The top 7 books to read in September 2021

Here are

The top 7 books
I plan to read in September 2021

Click on the covers to know more


  Termination Shock The Hands On French Cookbook

📚 Termination Shock, by Neal Stephenson
Expected publication: November 16th 2021 by William Morrow

OK, this is a new plunge for me. I have been meaning to read so many books by Stephenson, and  never dared so far. But when I saw it on Netgalley, I couldn’t resist. A technothriller about climate change, totally my thing!
I usually do not request a book that long (896 pages) by a new to me author, as it means I cannot DNF it (I do not DNF books I requested). But so far anyway, I’m just loving it.

“A visionary technothriller about climate change.
Neal Stephenson’s sweeping, prescient new novel transports readers to a near-future world where the greenhouse effect has inexorably resulted in a whirling-dervish troposphere of superstorms, rising sea levels, global flooding, merciless heat waves, and virulent, deadly pandemics.
One man has a Big Idea for reversing global warming, a master plan perhaps best described as “elemental.” But will it work? And just as important, what are the consequences for the planet and all of humanity should it be applied?
Ranging from the Texas heartland to the Dutch royal palace in the Hague, from the snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas to the sunbaked Chihuahuan Desert, Termination Shock brings together a disparate group of characters from different cultures and continents who grapple with the real-life repercussions of global warming. Ultimately, it asks the question: Might the cure be worse than the disease?”

📚 The Hands On French Cookbook, by Elisabeth de Châtillon
Published on 6/2/21
For a tour on France Book Tours

“If you think French food is complicated, decadent, and heavy, think again!
If you think learning and exploring another language is difficult or boring, think again!
And if you think cooking French food and learning French at the same time is impossible, teacher and home cook Elisabeth de Châtillon is here to prove you wrong. It might sound too good to be true, but THE HANDS ON FRENCH COOKBOOK is full of healthy, simple French recipes that you can make for friends and family while you learn not only the French language but also a little bit about French culture in a relaxed, fun, tasty way.”

📚 The New Testament: A Translation, by David Bentley Hart
Published in 2017

As you may know, I’m in the process of listening to the whole Bible. I recently finished listening to all the books of the Old Testament.
As David Bentley Hart recently published a new translation, I thought I would at the same time listen to all the books of the New Testament (narrated by Alexander Scourby) AND read this new translation. The translator is Orthodox, as I am, and I’m very intrigued to see what he did here.

“From one of our most celebrated writers on religion comes this fresh, bold, and unsettling new translation of the New Testament.
David Bentley Hart undertook this new translation of the New Testament in the spirit of “etsi doctrina non daretur,” “as if doctrine is not given.” Reproducing the texts’ often fragmentary formulations without augmentation or correction, he has produced a pitilessly literal translation, one that captures the texts’ impenetrability and unfinished quality while awakening readers to an uncanniness that often lies hidden beneath doctrinal layers.
The early Christians’ sometimes raw, astonished, and halting prose challenges the idea that the New Testament affirms the kind of people we are. Hart reminds us that they were a company of extremists, radical in their rejection of the values and priorities of society not only at its most degenerate, but often at its most reasonable and decent. “To live as the New Testament language requires,” he writes, “Christians would have to become strangers and sojourners on the earth, to have here no enduring city, to belong to a Kingdom truly not of this world. And we surely cannot do that, can we?”


  Rider on the Rain The Islanders by Christopher Priest  

📚 Rider on the Rain, by Sébastien Japrisot
Published in 1969 – will read for The Classics Club and the Books in Translation Challenge. Getting republished by Gallic Books on October 5, 2021

“The bus never stops in Le Cap-des-Pins. Not in autumn, when the small Riviera resort is deserted. Except today, when a man with a red bag and a disconcerting stare steps out into the rain.His arrival will throw the life of young housewife Mellie Mau into disarray. After surviving a horrific attack, she has a dark secret to hide. But a stranger at a wedding, the enigmatic American Harry Dobbs, is determined to get the truth out of her, leading her into a game of cat and mouse with dangerous consequences …A cool, stylish and twisty thriller from cult French noir writer Sébastien Japrisot.”

📚  The Islanders, by Christopher Priest
Published in 2011

Christopher Priest is a big name in the word of scifi, but I have never read anything by him. This book intrigued me, so I chose it when I won a book of my choice a few years ago on a blog (sorry, can’t remember where).

“Reality is illusory and magical in the stunning new literary SF novel from the multiple award-winning author of The Prestige—for fans of Haruki Murakami and David Mitchell.

A tale of murder, artistic rivalry, and literary trickery; a Chinese puzzle of a novel where nothing is quite what it seems; a narrator whose agenda is artful and subtle; a narrative that pulls you in and plays an elegant game with you. The Dream Archipelago is a vast network of islands. The names of the islands are different depending on who you talk to, their very locations seem to twist and shift. Some islands have been sculpted into vast musical instruments, others are home to lethal creatures, others the playground for high society. Hot winds blow across the archipelago and a war fought between two distant continents is played out across its waters. The Islanders serves both as an untrustworthy but enticing guide to the islands; an intriguing, multi-layered tale of a murder; and the suspect legacy of its appealing but definitely untrustworthy narrator. It shows Christopher Priest at the height of his powers and illustrates his undiminished power to dazzle.”


Les deux châteaux    After the Funeral

🎧  Les deux châteaux (N.E.O. #2), by Michel Bussi
Published on June 3, 2021

Michel Bussi is one of my favorite contemporary French authors. He usually writes thrillers, but has recently launched into YA fantasy – a genre I usually don’t read. I listened to volume 1 and so loved it, that I had to listen to volume 2. I’m about half way and it’s so so good.

“Le clan du château et le clan du tipi sont réconciliés ! Grâce à l’alliance de tous, les frontières de la ville et de ses environs peuvent enfin être repoussées : le monde s’ouvre désormais à eux.
Mais au-delà des grandes découvertes, des amitiés et des amours naissants, et derrière une cohabitation en apparence sereine, Alixe, Zyzo et leurs amis devront percer de nouveaux mystères. Comment les enfants ont-ils pu survivre juste après le passage du nuage ? Quelles sont les origines des deux clans ? Qui était vraiment Marie-Lune ?
Mordélia, chassée de la ville, a conservé un objet secret qui contient peut-être des réponses à toutes ces questions. Or habitée par une féroce volonté de survivre, elle compte bien prendre sa revanche…”

🎧 After the Funeral (Hercule Poirot #33), by Agatha Christie
Published in 1953 – Part of my project to listen to all of HP, for The Classics Club

“The master of a Victorian mansion dies suddenly – and his sister is convinced it was murder…. When Cora is savagely murdered with a hatchet, the extraordinary remark she made the previous day at her brother Richard’s funeral suddenly takes on a chilling significance. At the reading of Richard’s will, Cora was clearly heard to say: ‘It’s been hushed up very nicely, hasn’t it…But he was murdered, wasn’t he?’ In desperation, the family solicitor turns to Hercule Poirot to unravel the mystery.”

🎧 I will probably also listen to 3 other books with Hercule Poirot.
🎧 And a few books of the New Testament, as explained above.


Listed on the homepage 

List of books I can swap with yours


  • Hopefully write 3 reviews for books received for review through Edelweiss Plus and read last year

Eiffel Tower Orange


2021: August wrap-up


I published a recap post yesterday on my #20BooksofSummer21, which went really well this year.
Now is time for a shorter recap, just on the month of August. I thought this month zoomed by too quickly, but I did actually manage to read a lot.
At the beginning of the year, I was averaging almost 14 books a month (more than my usual numbers), and I thought it was just because I was listening to a lot of (short) books from the Bible (Old Testament).
Well, I didn’t listen to any Bible book in August (as a little break between Old and New Testament), and still managed to read 16 books, so I’m glad with the numbers.

August has now my best statistics for 2021 so far, as for number of pages read per day.

Another neat thing is that I finally caught up with all the reviews I needed to write for Netgalley books read in 2020! I just need now to write 3 reviews for Edelweiss Plus books read in 2020, and I will be up to date on these.

It was fun participating in #BoutofBooks.
And I announced an upcoming Read-along/ buddy-read (with Marianne at Let’s Read) on The Satanic Verses, by Salman Rushdie.

📚 Here is what I read in August:

16 books:
10 in print 
with 3,035 pages, a daily average of 97 pages/day
6 in audio
= 41H01
, a daily average of 1H19

12 in mystery:

  1. The Labors of Hercules (Hercule Poirot #27), by Agatha Christie
  2. The Witness for the Prosecution and Other Stories, by Agatha Christie
  3. Taken at the Flood (Hercule Poirot #28), by Agatha Christie
  4. Three Blind Mice and Other Stories, by Agatha Christie
  5. The Under Dog and Other Stories (Hercule Poirot #4), by Agatha Christie
  6. Mrs. McGinty’s Dead (Hercule Poirot #32), by Agatha Christie – these first 6 were as audiobooks, for The Classics Club
  7. Un Trou dans la toile, by Luc Chomarat – French ebook
  8. Tension extrême, by Sylvain Forge – French ebook
  9. Bomber’s Moon, by Archer Mayor
  10. A Fine Line, by Dan Burns
  11. The Madness of Crowds, by Louise Penny
  12. Le Village aux huit tombes, by Seishi Yokomizo – Japanese classic in French translation, for the Books in Translation Challenge and for The Classics Club

2 in nonfiction:

  1. History in English Words, by Owen Barfield – for The Classics Club
  2. Looking for The Stranger: Albert Camus and the Life of a Literary Classic, by Alice Kaplan

1 in historical fiction:

  1. The Illusion of Separateness, by Simon Van Booy

1 in literary fiction:

  1. Midaq Alley, by Naguib Mahfouz – for the Books in Translation Challenge and for The Classics Club


    Midaq Alley The Madness of Crowds

Tension extrème


Classics Club: 74/137 (from November 2020-until November 2025)
Japanese Literature Challenge: 12 books
#20BooksofSummer21: 37/20 books
Total of books read in 2021 = 113/120 (94%)

Number of books added to my TBR this past month = 18


  The Inugami Curse To Hold Up the Sky



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Come back on Friday
to see the books I plan to read in September

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How was YOUR month of August?

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has created a Month In Review meme
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Bout of Books 32: Day 6 recap



Bout of Books 32

Click on the logo to join the fun!

The Bout of Books readathon is organized
by Amanda Shofner and Kelly Rubidoux Apple.
It’s a weeklong readathon that begins Monday, August 16th
and runs through Sunday, August 22nd in YOUR time zone.
Bout of Books is low-pressure.
There are reading sprints, Twitter chats,
and exclusive Instagram challenges,
but they’re all completely optional
For Bout of Books 32 information and updates,
visit the Bout of Books blog
From the Bout of Books team


Here is what I read on DAY 6:

  1. Bomber’s Moon (Joe Gunther #30), by Archer Mayor = 125 pages
  2. Tension extrême, by Sylvain Forge = 19  pages
  3. Audiobook: The Under Dog and Other Stories, by Agatha Christie = 30 minutes =  18 pages = FINISHED
  4. Audiobook: Mrs. McGinty’s Dead (Hercule Poirot #32), by Agatha Christie =  2H50 =   118 pages

Total for Day 6:   280 pages
TOTAL so far:  1173/840

Wow, I thought Tuesday was great with 229 pages, and 280 today!
The audio time helped a lot. I did some cooking, and 5 pounds of harvesting green beans from the garden, plus cutting, blanching, and bagging. Hence all the audio time.

📚 I forgot to do the Instagram challenge!


Here is what I read on DAY 5:

  1. Bomber’s Moon (Joe Gunther #30), by Archer Mayor = 48 pages
  2. Audiobook: The Under Dog and Other Stories, by Agatha Christie = 1H29  =  55 pages

Total for Day 5:  103 pages
TOTAL so far:  893/840

I read even less than yesterday, but I have already reached my goal, and have two more days to go!

📚 I did the Instagram challenge: genre love


Here is what I read on DAY 4:

  1. Bomber’s Moon (Joe Gunther #30), by Archer Mayor = 78 pages
  2. Tension extrême, by Sylvain Forge = 19  pages
  3. Audiobook: The Under Dog and Other Stories, by Agatha Christie = 30 minutes  =  17 pages

Total for Day 4:  114 pages
TOTAL so far:  790/840

I read 6 pages less than my daily goal, but I read much more on the previous days, so doing good still.

📚 I did the Instagram challenge: color me happy


Here is what I read on DAY 3:

  1. Le Village aux huit tombes, by Seishi Yokomizo = 126 pages
  2. Bomber’s Moon (Joe Gunther #30), by Archer Mayor = 8 pages
  3. Tension extrême, by Sylvain Forge = 15 pages
  4. Audiobook: The Under Dog and Other Stories, by Agatha Christie = 1H25 minutes  =  53 pages

Total for Day 3:   202 pages
TOTAL so far:  676/840

I seem to be on a roll here. I even managed to publish a review on The Inugami Curse, by the same Seishi Yokomizo I’m reading this week.

📚 I did the Instagram challenge: celebrating diversity


Here is what I read on DAY 2:

  1. Midaq Alley, by Naguib Mahfouz = 72 pages = FINISHED
  2. Un trou dans la toile, by Luc Chomarat = 113 pages = FINISHED
  3.  Audiobook: Three Blind Mice and Other Stories, by Agatha Christie =1H58 minutes  =  72 pages = FINISHED
  4. Audiobook: The Under Dog and Other Stories, by Agatha Christie =2H minutes  =  72 pages

Total for Day 2:  329 pages
TOTAL so far:  474/840

No teaching today, so did a lot of work around the house, hence lots of audio time!
Weird that I read the exact same number of pages in three different books, but that’s really it. And this is probably my biggest number of pages in a day, as far as I can remember.

📚 I did the Instagram challenge: feel good books


Here is what I read on DAY 1:

  1. Midaq Alley, by Naguib Mahfouz = 80 pages
  2. Un trou dans la toile, by Luc Chomarat = 18 pages
  3.  Audiobook: Three Blind Mice and Other Stories, by Agatha Christie =1H18 minutes  =  47 pages

Total for Day 1:  145 pages
TOTAL so far:  145/840

Very happy with this first day
📚 I did the Instagram challenge: what I am reading


Based on my results for Bout of Books 31, I’m raising the bar to much higher than usual, setting my goal at 840 pages, that is, 120 pages per day. 

Here are the books I plan to read from. Some I am currently reading

  1. Midaq Alley, by Naguib Mahfouz = FINISHED
  2. Le Village aux huit tombes, by Seishi Yokomizo
    (to be published in English as The Village of Eight Graves in December 2021)
  3. Bomber’s Moon (Joe Gunther #30), by Archer Mayor
  4. Un trou dans la toile, by Luc Chomarat = FINISHED
  5. Tension extrême, by Sylvain Forge
  6.  Audiobook: Three Blind Mice and Other Stories, by Agatha Christie = FINISHED
  7. Audiobook: The Under Dog and Other Stories (Hercule Poirot #29), by Agatha Christie = FINISHED
  8. Audiobook: Mrs. McGinty’s Dead (Hercule Poirot #32), by Agatha Christie

I’m planning on doing some Instagram daily challenges.
No reading-in-place, which disrupts my reading. Nor Twitter chats: I have done it many times, and it’s mostly the same questions.


For Bout of Books 32, no daily challenges will be hosted on the official blog. Instead, we’ll have reading-in-place times!
Reading-in-place times, or reading sprints, happen daily on Twitter*. If you don’t have Twitter, make note of these times and report your reading progress on your platform of choice.
All reading-in-place times last 30 minutes.

Daily Reading-in-Place Times

📚 10 a.m. Eastern | 7 a.m. Pacific
📚 2 p.m. Eastern | 11 a.m. Pacific
📚 6 p.m. Eastern | 3 p.m. Pacific

Twitter Chats

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

Monday: 9 p.m. Eastern | 6 p.m. Pacific
Saturday: 11 a.m. Eastern | 8 a.m. Pacific

*Please note that these are the activities run through the Bout of Books account on Twitter. More reading sprints, Twitter chats, and other events may be hosted by experts, either on Twitter or on the Bout of Books Discord.