Sunday Post #32 – 12/6/2020

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

I haven’t done a Sunday Post since June, trying to come back.
But things are busy here, with more new French students, and more virtual book tours. I already posted one for January 2021, and will post two more next week!
I also FINALLY created a Patreon page, so you can more easily support Words And Peace and France Book Tours, and receive goodies for it (books for now, merch down the line).

But my reading schedule is going well.


  Ichi-F  To Hold Up the Sky

Murder on the Orient Express   

📚 Ichi-F: A Worker’s Graphic Memoir of the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant, by Kazuto Tatsuta
Published in 2017

I particularly enjoy nonfiction graphic “novels”.
This one by written (text and illustrations) by a manga artist who has also worked at Fukushima. This is not about the 2011 disaster, but about the huge efforts of cleaning up the area.
Ichi-F means 1-F, in other words the Fukushima first nuclear reactor.
The author was amazed by all the wrong rumors about the place, so he set up to show what’s really going on there, with tons of security measures and very careful work.
This is fascinating, with lots of details on the complicated work conditions. For instance, you may need one hour to put on all your protective gear, but if you work in a particularly heavy radiation zone, (some are more or less on the site), you may end up working only thirty minutes a day. Each worker wears a device counting the radiation. They cannot go over a certain limit per day, per month, and per year. So sometimes, you can only work for three months. Hence the slowness of the work and the need for so many workers. Still, the author shows how much has been done within the four years or so he has worked there.
The author only talks about the workers daily life, where they live, what they eat, and talk about.
The book was absolutely fascinating. This is a big book, 561 pages, with a lot to read on each page.

📚 To Hold Up the Sky, by Cixin Liu
Published on October, 20.
Ebook received through Netgalley

I haven’t written my review yet. I’ll just say it’s written by the author of Supernova Era, which I so enjoyed.
So we are staying in Asia, with an awesome collection of Chinese scifi short stories. Great author!

📚 Murder on the Orient Express (Hercule Poirot #10), by Agatha Christie
Published in 1934. Audiobook.
For my project to listen to all of Hercule Poirot. Counts for The Classics Club

According to Goodreads, I had read it in 2012. Then I watched the three movie/TV versions (the BBC one is bar far the best, according to me – who can surpass David Suchet??). So I had actually forgotten I had read it.
The narrator of this one was actually also David Suchet. I realized that even though I knew so many details about the story, I still very much enjoyed it, especially by noticing the little clues here and there. Masterful.


The Vexations Atom[ka]

📚 The Vexations, by Caitlin Horrocks
Published in 2019
Lent by a friend

I know Judy at Keep the Wisdom has really liked it, but I have to say I’m a bit disappointed. I was expecting much more about Erik Satie himself, but it seems the book actually focuses more on his sister. I have other issues with the book, which I will talk to you about next Sunday hopefully.
Bu there ARE some neat passages on Satie’s music and the ambiance of the time.

📚 And in audiobook, Atom[ka], by  Franck Thilliez
Published in 2012
French audiobook

As mentioned above, I just read this book on Fukushima, so staying somewhat in the same field with this amazing thriller around Chernobyl (I think one of the three threads is about that). There are riveting descriptions in a mental hospital, and tons of suspense as usual with Thilliez.
The narrator is spectacular, Michel Raimbault, like for most of the books in this series.


The Letter Killers Club

📚The Letter Killers Club (1926), by Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky
Published in 1926.
This is the book I got for Classics Spin #25.
I presented it in my December titles post.


  Dojoji Knots and Crosses

📚 Dojoji, by Yukio Mishima
Japanese play, published in 1957
I’m planning to read it in January, for the Japanese Literature Challenge, and for The Classics Club

“Mishima’s play is called Dojoji, and takes place in a secondhand furniture shop. The Dealer has organized a private auction for some very rich customers. He is selling a giant wardrobe, big enough to fit a double bed in. The Dealer explains that the wardrobe is up for auction because it belonged to one of the rich families who “has gone down a bit in the world” since the end of WWII, so they must sell their furniture. The wardrobe is very impressive, and soon the bidding hits three million Yen.
However, just as the bidding reaches a climax, a woman enters the scene, bidding only three thousand Yen for the wardrobe.”

📚 Knos and Crosses, by Ian Rankin
Published in 1987
I have heard about this author twice this past week, so that’s a good sign!

“Detective John Rebus: His city is being terrorized by a baffling series of murders…and he’s tied to a maniac by an invisible knot of blood. Once John Rebus served in Britain’s elite SAS. Now he’s an Edinburgh cop who hides from his memories, misses promotions and ignores a series of crank letters. But as the ghoulish killings mount and the tabloid headlines scream, Rebus cannot stop the feverish shrieks from within his own mind. Because he isn’t just one cop trying to catch a killer, he’s the man who’s got all the pieces to the puzzle…
Knots and Crosses introduces a gifted mystery novelist, a fascinating locale and the most compellingly complex detective hero at work today..”



📚 L’Origine, by Lilianne Milgrom
Published on July 28
Historical novel set in France. Received for France Book Tours

We still have a couple of spots on the tour!!

L’Origine‘ traces the extraordinary, clandestine odyssey of an iconic 19th century painting that shook up the author’s world and continues to scandalize all who set eyes upon it.
Gustave Courbet’s portrait of a woman’s exposed torso and sex – audaciously entitled ‘L’Origine du monde’ (The Origin of the World) – was so shocking it was kept hidden for a century and a half, surviving revolution, Nazi plunder and the foibles of its eccentric owners.
Today it draws millions of visitors to Paris’ Orsay Museum. Lilianne Milgrom brings a fresh, feminine perspective to an iconic work of art created specifically for the male gaze.
L’Origine‘ offers readers more than a riveting romp through history–it also reflects society’s complex attitude towards female nudity.

NB: this is a historical novel, no explicit scenes


📚 Wow, I forgot I has been doing this! Will try to restart this. Maybe for my exclusive Newsletter!


📚 Book of the month giveaway


  • Late reviews?
  • More Orthodox book notes?
  • Two new tours will be posted on Monday and Tuesday




The Classics Club 2020-2025



The Classics Club
November 2020 – November 2025

I’m thrilled to present to you my 3rd list of 137 titles for The Classics Club.
I stupidly thought our lists had to have 50 titles, but I discovered on the Wall of Honor that we could choose as many titles as we want.

Here is my new table, with color codes for nonfiction, mystery, and Japanese, three prominent categories. Plus my two special projects!
I will obviously update the table as I go along.

Why 137 titles?
I just added one title to my previous list to make it to 50,
plus my Bible (49 books to go)
and my Hercule Poirot (38 books to go)  projects.
Hence 137.
And I am planning on being more serious with my spins!

How did I come up with these titles?
Simple: I opened my To-Be-Read Goodreads shelf, and put them in order of publication, and I picked the 50 oldest titles! Those are titles I added there along the years.

Be patient, it may take a few seconds for the file below to show up: this is on Sheet 1 of the document

You can also click on this link to access it.

I’m curious:

  1. How many of these have you read?
  2. Which one/ones is/are your favorite?

See my 2nd list here.
And my first list here.

Club hashtags on Twitter:










The Classics Club 2019-2024: 2nd list recap



The Classics Club
September 7, 2019 – September 7, 2024

You read it right: I had five years to read my 2nd list of 50 titles for The Classics Club.
But I actually managed to read/listen to them between September 2019 and November 2020!
See my 2nd list here. As usual, 34 titles were added to my original list!
And my first list here.
Alas, I’m so so far behind as for reviews.

📚 Here is a little recap:

Besides Bible books, the oldest title was published in 1824:
The Masque of the Red Death, by Edgar Allan Poe
And the most recent in 1953:
Childhood’s End, by Arthur C. Clarke

📚 Genre:

  • 2 scifi
  • 3 nonfiction
  • 4 fiction
  • 15 Bible
  • 22 mysteries

Both scifi were super disappointing.
In nonfiction, my favorite was

Travels with a Donkey in the Cévennes

In  fiction, I so loved

Parnassus on Wheels

In mystery, this one was a big revelation:

The Lodger

I read the first 9 Maigret mysteries by Georges Simenon.
I really liked the ambiance, as explained for instance in this post.

And I’m really thrilled by my current project or listening to all of Hercule Poirot, as the first story with him was published one hundred years ago.
I enjoy this experience as much I enjoyed listening to all of Sherlock Holmes in 2017. I am more and more discovering all the intricacies of the main character.
And Agatha Christie’s plots are so genially put together, with not two alike, even if several are the type of closed room mystery.

So far, I have listened to 8 and read 1, which is actually a play!
Most of these were narrated by the amazing Hugh Fraser. I did watch the BBc series, so it’s really neat to find his voice again. He is so so good at doing all kinds of different characters.
And a couple were with David Suchet, who’s really dedicated all his life to Hercule Poirot.

As I haven’t written any review of these, I’d like to share here something I have discovered, thanks to the audio format. It never struck me when I was reading them (I did read a few Hercule Poirot books in the past).
We all know Hercule is a francophone Belgian, and his English is not perfect.
When you read/hear him, you may notice some awkward phrases and think, well, he’s not a native English speaker and not think more about it.
But there’s actually more to the story. I realized that his mistakes are based on French constructions. The latest most obvious example I encountered is in Lord Edgware Dies. At one point, Hercule tells Captain Hastings, “You mock yourself at me.”
In French, the verb ‘to mock’ is indeed not a transitive verb, but a pronominal verb (se moquer de), so to say: you mock me, we do literally say “you mock yourself at me” (vous vous moquez de moi).
There are many similar examples like this in all the Hercule Poirot stories I have listened to so far, which shows that either Agatha Christie was fluent in French, or she did extensive research to make Hercule very real. Her family spent a year in France, that probably helped, though I don’t know how old she was then. I so need to read her biography!

📚 Format:

  • 18 print
  • 32 audio

📚 Authors:

  • 5 by a Japanese author
  • 6 by an American author
  • 10 by a French author

Club hashtags on Twitter: