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?

 

2020: February wrap-up

FEBRUARY 2020 WRAP-UP

📚 Well, my January trend is still at work!
I have again read a lot this month, in fact even more than in January. But the real feat is that so far, I have reviewed everything as well, mostly thanks to my Sunday Post, where I post short reviews as needed.
My daily Book Journal is helping me too, I believe.
And I have restarted posting more often on Myrtle Skete, my Orthodox blog.

📚 Like in January, besides The Classics Club, I have been doing the Japanese Literature Challenge (until March), I joined the #Pondathon (a reading competition: I earn points for my #Xiaolong team based on the number of pages I read and the number of books I finish), and the Murakami online Book Club.

So here are the titles I read in February:

13 books:
9 in print 
with 2,275 pages, an average of 78 pages/day
4 in audio
= 23H10
, an average of 47 minutes

6 in mystery:

  1. Le Charretier de la Providence, by Georges Simenon – ebook
  2. Monsieur Gallet, décédé, by Georges Simenon – ebook
  3. Second Sister, by Chan Ho-Kei – ebook, for review
  4. Complot, by Nicolas Beuglet – audio
  5. L’ile du diable, by Nicolas Beuglet – audio
  6. The Missing Sister, by Elle Marr – my review will be live on Criminal Element mid March

2 in literary fiction:

  1. Norwegian Wood, by Haruki Murakami  – ebook
  2. The Ten Loves of Nishino, by Hiromi Kawakami – ebook, for review

3 in nonfiction:

  1. The Book of Ichigo Ichie, by Héctor Garcia
  2. The Book of Exodus – audio
  3. The Book of Leviticus – audio

2 in poetry:

  1. Selected Poems, by Masaoka Shiki
  2. The Essential Haiku: Versions of Basho, Buson, and Issa, by Robert Hass

MY FAVORITE BOOKS IN FEBRUARY

Second Sister  The Essential Haiku

READING CHALLENGES & RECAP

Classics Club: 20/50 (from October 2019-until September 2024)
Japanese Literature Challenge: 8 books read

Total of books read in 2020 = 24/110
Number of books added to my TBR this past month= 27

OTHER BOOKS I REVIEWED IN JANUARY

Besides the books above listed, this month I also reviewed:

The Gate

Tricky Logic Puzzles for Adults New SAT Vocabulary Workbook Once Upon a Word

GIVEAWAYS

The open giveaways are on my homepage

MOST POPULAR BOOK REVIEW THIS PAST MONTH

The Gate

click on the cover to access my review 

MOST POPULAR POST THIS PAST MONTH
– NON BOOK REVIEW –

Sunday Post #24

BOOK BLOG THAT BROUGHT ME MOST TRAFFIC THIS PAST MONTH

Caffeinated Reviewer
please go visit

TOP COMMENTERS 

Judy at Keep the Wisdom
Davida at The Chocolate Lady’s Book Review Blog
Karen at Booker Talk

please go and visit them,
they have great book blogs

BLOG MILESTONES 

2,151 posts
over 5,200 followers
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Come back tomorrow
to see the books I plan to read in March


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!

 

Sunday Post #27 – 3/1/2020

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

 

  The Ten Loves of Nishino The Missing Sister

📚 The Ten Loves of Nishino
Read for Japanese Literature Challenge 13
Received for review through Edelweiss Plus.
My review is here.

📚The Missing Sister
Received for review for Criminal Element
Release date: April 1st
My review will be published on Criminal Element, around mid March
Shayna is called to identify the remains of her twin sister Angela found in Paris. But she discovers a clue that Angela might actually still be alive, so she decides to investigate what’s going on.
The book kept getting creepier and creepier. Very atmospheric for sure, but I think there were some issues in the plot. I have to let it sit a bit before writing my review.

I also listened to The Book of Exodus, and The Book of Leviticus.
I can’t find them listed on Goodreads. It’s odd, they only show some titles of all the Bible books recorded by Alexander Scourby, though he did narrate the whole Bible, Old and New Testament, back in the 1950s. He was the first one to narrate the whole Bible. All his recording are on YouTube.

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 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.
‘A narrative particle accelerator that zooms between Wild Turkey Whiskey and Bob Dylan, unicorn skulls and voracious librarians, John Coltrane and Lord Jim. Science fiction, detective story and post-modern manifesto all rolled into one rip-roaring novel, Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World is the tour de force that expanded Haruki Murakami’s international following. Tracking one man’s descent into the Kafkaesque underworld of contemporary Tokyo, Murakami unites East and West, tragedy and farce, compassion and detachment, slang and philosophy.’ 

I’m also reading:
📚  Le Pendu de Saint-Pholien, which is Maigret #4, by Georges Simenon, with one of my French students.
📚 Theological Territories, by David Bentley Hart.
Slowly but surely, I’m still reading this collection of essays. I hope to finish it this month.

And I’m listening to the latest book by Michel Bussi
📚 Au Soleil redouté

BOOK UP NEXT

Summer of Reckoning

Maybe this one:

📚 Summer of Reckoning, by Marion Brunet, translated from the French
Expected publication: April 15, 2020 by Bitter Lemon
Received for review
“The story takes place in the suffocating atmosphere of a social housing estate in the south of France. 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 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, Manuel needs a guilty party and Saïd, a childhood friend of the girls and conveniently Arab, seems to fit the role perfectly. In the suffocating heat of summer Manuel embarks on a drunken mission of revenge. A dark and upsetting account of an ailing society, filled with silent and murderous rage.”

📚 I may also re-read The Brothers Karamazov with a group of parishioners. Not sure yet about this, as I have a lot of books going on already.

LAST 2 BOOKS ADDED TO MY GOODREADS TBR

  La soustraction des possibles ShadowPlay

📚 La soustraction des possibles, by Joseph Incardona
Release date 1/02/20
I found this on a French blog, and the plot intrigues me.

📚 Shadowplay, by Joseph O’Connor
Published on 6/6/2019
A historical novel on three people, Bram Stoker being one of them.
Lory at The Emerald City recommends it as a complement to Dracula, a classic which I still plan on reading one day!

BOOKS RECEIVED THIS PAST WEEK

Believe it or not, I received 14 books this past week!!
On Thursday, I discovered a BIG box at my door. I couldn’t remember ordering anything, so I was really intrigued, plus I couldn’t really identify the sender.
I opened the box with trepidation (I know, I should have done a video!!), and discovered, surprise surprise, they were books. Then I realized there were 12 books, so I now understood: this one the gift I won at Shooting Star Mags.
Back in August, Lauren organized a giveaway to celebrate her 12 years of blogging. Her generous gift was 12 books, and I ended up being the winner.
Working with my tastes and my Goodreads shelves, Lauren did an AMAZING job at picking books I would be interested in. So there are classics, thrillers, and books in translation. Thanks again Lauren.
Please, I recommend you go visit her great book blog! Not too many bloggers have been around for 12 years. And she has a cool Facebook book club too.

I also received two books for review:

BOOK JOURNAL

2/23
📚 I was at a wedding, so only had time to read a few pages from Theological Territories, by David Bentley Hart. He totally trounces two Roman Catholics authors about their view of capital punishment.

2/24
📚 I finished The Ten Loves of Nishino. See review above

2/25
📚 The Missing Sister, by Elle Marr, is raising more and more questions
📚 I listened to The Book of Exodus (audiobook on youtube), chapters 16-23. There’s actually so much in this book about the life of migrants, to use contemporary vocabulary.

2/26
📚 The Missing Sister is actually getting more and more creepy. I wonder where this is going. The identity issue comes even more to the surface, as we get to know more about the characters of both twins, about their life as kids and teens.
📚 Today, as I listened to chapters 24-35 of The Book of Exodus,
I discovered a detail I had not been aware before. As Moses is going down from the mountain, having just received the Tables of the Law, he hears noise in the camp and wonders what’s going on. He realizes they are partying, with a golden calf. As we recently had the passage of the Prodigal Son at Church, it made me think of the elder brother, coming back from the fields, and hearing sounds in his house. He is told his family is partying for the return of his younger brother, and they have killed a calf to celebrate.
I don’t think I have ever read exegetical studies on this parallel. Has anyone read anything about this? I’m curious.
Which makes me highlight the importance to read a (Biblical or other) text in different translation, or format, as you get to discover things you have never paid attention to, especially if it;s a text you basically think you know by heart.
📚 I started reading Le Pendu de Saint-Pholien, which is Maigret #4, by Georges Simenon, as a read-along with one of my French students.
I like the atmospheric setting from the very beginning. This book is not set in France, but at the border between Germany and the Netherlands.

2/27
📚 I discover that I really still know nothing about who did what in The Missing Sister . Talk about unreliable narrators and red-herrings!!
📚 I finished listening to The Book of Exodus, and listened to the whole book of Leviticus. In these days of coronavirus, it’s interesting to read about all these laws of purification, which I believe had also a hygiene value.

2/28
📚 Tonight was my book club, but I still managed to read a lot. It was really hard to have to go to bed with only a few pages of The Missing Sister. But it was getting so intense, I knew it might not be good to read before trying to sleep…
📚 I read some of the more cozy style in Le Pendu de Saint-Pholien. Maigret seems to be totally confused after what he did. He may actually have been the cause of someone’s death. That’s not too good for a detective. Well, we’ll see what the story reveals.
📚 But mostly, as I had to do lots of house chores, I listened to 20% of the latest book by Michel Bussi: Au soleil redouté. (published on 2/6/20). Bussi loves an island as his setting, this time it’s The Marquesas Islands (French Polynesia), an important place for Jacques Brel and Gauguin, among others.
Five women from around the world go there for a writing workshop. Au Soleil redouté is actually the name of the resort where the workshop is held.
And then the author leading the workshop disappears, apparently staging his latest writing prompt. So, is he dead, murdered, drowned, or just hidden? If he was killed, who did it? One of these 5 women? Why?
There are references to And Then There Were None, so I believe this is just the beginning… Plus Bussi is really good at tricking his readers…
Beside the suspense, I love all the passages on writing, and the different narrators, including a local teenager.

2/29
📚 Yeah, an extra day of reading!! Oh boy, I’m really glad I didn’t finish The Missing Sister last night. There was a rather horrific scene…

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

Today:
📚 Book of the month giveaway:
The Missing Sister! see above. Mystery set in Paris

COMING UP ON
WORDS AND PEACE
MYRTLE SKETE
FRANCE BOOK TOURS

    Japanese Literature 13

  • 3/2: February wrap-up
  • 3/3: March titles
  • 3/4: Book review: Creativity for Kids
  • 3/5: More notes of Theological Territories
  • 3/7: 6 Degrees of Separation
  • Throughout the week, I’ll do several posts on book notes from the Orthodox book Orthodox Prayer Life

 

HOW WAS YOUR WEEK?