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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:
- Wednesday: May 2023 wrap-up
- Thursday: The top 7 books to read in June 2023
- Friday: Book review and giveaway: The Captain (scifi/fantasy)
- Saturday: 6 degrees of separation: from friends to home
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.
JUST READ / LISTENED TO 🎧
📚 The Book of Stolen Dreams
(The Book of Stolen Dreams #1)
by David Farr
Published in 2021
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,
by Justin Cronin
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!
CURRENTLY READING / LISTENING TO
Highlighting here only a few:
📚 Is the Algorithm Plotting Against Us?
A Layperson’s Guide to the Concepts, Math,
and Pitfalls of AI,
by Kenneth Wenger
May 1, 2023
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 Classics?
by Italo Calvino
Perché leggere i classici
was published in 1991
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 Love,
by Antoine Laurain
US expected release: June 23, 2023
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 dalle (Commissaire Adamsberg #12),
by Fred Vargas
Expected publication May 17, 2023
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 (Warcross #2),
by Mari Lu
Narrated by Nancy Wu
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.
BOOK UP NEXT
📚 Voyage au centre de la terre
by Jules Verne
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.”
LAST BOOK ADDED TO MY GOODREADS TBR
I have recently added an insane number of classic mysteries to my BR. Here is the latest”
Death of a Bookseller, by Bernard J. Farmer
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.“
📚 MAILBOX MONDAY 📚
I received this book for review:
Please check its presentation above.
Please share what books you just received at Mailbox Monday