a readalong on it. Actually, he’s quite busy, so not posting much about it. Yesterday, I discovered Silvia was also doing a readalong, with lots of resources.
I read excepts of it as a young teen, but I don’t think I read it all. Though so far, everything sounds very familiar.
What strikes me when I reread classics that I read decades ago (far too young for most of them), I realize at the age I read them, it seems I was unable to identify the humoristic part of them. Is it something characteristic of young readers? I wonder, unless it means my world back then (before I actively rediscovered my Christian faith), must have been quite gloomy.
I experienced the same thing a couple of years ago when I reread Proust. Believe it or not, there’s a lot of humor in Proust, but again, I had never see it before.
Don Quixote contains so many hilarious premises and scenes! As such, and with other metatextual elements, it was a revolutionary novel for its time. I’m also interested in the many passages related to books, to the effect of reading on your life. There’s even a reflection on translation.

The MoonstoneAudiobook: The Moonstone, by Wilkie Collins
Another classic, and this time, it IS on my Classics Club list!
I enjoy it a lot, even though so far I preferred The Woman in White by the same author. It’s like a saga about a special precious stone passed along, so it requires attention to follow what’s going on, especially as an audiobook. The change of narrators for different periods does help a bit.

 

And here is what I read on Day 7:

  1. The Plotters, by Un-Su Kim = 129 pages

Total for Day 7:  129
TOTAL:761/805

BOUT OF BOOKS 24
DAY 6 RECAP

Here is what I read on Day 6:

  1. Don Quixote, by Cervantes = 12 pages
  2. The Plotters, by Un-Su Kim = 94 pages
  3. Prayers by the Lake, by Nikolaj Velimirovic = 12 pages
  4. Audiobook [28 minutes]: The Moonstone, by Wilkie Collins = equivalent to 11 pages

Total for Day 6:  129
TOTAL so far: 632/805

And I participated in the Instagram challenge of the day. Some people liked the picture, fine, but no one answered! You were supposed to try to guess my favorite genre from my montage (bad quality, because I too a picture of my computer screen). Any idea?

Be sure to enter my giveaway – last day!

Check my Bout of Books 24 ultimate goal

SCHEDULE

Challenges

**This is the overall list for the challenges offered during Bout of Books 24. Make sure you check the blog each day of the read-a-thon for instructions and details on how to complete the daily challenges**

Monday 1/7
Introduce yourself #insixwords

Tuesday 1/8
Character dinner party

Wednesday 1/9
Six degrees of separation – based on an idea I submitted

Thursday 1/10
Synopsis rewrite

Friday 1/11
If this, then that

Saturday 1/12
Dream cast

Sunday 1/13
Stretch goal

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

Monday: 8pm CST (TZC)
Saturday: 10am CST (TZC)

BOUT OF BOOKS 24
DAY 5 RECAP

Not sure why, but this was another rather slow day.

Here is what I read on Day 5:

  1. Don Quixote, by Cervantes = 48 pages
  2. The Plotters, by Un-Su Kim = 1 page!
  3. Prayers by the Lake, by Nikolaj Velimirovic = 12 pages
  4. Audiobook [15 minutes]: The Moonstone, by Wilkie Collins = equivalent to 6 pages

Total for Day 5:  67
TOTAL so far: 503/805

And I participated in the Instagram challenge of the day, and the like this/try that challenge

BOUT OF BOOKS 24
DAY 4 RECAP

Yesterday was an exhausting day, with a very long and difficult article to translate, among other things. Plus, I had a conference call I absolutely needed to attend for my Church, and that was in the evening on my usual reading time.
Yes, one of my jobs is now to translate daily articles related to worldwide Orthodox news. And now, I’m thrilled to be translating from French to English, instead of the usual way round. Which means, you can now read my work, if you are interested in what’s going on in the world. Obviously, my English is not perfect, but I hope it is getting more and more acceptable.
So the reading result for the day is quite pathetic, and it’s putting my total below my expected average for this week.

Here is what I read on Day 4:

  1. Berlin AlexanderPlatz, by Alfred Döblin = 20 pages
  2. Don Quixote, by Cervantes = 11 pages
  3. The Plotters, by Un-Su Kim = 13 pages
  4. Audiobook [23 minutes]: The Moonstone, by Wilkie Collins = equivalent to 7 pages

Total for Day 4:  51
TOTAL so far: 436/805

And I participated in the Instagram challenge of the day

BOUT OF BOOKS 24
DAY 3 RECAP

Here is what I read on Day 3:

  1. Are We French Yet?, by Keith Van Sickle = 74 pages – FINISHED
  2. Hear Our Defeats, by Laurent Gaudé = 5 pages – FINISHED
  3. Berlin AlexanderPlatz, by Alfred Döblin = 7 pages
  4. Prayers by the Lake, by Nikolaj Velimirovic = 12 pages
  5. The Plotters, by Un-Su Kim = 6 pages
  6. Audiobook [24 minutes]: The Moonstone, by Wilkie Collins = equivalent to 11 pages

Total for Day 3: 115
TOTAL so far: 385/805

The challenge was based on an idea I submitted, so here is what I did. I’ll be visiting blogs today to see what YOU did with it.
And I participated in the Instagram challenge of the day

BOUT OF BOOKS 24
DAY 2 RECAP

Here is what I read on Day 2:

  1. Are We French Yet?, by Keith Van Sickle = 43 pages
  2. Hear Our Defeats, by Laurent Gaudé = 55 pages
  3. Berlin AlexanderPlatz, by Alfred Döblin = 14 pages
  4. Don Quixote, by Cervantes = 6 pages
  5. Prayers by the Lake, by Nikolaj Velimirovic = 11 pages
  6. Audiobook [36 minutes]: The Moonstone, by Wilkie Collins = equivalent to 12 pages

Total for Day 2: 141
TOTAL so far: 270/805

And I participated in the Instagram challenge of the day

BOUT OF BOOKS 24
DAY 1 RECAP

Yesterday, January 7, was the big day to celebrate Christ’s Nativity for me. I’m an Orthodox Christian, and my Church follows the Julian calendar, which runs 13 late compare to the Gregorian (civil) calendar. So December 25 + 13 days = January 7.
It’s actually nice to be far from the crazy commercial stuff surrounding the Christmas frenzy and be able to focus only on the essential.
After the Church celebration, we had a very simple meal at home and time with friends.
But in the evening, I was able to have regular reading time.

So here is what I read on Day 1:

  1. Are We French Yet?, by Keith Van Sickle = 56 pages
  2. Hear Our Defeats, by Laurent Gaudé = 46 pages
  3. Audiobook [1H07]: The Moonstone, by Wilkie Collins = equivalent to 27 pages

TOTAL so far: 129/805

Because of the very special day, as explained above, I didn’t have time to participate in the challenge of the day, nor in the Twitter chat.
But I posted a giveaway!

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