2016: October wrap-up

October 2016 wrap-up

Another great month of reading, I’m finally on track to reach my usual average of 100 books/year.

Here is what I read in October:

9  books:
8 in print
with 2,059 pages, that is: 66.4 pages/day
+ 1 audiobook
with 7H43, that is: 14 mn/day

3 in literary fiction:

  1. Commonwealth, by Ann Patchett
  2. The Suicide Shop, by Jean Teulé – ebook
  3. The Invoice, by Jonas Karlsson

2 in nonfiction:

  1. Pancakes in Paris, by Craig Carlson – ebook
  2. The Blessed Surgeon: The Life of Saint Luke Archbishop of Simferopol

1 in mystery:

  1. Michelangelo’s Ghost, by Gigi Pandian – ebook

1 in historical fiction:

  1. The Other Einstein, by Marie Benedict

1 in science-fiction:

  1. The Martian Chronicles, by Ray Bradbury – audio

1 in fantasy:

  1. A Wizard of Earthsea, by Ursula K. Le Guin
To recap in charts, inspired by The Book Date:
Book Formats:
Some books fall into a couple of categories
Print 5
E-Book 3
Audiobook 1
Published in 2016 6
Books for review 6

Genres Read

Nonfiction 2
Literary fiction 3
Historical fiction 1
Mystery 1
Scifi 1
Fantasy 1

My favorites in October

        the-other-einstein  the-martian-chronicles

 Reading Challenges recap

French Bingo: 37/25 – FINISHED
Audiobook: 10/10-15
Classics Club: 8/50 (until end of 2018)
Cloak and Dagger (Mysteries): 26/21-30
Ebook challenge: 28/25 – FINISHED
Historical fiction: 16/15 – FINISHED
Japanese literature: 3/5
New authors challenge: 42/50
New Release (2016): 37/16-30 – FINISHED
Nonfiction challenge: 13/11-15
Books in Translation: 26/12 – FINISHED
What’s in a Name: 3/6
Where Are You Reading?: 20/50 – to be finished in ??

Total of books read in 2016 = 83/100

Number of books added to my TBR in October= 3 only!

Blog recap

Most popular book review in October

click on the cover to access my review.

Most popular post last month
– non book review –


Book blog that brought me
most traffic this past month

Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus More

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 😉

10: Lucy at The Fictional 100 

9: Karen at Booker Talk

6: Elizabeth at Silver’s Reviews

3: Freda at Freda’s Voice

2: Katherine at I Wished I Lived In a Library

Blog milestones

1,482 posts
over 3,900 subscribers
over 123,00 hits

Plans for November

  • Catching up on titles that have been too long on my Netgalley shelf!
  • Starting Challenges recaps
  • I have now a better idea of what I want my blog new look to be. I need to list all this now and send it to a website magician I know to do the trick!


Come back on Thursday
to see what I plan to read in November!

Eiffel Tower OrangeEiffel Tower OrangeEiffel Tower Orange

How was YOUR month of  October?

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!

Brona’s Salon: The Other Einstein


Brona’s Salon is a new meme which aims
to gather a group of like-minded bookish people
‘under the roof of an inspiring host, held partly to amuse one another
and partly to refine the taste
and increase the knowledge of the participants through conversation.’
She provides a few prompts to inspire our conversation.
However please feel free to discuss your current read
or join in the conversation in any way that you see fit.
Amusement, refinement and knowledge will surely follow!


Eiffel Tower Orange

What are you currently reading?


How did you find out about this book?

I received it at Book Expo America in 2016 in Chicago.

Why are you reading it now?

It was published this month, and I am slowly but surely going through all the books I brought back from BEA

First impressions?

This is really excellent. Great descriptions of the social context, of landscapes, the characters are so real.

Which character do you relate to so far?

I relate a lot to Mileva, yo her thirst of knowledge and learning.

Are you happy to continue?

Totally. This book is worth the hype it got at BEA. Plus the author sounded so interesting when I heard her there at a panel. The opposite of the hype around another book that disappointed me so much!

Where do you think the story will go? 

Looks like Mileva will have less and less access to the fun of learning and that she may remain in the shadow of her famous husband, even though she must have contributed a lot to what he discovered, thanks to her own input and her genius talents in maths.


9 titles for our June 2014 Book Club

Recap of our Block Book Club June 2014 meeting


Recap of the titles we shared [synopsis from Goodreads.com] at our June meeting.

#1. The Telling Room: A Tale of Love, Betrayal, Revenge, and the World’s Greatest Piece of Cheese by Michael Paterniti (2013) presented by P.

In the fall of 1991, while working at a gourmet deli in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Michael Paterniti encountered a piece of cheese. Not just any cheese. This was Paramo de Guzman, a rare Spanish queso reputed to be the finest, and most expensive, in the world. The cheese carried its own legend: Made from an ancient family recipe in the medieval Castilian village of Guzman (pop. 80), the cheese was submerged in olive oil and aged in a cave where it gained magical qualities-if you ate it, some said, you might recover long-lost memories. Too broke to actually buy the cheese, Paterniti made a quixotic vow: that he would meet this cheese again someday. Flash forward ten years, when Paterniti has finally found his way-family in tow-to that tiny hilltop village to meet the famous cheesemaker himself, a voluble, magnetic, heartbroken genius named Ambrosio. What Paterniti discovers in Guzman is nothing like the idyllic slow-food fable he has imagined. Instead, he wanders into-and eventually becomes deeply implicated in-the heart of an unfolding mystery, in which a village begins to spill its long-held secrets, and nothing is quite what it seems.

#2. No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State by Glenn Greenwald (May 2014). presented by P.

In May 2013, Glenn Greenwald set out for Hong Kong to meet an anonymous source who claimed to have astonishing evidence of pervasive government spying and insisted on communicating only through heavily encrypted channels. That source turned out to be the 29-year-old NSA contractor Edward Snowden, and his revelations about the agency’s widespread, systemic overreach proved to be some of the most explosive and consequential news in recent history, triggering a fierce debate over national security and information privacy. As the arguments rage on and the government considers various proposals for reform, it is clear that we have yet to see the full impact of Snowden’s disclosures.
Now for the first time, Greenwald fits all the pieces together, recounting his high-intensity ten-day trip to Hong Kong, examining the broader implications of the surveillance detailed in his reporting for The Guardian, and revealing fresh information on the NSA’s unprecedented abuse of power with never-before-seen documents entrusted to him by Snowden himself.

Going beyond NSA specifics, Greenwald also takes on the establishment media, excoriating their habitual avoidance of adversarial reporting on the government and their failure to serve the interests of the people. Finally, he asks what it means both for individuals and for a nation’s political health when a government pries so invasively into the private lives of its citizens—and considers what safeguards and forms of oversight are necessary to protect democracy in the digital age. Coming at a landmark moment in American history, No Place to Hide is a fearless, incisive, and essential contribution to our understanding of the U.S. surveillance state.–

#3. The Explorers: A Story of Fearless Outcasts, Blundering Geniuses, and Impossible Success by Martin Dugard (June 2014) presented by J.

The riveting account of one of history’s greatest adventures and a study of the seven character traits all great explorers share.

In 1856, two intrepid adventurers, Richard Francis Burton and John Hanning Speke, set off to unravel mankind’s greatest geographical mystery: finding the source of the Nile River. They traveled deep into a forbidding and uncharted African wilderness together, coming near death on several occasions. Ultimately, Burton and Speke arrived at two different conclusions about the Nile’s origin. Before leaving Africa they became sworn enemies. The feud became an international sensation upon their return to England, and a public debate was scheduled to decide whose theory was correct. What followed was a massive spectacle with an outcome no one could have ever foreseen.

In The Explorers, New York Times bestselling author Martin Dugard shares the rich saga of the Burton and Speke expedition. To better understand their motivations and ultimate success, Dugard guides readers through the seven vital traits that Burton and Speke, as well as many of history’s legendary explorers, called upon to see their impossible journeys through to the end: curiosity, hope, passion, courage, independence, self-discipline, and perserverence. In doing so, Dugard demonstrates that we are all explorers, and that these traits have a most practical application in everyday life.

The Explorers is a book about survival and courage. It is also a book about stepping into the darkness with confidence and grace, aware on some profound level’s – as were Burton and Speke – that the Promised Land we are searching for is not some lost corner of the world, but a place within ourselves.

The Jedi Doth Return

#4. William Shakespeare’s The Jedi Doth Return (William Shakespeare’s Star Wars #3) by Ian Doescher (July 2014) presented by me

Hot on the heels of the New York Times best seller William Shakespeare’s Star Wars comes the next two installments of the original trilogy: William Shakespeare’s The Empire Striketh Back and William Shakespeare’s The Jedi Doth Return. Return to the star-crossed galaxy far, far away as the brooding young hero, a power-mad emperor, and their jesting droids match wits, struggle for power, and soliloquize in elegant and impeccable iambic pentameter. Illustrated with beautiful black-and-white Elizabethan-style artwork, these two plays offer essential reading for all ages. Something Wookiee this way comes.
Emma’s personal review on her blog is on this page.

#5. Einstein’s Dreams by Alan Lightman (1992) presented by R.
A modern classic, Einstein’s Dreams is a fictional collage of stories dreamed by Albert Einstein in 1905, when he worked in a patent office in Switzerland. As the defiant but sensitive young genius is creating his theory of relativity, a new conception of time, he imagines many possible worlds. In one, time is circular, so that people are fated to repeat triumphs and failures over and over. In another, there is a place where time stands still, visited by lovers and parents clinging to their children. In another, time is a nightingale, sometimes trapped by a bell jar.

Now translated into thirty languages, Einstein’s Dreams has inspired playwrights, dancers, musicians, and painters all over the world. In poetic vignettes, it explores the connections between science and art, the process of creativity, and ultimately the fragility of human existence.

R. also presented:
#6. Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson (2011) 
From best-selling author Walter Isaacson comes the landmark biography of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs.

In Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography, Isaacson provides an extraordinary account of Jobs’ professional and personal life. Drawn from three years of exclusive and unprecedented interviews Isaacson has conducted with Jobs as well as extensive interviews with Jobs’ family members and key colleagues from Apple and its competitors, Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography is the definitive portrait of the greatest innovator of his generation.

#7. Sea Change by Karen White (2012) presented by S.
For Ava Whalen, a new marriage and a move to St. Simons Island means a new beginning. But what she doesn’t realize is that her marriage will take her on an unexpected journey into the deep recesses of her past that will transform her forever… For as long as she can remember, Ava Whalen has struggled with a sense of not belonging, and now, at thirty-four, she still feels stymied by her family. Then she meets child psychologist Matthew Frazier, and thinks her days of loneliness are behind her. After a whirlwind romance, they impulsively elope, and Ava moves to Matthew’s ancestral home on St. Simons Island off the coast of Georgia. But after the initial excitement, Ava is surprised to discover that true happiness continues to elude her. There is much she doesn’t know about Matthew, including the mysterious circumstances surrounding his first wife’s death. And her new home seems to hold as many mysteries and secrets as her new husband. Feeling adrift, Ava throws herself into uncovering Matthew’s family history and that of the island, not realizing that she has a connection of her own to this place—or that her obsession with the past could very well destroy her future

#8. The Blood of the Lamb by Peter De Vries (1961) presented by F.
The most poignant of all De Vries’s novels, The Blood of the Lamb is also the most autobiographical. It follows the life of Don Wanderhop from his childhood in an immigrant Calvinist family living in Chicago in the 1950s through the loss of a brother, his faith, his wife, and finally his daughter-a tragedy drawn directly from De Vries’s own life. Despite its foundation in misfortune, The Blood of the Lamb offers glimpses of the comic sensibility for which De Vries was famous. Engaging directly with the reader in a manner that buttresses the personal intimacy of the story, De Vries writes with a powerful blend of grief, love, wit, and fury.

#9. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt (2013) presented by A.
It begins with a boy. Theo Decker, a thirteen-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don’t know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his unbearable longing for his mother, he clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.

As an adult, Theo moves silkily between the drawing rooms of the rich and the dusty labyrinth of an antiques store where he works. He is alienated and in love-and at the center of a narrowing, ever more dangerous circle.

The Goldfinch is a novel of shocking narrative energy and power. It combines unforgettably vivid characters, mesmerizing language, and breathtaking suspense, while plumbing with a philosopher’s calm the deepest mysteries of love, identity, and art. It is a beautiful, stay-up-all-night and tell-all-your-friends triumph, an old-fashioned story of loss and obsession, survival and self-invention, and the ruthless machinations of fate.