The top 8 books to read in October 2020

Here are

The top 8 books
I plan to read in October 2020

Click on the covers to know more


L'énigme de la chambre 622    The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle 

The Girl Behind the Wall

📚 L’Énigme de la chambre 622 (2014), by Joël Dicker
Reading in French with the French Book Club (on Discord).
Dicker is the author of The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair.

So far, I find this one a bit confusing, there’s a lot of back and forth, and going back ito different times in the past.

“Une nuit de décembre, un meurtre a lieu au Palace de Verbier, dans les Alpes suisses. L’enquête de police n’aboutira jamais.
Des années plus tard, au début de l’été 2018, lorsqu’un écrivain se rend dans ce même hôtel pour y passer des vacances, il est loin d’imaginer qu’il va se retrouver plongé dans cette affaire.
Que s’est-il passé dans la chambre 622 du Palace de Verbier?”

📚 The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle (1994), by Haruki Murakami
Reading with the Haruki Murakami Online Book Club (on Discord)

There are some amazing passages I so enjoy here, for instance about the well, and some type of Transfiguration-like experience.
And at some other passages, I’m nearing a Murakami-overdose!!

“Japan’s most highly regarded novelist now vaults into the first ranks of international fiction writers with this heroically imaginative novel, which is at once a detective story, an account of a disintegrating marriage, and an excavation of the buried secrets of World War II.
In a Tokyo suburb a young man named Toru Okada searches for his wife’s missing cat. Soon he finds himself looking for his wife as well in a netherworld that lies beneath the placid surface of Tokyo. As these searches intersect, Okada encounters a bizarre group of allies and antagonists: a psychic prostitute; a malevolent yet mediagenic politician; a cheerfully morbid sixteen-year-old-girl; and an aging war veteran who has been permanently changed by the hideous things he witnessed during Japan’s forgotten campaign in Manchuria.”

📚 The Girl Behind the Wall: Edgar Allan Poe, The Girl, And the Mysterious Raven Murders  (October 21st, 2020), by Bruce Wetterau
Received for review.

I’m about half done, and so far, this is one of those self-published gem. It is a fascinating use of so many stories and poems by Poe!

Did Edgar Allan Poe know more about murder than he revealed in his bizarre stories of murder and mayhem? Was he in fact guilty of killing a girlfriend in a fit of rage many years before he became famous?
Bruce Wetterau’s taut thriller weaves a murder mystery worthy of Poe himself as it follows Poe through actual events in the last months of his life. The year 1849 saw the real-life Poe dealing with his alcoholism, failing health, poverty, and painful memories of his recently deceased child-bride wife. His life had become a psychological pressure cooker, with severe anxiety attacks and bouts of strange hallucinations.
The Girl Behind the Wall opens in early 1849. Poe is being tormented by frightening visions about murdering Annabel Lee while he was a student at the University of Virginia. Afraid of the hangman’s noose, Poe knows he can never tell anyone about the repressed memories haunting him. But a newspaper reporter named Sam Reynolds has overheard him talking erratically about Annabel while in a drunken stupor. That a man as famous as Poe could be a murderer would be the scoop of a lifetime and Reynolds will do anything to get it.
Flash forward nearly two hundred years to the present. The book’s hero, Clay Cantrell, accidentally uncovers damning evidence–Annabel’s skeleton and a locket from Poe–behind an old brick wall at the university. While the mystery of Annabel’s murder and Poe’s strange visions unfolds in flashbacks, Cantrell and friends launch a search of their own for the truth about Annabel’s death. But another murder mystery much closer to home overtakes them when a cold-blooded serial killer named the Raven claims his first victim, a UVA coed.
Obsessed with Poe, the Raven stages his murders with clever ties to Poe’s works. Clay tries to stop the murders and soon winds up in the Raven’s cross hairs. Though this isn’t the first vicious killer Clay has fought, he doesn’t know the Raven has a diabolical plan to execute him.
Will Poe finally reveal the truth about Annabel, or will he take the secret to his grave? Can Clay escape the Raven’s plot, find what drives the Raven’s murderous obsession with Poe, and at last answer the question, who killed Annabel Lee?


  Foundation  To Hold Up the Sky

Alina_A Song For the Telling

📚 Foundation (1951), by Isaac Asimov
I will be reading it along with Lory at The Emerald City, for The Classics Club
Let us know if you want to join. It will be a low key event.

“For twelve thousand years the Galactic Empire has ruled supreme. Now it is dying. But only Hari Seldon, creator of the revolutionary science of psychohistory, can see into the future — to a dark age of ignorance, barbarism, and warfare that will last thirty thousand years. To preserve knowledge and save mankind, Seldon gathers the best minds in the Empire — both scientists and scholars — and brings them to a bleak planet at the edge of the Galaxy to serve as a beacon of hope for a future generations. He calls his sanctuary the Foundation.
But soon the fledgling Foundation finds itself at the mercy of corrupt warlords rising in the wake of the receding Empire. Mankind’s last best hope is faced with an agonizing choice: submit to the barbarians and be overrun — or fight them and be destroyed.”

📚 To Hold Up the Sky,  (October 20th, 2020) by Cixin Liu
Received for review.
Cixin Liu is the author of the amazing Supernova Era, so I’m really looking forward to this one.

“From Cixin Liu, the New York Times bestselling author of The Three-Body ProblemTo Hold Up the Sky is a breathtaking collection of imaginative science fiction.”
It contains 11 short stories.

📚 Alina: A Song for the Telling, (October 20th, 2020) by Malve von Hassell 
Received for review, for France Book Tours

ALINA: A SONG FOR THE TELLING is the coming-of-age story of a young woman from Provence in the 12th century who travels to Jerusalem, where she is embroiled in political intrigue, theft, and murder, and finds her voice.
“You should be grateful, my girl. You have no dowry, and I am doing everything I can to get you settled. You are hardly any man’s dream.”
Alina’s brother Milos pulled his face into a perfect copy of Aunt Marci’s sour expression, primly pursing his mouth. He got her querulous tone just right. Maybe Alina’s aunt was right. She could not possibly hope to become a musician, a trobairitz—impoverished as she was and without the status of a good marriage. But Alina refuses to accept the life her aunt wants to impose on her.
At the first opportunity she and her brother embark on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land to pray for their father’s soul and to escape from their aunt and uncle’s strictures. Their journey east takes them through the Byzantine Empire all the way to Jerusalem, where Alina is embroiled in political intrigue, theft, and murder.
Forced by a manipulative, powerful lord at court into acting as an informer, Alina tries to protect her wayward brother, while coming to terms with her attraction to a French knight.”


The Mystery of the Blue Train    L'humanité en péril

📚 The Mystery of the Blue Train, (Hercule Poirot #6, 1928) by Agatha Christie
Part of my project to listen to all of HP, for The Classics Club

“A mysterious woman, a legendary cursed jewel, and a night train to the French riviera — ingredients for the perfect romance or the perfect crime? When the train stops, the jewel is missing, and the woman is found dead in her compartment. It’s the perfect mystery, filled with passion, greed, deceit. And Hercule Poirot is the perfect detective to solve it…”

📚L’Humanité en péril,  (2019) by Fred Vargas
I have listened I believe to all the thrillers by Fred Vargas, an amazing French author. This time, this is her cry (nonfiction) to try to save the planet.

« Mais bon sang, comment vais-je me sortir de cette tâche insensée ? De cette idée de m’entretenir avec vous de l’avenir du monde vivant ? Alors que je sais très bien que vous auriez préféré que je vous livre un roman policier.
Il y a dix ans, j’avais publié un très court texte sur l’écologie. Et quand on m’a prévenue qu’il serait lu à l’inauguration de la COP 24, c’est alors que j’ai conçu un projet de la même eau, un peu plus long, sur l’avenir de la Terre, du monde vivant, de l’Humanité.
Rien que ça. »


Listed on the homepage 

List of books I can swap with yours

Review copies (middlegrade/historical novel and mystery/women’s fiction)
available at France Book Tours


📚 Start a monthly Throwback Thursday, starting with September 2010, since I’m now 10.
📚 Looking more closely at doing a  monthly Newsletter, with special content.
Let me know what you would like to find in it.

Eiffel Tower Orange



2020: August wrap-up

August 2020 WRAP-UP

I can’t believe it’s already the end of Summer. I’m already dreading winter…
But it also means lots of other great upcoming books to read. More about that tomorrow.
Let’s focus today on what I just read.
I managed to read 28 books for 20 books of Summer. I hope to have time to post a recap on that on September 3rd.

📚 For now, here is what I read in August.
It’s actually a pathetic 7 books. I thought I had read a lot. So the only explanation is that I’m actually in the process of reading lots of books – for readalongs. So only a few pages a day.
Oh also, I have spent some evening time obsessed by foreign language learning (Italian and Russian)!

I’m glad I participated in Bout of Books and had a great reading week, that helped a bit with the monthly stats.

7 books:
3 in print 
with 1,005 pages, a daily average of 32 pages/day
4 in audio
= 23H29
, a daily average of 45 minutes

5 in mystery:

  1. Il était deux fois, by Franck Thilliez – French audio
  2. The Inugami Curse, by Seishi Yokomizo – ebook, received or review
  3. The Big Four, #5 by Agatha Christie – audio, for The Classics Club
  4. Don’t Look For Me, by Wendy Walker –  for Criminal Element. Review live mid September
  5. Killer Come Back to Me: The Crime Stories of Ray Bradbury – ebook, received or review. Counts for The Classics Club

2 in nonfiction:

  1. The First Book of Kings – audio, for The Classics Club
  2. The Second Book of Kings – audio, for The Classics Club


Killer Come Back to Me Don't Look for Me


Classics Club: 42/50 (from October 2019-until September 2024)
Japanese Literature Challenge: 9 books read

Total of books read in 2020 = 79/110
Number of books added to my TBR this past month = 5


Marie Antoinette's World No Woods So Dark As These The English Grammar Workbook for Adult


The open giveaways are on my homepage

We have 2 books available for reviews on France Book Tours
One is a historical novel with a famous musician in Paris.
The other is a horror novel based on a super famous French classic!
And I’m going to post a third one very soon: a Middle Grade historical novel!


Marie Antoinette's World

click on the cover to access my review
Which shows that negative reviews can bring you lots of readers!!


Classic Spin #24
A book I haven’t even started!!


The Classics Club
please go visit, and why not join if you are not a member yet?


Deb at Readerbuzz
Karen at Booker Talk
Karen at The Simply Blog

please go and visit them,
they have great book blogs


2,215 posts
over 5,340 followers
over 200,870 hits


Come back tomorrow
to see the books I plan to read in September,
and some major milestone!!

Eiffel Tower OrangeEiffel Tower OrangeEiffel Tower Orange

How was YOUR month of August?


Nicole at Feed Your Fiction Addiction
has created a Month In Review meme
where you can link your monthly recap posts
Thanks Nicole!

Bout of Books 29: Day 2 recap

Day 2 recap

Boutofbooks 29

This is my 16th participation in #boutofbooks

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 12:01am Monday, August 17th
and runs through Sunday, August 23rd in YOUR time zone.
Bout of Books is low-pressure.
All reading-in-place times, Twitter chats,
and exclusive Instagram challenges a
re completely optional.
For Bout of Books 29 information and updates,
visit the Bout of Books blog
. – From the Bout of Books team


Here is what I read on DAY 2:

  1. Le livre de Perle, by Timothée de Fombelle = 60 pages
  2. L’énigme de la chambre 622, by Joël Dicker = 17 pages
  3. Audiobook: The Big Four, by Agatha Christie = 18 pages – FINISHED
  4. Audiobook: Pandemia, by Franck Thilliez = 4 pages

Total for Day 2:  99 pages
TOTAL so far:  303/525

I caught up with the pages I needed to read for my read along with a student on Le Livre de Perle, so I started reading L’énigme de la chambre 622, for a French read-along on Discord – we read and comment in French. Let me know if you are interested.

📚 For the 9:30 p.m. Central reading-in-place, I read 30 pages.

I also did the Instagram challenge, featuring a beautiful book cover.


Here is what I read on DAY 1:

  1. Le livre de Perle, by Timothée de Fombelle = 63 pages
  2. Audiobook: The Big Four, by Agatha Christie = 141 pages

Total for Day 1:  204 pages
TOTAL so far:  204/525

I had a lot of house chores to do today: wash, gardening, cooking, dishes, so ended up with almost 3 hours of audiobook listening!

📚 For the 9:30 p.m. Central reading-in-place, I read 27 pages.
Not many, because I take notes to help for reviews.
I didn’t participate in the Twitter Chat, but I already met interesting readers through the #boutofbooks hashtag

I also did the Instagram challenge


I’m setting my goal at 525 pages, that is, 75 pages per day. 

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

  1. Killer, Come Back to Me: The Crime Stories of Ray Bradbury
  2. Le livre de Perle, by Timothée de Fombelle
  3. L’énigme de la chambre 622, by Joël Dicker
  4. Vesper Flights, by Helen Macdonald
  5. Psalm 118: Commentary by Theophan the Recluse
  6. Audiobook: The Big Four, by Agatha Christie FINISHED
  7. Audiobook: Pandemia, by Franck Thilliez


For Bout of Books 29, no daily challenges will be hosted on our 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
📚 4 p.m. Eastern | 1 p.m. Pacific
📚 10:30 p.m. Eastern | 7:30 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

Click on the logo to sign up