Bout of Books 35: Day 1 recap

BOUT OF BOOKS 35:
Day 1 recap

Bout of Books 35#boutofbooks
This is my 21st participation!

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 15
and runs through Sunday, August 21 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 35 information and updates,
visit the Bout of Books blog
.
From the Bout of Books team

Here is what I read on DAY 1:

  1. Ensemble, c’est tout, by Anna Gavalda = 69 pages
  2. The Daughter of Time, by Josephine Tey = 16 pages
  3. Audiobook: Jamaica Inn, by Daphne du Maurier = 1H50 = 52 pages

Total for Day 1:  137 pages
TOTAL so far:  137/525 pages

I am very happy with day 1.
I have church activity Wednesday night and book club Friday night, at the times I usually read, so trying to use best the other days of this week.
I will NOT do the Instagram challenges, as part of my implementation of reducing digital use, after my eye-opening reading of Digital Hell: The Inner Workings of a “Like”.

📚📚📚

My goal as 75 pages/day, that is, a total of 525 pages.

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

  1. Human Nature, by Serge Joncour
  2. Ensemble, c’est tout, by Anna Gavalda
  3. De la Terre à la lune, by Jules Verne
  4. The Daughter of Time, by Josephine Tey
  5. Eventide, by Kent Haruf
  6.  Audiobook: Jamaica Inn, by Daphne du Maurier
  7. Audiobook: It Can’t Happen Here, by Sinclair Lewis

SCHEDULE

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.

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Save

Sunday Post #64 – 8/14/2022

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      Mailbox Monday2

 It's Monday! What Are You Reading2  IMWAYR  WWW Wednesdays 2

#SundayPost #SundaySalon
#MailboxMonday #itsmonday #IMWAYR
#WWWWednesday #WWWWednesdays

Click on the logos to join the memes

We had to go help family out of state, so I have only finished two books since the beginning of the month, and have not posted much this past week:

Here are the two books I have read/listened this month so far:

📚  JUST READ/LISTENED TO 🎧 

Ravage

📚  Ravage, by René Barjavel
Science-fiction
Published in 1943
Translated in English as Ashes, Ashes
It counts for The Classics Club
and for the 20 Books of Summer 2022

I recently read La Nuit des temps, by Barjavel, with one of my French students, and so enjoyed it that I decided to read also his other famous science-fiction novel, Ravage, which I may have read a few decades ago, with basically no memory of it.
This was very different from La Nuit des temps, more in the apocalyptical and post-apocalyptical genre. It’s amazing that in 1943, Barjavel would already have foreseen global warming and its catastrophic consequences, with major fires all over, droughts, and most rivers dried. Which is exactly what many countries are going through right now. Major rivers in Europe are drying out, and I just read that over a hundred villages in France already have no access to drinkable tap water.
Anyway, this was a very dramatic book, with some pretty horrific scenes.
All seems to go well, with advanced technology, until one day in 2052, there’s a major blackout in Paris, and all goes wrong from then on.
I think there was a problem in the plot, as we start hearing about a group of African people possibly at the origin of the blackout, and then we no longer hear about them.
But the end was positive, with life restarting for a small group of people, in a very simple way, as a major reset.
With what I have read in the other book I finished this month, see below, Barjavel’s idea of a major reset might be indeed the only thing that could ultimately save our planet

L'Enfer numérique

🎧 L’Enfer numérique : Voyage au bout d’un like, by Guillaume Pitron
Nonfiction
Published September 15, 2021

VERDICT:
A major eye-opener and a punch in the stomach: how I am polluting the world with my use of internet and electronics, and what I can do to limit the problem.
Probably the most inspiring book I will read in 2022.

Read my full review here.

📚  CURRENTLY READING/LISTENING TO 🎧 

Human Nature

📚 Human Nature, by Serge Joncour
Literary fiction
First published as Nature humaine in 2020
Expected US publication:
August 22, 2022 by Gallic Books
Translation by Louise Rogers Lalaurie

I actually read it in French two years ago, and am rereading it in English, as I received a review copy.
Once again, Joncour shows his knack at conveying a strong message about what we have been doing to our planet, through fascinating characters and their evolution.

“Selling over 100,000 copies in France, Serge Joncour’s vibrant, ambitious novel calls us to open our eyes to the damage done by modern hyperconsumerism, both to our planet and to our collective humanity.
When his three sisters escape to the city Alexander is left to run the family farm. Though reluctant, he commits himself to honoring the traditional methods that prioritize the welfare of his cattle, and produce the highest quality meat.
But the world around him is changing. The insatiable appetites of supermarkets and fast food chains demand that standards must be sacrificed for speed. As Alexandre struggles to balance his principles and his livelihood, he is drawn to the beautiful Constanze, part of a group of environmental activists keen to draw him into their cause. Farmers uses ammonium nitrate and so do eco-terrorists…”

The Daughter of Time📚 The Daughter of Time, by Josephine Tey
Historical fiction
Published in 1951
It counts for The Classics Club
and for the 20 Books of Summer 2022

I was very impressed by The Man in the Queue (Inspector Alan Grant #1), and decided to read more of this series. For once, I am jumping from volume 1 to 5, as so many of you have told me how much you enjoyed this book.
It’s definitely unusual to read about a Scotland Yard inspector bored on his hospital bed, keeping his mind busy with investigating an old historical case: who was really Richard III, and did he really killed his nephews?
I really enjoy the style of the author: rich vocabulary and hilarious descriptions of people and their words. I’m at 28%, when Grant starts diving more into history books, and I’m curious how he’s going to do his investigation.

Ensemble, c'est tout

📚 Ensemble, c’est tout, by Anna Gavalda
Literary fiction
Published in 2004

Reading it in French with one of my students.
And it happens to be on my 20 Books of Summer list!

I really enjoy a lot the portrait of the people implied, and the nice flowing, authentic dialogs.

It was translated as Hunting and Gathering.
“Camille is doing her best to disappear. She barely eats, works at night as a cleaner and lives in a tiny attic room. Downstairs in a beautiful, ornate apartment, lives Philibert Marquet de la Durbellière, a shy, erudite, upper-class man with an unlikely flat-mate in the shape of the foul-mouthed but talented chef, Franck. One freezing evening Philibert overcomes his excruciating reticence to rescue Camille, unconscious, from her garret and bring her into his home.
As she recovers Camille learns more about Philibert; about Franck and his guilt for his beloved but fragile grandmother Paulette, who is all he has left in the world; and about herself. And slowly, this curious quartet of misfits all discover the importance of food, friendship and love.”

De la Terre à la lune

📚 De la Terre à la Lune, by Jules Verne
Science-fiction
Published in 1865

Reading it in French with another of my students
It counts for The Classics Club

The beginning of the book is a hilarious satire of the American people, as this Gun-Club is bored by peace and preparing to build a rocket to go to the moon.

We are half done, and so far, we are still on Earth, and there are a lot of very technical details. Sometimes boring actually, though in another respect, it’s interesting to see what we already knew in 1865 about the moon. Even the calculation of how much time is needed to go there is pretty close to what it really was a century later.

It was translated as From the Earth to the Moon.
“Verne’s 1865 tale of a trip to the moon is (as you’d expect from Verne) great fun, even if bits of it now seem, in retrospect, a little strange. Our rocket ship gets shot out of a cannon? To the moon? Goodness! But in other ways it’s full of eerie bits of business that turned out to be very near reality: he had the cost, when you adjust for inflation, almost exactly right. There are other similarities, too. Verne’s cannon was named the Columbiad; the Apollo 11 command module was named Columbia. Apollo 11 had a three-person crew, just as Verne’s did; and both blasted off from the American state of Florida. Even the return to earth happened in more-or-less the same place. Coincidence — or fact!? We say you’ll have to read this story yourself to judge.”

Jamaica Inn

🎧 Jamaica Inn, by Daphne du Maurier
Gothic historical novel
Published in 1936
It counts for The Classics Club

I have really enjoyed Rebecca and My Cousin Rachel, but I think this one is actually the most gothic of the three.
Most characters are pretty horrible here, to tell the truth, but Du Maurier is so so good at conveying the ambiance on the Moor in Cornwall!

I was also very thrilled when I realized the narrator was Barbara Rosenblat, who does such an amazing job in the Mrs. Pollifax series.
She is just as amazing here, so good at conveying the different characters and their meanness.

“The coachman tried to warn her away from the ruined, forbidding place on the rainswept Cornish coast. But young Mary Yellan chose instead to honor her mother’s dying request that she join her frightened Aunt Patience and huge, hulking Uncle Joss Merlyn at Jamaica Inn.
From her first glimpse on that raw November eve, she could sense the inn’s dark power. But never did Mary dream that she would become hopelessly ensnared in the vile, villainous schemes being hatched within its crumbling walls—or that a handsome, mysterious stranger would so incite her passions… tempting her to love a man whom she dares not trust.”

📚  BOOK UP NEXT 📚 

Eventide

📚 Eventide, by Kent Haruf
Literary fiction
Published in 2004

I read Plainsong, the first book in this series in 2013, and really enjoyed the writing. So it’s high time to tackle this one that’s been collecting dust on my shelf.
This is part of my effort for the TBR Challenge.
Yes, this one is finally really next on the list!!

“Kent Haruf, award-winning, bestselling author of Plainsong returns to the high-plains town of Holt, Colorado, with a novel of masterful authority. The aging McPheron brothers are learning to live without Victoria Roubideaux, the single mother they took in and who has now left their ranch to start college. A lonely young boy stoically cares for his grandfather while a disabled couple tries to protect their violent relative. As these lives unfold and intersect, Eventide unveils the immemorial truths about human beings: their fragility and resilience, their selfishness and goodness, and their ability to find family in one another.”

📚  LAST BOOK ADDED TO MY GOODREADS TBR 📚 

Otherlands

📚 Otherlands: A Journey Through Earth’s Extinct Worlds, by Thomas Halliday
Nonfiction
February 1, 2022

“A stirring, eye-opening journey into deep time, from the Ice Age to the first appearance of microbial life 550 million years ago, by a brilliant young paleobiologist.
The past is past, but it does leave clues, and Thomas Halliday has used cutting-edge science to decipher them more completely than ever before. In Otherlands, Halliday makes sixteen fossil sites burst to life on the page.
This book is an exploration of the Earth as it used to exist, the changes that have occurred during its history, and the ways that life has found to adapt―or not. It takes us from the savannahs of Pliocene Kenya to watch a python chase a group of australopithecines into an acacia tree; to a cliff overlooking the salt pans of the empty basin of what will be the Mediterranean Sea just as water from the Miocene Atlantic Ocean spills in; into the tropical forests of Eocene Antarctica; and under the shallow pools of Ediacaran Australia, where we glimpse the first microbial life.
Otherlands also offers us a vast perspective on the current state of the planet. The thought that something as vast as the Great Barrier Reef, for example, with all its vibrant diversity, might one day soon be gone sounds improbable. But the fossil record shows us that this sort of wholesale change is not only possible but has repeatedly happened throughout Earth history.
Even as he operates on this broad canvas, Halliday brings us up close to the intricate relationships that defined these lost worlds. In novelistic prose that belies the breadth of his research, he illustrates how ecosystems are formed; how species die out and are replaced; and how species migrate, adapt, and collaborate. It is a breathtaking achievement: a surprisingly emotional narrative about the persistence of life, the fragility of seemingly permanent ecosystems, and the scope of deep time, all of which have something to tell us about our current crisis.”

📚  NO BOOK RECEIVED THIS PAST WEEK 📚 

📚📚📚

HAVE YOU READ ANY OF THESE BOOKS?
HOW WAS YOUR WEEK?
BE SURE TO LEAVE THE LINK TO YOUR POST

The top 8 books to read in August 2022

Here are
The top 8 books
I plan to read in August 2022

Click on the covers to know more

📚 CURRENTLY READING 📚

Human Nature  De la Terre à la lune

Ensemble, c'est tout Ravage

📚 Human Nature, by Serge Joncour
Literary fiction
Expected US publication: August 22nd 2022 by Gallic Books
Translated from the French by Louise Rogers Lalaurie
Received for review 

Serge Joncour is an impressive author. You can see for instance my review of Wild Dog.
I actually devoured Nature humaine, when it came out in French two years ago (it actually won Le Prix Femina), but didn’t take time to write a review. So I’m glad I received it in English, which is giving me the chance to revisit it and write about it.
From page one, I enjoying the flowing translation.

“Selling over 100,000 copies in France, Serge Joncour’s vibrant, ambitious novel calls us to open our eyes to the damage done by modern hyperconsumerism, both to our planet and to our collective humanity.
When his three sisters escape to the city Alexander is left to run the family farm. Though reluctant, he commits himself to honouring the traditional methods that prioritise the welfare of his cattle, and produce the highest quality meat.
But the world around him is changing. The insatiable appetites of supermarkets and fast food chains demand that standards must be sacrificed for speed. As Alexandre struggles to balance his principles and his livelihood, he is drawn to the beautiful Constanze, part of a group of environmental activists keen to draw him into their cause. Farmers uses ammonium nitrate and so do eco-terrorists…”

📚  De la Terre à la lune, by Jules Verne
Science-fiction
Published in 1865.
Available in English as From the Earth to the Moon
Currently reading with a French student. It counts for The Classics Club

I was recently impressed by The First Men in the Moon, by H.G. Wells, and was curious that it’s supposed to be a satire on Verne’s book.
I was thrilled to hear that one of my students wanted to read this classic by Verne.
It’s fascinating to compare the introduction and preparations before the trip. Both books are actually hilarious at this point.

“Verne’s 1865 tale of a trip to the moon is (as you’d expect from Verne) great fun, even if bits of it now seem, in retrospect, a little strange. Our rocket ship gets shot out of a cannon? To the moon? Goodness! But in other ways it’s full of eerie bits of business that turned out to be very near reality: he had the cost, when you adjust for inflation, almost exactly right. There are other similarities, too. Verne’s cannon was named the Columbiad; the Apollo 11 command module was named Columbia. Apollo 11 had a three-person crew, just as Verne’s did; and both blasted off from the American state of Florida. Even the return to earth happened in more-or-less the same place. Coincidence — or fact!? We say you’ll have to read this story yourself to judge.”

📚 Ensemble, c’est tout, by Anna Gavalda
French Literary fiction
Published in 2004
Available in English as Hunting and Gathering
(very puzzling to me, by the way)
Reading in French with another French student.

I had only read a very short book by Gavalda, French Leave, and was not completely impressed. But for some reasons, I bought Ensemble, c’est tout at a second hand sale years ago. I finally put it on my list of 20 books of summer, and was excited to see it also on the list my French student F. wanted to read now!
The characters and their dialogs are so authentic!
A very flowing writing style as well.
My only problem is I have to stop after a set number of pages per week, to talk about these with my student.

“Camille is doing her best to disappear. She barely eats, works at night as a cleaner and lives in a tiny attic room. Downstairs in a beautiful, ornate apartment, lives Philibert Marquet de la Durbellière, a shy, erudite, upper-class man with an unlikely flatmate in the shape of the foul-mouthed but talented chef, Franck. One freezing evening Philibert overcomes his excruciating reticence to rescue Camille, unconscious, from her garret and bring her into his home.
As she recovers Camille learns more about Philibert; about Franck and his guilt for his beloved but fragile grandmother Paulette, who is all he has left in the world; and about herself. And slowly, this curious quartet of misfits all discover the importance of food, friendship and love.”

📚 Ravage, by René Barjavel
Science-fiction
Published in French in 1943

Available in English as Ashes, Ashes
It counts for The Classics Club

Reading French books with my advanced students is a lot of fun. It also gives me time to read many other books in between.
I was planning to listen to Ravage, but suddenly, my audiobook service has stopped offering it! So I am reading it instead – yes, two classic French science-fiction at the same time, but very different.

“The year is 2052: Two young lovers flee for their lives as Doomsday descends upon Earth.
This was to be the happiest day of young Blanche Rouget’s life. In Paris, the now-electronic city of love, Blanche had been about to make her debut as a star.
Then, abruptly, the Black Emperor of South America had told the world of the missiles already racing northward. Panic had broken forth.
And then had come the real terror. A vast cloak of darkness had descended over the earth. And Blanche was hurled into a world gone mad in its death-throes.”

📚 READING NEXT 📚

Eventide  The Daughter of Time

📚 Eventide, by Kent Haruf
Literary fiction
Published in 2004

I read Plainsong, the first book in this series in 2013, and really enjoyed the writing. So it’s high time to tackle this one that’s been collecting dust on my shelf.
This is part of my effort for the TBR Challenge.

“Kent Haruf, award-winning, bestselling author of Plainsong returns to the high-plains town of Holt, Colorado, with a novel of masterful authority. The aging McPheron brothers are learning to live without Victoria Roubideaux, the single mother they took in and who has now left their ranch to start college. A lonely young boy stoically cares for his grandfather while a disabled couple tries to protect their violent relative. As these lives unfold and intersect, Eventide unveils the immemorial truths about human beings: their fragility and resilience, their selfishness and goodness, and their ability to find family in one another.”

📚  The Daughter of Time (Inspector Alan Grant #5), by Josephine Tey
Historical mystery
Published in 1951
It counts for The Classics Club

I finally discovered Tey recently and was quite impressed by The Man in the Queue, the first book in this same series.
So many of you have told me this volume 5 is their favorite: time to dive into it. Eventually, I will probably read the whole series.
I actually would have liked to listen to it, but I had issues with the British accent, and was afraid to lose some meaning.

“Scotland Yard Inspector Alan Grant is intrigued by a portrait of Richard III. Could such a sensitive face actually belong to a heinous villain — a king who killed his brother’s children to secure his crown? Grant seeks what kind of man Richard was and who in fact killed the princes in the tower.”

🎧 CURRENT AND NEXT AUDIOBOOKS 🎧

L'Enfer numérique  Jamaica Inn

🎧  L’Enfer numérique : voyage au bout d’un like, by Guillaume Pitron
Nonfiction
Published in September 2021
Expected publication in English as DIGITAL HELL : the inner workings of a like.
by SCRIBE PUBLICATIONS, March 7, 2023.

Wow, I may close my blog and all my social presence when I’m done reading this book.
If you thought like me, that the meat industry was wrecking the planet, the biggest culprit seems actually to be the digital cloud.
This book is quite spooky!
This official synopsis will give you a good idea, until you have access to it in Engilsh next year.

A gripping new investigation into the underbelly of digital technology, which addresses the pressing question of the carbon footprint it leaves behind. In a sort of news thriller, the author reveals not only how costly the virtual world is, but how damaging it is to the environment.
A simple “like” sent from our smartphones mobilizes what will soon constitute the largest infrastructure built by man. This small notification, crossing the seven operating layers of the Internet, travels around the world, using submarine cables, telephone antennas, and data centers, as far as the Arctic Circle.
It turns out that the “dematerialiized” digital world, essential for communicating, working, and consuming, is much more tangible than we would like to believe. Today, it absorbs 10 per cent of the world’s electricity and represents nearly 4 per cent of the planet’s carbon dioxide emissions. We are struggling to understand these impacts, as they are obscured to us in the mirage of “the cloud”.
At a time of the deployment of 5G, connected cars, and artificial intelligence, Digital Hell, the result of an investigation carried out over two years on four continents, reveals the anatomy of a technology that is virtual only in name. Under the guise of limiting the impact of humans on the planet, is already asserting itself as one of the major environmental challenges of the twenty-first century.
Some telling numbers:

  • If digital technology were a country, it would be the third-highest consumer of electricity behind China and the United States.
  • An e-mail with a large attachment consumes as much energy as a lightbulb left on for 24 hours.
  • Every year, streaming technology generates as much greenhouse gas as Spain–close to 1 per cent of global emissions.
  • The video of Gangnam Style was viewed around 1.7 billion times, using about 297 gigawatt hours, equivalent to that of a city with a population of 100,000.
  • One Google search uses as much electricity as a lightbulb left on for 35 minutes.
  • A broadband box uses as much power as a refrigerator.
  • All of humanity produces five exabytes of data per day, equivalent to what we consumed from the very beginnings of the internet to 2003–an amount that would fill 10 million Blu-ray discs which, piled up, would be as high as the Eiffel Tower.
  • Without knowing, each of us generates about 150 gigabytes of data per day, enough to fill the memory of 9 16g iPhones.”

🎧  Jamaica Inn, by Daphné du Maurier
Historical fiction
Published in 1936
It counts for The Classics Club

Rebecca (my review also has Q&A, as it was a buddy read) is one of my favorite classics (read 10 years ago!). I also enjoyed My Cousin Rachel, so now it’s time for this one, which is on my 3rd Classics list.

“The coachman tried to warn her away from the ruined, forbidding place on the rainswept Cornish coast. But young Mary Yellan chose instead to honor her mother’s dying request that she join her frightened Aunt Patience and huge, hulking Uncle Joss Merlyn at Jamaica Inn.
From her first glimpse on that raw November eve, she could sense the inn’s dark power. But never did Mary dream that she would become hopelessly ensnared in the vile, villainous schemes being hatched within its crumbling walls—or that a handsome, mysterious stranger would so incite her passions… tempting her to love a man whom she dares not trust.”

Eiffel Tower Orange

HAVE YOU READ
OR ARE YOU PLANNING TO READ
ANY OF THESE?
WHAT ARE YOUR READING PLANS FOR AUGUST?

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