Sunday Post #86 – 06/04/2023

Sunday Post

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I have been ctaching up with several things, so I am trying to come back more regularly on this meme.

I posted 4 times this past week:

A reminder:
If you can read and write in French (no need to be perfect), please join Lory at Entering the Enchanted Castle and myself, as wel start reading Voyage au centre de la Terre, by Jules Verne, on June 15.
We are planning on reading one chapter a day, so until end of July.
And we’ll be commenting in French on this Discord channel.
You are most welcome to join us. There’s one channel per chapter, so you can read at your own pace. 

I finished 2 books this past week.
And I’m done (for a while hopefully!) with books I requested and didn’t like.

đź“šJUST READ / LISTENED TO 🎧 

The Book of Stolen Dreams

đź“š  The Book of Stolen Dreams
(The Book of Stolen Dreams #1)

by David Farr
Published in 2021
384 pages
Middle grade fantasy

Oh wow, I can’t remember how I heard about this book, but am sure glad I did!
It’s about life under a dictator. He’s bad news to all, and especially to children, whom he hates.
And to top it all, he may get the key to make his dictatorship last forever, if he manages to put his hand on a very very special book.
But he didn’t count on a courageous librarian and his two very brave kids: Rachel and Robert.
But will they be able to secure the book, and save their country from the evil one, when they are not sure whom they can trust?

A book about a book and a library, a book with lots of suspense and awesome imagination, a book about poetry, and what dreams and love can do.
Some elements made me think of The Secret Garden, but with lots more adventures.
This is so beautiful, and also a warning about dictators.
Definitely one of my best reads of 2023.
I can’t wait for book 2, to come out in September 2023.
And I’m really amazed this is the author’s first book for children. Impressive.

The Ferryman🎧 The Ferryman,
by Justin Cronin
2023
538 pages
19H55
Scifi / Dystopia 

I am probably gong to make enemies here (though I have read some disappointed revews too). Here we go:

I again wasted my time accepting an audiobook for review.
I thought it might be good to try this new to me author, especially as I enjoy scifi.
The 2 narrators are good at least, but I basically wasted almost 20 hours, as I have really no idea what this was about! And it was too long as well.
Going back to books on my TBR!

đź“š  CURRENTLY READING / LISTENING TO 🎧 

Highlighting here only a few:

Is the Algorithm Ploting Against Usđź“š Is the Algorithm Plotting Against Us?
A Layperson’s Guide to the Concepts, Math,

and Pitfalls of AI,
by Kenneth Wenger
May 1, 2023
264 pages
Nonfiction / Artificial intelligence
Received for review

I received the offer to read this book from the author at the perfect time when I thought I needed to read more on the topic.

Very serious stuff, with a lot of technical details.

Why Read the Classicsđź“š Why Read The Classics?
by Italo Calvino
Perché leggere i classici
was published in 1991
306 pages
Nonfiction / Book on Books

I am back (not sure why I had stopped) reading a few pages daily of this book in its original Italian.
Besides being a great novelist, Clavino is an incredible literary critique. The problem with the goodness of his essays, is that I add several books to my TBR after each one!
I was blown away by the latest essays I read here on Robinson Crusoe, on Candide (sounds like I should reread it. It seems so much better than what I remember from my French education days!), and on authors I had never heard on: Gerolamo Cardano (1501-1576), on the real Cyrano (de Bergerac) and his early (1657!!) scifi book on the moon, and Giammaria Ortes (1713-1790).

An Astronomer in Loveđź“š An Astronomer in Love,
by Antoine Laurain
Literary fiction
US expected release: June 23, 2023
218 pages
Received for review

Having fun with Laurain’s usual great writing.

“From the best-selling author of The Red Notebook comes the enchanting story of two men, 250 years apart, who find themselves on separate missions to see the transit of Venus across the Sun.
In 1760, astronomer Guillaume le Gentil sets out on a quest through the oceans of India to document the transit of Venus. The weather is turbulent, the seas are rough, but his determination will conquer all.
In 2012, divorced estate agent Xavier Lemercier discovers Guillaume’s telescope in one of his properties. While looking out across the city, the telescope falls upon the window of an intriguing woman with what appears to be a zebra in her apartment.
Then the woman walks through the doors of Xavier’s office a few days later, and his life changes for evermore . . .
Part swashbuckling adventure on the high seas and part modern-day love story set in the heart of Paris, An Astronomer in Love is a time-travelling tale of adventure, destiny and the power of love.”

Sur la dalleđź“š Sur la dalle (Commissaire Adamsberg #12),
by Fred Vargas
Mystery
Expected publication May 17, 2023
521 pages

I’m only 10% in, but It feels so good meeting again Adamsberg and the team, as well as the usual pace and atmosphere.
I can’t believe her last one in this series was 6 years ago!
And as expected, there’s a lot of concern about climate changes and the environment in the background, soulds like.

Adamsberg went recently to a small village in Brittany. He heard about a weird local legend. Each time they hear this sound of a man walking with a wooden leg, it’s followed by a murder. Last time was fourteen years ago.
Now some villagers just heard it again, so Adamsberg is not surprised when he hears about a new murder. This is far from his Parisian area of responsibility, but how could he stay away and not try to understand what’s really going on here?

Wildcard🎧 Wildcard (Warcross #2),
by Mari Lu
Narrated by Nancy Wu
2018
352 pages
10H51
Scifi / Dystopia / YA / Gaming

I launched this one with vengeance right after I finished The Ferryman (see above).
So I am only like 5 minutes in, but it felt good to go back to a book I really wanted to read, as I so enjoyed book 1, Warcross.

The following synopsis has major spoilers about book 1, so ignore if you have not read Warcross yet.

“Emika Chen barely made it out of the Warcross Championships alive. Now that she knows the truth behind Hideo’s new NeuroLink algorithm, she can no longer trust the one person she’s always looked up to, who she once thought was on her side.
Determined to put a stop to Hideo’s grim plans, Emika and the Phoenix Riders band together, only to find a new threat lurking on the neon-lit streets of Tokyo. Someone’s put a bounty on Emika’s head, and her sole chance for survival lies with Zero and the Blackcoats, his ruthless crew. But Emika soon learns that Zero isn’t all that he seems–and his protection comes at a price.
Caught in a web of betrayal, with the future of free will at risk, just how far will Emika go to take down the man she loves?”

Here is the list of all the books I am currently reading/listening to,
if you are curious.

đź“š  BOOK UP NEXT đź“š 

Voyage au centre de la terređź“š Voyage au centre de la terre
by Jules Verne
Science fiction
1864
304 pages

Starting on June 15, I will be reading this classic in French with a bunch of other Francophone readers.
We are planning on reading one chapter a day, and we will be commenting in French on Discord.
Clickon the link to join us – all levels of French accepted, this is not a class, we won’t be correcting mistakes.

I am planning on reading the introduction before we start the book itself on June 15.

“Dans la petite maison du vieux quartier de Hambourg où Axel, jeune homme assez timoré, travaille avec son oncle, l’irascible professeur Lidenbrock, géologue et minéralogiste, dont il aime la pupille, la charmante Graüben, l’ordre des choses est soudain bouleversé.
Dans un vieux manuscrit, Lidenbrock trouve un cryptogramme. Arne Saknussemm, célèbre savant islandais du xvie siècle, y révèle que par la cheminée du cratère du Sneffels, volcan éteint d’Islande, il a pénétré jusqu’au centre de la Terre !
Lidenbrock s’enflamme aussitôt et part avec Axel pour l’Islande où, accompagnés du guide Hans, aussi flegmatique que son maître est bouillant, ils s’engouffrent dans les mystérieuses profondeurs du volcan…
En décrivant les prodigieuses aventures qui s’ensuivront, Jules Verne a peut-être atteint le sommet de son talent. La vigueur du récit, la parfaite maîtrise d’un art accordé à la puissance de l’imagination placent cet ouvrage au tout premier plan dans l’œuvre exceptionnelle du romancier.”

đź“š  LAST BOOK ADDED TO MY GOODREADS TBR đź“š 

I have recently added an insane number of classic mysteries to my BR. Here is the latest”

Death of a Bookseller

đź“š Death of a Bookseller, by Bernard J. Farmer
1956
256 pages
Mystery/ Book about books

“An honest policeman, Sergeant Wigan, escorts a drunk man home one night to keep him out of trouble and, seeing his fine book collection, slowly falls in to the gentle art of book collecting. Just as the friendship is blossoming, the policeman’s book-collecting friend is murdered.
To solve the mystery of why the victim was killed, and which of his rare books was taken, Wigan dives into the world of ‘runners’ and book collectors, where avid agents will gladly cut you for a first edition and then offer you a lift home afterwards. This adventurous mystery, which combines exuberant characters with a wonderfully realised depiction of the second-hand book market, is sure to delight bibliophiles and classic crime enthusiasts alike.

đź“š MAILBOX MONDAY đź“š 

I received this book for review:

An Astronomer in Love

    Please check its presentation above.

Please share what books you just received at Mailbox Monday

đź“šđź“šđź“š

HAVE YOU READ ANY OF THESE BOOKS?
HOW WAS YOUR WEEK?
BE SURE TO LEAVE THE LINK TO YOUR POST

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The top 7 books to read in June 2023

Here are
The top 7 books
I plan to read in June 2023

Here is a sample of what I am planning on reading this month, another nice mix.

đź“š CURRENTLY READING đź“š

 

Is the Algorithm Ploting Against Us📚 Is the Algorithm Plotting Against Us?
A Layperson’s Guide to the Concepts, Math,

and Pitfalls of AI,
by Kenneth Wenger
May 1, 2023
264 pages
Nonfiction / Artificial intelligence
Received for review

I received the offer to read this book from the author at the perfect time when I thought I needed to read more on the topic.
The subtitle says what it’s trying to do.

It can get very technical, with math that goes beyond my understanding, but yet it’s very interesting, with lots of examples.
I’m curious about the part on pitfalls.

I am also currently reading:

  • PerchĂ© legere i classici? by Italo Calvino: I have gone back to reading a few pages daily. Just read an excellent essay on Cardano
  • Les Trois Mousquetaires, by Alexandre Dumas (with French student E.)
  • L’Arabe du futur #4 : Une jeunesse au Moyen-Orient, 1987-1992, by Riad Sattouf (with French student F. We are planning to read the 6 volumes)
  • Les Vacances du petit Nicolas (Le petit Nicolas vol. 3), by RenĂ© Goscinny (with French student I.)
  • Thinking Orthodox: Understanding and Acquiring the Orthodox Christian Mind, by  Eugenia Scarvelis Constantinou (slow weekly reading with the catechumens of my Orthodox parish)
  • The Transfiguration of Christ in Greek Patristic Literature from Irenaeus of Lyons to Gregory Palamas, by Christopher Veniamin
  • John the Theologian and his Paschal Gospel: A Prologue to Theology, by John Behr (reading with another Orthodox parishioner)

đź“š READING NEXT đź“š

An Astronomer in Love

 

đź“š An Astronomer in Love,
by Antoine Laurain
Literary fiction
US expected release: June 23, 2023
218 pages
Received for review

I really enjoy Antoine Laurain‘s books, this will be my 8th by him, and I hope I won’t be disappointed!
Here is the last one I read by him: Red is My Heart

“From the best-selling author of The Red Notebook comes the enchanting story of two men, 250 years apart, who find themselves on separate missions to see the transit of Venus across the Sun.
In 1760, astronomer Guillaume le Gentil sets out on a quest through the oceans of India to document the transit of Venus. The weather is turbulent, the seas are rough, but his determination will conquer all.
In 2012, divorced estate agent Xavier Lemercier discovers Guillaume’s telescope in one of his properties. While looking out across the city, the telescope falls upon the window of an intriguing woman with what appears to be a zebra in her apartment.
Then the woman walks through the doors of Xavier’s office a few days later, and his life changes for evermore . . .
Part swashbuckling adventure on the high seas and part modern-day love story set in the heart of Paris, An Astronomer in Love is a time-travelling tale of adventure, destiny and the power of love.”

Voyage au centre de la terre đź“š Voyage au centre de la terre
by Jules Verne
Science fiction
1864
304 pages

Starting on June 15, I will be reading this classic in French with a bunch of other Francophone readers.
We are planning on reading one chapter a day, and we will be commenting in French on Discord.
Clickon the link to join us – all levels of French accepted, this is not a class, we won’t be correcting mistakes.

“Dans la petite maison du vieux quartier de Hambourg oĂą Axel, jeune homme assez timorĂ©, travaille avec son oncle, l’irascible professeur Lidenbrock, gĂ©ologue et minĂ©ralogiste, dont il aime la pupille, la charmante GraĂĽben, l’ordre des choses est soudain bouleversĂ©.
Dans un vieux manuscrit, Lidenbrock trouve un cryptogramme. Arne Saknussemm, célèbre savant islandais du xvie siècle, y révèle que par la cheminée du cratère du Sneffels, volcan éteint d’Islande, il a pénétré jusqu’au centre de la Terre !
Lidenbrock s’enflamme aussitôt et part avec Axel pour l’Islande où, accompagnés du guide Hans, aussi flegmatique que son maître est bouillant, ils s’engouffrent dans les mystérieuses profondeurs du volcan…
En dĂ©crivant les prodigieuses aventures qui s’ensuivront, Jules Verne a peut-ĂŞtre atteint le sommet de son talent. La vigueur du rĂ©cit, la parfaite maĂ®trise d’un art accordĂ© Ă  la puissance de l’imagination placent cet ouvrage au tout premier plan dans l’œuvre exceptionnelle du romancier.”

Descent into Hell

đź“š Descent into Hell,
by Charles Williams
Literary fiction/fantasy/Christianity
1937
208 pages
It counts for The Classics Club

This is the result of my jar pick for April, and hopefully I’ll finally have time in June for this one!

“In this provocative, classic metaphysical thriller, a group of suburban amateur actors plagued by personal demons and terrors explore the pathways to heaven and hell.
Certain inhabitants of Battle Hill, a small community on the outskirts of London, are preparing to mount a new play by the neighborhood’s most illustrious resident, the writer Peter Stanhope. Each actor struggles with self-absorption, doubt, fear, and sin. But “the Hill” is not like other places. Here the past and present intermingle, ghosts walk among the living, and reality is often clouded by dreams and the dark fantastic. For young Pauline Anstruther, who is caring for an aging grandmother and frightened by the specter of a doppelgänger who gets closer with each visitation, the prospect of heaven exists in the renowned playwright’s willingness to bear the burden of her terror. For eminent historian Lawrence Wentworth, the rejection of his desire pulls him deeper inside himself, leaving him vulnerable to the lure of the succubus and opening wide the entrance to hell.
A brilliant theological thriller, Descent into Hell is an extraordinary fictional meditation on sin and personal salvation by one of the twentieth century’s most original and provocative literary artists. Charles Williams, a member of the Inklings alongside fellow Oxfordians C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, and Owen Barfield, has written a powerful work at once profoundly disturbing and gloriously uplifting, an ingenious amalgam of metaphysics, religious thought, and darkest fantasy.

 

Sur la dalle

đź“š Sur la dalle (Commissaire Adamsberg #12),
by Fred Vargas
Mystery
Expected publication May 17, 2023
521 pages

This is the result of my May random pick among the books I added to my TBR that month.
Looks like Vargas is breaking sales record with this one, so am really eager to meet Adamsberg for the 12th time.

“- Le dolmen dont tu m’as parlĂ©, Johan, il est bien sur la route du petit pont ?- Ă€ deux kilomètres après le petit pont, ne te trompe pas. Sur ta gauche, tu ne peux pas le manquer. Il est splendide, toutes ses pierres sont encore debout.- Ça date de quand, un dolmen ?- Environ quatre mille ans.- Donc des pierres pĂ©nĂ©trĂ©es par les siècles. C’est parfait pour moi.- Mais parfait pour quoi ?- Et cela servait Ă  quoi, ces dolmens ? demanda Adamsberg sans rĂ©pondre.- Ce sont des monuments funĂ©raires. Des tombes, si tu prĂ©fères, faites de pierres dressĂ©es recouvertes par de grandes dalles. J’espère que cela ne te gĂŞne pas.- En rien. C’est lĂ  que je vais aller m’allonger, en hauteur sur la dalle, sous le soleil.- Et qu’est-ce que tu vas foutre lĂ -dessus ?- Je ne sais pas, Johan.”

If I have more time, I’ll be reading other books from my 20 books of Summer Challenge.

🎧 CURRENT AND NEXT AUDIOBOOKS 🎧

The Ferryman   

🎧 The Ferryman, by Justin Cronin
Science fiction
May 2, 2023
560 pages / 19H55
Narrated by Scott Brick & Suzanne Elise Freeman
Free audiobook for review, received through Libro.Fm

I had never read a book by Cronin, so this generous offer was tempting.
However, I only have 4 more hours to go, and I still don’t really understand what’s going on. And it’s too long.
I keep going mostly because I had requested it, but if it’s Cronin’s usual style of writing, that will be it for me.

“Founded by the mysterious genius known as the Designer, the archipelago of Prospera lies hidden from the horrors of a deteriorating outside world. In this island paradise, Prospera’s lucky citizens enjoy long, fulfilling lives until the monitors embedded in their forearms, meant to measure their physical health and psychological well-being, fall below 10 percent. Then they retire themselves, embarking on a ferry ride to the island known as the Nursery, where their failing bodies are renewed, their memories are wiped clean, and they are readied to restart life afresh.

Proctor Bennett, of the Department of Social Contracts, has a satisfying career as a ferryman, gently shepherding people through the retirement process–and, when necessary, enforcing it. But all is not well with Proctor. For one thing, he’s been dreaming–which is supposed to be impossible in Prospera. For another, his monitor percentage has begun to drop alarmingly fast. And then comes the day he is summoned to retire his own father, who gives him a disturbing and cryptic message before being wrestled onto the ferry.
Meanwhile, something is stirring. The Support Staff, ordinary men and women who provide the labor to keep Prospera running, have begun to question their place in the social order. Unrest is building, and there are rumors spreading of a resistance group–known as “Arrivalists”–who may be fomenting revolution.

Soon Proctor finds himself questioning everything he once believed, entangled with a much bigger cause than he realized–and on a desperate mission to uncover the truth.

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Passage comes a riveting standalone novel about a group of survivors on a hidden island utopia–where the truth isn’t what it seems.”

🎧 Wildcard (Warcross #2), by Marie Lu
YA scifi
2018
352 pages / 10H51
Narrated by Nancy Wu

I really enjoyed the first volume of Warcross. I have heard book 2 is not as good, but still I hope it will work for me.

“Emika Chen barely made it out of the Warcross Championships alive. Now that she knows the truth behind Hideo’s new NeuroLink algorithm, she can no longer trust the one person she’s always looked up to, who she once thought was on her side.
Determined to put a stop to Hideo’s grim plans, Emika and the Phoenix Riders band together, only to find a new threat lurking on the neon-lit streets of Tokyo. Someone’s put a bounty on Emika’s head, and her sole chance for survival lies with Zero and the Blackcoats, his ruthless crew. But Emika soon learns that Zero isn’t all that he seems–and his protection comes at a price.
Caught in a web of betrayal, with the future of free will at risk, just how far will Emika go to take down the man she loves?”

Eiffel Tower Orange

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

https://linktr.ee/wordsandpeace

20 Books of Summer 2023

20 books of summer

#20booksofsummer23
#20booksofsummer

Once again, 746books.com organizes a special challenge:

20 Books of Summer
June 1 – September 1st

I am back for my 4th participation.

So here is the file with my 20 books. Actually, I‘m listing only 15, as I want to leave room for spontaneous reading.
Last summer, I ended up reading 28 books, but only 16 were on my original list.

I color coded the genres:
as usual, a mix of nonfiction, literary fiction, science fiction, and mystery.
8 are classics.
As for the format, I may end up listening to some of these, depending on the availability through my public library.

Why these books?

  • 4 have been on my physical shelf for a while
  • The classics are for my Classics challenge
  • 2 are brand new French novels
  • 1 is for review
  • and 1 is for a buddy read, in French:
    if you are interested in reading Jules Verne’s classic in French, Voyage au centre de la terre, please join my Discord channel.

Here is my chart, feel free to copy the format if it’s of any help for you.

I will update it as I go along :

How many of these have you read?
Which one is your favorite?