Read or skip #3

READ OR SKIP

Inspired by book blogger Davida, at The Chocolate Lady’s Book Review Blog, herself inspired by a couple of other bloggers (see here for instance). I plan to post about it on Saturdays, except the 1st Sat of the month, when I usually feature another meme.

The rules are simple:

  1. Sort your Goodreads TBR shelf from oldest to new
  2. Pick the first 5 or 10 (or whatever number you choose, depending on how large your list is) books you see
  3. Decide whether to keep them or get rid of them.

RESULTS FOR PREVIOUS READ OR SKIP

READ: 6, 7
MAYBE: 9 (I created a new Goodreads shelf for this – To read, maybe)
SKIP: 5, 8

read-or-skip-2

READ OR SKIP #3

#readorskip

Reading, language, translation.

read-or-skip-3

 

 

8) Parisians: An Adventure History of Paris

9) Days of Reading

  • “In these inspiring essays about why we read, Proust explores all the pleasures and trials that we take from books.”
  • Short book, great topic, nice opportunity to read a bit more by Proust, after having read all of his In Search of Lost Time
    READ

10) Hunting and Gathering

  • Long book
  • BUT I liked the first book I read by her, French Leave. I’m sure she has even more to offer. Lots of great ratings
    READ

11) Mouse or Rat? Translation as Negotiation

  • “‘Translation is always a shift, not between two languages but between two cultures. A translator must take into account rules that are not strictly linguistic but, broadly speaking, cultural.’ Umberto Eco is of the world’s most brilliant and entertaining writers on literature and language. In this accessible and dazzling study, he turns his eye on the subject of translations and the problems the differences between cultures can cause. The book is full of little gems about mistranslations and misunderstandings.”
  • Great author, especially language, and topic of great interest to me, as a translator myself
    READ

12) Limits of Language

  • Great topic
  • BUT sounds more like snippets, the humor may bother me, plus apparently the author uses the pronoun ‘she’ by default, which always drives me nuts. I read, ‘she’, and am, wait, who is talking about>
    SKIP

So now, what do YOU think? Am I right to skip 8 and 12? Any other I should skip?
I will inform you of my final choice when I publish the next post for this meme.

HAVE YOU READ THESE?
READ OR SKIP?
I ALSO WELCOME SUGGESTIONS
FOR GOOD BOOKS ON SIMILAR THEMES

 

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July 2011 Wrap Up

Looks like the reading index is in harmony with the heat index: this month of July has been my best of the year so far, with 10 books read, a total of 2524 pages, that is an average of 81.41 pages/day.

On the other hand, I have not finished any audiobook in July, I’m still listening to Wolf Hall, by Hilary Mantel, it is excellent, but very long.

The neat thing also this month is the diversity of what I read, as for content and format:

Novels:
State of Wonder, by Ann Patchett
The Glass Demon, by Helen Grant
French Leave, by Anna Gavalda

Historical novel:
Before Versailles: a Novel of Louis XIV,  by Karleen Koen

Graphic novel:
The Invention of Hugo Cabret, by Brian Selznick upcoming review

Novellas: upcoming reviews
Bartleby the Scrivener, by Herman Melville (ebook – starting really to enjoy how convenient ereading is, especially through dailylit.com and using my stanza app  for ipodtouch)
The Death of Ivan Ilych, by Leo Tolstoy (ebook)

Non-fiction:
The Pun Also Rises, by John Pollack
Settled in the Wild, by Susan Hand Shetterly

Religious content:
Being As Communion, by John Zizioulas

It is extremely difficult to pick my July favorite, each being fantastic in its category.

In the non-fiction, one about words, one about nature, one about Orthodox theology, all 3 are must reads!

If I really need to pick my favorite in fiction, I’ll choose this one, but I loved very much the others as well:

Blogging wise, this past month:

  • I organized a giveaway to celebrate my upcoming 1st blogiversary. Here is the post, in case you missed it.
  • I have had more subscriptions, and visits are going up in number.
  • have begun reorganizing my Reading Challenges pages.
  • have started to post on Wordless Wednesday, with pictures of my hand painted rocks
  • started reading for The Art of the Novella Reading Challenge, going on right now, and for the Europa Challenge. I will go on with those in August and begin more actively to work on the Japanese Literature Challenge.
  • have also won an interesting historical novel: For the King, by Catherine Delors, and have received a few books by publishers and authors. The big event for August will be my post on Of Mice and Men on Aug 22, for the Steinbeck Classics Circuit Tour!

I  am still hesitating on changing the template, to go to a 3 columns site. Any preference?

Stay tune, keep cool, and keep reading!

ANY GREAT BOOK YOU READ THIS PAST JULY?

Review #55: French Leave

French Leave

by

Anna GAVALDA

108 pages

Publication: April 26, 2011 – Europa Editions

This book counts for

MY THOUGHTS ABOUT THIS BOOK

This is a very quick read, it took me about an hour, a nice pleasant summer read I would say. It  has a flow to it, and I enjoyed the characters as they break from their conventional daily lives to go back to the beauty and simplicity of spontaneous sibling life, far from the requirements of the city and its duties. The dialogues sound very authentic, even in translation. I have to admit I did not find in it the depth I found in the 2 other books published by Europa I read before that – the 2 books by Murielle Barbey: The Elegance of the Hedgehog and Gourmet Rhapsody.

WHAT IS IT ABOUT

Simon, Garance and Lola flee a family wedding that promises to be dull to visit their younger brother, Vincent, who is working as a guide at a château in the heart of the charming Tours countryside. For a few hours, they forget about kids, spouses, work and the many demands adulthood makes upon them and lose themselves in a day of laughter, teasing, and memories. As simply and as spontaneously as the adventure began, it ends. All four return to their everyday lives, carrying with them the magic of their brief reunion. They are stronger now, and happier, for having rediscovered the ties that bind them [Goodreads]

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Anna Gavalda is a French teacher and award-winning novelist.

Referred to by Voici magazine as “a distant descendant of Dorothy Parker”, Anna Gavalda was born in an upper-class suburb of Paris. While working as French teacher in high school, a collection of her short stories was first published in 1999 under the title “Je voudrais que quelqu’un m’attende quelque part” that met with both critical acclaim and commercial success, selling more than three-quarters of a million copies in her native France and winning the 2000 “Grand Prix RTL-Lire.” The book was translated into numerous languages including in English and sold in twenty-seven countries. It was published to acclaim in North America in 2003 as “I Wish Someone Were Waiting for Me Somewhere.” The book received much praise and is a library and school selection worldwide in several languages.

Gavalda’s first novel, Je l’aimais (Someone I Loved) was published in France in February 2002 and later that year in English. Inspired by the failure of her own marriage, it too was a major literary success and a bestseller and was followed by the short (96 pages) juvenile novel 35 kilos d’espoir (95 Pounds of Hope) that she said she wrote “to pay tribute to those of my students who were dunces in school but otherwise fantastic people”.

In 2004, her third novel, “Ensemble c’est tout,” focused on the lives of four people living in an apartment house: a struggling young artist who works as an office cleaner at night, a young aristocrat misfit, a cook, and an elderly grandmother. The 600-page book is a bestseller in France and has been translated into English as Hunting and Gathering.

As of 2007, her three books have sold more than 3 million copies in France. Ensemble c’est tout was made into a successful movie in 2007 by Claude Berri, with Audrey Tautou and Guillaume Canet. The adaptation of her first novel, Je l’aimais, with Daniel Auteuil and Marie-Josée Croze, was filmed in 2009 by Zabou Breitman.

Divorced, and the mother of two, Gavalda lives in the city of Melun, Seine-et-Marne, about 50 km southeast of Paris. In addition to writing novels, she also contributes to Elle magazine. [Goodreads]

HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK YET?
OR ANY OTHER BOOK BY ANNA GAVALDA?
DO YOU FEEL LIKE READING THIS BOOK?
SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS  IN A COMMENT PLEASE