Year of reading 2018: Part 1 – My top 14

Year of reading 2018
Part 1
 My top 14

To follow my tradition, here is part 1 of my yearly recap.
There is a total of 3 parts:

  1. my favorites, with my usual categories, see here below
  2. my stats
  3. my fun list with titles

With only 77 books read, this is my most pathetic year in the last decade.
My final choice is based on the quality of the book, on how it resonated with me and my own experience, and on how it stayed with me. Some of these books may actually have got only 4 out 5 Eiffel Towers at the time I read them.

MY FAVORITES

click on the covers to access either my review,
or the Goodreads page for the couple of titles I have not reviewed yet

PRINT COPIES

Fiction Historical Fiction NonFiction Mystery
Killing Commendatore  The Shadow Land  The Piano shop  Only the Rain

EBOOKS​​​​

Fiction Historical Fiction NonFiction Mystery
 The Face of Another  The Blue  Conan Doyle for the Defense  The Word is Murder

AUDIOBOOKS​​

Fiction NonFiction Mystery
 Armada Democracy in Chains  Les nymphéas noirs

 

OTHER

GRAPHIC “NOVEL”

Monet

SPIRITUAL BOOK

Modern Orthodox Thinkers

BOOK COVER

On la trouvait plutot jolie

DO YOU HAVE SOME FAVORITES
IN COMMON WITH MINE?

MORE FUN RECAP TOMORROW!

HAPPY NEW YEAR OF READING TO YOU!

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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?

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!

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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!