2022 TBR Pile Reading Challenge: September checkpoint

tbr 2022 rbrbutton

#TBR2022RBR

Adam is asking us how we are doing so far with this challenge.
Since the August checkpoint, I have finished two books:

Eventide

📚 Eventide, by Kent Haruf
Literary fiction
Published in 2004

I so enjoyed this book!
It was great meeting again the McPheron brothers, and Victoria. The brothers are two old farmers, living and working together on this isolated farm  near the very small village of Holt, Colorado.
Victoria is a young woman they sheltered in the previous book (Plainsong), when she was in trouble. She now has a young child, and she is going back to school.
I really enjoyed the slow pace, the description of the landscape, of the daily chores on the farm. And obviously the study of the relationships between people in this city. The focus is really on relationships, within different families, in different social milieus.
And Haruf is so good at dialogs, especially at evoking the accent and speech characteristics of these two old guys. I read the book, I didn’t listen to the audiobook, but still, their voice was so alive to me through Haruf’s writing!
He wrote a 3rd book in this trilogy (Benediction), but it’s not about the same characters. I’m disappointed, as Raymond is kind of turning a new page in his life (you are never too old for that), and I wanted to know more about that. I also wanted more on the young boy DJ. But alas the author has passed away, so no more adventures coming on these characters I feel like I met in real life.

📚 Ensemble, c’est tout,Ensemble, c'est tout
by Anna Gavalda
Literary fiction

574 pages
Published in 2004

I read French Leave by Anna Gavalda in 2011. I liked it, but was not super impressed. But something (or someone??) told me to try another book, and I must have found Ensemble, c’est tout at a second-hand book sale – not easy to find these in French around Chicago!

VERDICT: Very enjoyable character-focused novel, with flowing dialogues.

Click on the cover to read my full review.

📚 📚 📚

Here is my full list for this challenge:

  1. Thomas Jefferson’s Crème brûlée: How a Founding father and his slave James Hemings introduced French cuisine to America, by Thomas J. Craughwell 6/12/22
  2. Le Voyage d’Octavio, by Miguel Bonnefoy 5/22/22
  3. A Raisin in the Sun, by Lorraine Hansberry 5/21/22
  4. Stuart Little, by E.B. White 5/18
  5. The First Men in the Moon by H.G. Wells 7/22/22
  6. Eventide, by Kent Haruf 9/10/22
  7. The Daughter of Time, by Josephine Tey 8/21/22
  8. Ensemble, c’est tout, by Anna Gavalda 8/26/22
  9. Wanderlust: A History of Walking, by Rebecca Solnit
  10. Absolutely on Music: Conversations with Seiji Ozawa, by Haruki Murakami (currently reading)
  11. Arvo Pärt: Out of Silence, by Peter C. Bouteneff
  12. A is For Alibi, by Sue Grafton 7/13/22

Alternates:
11. Joie de Vivre: Secrets of Wining, Dining, and Romancing Like the French, by Harriett Welty Rochefort
12. The Discovery of France: A Historical Geography, by Graham Robb

TBR 2022

HOW ARE YOU DOING SO FAR WITH YOUR CHALLENGES?

20 Books of Summer 2022: it’s a wrap

20 books of summer

#20booksofsummer22
#20booksofsummer

20 Books of Summer 2022:
it’s a wrap

Thanks to 746books.com I participated in this challenge from June 1 to August 31, for the third time.

Here were my original 20 books:

20 books of summer a

I am very happy, because I stuck pretty close to this list (rather unusual for me, lol), with 16 done and 2 more started.

AND I actually read almost as many books that were NOT on that original list:

20 books of summer b

I finished 7 in June, 12 in July, and 9 in August

Statistics wise, that’s:

28 books (7 on paper, 10 ebooks, and 11 audiobooks)
That’s a total of 4,929 pages (average of 53 pages/day)

And 95H46 of audio time (average of 1H02/day).

If I convert these audiobooks into pages, that’s 3,399 pages (average of 36 pages/day).
So the total in pages is 8,328 (average of 90 pages/day).

My original goal was 5,946 pages (average of 64 pages/day), so I’m very happy with this summer reading.

Genre wise – a nice mix
And 16 of these were classics
The oldest book was published in 1865, the most recent on July 16, 2022
Mystery: 10                – favorites: The Bride Wore Black / Confessions
Literary fiction: 6        – favorite: Ensemble, c’est tout
Scifi: 4                       – favorite: Upgrade
Nonfiction: 3              – favorite: L’Enfer numérique
Historical fiction: 3    – favorite: So Big
Play: 1
Fantasy: 1

Source:
Library: 11
Web: 7
Owned: 4
Netgalley: 2
EStories (audio subscription): 2
Print review copy: 2

Languages:
English: 13
French: 10
Translated into English: 5
(2 from the Japanese, 2 from the French, 1 from the Russian)

My disappointments
I was disappointed with only #2, 11, and 19.
My conclusion: you REALLY need to read all the others!

Click here or one of the above charts to access my full chart

How many books did you read this Summer?
Which ones were your favorites or your disappointments?

2022 TBR Pile Reading Challenge: August checkpoint

tbr 2022 rbrbutton

#TBR2022RBR

Adam is asking us how we are doing so far with this challenge.
Since the June checkpoint, I have finished three books.
I’m almost done with a 4th (Ensemble, c’est tout), but I am reading it with one of my French students, so I cannot read more than a set number of pages per week.
I’m also currently reading Eventide, by Kent Haruf.

A is for Alibi A is For Alibi,
by Sue Grafton
Mystery
308 pages / 7H39

Published in 1982

I thought I REALLY needed to try this series.
It started ok, then a bit muddled. And really, no surprise at all about the main killer. So obvious.
But most of all, I could less and less bear Kinsey Millhone. There are way too many descriptions of her everyday meals and snacks. And really, I am not interested in her sex life at all.
I listened to the book, and the narrator Mary Peiffer fit the bill, she was good. And had the perfect voice for a person in real life I would end up finding annoying and uninteresting.

Did I make many enemies here?


The First Men in the Moon,The First Men in the Moon

by H. G. Wells
Science-fiction

137 pages
Published in 1901

I was very surprised when I started reading how funny it was, I was definitely not expecting that from this classic scifi. I learned then that it’s a satire on Jules Verne’s novel on the same topic – so now I’m rereading this one (De la Terre à la lune), that I read as a kid back in France, to see how Wells varies from Verne.
Keep in mind this was written in 1901, so it was extremely fascinating to see how we imagined the moon back then, what you could find there, on or in it.
Incidentally, these past weeks, scientist have revealed that they have discovered some types of caverns on/in the moon! So who knows, maybe Selenites do exist!
There are awesome passages on the social description of the creatures there, and major criticism about human society, especially our love for war – a thing lunar people cannot fathom at all and find so absurd. And 13 years later, we were at it again…
And still in 2022…
This is really an excellent classic scifi.

The Daughter of Time

The Daughter of Time,
by Josephine Tey
(Inspector Alan Grant #5)
Historical mystery
206 pages

Published in 1951

I was very impressed by The Man in the Queue, the first book in the Inspector Alan Grant series. Impressed especially by the richness of vocabulary, an element you don’t often find these days in the mystery genre.
So I intended to read the other volumes in order, but then EVERYONE was telling me their favorite was #5: The Daughter of Time.
So I decided to listen to you. And I am sure glad I did!

VERDICT: Unique and fascinating perspective: analyze historical enigmas with the eyes of a modern police inspector.

Click on the cover to read my full review.

📚 📚 📚

Here is my full list for this challenge:

  1. Thomas Jefferson’s Crème brûlée: How a Founding father and his slave James Hemings introduced French cuisine to America, by Thomas J. Craughwell 6/12/22
  2. Le Voyage d’Octavio, by Miguel Bonnefoy 5/22/22
  3. A Raisin in the Sun, by Lorraine Hansberry 5/21/22
  4. Stuart Little, by E.B. White 5/18
  5. The First Men in the Moon by H.G. Wells 7/22/22
  6. Eventide, by Kent Haruf (currently reading)
  7. The Daughter of Time, by Josephine Tey 8/21/22
  8. Ensemble, c’est tout, by Anna Gavalda (currently reading)
  9. Wanderlust: A History of Walking, by Rebecca Solnit
  10. Absolutely on Music: Conversations with Seiji Ozawa, by Haruki Murakami
  11. Arvo Pärt: Out of Silence, by Peter C. Bouteneff
  12. A is For Alibi, by Sue Grafton 7/13/22

Alternates:
11. Joie de Vivre: Secrets of Wining, Dining, and Romancing Like the French, by Harriett Welty Rochefort
12. The Discovery of France: A Historical Geography, by Graham Robb

TBR 2022

HOW ARE YOU DOING SO FAR WITH YOUR CHALLENGES?