The top 8 books to read in July 2022

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

Click on the covers to know more

📚 CURRENTLY READING 📚

  Upgrade Laurus  

Le Grand Meaulnes The Martins

📚 Upgrade, by Blake Crouch
Science-fiction
Expected publication: July 12th 2022 by Ballantine Books
Received for review through Netgalley

Yes, I am finally discovering Blake Crouch! So far (10%) read, I love it and the plot sounds very promising.

“‘You are the next step in human evolution.’
At first, Logan Ramsay isn’t sure if anything’s different. He just feels a little . . . sharper. Better able to concentrate. Better at multitasking. Reading a bit faster, memorizing better, needing less sleep.
But before long, he can’t deny it: Something’s happening to his brain. To his body. He’s starting to see the world, and those around him—even those he loves most—in whole new ways.
The truth is, Logan’s genome has been hacked. And there’s a reason he’s been targeted for this upgrade. A reason that goes back decades to the darkest part of his past, and a horrific family legacy.
Worse still, what’s happening to him is just the first step in a much larger plan, one that will inflict the same changes on humanity at large—at a terrifying cost.
Because of his new abilities, Logan’s the one person in the world capable of stopping what’s been set in motion. But to have a chance at winning this war, he’ll have to become something other than himself. Maybe even something other than human.
And even as he’s fighting, he can’t help wondering: what if humanity’s only hope for a future really does lie in engineering our own evolution?
Intimate in scale yet epic in scope, Upgrade is an intricately plotted, lightning-fast tale that charts one man’s thrilling transformation, even as it asks us to ponder the limits of our humanity—and our boundless potential.”

📚  Laurus, by Eugene Vodolazkin
Historical fiction
Published in 2012 in Russian,
translated by Lisa Hayden in 2015

I planned to read this one when it got published, and never did. So I’m excited to read it now with a group from my church. It’s brilliantly translated, to try to replicate some of the oldish look of Medieval language.

It is the late fifteenth century and a village healer in Russia is powerless to help his beloved as she dies in childbirth, unwed and without having received communion. Devastated and desperate, he sets out on a journey in search of redemption. But this is no ordinary journey: it is one that spans ages and countries, and which brings him face-to-face with a host of unforgettable, eccentric characters and legendary creatures from the strangest medieval bestiaries. Laurus’s travels take him from the Middle Ages to the Plague of 1771, where as a holy fool he displays miraculous healing powers, to the political upheavals of the late-twentieth century. At each transformative stage of his journey he becomes more revered by the church and the people, until he decides, one day, to return to his home village to lead the life of a monastic hermit – not realizing that it is here that he will face his most difficult trial yet.
Laurus is a remarkably rich novel about the eternal themes of love, loss, self-sacrifice and faith, from one of Russia’s most exciting and critically acclaimed novelists.
 ”

📚 Le Grand Meaulnes, by Alain-Fournier
French Literary fiction
Published in 1913
Published in English as The Lost Estate
Reading in French with a few others on Discord, it counts for The Classics Club

This is my favorite French classic.

“When Meaulnes first arrives at the local school in Sologne, everyone is captivated by his good looks, daring and charisma. But when Meaulnes disappears for several days, and returns with tales of a strange party at a mysterious house – and his love for the beautiful girl hidden within it, Yvonne de Galais – his life has been changed forever. In his restless search for his Lost Estate and the happiness he found there, Meaulnes, observed by his loyal friend Francois, may risk losing everything he ever had. Poised between youthful admiration and adult resignation, Alain-Fournier’s compelling narrator carries the reader through this evocative and unbearably poignant portrayal of desperate friendship and vanished adolescence.”

📚 The Martins, by David Foenkinos
Literary fiction
Was published in French in 2020

Expected publication: July 22nd 2022 by Gallic Books
Translated by Sam Taylor
Received for review 

I recently (finally) discovered Foenkinos with his brilliant Le Mystère Henri Pick (available in English as The Mystery of Henri Pick).
So I’m really looking forward to this one. I have just started and right away I like the writing, the directness, the short parts. And the gorgeous cover!

‘Go out into the street and the first person you see will be the subject of your next book.’
This is the challenge a struggling Parisian writer sets himself, imagining his next heroine might be the mysterious young woman who often stands smoking near his apartment … instead it’s octogenarian Madeleine. She’s happy to become the subject of his book – but first she needs to put away her shopping.
Is it really true, the writer wonders, that every life is the stuff of novels, or is his story doomed to be hopelessly banal? As he gets to know Madeleine and her family, he’ll be privy to their secrets: lost loves, marital problems and workplace worries. And he’ll soon realise he is not the impartial bystander he intended to be, but a catalyst for major changes in the lives of his characters.
Told with Foenkinos’s characteristic irony and self-deprecating humour, yet filled with warmth, The Martins is a compelling tale of the family next door which raises questions about what it means to be ‘ordinary’, and about the blurred lines between truth and fiction.”

📚 READING NEXT 📚

Eventide  The First Men in the Moon

📚 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 First Men in the Moon, by H.G. Wells
Science-fiction
Published in 1901
It counts for The Classics Club
Will also be reading for the 2022 TBR Pile Reading Challenge

I bought this book at a library book sale. I didn’t know the author  had written this one! I tend to like old scifi, so we’ll see.

“When penniless businessman Mr Bedford retreats to the Kent coast to write a play, he meets by chance the brilliant Dr Cavor, an absent-minded scientist on the brink of developing a material that blocks gravity. Cavor soon succeeds in his experiments, only to tell a stunned Bedford the invention makes possible one of the oldest dreams of humanity: a journey to the moon. With Bedford motivated by money, and Cavor by the desire for knowledge, the two embark on the expedition. But neither are prepared for what they find – a world of freezing nights, boiling days and sinister alien life, on which they may be trapped forever.”

🎧 CURRENT AND NEXT AUDIOBOOKS 🎧

  Clouds of Witness  Cyrano de Bergerac

🎧  Clouds of Witness (Lord Peter Wimsey #2), by Dorothy L. Sayers
Mystery
Published in 1926
It counts for The Classics Club

This is my second try with Sayers, and alas, it will be the last.
The first 50% was good, but then it got bogged down and too long. I still have an hour or so to go.
And I don’t like the social dimension of it.
BUT the narrator Ian Carmichael is absolutely fabulous!

“Rustic old Riddlesdale Lodge was a Wimsey family retreat filled with country pleasures and the thrill of the hunt — until the game turned up human and quite dead. He lay among the chrysanthemums, wore slippers and a dinner jacket and was Lord Peter’s brother-in-law-to-be. His accused murderer was Wimsey’s own brother…”

🎧  Cyrano de Bergerac, by Edmond Rostand
French play
Published in 1897
It counts for The Classics Club

I read this one a long time ago, but want now to listen to it and rewatch the movie/play as well, with Deaprdieu.

“This is Edmond Rostand’s immortal play in which chivalry and wit, bravery and love are forever captured in the timeless spirit of romance. Set in Louis XIII’s reign, it is the moving and exciting drama of one of the finest swordsmen in France, gallant soldier, brilliant wit, tragic poet-lover with the face of a clown. Rostand’s extraordinary lyric powers gave birth to a universal hero–Cyrano De Bergerac–and ensured his own reputation as author of one of the best-loved plays in the literature of the stage.”

Eiffel Tower Orange

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

https://linktr.ee/wordsandpeace

The top 8 books to read in June 2022

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

Click on the covers to know more

📚 CURRENTLY READING 📚

  Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow Liberty Bar

📚  Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, by Gabrielle Zevin
Literary fiction
Expected publication: July 5th 2022, by Knopf Publishing Group
Received for review

Eight years ago (already?!) I enjoyed a previous book by this author, The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry, so I thought I would give this one a try.
My reading taste has changed a lot since, I hope I won’t be disappointed.

“In this exhilarating novel by the best-selling author of The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry two friends–often in love, but never lovers–come together as creative partners in the world of video game design, where success brings them fame, joy, tragedy, duplicity, and, ultimately, a kind of immortality.
On a bitter-cold day, in the December of his junior year at Harvard, Sam Masur exits a subway car and sees, amid the hordes of people waiting on the platform, Sadie Green. He calls her name. For a moment, she pretends she hasn’t heard him, but then, she turns, and a game begins: a legendary collaboration that will launch them to stardom. These friends, intimates since childhood, borrow money, beg favors, and, before even graduating college, they have created their first blockbuster, Ichigo. Overnight, the world is theirs. Not even twenty-five years old, Sam and Sadie are brilliant, successful, and rich, but these qualities won’t protect them from their own creative ambitions or the betrayals of their hearts.
Spanning thirty years, from Cambridge, Massachusetts, to Venice Beach, California, and lands in between and far beyond, Gabrielle Zevin’s Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow is a dazzling and intricately imagined novel that examines the multifarious nature of identity, disability, failure, the redemptive possibilities in play, and above all, our need to connect: to be loved and to love. Yes, it is a love story, but it is not one you have read before.”

📚  Liberty Bar (Inspecteur Maigret #17), by Georges Simenon
Mystery published in1932 (France)
Was published in English as Maigret on the Riviera
Reading with one of my French students.
It counts for The Classics Club

Slowly but surely, we keep going in this series with my student. But there are actually 75 (!!) Maigret books, so we still have plenty to keep us busy with!

Half an hour later, he was in Cannes . . . White everywhere! Huge white hotels, white shops, white trousers and dresses, white sails out at sea. It was as if life were no more than a pantomime fairy-tale, a white and blue fairy-tale.
Dazzled at first by the glamor of sunny Antibes, Maigret soon finds himself immersed in the less salubrious side of the Rivieria when he tracks the steps of a shabby former spy who is fond of pretty women and dive bars.

📚 READING NEXT 📚

Le Grand Meaulnes   Thomas Jefferson's Crème Brûlée

             Upgrade          When I Whistle   

📚 Le Grand Meaulnes, by Alain-Fournier
French Literary fiction
1913
Published in English as The Lost Estate
Will be reading with another blogger, it counts for The Classics Club

This is my favorite French classic. I have reread it a few times, and will again, starting on June 13, with Lory @ Entering the Enchanted Castle.
If you would like to practice your reading French, please join us. We will take it easy, just one chapter a day, and some chapters are very short – it will keep us busy until mid July.
If you want to join us, we will post comments on this Discord channel – in French.
Let me know if the invitation link no longer works, and I will send you a new one. It expires after a while.
Your French doesn’t need to be perfect, as long as we understand you. This is NOT a French class.

“When Meaulnes first arrives at the local school in Sologne, everyone is captivated by his good looks, daring and charisma. But when Meaulnes disappears for several days, and returns with tales of a strange party at a mysterious house – and his love for the beautiful girl hidden within it, Yvonne de Galais – his life has been changed forever. In his restless search for his Lost Estate and the happiness he found there, Meaulnes, observed by his loyal friend Francois, may risk losing everything he ever had. Poised between youthful admiration and adult resignation, Alain-Fournier’s compelling narrator carries the reader through this evocative and unbearably poignant portrayal of desperate friendship and vanished adolescence.”

📚  Thomas Jefferson’s Creme Brulee: How a Founding Father and His Slave James Hemings Introduced French Cuisine to America, by Thomas J. Craughwell
Nonfiction / History / Food and drink
Published in 2012
Will be reading for the 2022 TBR Pile Reading Challenge

I got this book ten years ago, didn’t read it, gave it away, and somehow, another copy landed on my shelf, so it seems I really need to read it.

“This culinary biography recounts the 1784 deal that Thomas Jefferson struck with his slaves, James Hemings. The founding father was traveling to Paris and wanted to bring James along “for a particular purpose”— to master the art of French cooking. In exchange for James’s cooperation, Jefferson would grant his freedom.
Thus began one of the strangest partnerships in United States history. As Hemings apprenticed under master French chefs, Jefferson studied the cultivation of French crops (especially grapes for winemaking) so the might be replicated in American agriculture. The two men returned home with such marvels as pasta, French fries, Champagne, macaroni and cheese, crème brûlée, and a host of other treats. This narrative history tells the story of their remarkable adventure—and even includes a few of their favorite recipes!”

📚 Upgrade, by Blake Crouch
Science-fiction
Expected publication: July 12th 2022 by Ballantine Books
Received for review

Yes, I am finally going to try this author!

You are the next step in human evolution.”
At first, Logan Ramsay isn’t sure if anything’s different. He just feels a little . . . sharper. Better able to concentrate. Better at multitasking. Reading a bit faster, memorizing better, needing less sleep.
But before long, he can’t deny it: Something’s happening to his brain. To his body. He’s starting to see the world, and those around him—even those he loves most—in whole new ways.
The truth is, Logan’s genome has been hacked. And there’s a reason he’s been targeted for this upgrade. A reason that goes back decades to the darkest part of his past, and a horrific family legacy.
Worse still, what’s happening to him is just the first step in a much larger plan, one that will inflict the same changes on humanity at large—at a terrifying cost.
Because of his new abilities, Logan’s the one person in the world capable of stopping what’s been set in motion. But to have a chance at winning this war, he’ll have to become something other than himself. Maybe even something other than human.
And even as he’s fighting, he can’t help wondering: what if humanity’s only hope for a future really does lie in engineering our own evolution?
Intimate in scale yet epic in scope, Upgrade is an intricately plotted, lightning-fast tale that charts one man’s thrilling transformation, even as it asks us to ponder the limits of our humanity—and our boundless potential.
 ”

📚 When I Whistle, by Shusaku Endo
Japanese literature
Published in 1974

I only read 9/12 Japanese books I planned to read between January-March (Japanese Literature Challenge), so I’m planning to go on with my original list.
I have only read a short collection of five stories by this author, so I’m eager to dive more in.
The synopsis makes reference to Never Let Me Go. Really? We’ll see.

One of Endo’s most unusual and powerful novels is set largely in a modern hospital, with themes and scenes that eerily seem to predate Never Let Me Go.
A jaded businessman has a chance encounter with the doctor son of his best friend at school, Ozu, and memories are stirred of a former love interest of Ozu’s, Aiko. The son of his friend proves to be contemptuous of the outmoded values of his father’s world and ruthless in pursuit of success at his hospital. The story reaches a terrible climax when Aiko, now a middle-aged cancer-sufferer, is admitted to the hospital and Ozu leads the way in experimenting on her with dangerous drugs.”

🎧 CURRENT AND NEXT AUDIOBOOKS 🎧

  The Red House Mystery  Le Crépuscule des fauves

🎧  The Red House Mystery, by A. A. Milne
Mystery
Published in 1922
It counts for The Classics Club

Yes, THE Milne, did write  mysteries – not for children. I really enjoy the characters and the plot.

The creator of such beloved storybook characters for children as Winnie-the-Pooh, Piglet, and Eeyore, A. A. Milne was also the author of numerous dramas, essays, and novels for adults — among them, this droll and finely crafted whodunit.
In it, Milne takes readers to the Red House, a comfortable residence in the placid English countryside that is the bachelor home of Mr. Mark Ablett. While visiting this cozy retreat, amateur detective Anthony Gillingham and his chum, Bill Beverley, investigate their genial host’s disappearance and its connection with a mysterious shooting. Was the victim, whose body was found after a heated exchange with the host, shot in an act of self-defense? If so, why did the host flee, and if not, what drove him to murder?
Between games of billiards and bowls, the taking of tea, and other genteel pursuits, Gillingham and Beverley explore the possibilities in a light-hearted series of capers involving secret passageways, underwater evidence, and other atmospheric devices.
Sparkling with witty dialogue, deft plotting, and an intriguing cast of characters, this rare gem will charm mystery lovers, Anglophiles, and general readers alike.”

🎧  Le Crépuscule des fauves (série 9, volume 2), by Marc Levy
French mystery
Published March 2nd, 2021

I really enjoyed the first volume in this series, so am glad to go on with it.
In fact, book 3 was just published in May, so hopefully it will be available in audio in July.

“Maya a disparu. Une course contre la montre s’engage sur le terrain pour les hackeurs du Groupe 9 qui cherchent à déjouer la conspiration des fauves. Les fauves, une poignée de puissants qui s’attaquent à nos libertés. Leur plan : créer le chaos, s’approprier toutes les richesses et régner sans limites. Mais qui est 9 ? Ce nouveau thriller de Marc Levy est la suite passionnante de l’aventure des 9 héros intrépides et attachants rencontrés dans C’est arrivé la nuit.
9 Robins des Bois d’aujourd’hui, 9 hors la loi qui œuvrent pour le bien au péril de leur vie. Un roman d’espionnage engagé qui dévoile de manière éblouissante les dérives de notre époque.”

20 books of summer

All these books will count for the 20 books of summer challenge. If I have time, I’ll read more from my list.

Eiffel Tower Orange

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

https://linktr.ee/wordsandpeace

20 Books of Summer 2022

20 books of summer

#20booksofsummer22
#20booksofsummer

Once again, 746books.com organizes a special challenge:

20 Books of Summer
June 1-August 31

I am back for my 3rd participation.

So here is the file with my 20 books.
Beside 3 books for review, and 3 Japanese titles I didn’t get to read during the Japanese Literature Challenge, all my books are books on my TBR list, and most of them even on my physical shelves!

I color coded the genres. Nice diversity. I think:
nonfiction, play, literary fiction, science fiction, mystery.

Feel free to copy the format if it’s of any help for you.

I will update it as I go along :

How many of these have you read?
Which one is your favorite?