Sunday Post #59 – 6/5/2022

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

*** 

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Sunday Salon    Stacking the Shelves  Mailbox Monday2

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

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wow, finally back after more than two months…
My weeks are busy and I can’t seem to find the time to schedule this post.

I managed to post a few things this past week:

And I finished 2 books:

📚  JUST READ 🎧 

The Last House on Needless Street

📚 The Last House on Needless Street, by Catriona Ward
Published in 2021
Received for review

I haven’t written my review yet.
It will be very hard to write : the book is extremely well written I believe, in its style and in its relevance to the topic – which I cannot even reveal, because it would ruin the whole book for you if you haven’t read it yet.
BUT that topic was totally horrific for me. So despite some bloggers reassuring me it was more a psychological thriller, I will agree with those classifying it as horror.

The Red House Mystery

🎧  The Red House Mystery, by A. A. Milne
156 pages/6H55
Originally published in 1922
Narrated by Kristine Hughes

Librivox recording
Mystery
Read for The Classics Club

Yes, Milne wrote mysteries, for adults.
This one is really good, with a super smart plot. I guessed only part of it.
I loved the duo that investigates incognito, as amateurs Sherlock Homes and Watson.
There’s also humor, and good study of characters.

I listened to the Librivox recording, available for instance on YouTube.
The narrator Kristin Hughes is quite good.

📚  CURRENTLY READING/LISTENING TO 🎧 

    Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow Liberty Bar  

  Thomas Jefferson's Crème Brûlée  So Big  

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

Eight years ago, 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.
This is focused on video games, a topic I enjoy a lot in books, for instance in Ready Player One and Two.
I’m mostly at the beginning, but so far really liking the story and the chracters.

“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!
I have read 65% of this one so far, and am liking it a lot!
There’s a lot of humor, as Maigret arrives on the Riviera in the full heat of summer, and feels more like resting, and drinking with the local cop, than investigating.
What’s special too, is that so far, in the 16 previous books, the story is usually set in cold, foggy, and greyish areas. And Maigret is really good at creating an ambiance in that type of setting.
So I was very surprised at how excellent he is here to evoke the super hot and bright sun of the Mediterranean region!

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 Riviera when he tracks the steps of a shabby former spy who is fond of pretty women and dive bars.

📚  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.
I have read only 25 pages so far, but I find it excellent at describing how and what people were eating in 18th century America.

“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!”

🎧 So Big, by Edna Ferber
Published in 1924
376 pages/10H12
Narrated by Laural Merlington

Historical fiction
It counts for The Classics Club

A novel I have meant to read for a while.
A friend didn’t seem too impressed, deemed it as popular literature, especially compared to Willa Cather.
I’m actually enjoying it a lot, and her descriptions of landscapes and characters seem to me just as good as Cather’s – for instance in My Ántonia.
Ferber won the Pulitzer prize for novel with it in 1925.

Author Edna Ferber described the story of So Big as being about a “material man, son of his earth-grubbing, idealistic mother”. Left an orphan at 19 years old in the late 1880s, Selina Peake needs to support herself. She leaves the city life she has known to become a teacher in the farming community of High Prairie, IL. Her father had told her that life is an adventure, and one should make the most of it.
Selina sees beauty everywhere, including in the fields of cabbages. She has a natural curiosity about farming and oversteps the woman’s traditional role by having the audacity to ask the men questions. She soon marries Pervus DeJong, a farmer. Selina eagerly offers suggestions for operational improvements, but Pervus ignores her, preferring to use the unprofitable farming methods employed by his father.
Though she suffers many hardships, Selina always remembers the importance of beauty, and she admires those who exercise their creative talents. She tries to instill these views in her son Dirk and fights with her husband over the need for their child to get a full education. Once Dirk finishes college and starts work, will he retain Selina’s values?
So Big was the first book to have the rare distinction of being the best-selling book of the year and win the Pulitzer Prize for fiction.”

📚  BOOK UP NEXT 📚 

Le Grand Meaulnes

📚 Le Grand Meaulnesby Alain-Fournier
French Literary fiction
1913
Published in English as The Lost Estate
Will be reading in French 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.”

📚  LAST BOOK ADDED TO MY GOODREADS TBR 📚 

The Life of Crime

📚  The Life of Crime, by Martin Edwards
Nonfiction
Published May 12th 2022 by Collins Crime Club

“In the first major history of crime fiction in fifty years, The Life of Crime: Detecting the History of Mysteries and their Creators traces the evolution of the genre from the eighteenth century to the present, offering brand-new perspective on the world’s most popular form of fiction.
The Life of Crime is the result of a lifetime of reading and enjoying all types of crime fiction, old and new, from around the world. In what will surely be regarded as his magnum opus, Martin Edwards has thrown himself undaunted into the breadth and complexity of the genre to write an authoritative – and readable – study of its development and evolution. With crime fiction being read more widely read than ever around the world, and with individual authors increasingly the subject of extensive academic study, his expert distillation of more than two centuries of extraordinary books and authors – from the tales of E.T.A. Hoffmann to the novels of Patricia Cornwell – into one coherent history is an extraordinary feat and makes for compelling reading.

📚  NO BOOK RECEIVED THIS PAST WEEK 📚 

📚📚📚

HAVE YOU READ ANY OF THESE BOOKS?
HOW WAS YOUR WEEK?

The top 8 books to read in May 2022

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

Click on the covers to know more

📚 CURRENTLY READING 📚

Under Lock and Skeleton Key  La Nuit des temps

📚 Under Lock & Skeleton Key, by Gigi Pandian
Cozy mystery
March 15th 2022, by Minotaur Books
Received for review

I enjoyed a previous book by this author, MichelAngelo’s Ghost, so I thought I would this one a try.

Under Lock & Skeleton Key layers architecture with mouthwatering food in an ode to classic locked-room mysteries.
An impossible crime. A family legacy. The intrigue of hidden rooms and secret staircases.
After a disastrous accident derails Tempest Raj’s career, and life, she heads back to her childhood home in California to comfort herself with her grandfather’s Indian home-cooked meals. Though she resists, every day brings her closer to the inevitable: working for her father’s company. Secret Staircase Construction specializes in bringing the magic of childhood to all by transforming clients’ homes with sliding bookcases, intricate locks, backyard treehouses, and hidden reading nooks.
When Tempest visits her dad’s latest renovation project, her former stage double is discovered dead inside a wall that’s supposedly been sealed for more than a century. Fearing she was the intended victim, it’s up to Tempest to solve this seemingly impossible crime. But as she delves further into the mystery, Tempest can’t help but wonder if the Raj family curse that’s plagued her family for generations—something she used to swear didn’t exist—has finally come for her.
 ”

📚  La Nuit des temps, by René Barjavel
Science-fiction published in 1968 (France)
Was published in English as The Ice People
Reading with one of my French students.
It counts for The Classics Club

We are almost done, and are really enjoying it, even though some mentality feels really 1960s. At the same time, there are surprising inventions for the time.
Interesting scifi that connects both very ancient times and modernity.

“When a French expedition in Antarctica reveals ruins of a 900,000 year old civilization, scientists from all over the world flock to the site to help explore & understand. The entire planet watches via global satellite tv, mesmerized, as they uncover a chamber in which a man & a woman have been in suspended animation since, as the French title suggests, ‘the night of time’. The woman, Eléa, is awakened.
Through a translating machine she tells the story of her world, herself & her husband Paikan & how war destroyed her civilization. She also hints at an incredibly advanced knowledge her still-dormant companion possesses, knowledge that could give energy & food to all humans at no cost. But the superpowers of the world are not ready to let Eléa’s secrets spread, & show that, 900,000 years & an apocalypse later, humankind has not grown up & is ready to make the same mistakes again.”

📚 READING NEXT 📚

The Last House on Needless Street  A Raisin in the Sun

  Le voyage d'Octavio  When I Whistle  

📚 The Last House on Needless Street, by Catriona Ward
Horror? Psychological thriller?
March 18th 2021 by Viper
Received for review

I really have no idea why I accepted to review this book. Many readers classify it as horror, a genre I don’t read. Though several of you have told me it’s more psychological thriller. We’ll see how it goes.

“This is the story of a serial killer. A stolen child. Revenge. Death. And an ordinary house at the end of an ordinary street.
All these things are true. And yet they are all lies…
You think you know what’s inside the last house on Needless Street. You think you’ve read this story before. That’s where you’re wrong.
In the dark forest at the end of Needless Street, lies something buried. But it’s not what you think…”

📚 A Raisin in the Sun, by Lorraine Hansberry
Play
Published in 1959
Will be reading for The Classics Club and for the 2022 TBR Pile Reading Challenge, yes, FINALLY!!

Really looking forward to finally discover this play.

“Lorraine Hansberry’s award-winning drama about the hopes and aspirations of a struggling, working-class family living on the South Side of Chicago connected profoundly with the psyche of black America–and changed American theater forever.  The play’s title comes from a line in Langston Hughes’s poem “Harlem,” which warns that a dream deferred might “dry up/like a raisin in the sun.””

📚 Le Voyage d’Octavio, by Miguel Bonnefoy
French literary fiction
Published in 2015

Published in English as Octavio’s Journey 
(April 18th 2017, by Gallic Books)

I can’t remember if I ever read anything by him. So it should be a nice (re?)discovery.

The story of Venezuela told through the adventures of kindly giant, Octavio. Struggling to conceal his illiteracy, he embarks on a transformative journey that unearths his life’s purpose.
Winner of several literary awards, this critically-acclaimed and instantly engaging tale reveals Miguel Bonnefoy to be a gifted storyteller.
 ”

📚 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 🎧

L'Axe du loup  Les Dieux voyagent toujours incognito

🎧  L’axe du loup: De la Sibérie à l’Inde, sur les pas des évadés du goulag, by Sylvain Tesson
French nonfiction
Published in 2007

This is my 5th book by Tesson, and it’s another fabulous read. They all are.
His descriptions of landscapes, of people he meets, his references to history and culture, are so so good.
Too bad this is not available in English.

“The axis of the wolf: From Siberia to India, in the footsteps of escapees from the gulag.
For eight months, Sylvain Tesson redid the long journey from Siberia to the Bay of Bengal that escapees from the gulag once made. To pay homage to those whose thirst for freedom triumphed over the greatest obstacles, he alone crossed the taigas, the Mongolian steppe, the Gobi desert, the Tibetan highlands, the Himalayan chain, the humid forest up to Darjeeling mountain. On foot, on horseback, by bicycle, over six thousand kilometers, he experienced what he willingly sought: cold, hunger, extreme loneliness. The splendor of Upper Asia rewarded him.”

🎧  Les dieux voyagent toujours incognito, by Laurent Gounelle
French literary fiction
Published in 2010

I recently listened to a rather original thriller by Gounelle, so I feel like trying another book by him.
Guess what? Not available in English.

“Imagine. A man saves your life, in exchange for your commitment to do whatever he asks of you… for your own good. Your back to the wall, you accept and you find yourself embroiled in an incredible situation where everything seems to escape you. You are no longer in control of your life and yet… in many ways it is more exciting than before!
But little by little, doubt settles in you: what are the real intentions of this man who interfered in your life? Who is he really? And who are these enigmatic characters in his entourage? The discoveries you make have nothing to reassure you.
This story, which immerses us in the bewitching atmosphere of a Parisian summer, opens the way to the most beautiful of reflections on ourselves: what can allow us to overcome our inhibitions, our fears and our conditioning, to get off the beaten path of our life when it does not bring us full satisfaction?”

📚 

This is a total of 8 books.
If I need more, I’ll keep working on my TBR Reading Challenge list.

Eiffel Tower Orange

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

https://linktr.ee/wordsandpeace

Top Ten Books On My Spring 2022 TBR

Top Ten Books On My Spring 2022 TBR

TTT for March 15, 2022
#TopTenTuesday
 

📚  📚 📚

I have prepared a special Goodreads shelf for my Spring 2022 TBR, so if you click on the picture here below, you will access details about the following books.

Spring 2022 TBR

Have YOU read
or are YOU also planning to read any of these?
Please leave the link to your own list,
so I can visit.