Mailbox Monday December 10

Mailbox Monday2 It's Monday! What Are You Reading2 WWW Wednesdays 2

Mailbox Monday,
It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?
and WWW Wednesdays

BOOKS RECEIVED THIS PAST WEEK

The Sentence is Death  The Library of Lost and Found

The Sentence is Death:
US release date June 4
Thanks Edelweiss for this book (and the next). I’m so much looking forward to reading it. By the brilliant author of The Word is Murder, among many others. And I can’t wait to see what next book title it will be in the series!! So smart!

The Library of Lost and Found:
release date March 26
I enjoyed a lot The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper, so I thought I would try the latest by the same author.

BOOKS JUST READ

click on the covers to know more about them

MYSTERY

Kingdom of the Blind

HISTFIC

The Shadow Land

NONFICTION

Modern Orthodox Thinkers

Kingdom of the Blind:
I was looking forward to Armand Gamache #14 in the series!
And I was so lucky to get it so quickly: I was like number 25 on the waiting list at the library, because I had forgotten to reserve my spot as soon as I had heard it would be published in November.
Then one day, I went to the library to pick up the book the staff had chosen for me for the Winter Reading Challenge (see below). It was supposed to be at the first floor desk, but the staff there had no idea. So I went upstairs. At the second floor desk, there was a pile of books, with Kingdom of the Blind in it. I asked if the pile was prepared for somebody, and they said, oh no, it’s just that our Hot Copy display is full right now, feel free to pick what you want!!!
We are still in the delightful Three Pines, with the same great character, but also with some horrible element of life in Montreal.
I would actually only give 3.5 Eiffel Tower (my personal ranking system) to this one.
The beginning and ending were great!
But in between, I found it too choppy: choppy in content, as there were too many quick back and forths between the different threads going on. I understand the purpose, I think, but it didn’t really work for me, it was too much.
And choppy in the writing. I like short sentences, with one word sentences as well, but again, this technique was used too much and too often for me to fully enjoy it.
BUT, let’s not despair, it was still acceptable enough to make me hope the 2019 volume will be better.

The Shadow Land:
This was so good (review to come very soon), by the author of the amazing The Historian (I talked briefly about it on my older blog).

Modern Orthodox Thinkers:
It took me almost a year to read this fascinating book, so rich it is!
The author, an excellent writer (and speaker – you can find him on youtube) whom I have enjoyed in previous books, presents about 25 modern Orthodox thinkers, theologians, and spiritual mothers and sisters.
The book is divided in 21 chapters. It’s actually a revised version of public lectures, so sometimes the style is almost conversational. So for the most part, it’s fairly easy to read, but the content is very dense, depending on the author he’s talking about of course.
Each chapter focuses first on the life of the person, and then on their writings and teachings.
There are tons of references. So much so that I have taken notes, not only of great passages, but of the books I would like to (re) read.
You can find my general presentation of the book on my Orthodox blog. And at the bottom of the page, in the pingback section, you have the list of all the other posts, with my personal notes for each chapter. All my notes will be published by the end of December, they are scheduled once per week.

CURRENTLY READING

MYSTERY

The Book Artist

NONFICTION

A Moveable Feast

NONFICTION

Visiting Tom

The Book Artist: 
Already reading a 2019 release! I really enjoy a lot the author. I have read 5 of his books, set in Paris. The last one was The Sorbonne Affair.
The beginning is very promising.

A Moveable Feast:
This is my pick for Classics Club Spin #19. I think it will be ok, thanks to the content, but so far, I’m not too impressed by the writing.

Visiting Tom:
Picked for me by my public library staff, for the Winter Reading Challenge. I like it so far, it’s about rural Wisconsin, my type of element.

I’m also actually reading 3 other books:

The Only Woman in the Room:
So far, I have read and enjoyed all the books by Marie Benedict, see for instance my review for the last one: Carnegie’s Maid.
This one is on Hedy Lamarr. I’m a quarter done, still slow, but I have the feeling things are going to move quickly from here, as she just married.

I also started another Orthodox book, this time Saint John Chrysostom’s Letters to Saint Olympia, an amazing 4th century woman. I have only read the introduction so far. It seems the content of the letters will be a lot how not to despair, which is quite à propos with all that’s going on in our world, from Ukraine-Russia to the events in France…

And my current audiobook is Maman a tort, by Bussi: a 3 year old keeps telling his mom is NOT his mom! Great suspense, as usual. It will be published in English (The Wrong Mother) on March 7.

BOOKS UP NEXT

NONFICTION

The Joy of Forest Bathing

NONFICTION

Hedy Lamarr

AUDIO

N'oublier jamais

The Joy of Forest Bathing: The Mysterious Japanese Art of Shinrin-Yoku
After Ikigai, I thought I would try this other interesting Japanese concept, plus I love so much hiking.

Hedy Lamarr:
When I visit my public library, I like to go to the Graphic “Novels” section, and see what new biography they have. There was one on Hedy Lamarr, who is the topic of The Only Woman in the room ! (see above). So I thought it would be fun to compare the two books.

N’oublier jamais:
The last audiobook by Bussi available so far!

GIVEAWAYS

UNTIL
DEC 31

Love and invention

UNTIL
DEC 25

$50 gift card/paypalSaint Innocent

UNTIL
DEC 22 

$50 Amazon
Gift Card

Crimes Past

WHAT ABOUT YOUR READING?

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2018: November wrap-up

November wrap-up

It’s been now over a month that I have changed the theme of my blog and have chosen a static clean homepage. I really love it. I manually change the icons for last reviews, etc, so it’s a good incentive to have more things going on, review and meme wise.
And November has definitely been a busy month on the blog!
See for instance below under Blog Milestones and events.

Here is what I read in November:

8 books:
6 in print 
with 1,872 pages, an average of 62.4 pages/day
2 in audio
with 21H35, an average of 43 mn/day

2 in fiction:

  1. Love in lowercase, by Francesc Miralles
  2. Little Culinary Triumphs, by Pascale Pujol – ebook for review

2 in mystery:

  1. Ne lâche pas ma main, by Michel Bussi – audio
  2. Skeleton Key, by Anthony Horowitz

2 in historical fiction:

  1. The Clockmaker’s Daughter, by Kate Morton
  2. The Blue, by Nancy Bilyeau – ebook for review

1 in Nonfiction:

  1. Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life, by Hector Garcia and Francesc Miralles

1 in science-fiction:

  1. Armada, by Ernest Cline – audio
    I already read this book in 2015. The note my the audiobook I just listened is at the end of my review, just before the “verdict”

MY FAVORITES IN NOVEMBER

The Blue ne lache pas ma main

READING CHALLENGES RECAP

Classics Club: 24/50 (until end of 2020) or 36/62!
The 2018 TBR Pile Challenge: 3/12, but none reviewed yet !!
Where Are You Reading?: 21/50 – to be finished in ??
Total of books read in 2018= 63/100
Number of books added to my TBR this past month= 33

MOST POPULAR BOOK REVIEW THIS PAST MONTH

Romanov Empress

click on the cover to access my review

MOST POPULAR POST THIS PAST MONTH
– NON BOOK REVIEW –

Born a Crime chapter 9-14:
read along at Book Bloggers International

BOOK BLOG THAT BROUGHT ME MOST TRAFFIC THIS PAST MONTH

Sophisticated Dorkiness
please go visit

TOP COMMENTERS OF THE MONTH

Judy at Keep the Wisdom
Karen at Booker Talk
Kristyn at Reading to Unwind

BLOG MILESTONES AND EVENTS

1,862 posts
over 4,590 subscribers
over 165,980 hits

Be sure to check the giveaways posted on my homepage!

November was busy with Nonfiction November
The Classics Spin #19 draw
I managed to do a video on a great French author of thrillers
I got my very first review posted on Criminal Element!
And regular participation in several memes, as you can see on my homepage. I have been enjoying more traffic and comments. It’s really fun to interact with all of you!

Plus, did you notice that ALL the book titles posted this month have already been reviewed? This is almost the first time ever, because I’m getting into the habit of posting short reviews when possible, finally!!

On the other hand, I gave up on weekly NaNoWriMo, where I was planning to list all the articles I translate everyday for Orthodoxie.com/en. I realized I was spending way too much time with those listings, so I only did it once. Maybe next year, I will write a real book??

PLANS FOR DECEMBER

  • Read the Classic I got with Classics Spin #19
  • Read the surprise book a staff of my library is picking for me – it’s the 2nd year they’ve been doing this winter challenge, I love it!
  • Start reading some 2019 releases
  • Post the couple of Reading Challenges I plan to do in 2019
  • Do more short reviews for books read this year
  • Post a couple more giveaways around Christmas

Come back on Monday
to see the books I plan to read in November!

Eiffel Tower OrangeEiffel Tower OrangeEiffel Tower Orange

How was YOUR month of November?

Month in Review

Kathryn at The Book Date
has created a Month In Review meme
where you can link your monthly recap posts
Thanks Kathryn, great idea!

It’s Monday! What are you reading? Nov 26

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

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?
and WWW Wednesdays

Click on the books covers to know more about them

BOOKS JUST READ

FICTION

little culinary triumphs

MYSTERY

Skeleton Key

MYSTERY

Ne lache pas ma main

Little Culinary Triumphs:
release date Dec 4
This one was so French weird. A lot of sexy stuff, especially at the beginning, some hilarious wacky things, AND delicious food! It took me a while to realize how everything is connected.
I’ll try to publish my review on Nov 29.

Skeleton Key:
#3 in the Alex Rider series. In these YA mysteries, Horowitz displays the same cleverness and great writing as in his latest books for adults, for instance The Word is Murder.
I really enjoyed this one too. Great plot, super suspense. Plus looks like Alex is sent each time to a different country, this time that was in Cuba.
It’s also interesting that Alex goes to his missions dragging his feet, he would prefer just to be a regular kid. I’m curious to see him grow along the series.

Ne lâche pas ma main:
Another amazing book by Bussi.
Did you see? I just did a vlog to make you discover who Bussi is!
This couple is spending vacation at a sea resort on the island of La Réunion, with their 6 year old daughter. One day when they are at the swimming pool, the wife says she’s going up to her bedroom for a minute. An hour later, as she’s not back, the husband goes up. The bedroom is empty, but no one has seen her leave. Where is she?
The suspense was crazy! And there were lots of great details on the island and nature – the author is a history/geography teacher.
The book cover sends you to the English version: Don’t Let Go.

CURRENTLY READING

NONFICTION

A Geek in Japan

HISTFIC

The Shadow Land

AUDIO

Armada

A Geek in Japan: 
This book is a wonderful presentation of the history and culture of Japan. My only regret is that it’s written very small. The cover is deceiving, this is not like that at all inside, though there are lots of illustrations – bit not manga style (except the chapter on manga of course).

The Shadow Land:
Yes, I finally started it! There are 2 plots going on at the same time, with alternate chapters, set in two different times of the life of the main character. Very enjoyable so far.

Armada:
Yes, if you click on the cover, you land on my review, so I already read it.
So here is what happened:
As you know if you’ve been following this blog for a while, Ready Player One is my most favorite audiobook EVER, mostly thanks to its narrator, the amazing Wil Wheaton.
I loved the book so much, I didn’t want to watch the movie, fearing to be disappointed. Eventually, I read about it, and it seemed good. So I did watch it, and yes, the movie is very good!
After watching it, I thought about Cline’s next book: Armada. And I realized Wheaton was also its narrator. I must have totally missed that! So I decided to revisit the book, this time by listening to it. I remember the plot, but listening to Wheaton is pure delight.
I’m almost done, it is so so good!

BOOKS UP NEXT

MYSTERY

The Book Artist

FICTION

Hikikomori

AUDIO

Maman a tort

The Book Artist:
Possibly this 2019 release. I really enjoy a lot the author. I have read 5 of his books, set in Paris. The last one was The Sorbonne Affair

Hikikomori and the Rental Sister:
I may read this one next. On the hikikomori phenomenon, common in Japan, and many other places now too.

Maman a tort:
(English translation: The Wrong Mother – March 7, 2019)
For my audiobooks, I go back and forth between EStories – when I get my monthly credit I order a French audiobook. When I’m out, I use my public library, focusing on classics and books on my TBR.
So, with my monthly credit, I’ll listen to this one by Bussi: a 3 year old tells his school psychologist his mum is actually not his mum…

GIVEAWAYS

UNTIL
NOV 30 

The Song Peddler

NOV 15-30 

gratitude-giveaway

UNTIL
DEC 22 

$50 Amazon Gift Card
Crimes Past

WHAT ABOUT YOUR READING?