My top 8 books for the 1954 Club

The 1954 Club

The #1954Club

For several years, Simon at Stuck in a Book, has been organizing club years, in which he encourages everybody to read books published in the same year.

This time, he chose 1954

I think the main idea is to draw a literary portrait of that year.
If you are curious, you can check which books were published during that year, on this Goodreads list or on this one (less complete, but you can compare with the books you have read), or on this wikipedia page.

Before focusing on The 1954 club, it seems I had read 7 books published that year:

  1. The Bridge over the River Kwai, by Pierre Boulle
  2. Lord of the Flies, by William Golding
  3. The Horse and His Boy (Chronicles of Narnia, #5), by C.S. Lewis
  4. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, by J. R. R. Tolkien
  5. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, by J. R. R. Tolkien
  6. Bonjour Tristesse, by Françoise Sagan

And more recently, with a review:

The sound of wavesThe Sound of Wavesby Yukio Mishima

For the #1954club, I read the following:

Death Going Down


Death Going Down,
by María Angélica Bosco
Published in 1954
as La muerte baja en el ascensor
Translated from the Spanish
by Lucy Greaves
November 24, 2016 by Pushkin Vertigo
160 pages

As I currently try to focus on my TBR, I looked on my Goodreads TBR shelf, and there was only one book published in 1954.
It’s a mystery, a genre of classics I usually enjoy. And this book also qualifies for my Books in Translation Challenge.

I had never read anything by Argentinean author María Angélica Bosco (1917–2006).
She won the “Emecé Literary Prize” (Premio Emecé Argentina) in 1954 (the year of its creation) thanks to this novel.

First, I have to say I really enjoyed the title, even though we quickly realize its meaning. Still, I found it more attractive than the original in Spanish, which I found too explanatory: La muerte baja en el ascensor.

Though it is indeed what happens.
Pancho Soler comes home in Buenos Aires completely drunk one August night at 2am. He calls the elevator. He opens the door and finds a dead woman in it. Who is she? Who killed her? How? Why?

Definitely the type of discovery that might help you sober up quickly:

“He felt a desperate need to shout in protest. Why did this have to happen to him?”

I really liked the opening of the book a lot, with its neat descriptions of Soler and his discovery. Obviously, he is the first suspect. Did he do it?
The officers then focus on each person living in the apartment building. So it is a type of variation on the locked room mystery genre.
Each of these inhabitants could really be the guilty party, as they all have something to hide, in their past (many immigrants made their way to Argentina after WWII), their activity, or their relationships.

Bosco has  some interesting turns of phrases or images, such as this one about Superintendent Ericourt:

“He had nothing of the prowling predator, but all the fearsome patience of an elephant scanning the ground with its trunk for the piece of food it has dropped”.


“Lahore squirmed gently in his seat, like a cat that feels someone is tying a dog to its tail.”

I also liked the clever ending, which I realize I should have guessed much earlier on.

My year 1954 recap:
Beside María Angélica Bosco, I didn’t have time to read any other book for this event. Still, 1954 has an impressive list of biggies, world wide.




2017: February wrap-up

February 2017 wrap-up

Huh, the month of February is already over!
Hurray, Spring is closer, actually Summer is even here some days in Chicago, and then next day we are back to Winter. The poor summer birds that decided to come back so early must be totally confused.

It was another very good month of reading, but I’m already getting late on several reviews… nothing new under the sun!

Here is what I read in February:

10  books:
7 in print
with 1,928 pages, that is: 68 pages/day
+ 3 audiobooks
with 16H43, that is: 35 mn/day

3 in literary fiction:

  1. Le Principe, by Jérôme Ferrari – ebook
  2. Gustave Flaubert: The Ambiguity of Imagination, by Guiseppe Cafiero
  3. Till We Have Faces, by C.S. Lewis

3 in mystery:

  1. A Study in Scarlet, by Arthur Conan Doyle – audiobook
  2. Trois jours et une vie, by Pierre Lemaitre – audiobook
  3. The Sign of Four, by Arthur Conan Doyle – audiobook

2 in nonfiction:

  1. A Forger’s Life, by Sarah Kaminsky
  2. Born a Crime, by Trevor Noah

2 in historical fiction:

  1. The Muralist, by B. A. Shapiro – ebook
  2. Highland Storm, by Tanya Anne Crosby – ebook that I translated into French


My favorites in February

          a-forgers-life   trois-jours et une vie audio

 Reading Challenges recap

Classics Club: 18/50 (until end of 2018)
Back to the Classics Challenge: 4/12
Mount TBR: 10/48
Where Are You Reading?: 21/50 – to be finished in ??

Total of books read in 2017 = 22/100

Number of books added to my TBR in February = 15

Blog recap

Most popular book review in February

The Tree of Man

click on the cover to access my review.

Most popular post last month
– non book review –

The top 11 books to read in February

Book blog that brought me
most traffic this past month

The Classics Club

please go visit

Top commenters of the month

Inspired by Becca at I’m Lost in Books!
and her Blogger Shout-Outs feature

= 1 point per month for the top 3.
The one who has the most points at the end of the year will receive a gift!
NB: just congratulating winners of giveaways does not count as a real comment 😉

2: Karen at Booker Talk

2: Lucy at The Fictional 100 

2: Kristyn at Reading to Unwind

Blog milestones

1,576 posts
over 4,090 subscribers
over 130,00 hits

Plans for March

  • Humming along with The Complete of Sherlock Holmes on audio.
    I’m reading them in chronological order of publication, and planning to watch a movie of each as well.
    I’m counting as separate books the novels, but the short stories as a collection.
    So I listened so far to the first two novels, A Study in Scarlet and The Sign of Four, and I have started the first collection of short stories: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. I chose Simon Prebble as the narrator for all of these, he is so good
  • I may do something for Travel the World in Books Reading Challenge, this time it’s on North Africa


Come back on Friday
to see what I plan to read in March!

Eiffel Tower OrangeEiffel Tower OrangeEiffel Tower Orange

How was YOUR month of  February?

Month in Review

Kathryn at The Book Date
has created a Month In Review meme
I’ll now be linking my monthly recap posts
Thanks Kathryn, great idea!







WWW Wednesdays February 15


  WWW Wednesdays 2

WWW Wednesdays


   just-readclick on the covers to know more about them


reading now




  February book of the month giveaway
available on France Book Tours


In case you would enjoy a free book, we have a few available: