The top 7 books to read in October 2021

Here are

The top 7 books
I plan to read in October 2021

Click on the covers to know more

📚 CURRENTLY READING 📚

Again reading a crazy number of books at the same time, but by now, this should not surprise anyone, lol.

  Termination Shock  

  Speedboat   Ficciones  

📚 Termination Shock, by Neal Stephenson
Expected publication: November 16th 2021 by William Morrow

I haven’t finished yet this technothriller about climate change. Partly because this is around 896 pages, but also because I have more urgent reading commitments for various book clubs.
Nothing much happens before around 500 pages…
I’m at 60%, and so far it’s really not blowing my mind, though I do learn a lot about many things, such as for instance the Sikh culture, martial arts, and the LAC (Line of Actual Control),  the notional demarcation line between the Indian-controlled territory and the Chinese-controlled territory.

“A visionary technothriller about climate change.
Neal Stephenson’s sweeping, prescient new novel transports readers to a near-future world where the greenhouse effect has inexorably resulted in a whirling-dervish troposphere of superstorms, rising sea levels, global flooding, merciless heat waves, and virulent, deadly pandemics.
One man has a Big Idea for reversing global warming, a master plan perhaps best described as “elemental.” But will it work? And just as important, what are the consequences for the planet and all of humanity should it be applied?
Ranging from the Texas heartland to the Dutch royal palace in the Hague, from the snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas to the sunbaked Chihuahuan Desert, Termination Shock brings together a disparate group of characters from different cultures and continents who grapple with the real-life repercussions of global warming. Ultimately, it asks the question: Might the cure be worse than the disease?”

📚 The New Testament: A Translation, by David Bentley Hart
Published in 2017

David Bentley Hart’s translation IS blowing my mind, especially in the Pauline writings.  If early on, we had looked more closely at the Greek without relying so much on Saint Jerome’s Latin translation, we would not have had all these crazy notions between grace and acts for instance, as really Romans 5 for example has nothing to do with this. The acts Paul is referring to are actually the fact of observing the Mosaic Law. Each time I’m reading texts by Paul on grace/acts, I’m shocked that Mosaic observance is indeed always in the background. Hence the essential importance of translating correctly a text!

“From one of our most celebrated writers on religion comes this fresh, bold, and unsettling new translation of the New Testament.
David Bentley Hart undertook this new translation of the New Testament in the spirit of “etsi doctrina non daretur,” “as if doctrine is not given.” Reproducing the texts’ often fragmentary formulations without augmentation or correction, he has produced a pitilessly literal translation, one that captures the texts’ impenetrability and unfinished quality while awakening readers to an uncanniness that often lies hidden beneath doctrinal layers.
The early Christians’ sometimes raw, astonished, and halting prose challenges the idea that the New Testament affirms the kind of people we are. Hart reminds us that they were a company of extremists, radical in their rejection of the values and priorities of society not only at its most degenerate, but often at its most reasonable and decent. “To live as the New Testament language requires,” he writes, “Christians would have to become strangers and sojourners on the earth, to have here no enduring city, to belong to a Kingdom truly not of this world. And we surely cannot do that, can we?”

📚  Speedboat, by Renata Adler
Published in 1976
Reading for #1976Club, hosted by Stuck in a Book

Planning to read two books for this club. Already halfway in this one, and really not impressed. It’s a collection of vignettes and stream of consciousness. There are a few lines I do like a lot, but I’m actually a bit disappointed by the whole thing. I’m glad it’s short.
Are you participating in #1976Club (October 11-17)? Which books are you reading for it?

“This story of a young female newspaper reporter coming of age in New York City was originally published serially in the New Yorker; it is made out of seemingly unrelated vignettes—tart observations distilled through relentless intellect—which add up to an analysis of our brittle, urban existence. It remains as fresh as when it was first published.”

📚  Ficciones, by Jorge Luis Borges
Published in 1944
Reading with The World’s Literature Goodreads Club and for The Classics Club and the Books in Translation Challenge.

As a teenager, I really enjoyed a lot this author. I may even already have read this one, so when I saw this Goodreads club was going to read it, I joined.
Cool collection of short stories – a genre I don’t often enjoy, unless the author is a genius.

“The seventeen pieces in Ficciones demonstrate the whirlwind of Borges’s genius and mirror the precision and potency of his intellect and inventiveness, his piercing irony, his skepticism, and his obsession with fantasy. Borges sends us on a journey into a compelling, bizarre, and profoundly resonant realm; we enter the fearful sphere of Pascal’s abyss, the surreal and literal labyrinth of books, and the iconography of eternal return. To enter the worlds in Ficciones is to enter the mind of Jorge Luis Borges, wherein lies Heaven, Hell, and everything else in between.”

📚 READING NEXT 📚

A River Runs Through it

📚 A River Runs Through it, by Norman Maclean
Published in 1976
Will be reading for #1976Club, hosted by Stuck in a Book

“From its first magnificent sentence, “In our family, there was no clear line between religion and fly fishing,” to the last, “I am haunted by waters,” “A River Runs Through It” is an American classic.
Based on Norman Maclean’s childhood experiences, “A River Runs Through It” has established itself as one of the most moving stories of our time; it captivates readers with vivid descriptions of life along Montana’s Big Blackfoot River and its near magical blend of fly fishing with the troubling affections of the heart.”

I will probably read a couple more books, from my Summer list I didn’t finish.

🎧 CURRENT AND NEXT AUDIOBOOKS 🎧

the thirteenth tale   The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding

🎧  The Thirteenth Tale, by Diane Setterfield
Published in 2006

This is the very first book I added on my TBR Goodreads list. Yes, I just started this plan of revisiting the books I added there ten years ago and read them or delete them.
OMG, why did I wait for ten years to read this? It feels a bit like Kate Morton‘s books (which I enjoy a lot), but focused on the world of books (book sellers, readers, authors). Anyway, most of you have probably read it, so you know all about it.
The narrators Bianca Amato and Jill Tanner are fabulous!

“All children mythologize their birth…So begins the prologue of reclusive author Vida Winter’s collection of stories, which are as famous for the mystery of the missing thirteenth tale as they are for the delight and enchantment of the twelve that do exist.
The enigmatic Winter has spent six decades creating various outlandish life histories for herself — all of them inventions that have brought her fame and fortune but have kept her violent and tragic past a secret. Now old and ailing, she at last wants to tell the truth about her extraordinary life. She summons biographer Margaret Lea, a young woman for whom the secret of her own birth, hidden by those who loved her most, remains an ever-present pain. Struck by a curious parallel between Miss Winter’s story and her own, Margaret takes on the commission.
As Vida disinters the life she meant to bury for good, Margaret is mesmerized. It is a tale of gothic strangeness featuring the Angelfield family, including the beautiful and willful Isabelle, the feral twins Adeline and Emmeline, a ghost, a governess, a topiary garden and a devastating fire.
Margaret succumbs to the power of Vida’s storytelling but remains suspicious of the author’s sincerity. She demands the truth from Vida, and together they confront the ghosts that have haunted them while becoming, finally, transformed by the truth themselves.
The Thirteenth Tale is a love letter to reading, a book for the feral reader in all of us, a return to that rich vein of storytelling that our parents loved and that we loved as children. Diane Setterfield will keep you guessing, make you wonder, move you to tears and laughter and, in the end, deposit you breathless yet satisfied back upon the shore of your everyday life.”

🎧 Adventure of the Christmas Pudding (Hercule Poirot #35), by Agatha Christie
Published in 1960- Part of my project to listen to all of HP, for The Classics Club
After this one, only 10 left.

“An English country house at Christmas time should be the perfect place to get away from it all – but nothing is ever simple for Hercule Poirot, as he finds not one but five baffling cases to solve.
First comes a sinister warning on his pillow to avoid the plum pudding…then the discovery of a corpse in a chest…next, an overheard quarrel that leads to murder…the strange case of a dead man’s eating habits…and the puzzle of a victim who dreams of his own suicide.”

🎧 I will probably also listen to 3 other books with Hercule Poirot.
🎧 And a French audiobook if I have time

GIVEAWAY

UNTIL 10/31

The Education of Delhomme

Choose between 4 books

BOOK AVAILABLE TO REVIEW
2 more books coming mid October!

UNTIL 10/31

in another life

PLANS FOR OCTOBER

  • Participate in the #1976Club – see above
  • Participate in the World’s Literature Goodreads discussion – see above
  • Watch two zoom book talks: one with Walter Mosley (Brooklyn Book Festival), one on Sandra Cisneros (AARP)
  • Write my last review for a theology book I read last year for Edelweiss Plus
  • Restart sharing reading notes on my Orthodox blog

Eiffel Tower Orange

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

The top 7 books to read in September 2021

Here are

The top 7 books
I plan to read in September 2021

Click on the covers to know more

📚 CURRENTLY READING 📚

  Termination Shock The Hands On French Cookbook

📚 Termination Shock, by Neal Stephenson
Expected publication: November 16th 2021 by William Morrow

OK, this is a new plunge for me. I have been meaning to read so many books by Stephenson, and  never dared so far. But when I saw it on Netgalley, I couldn’t resist. A technothriller about climate change, totally my thing!
I usually do not request a book that long (896 pages) by a new to me author, as it means I cannot DNF it (I do not DNF books I requested). But so far anyway, I’m just loving it.

“A visionary technothriller about climate change.
Neal Stephenson’s sweeping, prescient new novel transports readers to a near-future world where the greenhouse effect has inexorably resulted in a whirling-dervish troposphere of superstorms, rising sea levels, global flooding, merciless heat waves, and virulent, deadly pandemics.
One man has a Big Idea for reversing global warming, a master plan perhaps best described as “elemental.” But will it work? And just as important, what are the consequences for the planet and all of humanity should it be applied?
Ranging from the Texas heartland to the Dutch royal palace in the Hague, from the snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas to the sunbaked Chihuahuan Desert, Termination Shock brings together a disparate group of characters from different cultures and continents who grapple with the real-life repercussions of global warming. Ultimately, it asks the question: Might the cure be worse than the disease?”

📚 The Hands On French Cookbook, by Elisabeth de Châtillon
Published on 6/2/21
For a tour on France Book Tours

“If you think French food is complicated, decadent, and heavy, think again!
If you think learning and exploring another language is difficult or boring, think again!
And if you think cooking French food and learning French at the same time is impossible, teacher and home cook Elisabeth de Châtillon is here to prove you wrong. It might sound too good to be true, but THE HANDS ON FRENCH COOKBOOK is full of healthy, simple French recipes that you can make for friends and family while you learn not only the French language but also a little bit about French culture in a relaxed, fun, tasty way.”

📚 The New Testament: A Translation, by David Bentley Hart
Published in 2017

As you may know, I’m in the process of listening to the whole Bible. I recently finished listening to all the books of the Old Testament.
As David Bentley Hart recently published a new translation, I thought I would at the same time listen to all the books of the New Testament (narrated by Alexander Scourby) AND read this new translation. The translator is Orthodox, as I am, and I’m very intrigued to see what he did here.

“From one of our most celebrated writers on religion comes this fresh, bold, and unsettling new translation of the New Testament.
David Bentley Hart undertook this new translation of the New Testament in the spirit of “etsi doctrina non daretur,” “as if doctrine is not given.” Reproducing the texts’ often fragmentary formulations without augmentation or correction, he has produced a pitilessly literal translation, one that captures the texts’ impenetrability and unfinished quality while awakening readers to an uncanniness that often lies hidden beneath doctrinal layers.
The early Christians’ sometimes raw, astonished, and halting prose challenges the idea that the New Testament affirms the kind of people we are. Hart reminds us that they were a company of extremists, radical in their rejection of the values and priorities of society not only at its most degenerate, but often at its most reasonable and decent. “To live as the New Testament language requires,” he writes, “Christians would have to become strangers and sojourners on the earth, to have here no enduring city, to belong to a Kingdom truly not of this world. And we surely cannot do that, can we?”

📚 READING NEXT 📚

  Rider on the Rain The Islanders by Christopher Priest  

📚 Rider on the Rain, by Sébastien Japrisot
Published in 1969 – will read for The Classics Club and the Books in Translation Challenge. Getting republished by Gallic Books on October 5, 2021

“The bus never stops in Le Cap-des-Pins. Not in autumn, when the small Riviera resort is deserted. Except today, when a man with a red bag and a disconcerting stare steps out into the rain.His arrival will throw the life of young housewife Mellie Mau into disarray. After surviving a horrific attack, she has a dark secret to hide. But a stranger at a wedding, the enigmatic American Harry Dobbs, is determined to get the truth out of her, leading her into a game of cat and mouse with dangerous consequences …A cool, stylish and twisty thriller from cult French noir writer Sébastien Japrisot.”

📚  The Islanders, by Christopher Priest
Published in 2011

Christopher Priest is a big name in the word of scifi, but I have never read anything by him. This book intrigued me, so I chose it when I won a book of my choice a few years ago on a blog (sorry, can’t remember where).

“Reality is illusory and magical in the stunning new literary SF novel from the multiple award-winning author of The Prestige—for fans of Haruki Murakami and David Mitchell.

A tale of murder, artistic rivalry, and literary trickery; a Chinese puzzle of a novel where nothing is quite what it seems; a narrator whose agenda is artful and subtle; a narrative that pulls you in and plays an elegant game with you. The Dream Archipelago is a vast network of islands. The names of the islands are different depending on who you talk to, their very locations seem to twist and shift. Some islands have been sculpted into vast musical instruments, others are home to lethal creatures, others the playground for high society. Hot winds blow across the archipelago and a war fought between two distant continents is played out across its waters. The Islanders serves both as an untrustworthy but enticing guide to the islands; an intriguing, multi-layered tale of a murder; and the suspect legacy of its appealing but definitely untrustworthy narrator. It shows Christopher Priest at the height of his powers and illustrates his undiminished power to dazzle.”

🎧 CURRENT AND NEXT AUDIOBOOKS 🎧

Les deux châteaux    After the Funeral

🎧  Les deux châteaux (N.E.O. #2), by Michel Bussi
Published on June 3, 2021

Michel Bussi is one of my favorite contemporary French authors. He usually writes thrillers, but has recently launched into YA fantasy – a genre I usually don’t read. I listened to volume 1 and so loved it, that I had to listen to volume 2. I’m about half way and it’s so so good.

“Le clan du château et le clan du tipi sont réconciliés ! Grâce à l’alliance de tous, les frontières de la ville et de ses environs peuvent enfin être repoussées : le monde s’ouvre désormais à eux.
Mais au-delà des grandes découvertes, des amitiés et des amours naissants, et derrière une cohabitation en apparence sereine, Alixe, Zyzo et leurs amis devront percer de nouveaux mystères. Comment les enfants ont-ils pu survivre juste après le passage du nuage ? Quelles sont les origines des deux clans ? Qui était vraiment Marie-Lune ?
Mordélia, chassée de la ville, a conservé un objet secret qui contient peut-être des réponses à toutes ces questions. Or habitée par une féroce volonté de survivre, elle compte bien prendre sa revanche…”

🎧 After the Funeral (Hercule Poirot #33), by Agatha Christie
Published in 1953 – Part of my project to listen to all of HP, for The Classics Club

“The master of a Victorian mansion dies suddenly – and his sister is convinced it was murder…. When Cora is savagely murdered with a hatchet, the extraordinary remark she made the previous day at her brother Richard’s funeral suddenly takes on a chilling significance. At the reading of Richard’s will, Cora was clearly heard to say: ‘It’s been hushed up very nicely, hasn’t it…But he was murdered, wasn’t he?’ In desperation, the family solicitor turns to Hercule Poirot to unravel the mystery.”

🎧 I will probably also listen to 3 other books with Hercule Poirot.
🎧 And a few books of the New Testament, as explained above.

CURRENT GIVEAWAYS AND BOOKS AVAILABLE FOR REVIEW

Listed on the homepage 

List of books I can swap with yours

PLANS FOR SEPTEMBER

  • Hopefully write 3 reviews for books received for review through Edelweiss Plus and read last year

Eiffel Tower Orange

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

2020: March wrap-up

MARCH 2020 WRAP-UP

Amazing how the world has changed since my February wrap-up!
I hope you are all doing well and keeping safe.

Actually, life is still about the same for me, as I work from home, teaching French, and this keeps me really busy these days, with among others, two of my students preparing two different and very demanding exams.

The only major change is Church. We closed our Church on March 14, so besides our usual home prayers, we are watching services from a monastery through livestreaming videos. We have also organized some Skype Conferences for our parishioners, and also social hour, just to chat together.
Last time we left home was basically on March 11, so we are doing good so far.

The above and many phone calls, skype sessions, and emails with many people, parishioners, friends, and family members, have kept me super busy.
Hence so little activity on this blog for a while. I apologize for those who have left comments, and that I haven’t approved yet. I haven’t visited many other blogs recently either. And now I am a few reviews behind.
Some days, I’m too exhausted to read in the evening. So my pace has slowed down a bit.

📚 So here are the titles I read in March:

7 books:
6 in print 
with 1,139 pages, an average of 36 pages/day
1 in audio
= 2H44
, an average of 5 minutes

5 in nonfiction:

  1. Theological Territories: a David Bentley Hart Digest, by David Bentley Hart – ebook, for review. See notes (to be continued, upcoming review)
  2. On Tyranny, by Timothy Snyder
  3. The Book of Numbers – audiobook
  4. Civil Disobedience, by Henry David Thoreau – ebook
  5. Le petit livre de la vie réussie, by Anselm Grün – for review

2 in mystery:

  1. Le Pendu de Saint-Pholien, by Georges Simenon – ebook
  2. La tête d’un homme, by Georges Simenon – ebook

MY FAVORITE BOOK IN MARCH

Theological Territories

READING CHALLENGES & RECAP

Classics Club: 24/50 (from October 2019-until September 2024)
Japanese Literature Challenge: 8 books read

Total of books read in 2020 = 31/110
Number of books added to my TBR this past month= 12

OTHER BOOKS I REVIEWED IN MARCH

Besides the books above listed, this month I also reviewed:

  The Missing Sister   Creativity for Kids

GIVEAWAYS

The open giveaways are on my homepage

MOST POPULAR BOOK REVIEW THIS PAST MONTH

Civilizations

click on the cover to access my review 

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Come back tomorrow
to see the books I plan to read in April


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How was YOUR month of March?

2019-Monthly-Wrap-Up-Round-Up_300

Nicole at Feed Your Fiction Addiction
has created a Month In Review meme
where you can link your monthly recap posts
Thanks Nicole!