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.



2015: September wrap-up

September 2015 wrap-up

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September is long gone, but I as away from the cyber-sphere at the turn of the month, so here is finally my recap. It may be old news for you, but I feel the need to o it for my own records. And who knows, you may learn about a few books you have not heard about before

Here is what I read in September:

7  books.
= 6 books only, but with 1,625 pages, that is: 54.1 pages/day.
+ 1 audiobook = 9:45 hours, that is an average of  19 mn/day

4 in literary fiction:

  1. The 6:41 to Paris, by Jean-Philippe Blondel – ebook
  2. Bonjour tristesse, by Françoise Sagan – ebook
  3. Stoner, by John Williams – audiobook
  4. Sagan, Paris 1954, by Anne Berest

1 in children book, sort of:

  1. The Marvels, by Brian Selznick

1 in historical fiction

  1. Everyone Has Their Reasons, by Joseph Matthews

1 in nonfiction

  1. The Fictional 100, by Lucy Pollard-Gott

My favorites in September

      Everyone Has Their Reasons  The Marvels

The Fictional 100

Reading Challenges recap

French Bingo: 30/25 – DONE
Audiobook: 19/15 – DONE
Ebook challenge: 35/25 DONE
Historical fiction: 15/25
Japanese literature: 3/5
My Kind of Mysteries: 26/21-30
New authors challenge: 49/50
New Release (2015): 44/31-45
Nonfiction challenge: 9/16-20
TBR challenge: 5/12
Books in Translation: 21/12 DONE
What’s in a Name: 6/6 – DONE
Where Are You Reading?: 18/50 – to be finished in 2016?!

Total of books read in 2015 = 89/100

Number of books added to my TBR in September = 41

Blog recap

  • On September 29, I celebrated my 5th blogiversary! The giveaway winner will be announced soon!
  • To present a special book you should all read, I put together a literary quiz
  • I took part in #30Authors
  • 4 of the 7 books read were received for review.

  • 53 reviews posted so far for my French Bingo 2015 Challenge, don’t forget to link yours with the mr Linky widget.

  • I organized 6 giveaways in September. There’s always one going on at France Book Tours. Be sure to check the October Giveaway! 2 awesome books to choose from!

Most popular book review in September

Sagan Paris 1954

click on the cover to access my review

Most popular post last month
– non book review

Blogiversary #5

Book blog that brought me
most traffic this past month

The Book Wheel

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 😉

8: Katherine at I Wish I Lived In a Library
7: Denise @DeniseDuvall2
6: Lucy at The Fictional 100
4: Martha at MG’s French Lit Page
1: MarinaSofia at Finding Time To Write

Blog milestones

1,210 posts
over 3,350 subscribers
over 97,626 hits

Blog plans for September

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How was YOUR month of  September?

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

Book review: Sagan, Paris 1954 – I love France #165

Play French Bingo!


Sagan, Paris 1954

Sagan Paris 1954

Author: Anne Berest
Translator: Heather Lloyd
Publisher: Gallic Books
Release date: September 1, 2015
Sagan 1954
was first released in French in April 2014
Pages: 173
ISBN: 978-1908313898
also available as ebook
Genre: Fiction


Buy the book now

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As a faithful reader of Words And Peace, you know you can expect all kinds of books here. Today, I’d like to present a rather unusual one. As you can see from the title, Sagan, Paris 1954, it is about a very famous French woman. See what the hype was all about back then in 1954 when she published Bonjour Tristesse.
By the way, this is so weird the English title of Sagan’s novel is actually the French title. For me, it does not make any sense, as in the first paragraph of the book the English translator uses the word sorrow to translate tristesse in the text, but not in the title.
Anyway, this was just my translator rant, but the book I’m presenting today is not Bonjour Tristesse, but about it.
Click to continue reading