Book review: To Hold Up the Sky

To Hold Up the Sky

To Hold Up the Sky,
by Cixin Liu
Various translators
from the Chinese

Tor Books
336 pages
Science Fiction


Buy the book on my Bookshop

I discovered Cixin Liu a couple of years ago and was totally blown away by Supernova Era.
This time, I would like to present the latest collection of his science-fiction short stories: To Hold Up the Sky.

I don’t often read short stories, as they often feel like unfinished pieces to me, but there are a few impressive exceptions. Click to continue reading

Top Ten Books with Purple, Yellow, or Green Covers

Top Ten Tuesday:
Top Ten Books with Purple, Yellow, and/or Green Book Covers
(in honor of Mardi Gras, which is today)

TTT for February 16, 2021


Today, the prompt is related to Mardi Gras. We don’t have Mardi Gras in my Church tradition. Our Lent always starts on a Monday (with Clean Monday – March 15 this year), and the Sunday before we usually use all our eggs and milk, etc, making blini. It’s actually called Forgiveness Sunday, as on that day, we all ask forgiveness from each other, before launching into the Lenten period.
Anyway, here is my choice for this meme.

The only recent ones with a yellow cover were in French, so I skipped them. And I chose only among books I really enjoyed a lot.

Please click on the image to access my reviews when available




Top ten books with green or purple


  The Lodger Supernova Era

 Have you read any of these?
Any other good book with a green or purple cover?

Sunday Post #32 – 12/6/2020

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


This post also counts for

Sunday Salon    Stacking the Shelves  Mailbox Monday2

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

#SundayPost #SundaySalon
#StackingTheShelves #MailboxMonday
#itsmonday #IMWAYR
#WWWWednesday #WWWWednesdays

Click on the logos to join the memes,
and on the book covers to access synopsis or review

I haven’t done a Sunday Post since June, trying to come back.
But things are busy here, with more new French students, and more virtual book tours. I already posted one for January 2021, and will post two more next week!
I also FINALLY created a Patreon page, so you can more easily support Words And Peace and France Book Tours, and receive goodies for it (books for now, merch down the line).

But my reading schedule is going well.


  Ichi-F  To Hold Up the Sky

Murder on the Orient Express   

📚 Ichi-F: A Worker’s Graphic Memoir of the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant, by Kazuto Tatsuta
Published in 2017

I particularly enjoy nonfiction graphic “novels”.
This one by written (text and illustrations) by a manga artist who has also worked at Fukushima. This is not about the 2011 disaster, but about the huge efforts of cleaning up the area.
Ichi-F means 1-F, in other words the Fukushima first nuclear reactor.
The author was amazed by all the wrong rumors about the place, so he set up to show what’s really going on there, with tons of security measures and very careful work.
This is fascinating, with lots of details on the complicated work conditions. For instance, you may need one hour to put on all your protective gear, but if you work in a particularly heavy radiation zone, (some are more or less on the site), you may end up working only thirty minutes a day. Each worker wears a device counting the radiation. They cannot go over a certain limit per day, per month, and per year. So sometimes, you can only work for three months. Hence the slowness of the work and the need for so many workers. Still, the author shows how much has been done within the four years or so he has worked there.
The author only talks about the workers daily life, where they live, what they eat, and talk about.
The book was absolutely fascinating. This is a big book, 561 pages, with a lot to read on each page.

📚 To Hold Up the Sky, by Cixin Liu
Published on October, 20.
Ebook received through Netgalley

I haven’t written my review yet. I’ll just say it’s written by the author of Supernova Era, which I so enjoyed.
So we are staying in Asia, with an awesome collection of Chinese scifi short stories. Great author!

📚 Murder on the Orient Express (Hercule Poirot #10), by Agatha Christie
Published in 1934. Audiobook.
For my project to listen to all of Hercule Poirot. Counts for The Classics Club

According to Goodreads, I had read it in 2012. Then I watched the three movie/TV versions (the BBC one is bar far the best, according to me – who can surpass David Suchet??). So I had actually forgotten I had read it.
The narrator of this one was actually also David Suchet. I realized that even though I knew so many details about the story, I still very much enjoyed it, especially by noticing the little clues here and there. Masterful.


The Vexations Atom[ka]

📚 The Vexations, by Caitlin Horrocks
Published in 2019
Lent by a friend

I know Judy at Keep the Wisdom has really liked it, but I have to say I’m a bit disappointed. I was expecting much more about Erik Satie himself, but it seems the book actually focuses more on his sister. I have other issues with the book, which I will talk to you about next Sunday hopefully.
Bu there ARE some neat passages on Satie’s music and the ambiance of the time.

📚 And in audiobook, Atom[ka], by  Franck Thilliez
Published in 2012
French audiobook

As mentioned above, I just read this book on Fukushima, so staying somewhat in the same field with this amazing thriller around Chernobyl (I think one of the three threads is about that). There are riveting descriptions in a mental hospital, and tons of suspense as usual with Thilliez.
The narrator is spectacular, Michel Raimbault, like for most of the books in this series.


The Letter Killers Club

📚The Letter Killers Club (1926), by Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky
Published in 1926.
This is the book I got for Classics Spin #25.
I presented it in my December titles post.


  Dojoji Knots and Crosses

📚 Dojoji, by Yukio Mishima
Japanese play, published in 1957
I’m planning to read it in January, for the Japanese Literature Challenge, and for The Classics Club

“Mishima’s play is called Dojoji, and takes place in a secondhand furniture shop. The Dealer has organized a private auction for some very rich customers. He is selling a giant wardrobe, big enough to fit a double bed in. The Dealer explains that the wardrobe is up for auction because it belonged to one of the rich families who “has gone down a bit in the world” since the end of WWII, so they must sell their furniture. The wardrobe is very impressive, and soon the bidding hits three million Yen.
However, just as the bidding reaches a climax, a woman enters the scene, bidding only three thousand Yen for the wardrobe.”

📚 Knos and Crosses, by Ian Rankin
Published in 1987
I have heard about this author twice this past week, so that’s a good sign!

“Detective John Rebus: His city is being terrorized by a baffling series of murders…and he’s tied to a maniac by an invisible knot of blood. Once John Rebus served in Britain’s elite SAS. Now he’s an Edinburgh cop who hides from his memories, misses promotions and ignores a series of crank letters. But as the ghoulish killings mount and the tabloid headlines scream, Rebus cannot stop the feverish shrieks from within his own mind. Because he isn’t just one cop trying to catch a killer, he’s the man who’s got all the pieces to the puzzle…
Knots and Crosses introduces a gifted mystery novelist, a fascinating locale and the most compellingly complex detective hero at work today..”



📚 L’Origine, by Lilianne Milgrom
Published on July 28
Historical novel set in France. Received for France Book Tours

We still have a couple of spots on the tour!!

L’Origine‘ traces the extraordinary, clandestine odyssey of an iconic 19th century painting that shook up the author’s world and continues to scandalize all who set eyes upon it.
Gustave Courbet’s portrait of a woman’s exposed torso and sex – audaciously entitled ‘L’Origine du monde’ (The Origin of the World) – was so shocking it was kept hidden for a century and a half, surviving revolution, Nazi plunder and the foibles of its eccentric owners.
Today it draws millions of visitors to Paris’ Orsay Museum. Lilianne Milgrom brings a fresh, feminine perspective to an iconic work of art created specifically for the male gaze.
L’Origine‘ offers readers more than a riveting romp through history–it also reflects society’s complex attitude towards female nudity.

NB: this is a historical novel, no explicit scenes


📚 Wow, I forgot I has been doing this! Will try to restart this. Maybe for my exclusive Newsletter!


📚 Book of the month giveaway


  • Late reviews?
  • More Orthodox book notes?
  • Two new tours will be posted on Monday and Tuesday