Book review: Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow

Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow

Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow,
by Gabrielle Zevin
Knopf Publishing Group
7/5/2022
416 pages
Literary fiction

Goodreads

I enjoyed The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry a lot. And as Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow is about video games (a theme I appreciate a lot in novels, like in Ready Player One for instance), it sounded promising and I requested it for review.
But there are not too many authors I can order on repeat, as I need to remind myself once more, as this fiction didn’t work for me. And really, The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry and this one don’t feel like they were written by the same author.  Click to continue reading

Sunday Post #60 – 6/12/2022

Sunday Post

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by
Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer.
It’s a chance to share news.
A post to recap the past week on your blog,
showcase books and things we have received.
Share news about what is coming up
on your blog
for the week ahead.
See rules here: Sunday Post Meme

*** 

This post also counts for

Sunday Salon    Stacking the Shelves  Mailbox Monday2

 It's Monday! What Are You Reading2  IMWAYR  WWW Wednesdays 2

#SundayPost #SundaySalon
#StackingTheShelves #MailboxMonday
#itsmonday #IMWAYR
#WWWWednesday #WWWWednesdays

Click on the logos to join the memes

Here is what I posted this past week:

And I finished 1 book:

📚  JUST READ 🎧 

Liberty Bar

📚 Liberty Bar, (Inspecteur Maigret #17), by Georges Simenon
Published in 1932
It was translated into English as Liberty Bar and as Maigret on the Riviera
Read in French with one of my French students

“Dazzled at first by the glamor of sunny Antibes, Maigret soon finds himself immersed in the less salubrious side of the Rivieria when he tracks the steps of a shabby former spy who is fond of pretty women and dive bars.”
The official synopsis fails to capture anything really of the great ambiance recreated here by Simenon.
This volume is unique, because so far in the series, the story always took place in cold, rainy, greyish, and gloomy places.
This time we are in Southern France, and it is hot and sunny, on the very bright Riviera. I realize Simenon is just as good with that type of ambiance!
There’s a lot of humor in this one, related to the characters and their surroundings, with fantastic juxtaposition in colors and smells, for instance.
I was just a bit disappointed by the plot, which ended up being mostly a love story of sorts. So many elements in the story seemed to point to something more complex.

 

📚  CURRENTLY READING/LISTENING TO 🎧 

    Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow   Le Horla

  Thomas Jefferson's Crème Brûlée  So Big  

📚  Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, by Gabrielle Zevin
Literary fiction/Gaming
Expected publication: July 5th 2022, by Knopf Publishing Group
Received for review

Eight years ago, I enjoyed a previous book by this author, The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry, so I thought I would give this one a try.
This is focused on video games, a topic I enjoy a lot in books, for instance in Ready Player One and Two.
I’m a quarter done, and so far really liking the story and the characters, and the first game they have been creating together. But I hope the real plot will pick up soon.

“In this exhilarating novel by the best-selling author of The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry two friends–often in love, but never lovers–come together as creative partners in the world of video game design, where success brings them fame, joy, tragedy, duplicity, and, ultimately, a kind of immortality.
On a bitter-cold day, in the December of his junior year at Harvard, Sam Masur exits a subway car and sees, amid the hordes of people waiting on the platform, Sadie Green. He calls her name. For a moment, she pretends she hasn’t heard him, but then, she turns, and a game begins: a legendary collaboration that will launch them to stardom. These friends, intimates since childhood, borrow money, beg favors, and, before even graduating college, they have created their first blockbuster, Ichigo. Overnight, the world is theirs. Not even twenty-five years old, Sam and Sadie are brilliant, successful, and rich, but these qualities won’t protect them from their own creative ambitions or the betrayals of their hearts.
Spanning thirty years, from Cambridge, Massachusetts, to Venice Beach, California, and lands in between and far beyond, Gabrielle Zevin’s Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow is a dazzling and intricately imagined novel that examines the multifarious nature of identity, disability, failure, the redemptive possibilities in play, and above all, our need to connect: to be loved and to love. Yes, it is a love story, but it is not one you have read before.”

📚  Le Horla et autres nouvelles fantastiques, by Guy de Maupassant
Literary fiction/short stories/fantasy
Published around 1887
Reading with one of my French students.
It counts for The Classics Club

Le Horla could well be the best fantasy story ever. I studied it in 6th or 7th grade, that was required for all French students at the time.
Then I reread it a few years ago and was really struck by the quality of the writing. And it certainly doesn’t feel like it was written in the 1880s, it feels so modern.
I’m rereading it and the whole collection with one of my French students.

📚  Thomas Jefferson’s Creme Brulee: How a Founding Father and His Slave James Hemings Introduced French Cuisine to America, by Thomas J. Craughwell
Nonfiction / History / Food and drink
Published in 2012
Will be reading for the 2022 TBR Pile Reading Challenge

It’s excellent at describing how and what people were eating in 18th century America; and Jefferson’s eagerness at learning about art, culture, architecture, plants, etc, both in France and Italy.
I’m half way done, but so far not much on James though.

“This culinary biography recounts the 1784 deal that Thomas Jefferson struck with his slaves, James Hemings. The founding father was traveling to Paris and wanted to bring James along “for a particular purpose”— to master the art of French cooking. In exchange for James’s cooperation, Jefferson would grant his freedom.
Thus began one of the strangest partnerships in United States history. As Hemings apprenticed under master French chefs, Jefferson studied the cultivation of French crops (especially grapes for winemaking) so the might be replicated in American agriculture. The two men returned home with such marvels as pasta, French fries, Champagne, macaroni and cheese, crème brûlée, and a host of other treats. This narrative history tells the story of their remarkable adventure—and even includes a few of their favorite recipes!”

🎧 So Big, by Edna Ferber
Published in 1924
376 pages/10H12
Narrated by Laural Merlington

Historical fiction
It counts for The Classics Club

I’m almost done and really enjoying how she describes people, environments, and the evolution of the society. It helps that I know Chicago, as she refers to many places there.

Author Edna Ferber described the story of So Big as being about a “material man, son of his earth-grubbing, idealistic mother”. Left an orphan at 19 years old in the late 1880s, Selina Peake needs to support herself. She leaves the city life she has known to become a teacher in the farming community of High Prairie, IL. Her father had told her that life is an adventure, and one should make the most of it.
Selina sees beauty everywhere, including in the fields of cabbages. She has a natural curiosity about farming and oversteps the woman’s traditional role by having the audacity to ask the men questions. She soon marries Pervus DeJong, a farmer. Selina eagerly offers suggestions for operational improvements, but Pervus ignores her, preferring to use the unprofitable farming methods employed by his father.
Though she suffers many hardships, Selina always remembers the importance of beauty, and she admires those who exercise their creative talents. She tries to instill these views in her son Dirk and fights with her husband over the need for their child to get a full education. Once Dirk finishes college and starts work, will he retain Selina’s values?
So Big was the first book to have the rare distinction of being the best-selling book of the year and win the Pulitzer Prize for fiction.”

📚  BOOK UP NEXT 📚 

Le Grand Meaulnes

📚 Le Grand Meaulnesby Alain-Fournier
French Literary fiction
1913
Published in English as The Lost Estate
Will be reading in French with another blogger,
it counts for The Classics Club

This is my favorite French classic. I have reread it a few times, and will again, starting on June 13, with Lory @ Entering the Enchanted Castle.
If you would like to practice your reading French, please join us. We will take it easy, just one chapter a day, and some chapters are very short – it will keep us busy until mid July.
If you want to join us, we will post comments on this Discord channel – in French.
Let me know if the invitation expires and you need a new one. We are starting our reading this Monday!
Your French doesn’t need to be perfect, as long as we understand you. This is NOT a French class.

“When Meaulnes first arrives at the local school in Sologne, everyone is captivated by his good looks, daring and charisma. But when Meaulnes disappears for several days, and returns with tales of a strange party at a mysterious house – and his love for the beautiful girl hidden within it, Yvonne de Galais – his life has been changed forever. In his restless search for his Lost Estate and the happiness he found there, Meaulnes, observed by his loyal friend Francois, may risk losing everything he ever had. Poised between youthful admiration and adult resignation, Alain-Fournier’s compelling narrator carries the reader through this evocative and unbearably poignant portrayal of desperate friendship and vanished adolescence.”

📚  LAST BOOK ADDED TO MY GOODREADS TBR 📚 

Translating myself and others

📚  Translating Myself and Others, by Jhumpa Lahiri
Nonfiction
Published May17th 2022 by Princeton University Press

As a translator and lover of foreign languages, I have really enjoyed reading about Lahiri’s experience, especially in her book In Other Words. So I am really looking forward to reading more of her thoughts on the topic of translation.

“Luminous essays on translation and self-translation by the award-winning writer and literary translator.
Translating Myself and Others is a collection of candid and disarmingly personal essays by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jhumpa Lahiri, who reflects on her emerging identity as a translator as well as a writer in two languages.
With subtlety and emotional immediacy, Lahiri draws on Ovid’s myth of Echo and Narcissus to explore the distinction between writing and translating, and provides a close reading of passages from Aristotle’s Poetics to talk more broadly about writing, desire, and freedom. She traces the theme of translation in Antonio Gramsci’s Prison Notebooks and takes up the question of Italo Calvino’s popularity as a translated author. Lahiri considers the unique challenge of translating her own work from Italian to English, the question “Why Italian?,” and the singular pleasures of translating contemporary and ancient writers.
Featuring essays originally written in Italian and published in English for the first time, as well as essays written in English, Translating Myself and Others brings together Lahiri’s most lyrical and eloquently observed meditations on the translator’s art as a sublime act of both linguistic and personal metamorphosis.”

📚  NO BOOK RECEIVED THIS PAST WEEK 📚 

📚📚📚

HAVE YOU READ ANY OF THESE BOOKS?
HOW WAS YOUR WEEK?

Sunday Post #59 – 6/5/2022

Sunday Post

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by
Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer.
It’s a chance to share news.
A post to recap the past week on your blog,
showcase books and things we have received.
Share news about what is coming up
on your blog
for the week ahead.
See rules here: Sunday Post Meme

*** 

This post also counts for

Sunday Salon    Stacking the Shelves  Mailbox Monday2

 It's Monday! What Are You Reading2  IMWAYR  WWW Wednesdays 2

#SundayPost #SundaySalon
#StackingTheShelves #MailboxMonday
#itsmonday #IMWAYR
#WWWWednesday #WWWWednesdays

Click on the logos to join the memes

wow, finally back after more than two months…
My weeks are busy and I can’t seem to find the time to schedule this post.

I managed to post a few things this past week:

And I finished 2 books:

📚  JUST READ 🎧 

The Last House on Needless Street

📚 The Last House on Needless Street, by Catriona Ward
Published in 2021
Received for review

I haven’t written my review yet.
It will be very hard to write : the book is extremely well written I believe, in its style and in its relevance to the topic – which I cannot even reveal, because it would ruin the whole book for you if you haven’t read it yet.
BUT that topic was totally horrific for me. So despite some bloggers reassuring me it was more a psychological thriller, I will agree with those classifying it as horror.

The Red House Mystery

🎧  The Red House Mystery, by A. A. Milne
156 pages/6H55
Originally published in 1922
Narrated by Kristine Hughes

Librivox recording
Mystery
Read for The Classics Club

Yes, Milne wrote mysteries, for adults.
This one is really good, with a super smart plot. I guessed only part of it.
I loved the duo that investigates incognito, as amateurs Sherlock Homes and Watson.
There’s also humor, and good study of characters.

I listened to the Librivox recording, available for instance on YouTube.
The narrator Kristin Hughes is quite good.

📚  CURRENTLY READING/LISTENING TO 🎧 

    Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow Liberty Bar  

  Thomas Jefferson's Crème Brûlée  So Big  

📚  Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, by Gabrielle Zevin
Literary fiction/Gaming
Expected publication: July 5th 2022, by Knopf Publishing Group
Received for review

Eight years ago, I enjoyed a previous book by this author, The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry, so I thought I would give this one a try.
This is focused on video games, a topic I enjoy a lot in books, for instance in Ready Player One and Two.
I’m mostly at the beginning, but so far really liking the story and the chracters.

“In this exhilarating novel by the best-selling author of The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry two friends–often in love, but never lovers–come together as creative partners in the world of video game design, where success brings them fame, joy, tragedy, duplicity, and, ultimately, a kind of immortality.
On a bitter-cold day, in the December of his junior year at Harvard, Sam Masur exits a subway car and sees, amid the hordes of people waiting on the platform, Sadie Green. He calls her name. For a moment, she pretends she hasn’t heard him, but then, she turns, and a game begins: a legendary collaboration that will launch them to stardom. These friends, intimates since childhood, borrow money, beg favors, and, before even graduating college, they have created their first blockbuster, Ichigo. Overnight, the world is theirs. Not even twenty-five years old, Sam and Sadie are brilliant, successful, and rich, but these qualities won’t protect them from their own creative ambitions or the betrayals of their hearts.
Spanning thirty years, from Cambridge, Massachusetts, to Venice Beach, California, and lands in between and far beyond, Gabrielle Zevin’s Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow is a dazzling and intricately imagined novel that examines the multifarious nature of identity, disability, failure, the redemptive possibilities in play, and above all, our need to connect: to be loved and to love. Yes, it is a love story, but it is not one you have read before.”

📚  Liberty Bar (Inspecteur Maigret #17), by Georges Simenon
Mystery published in1932 (France)
Was published in English as Maigret on the Riviera
Reading with one of my French students.
It counts for The Classics Club

Slowly but surely, we keep going in this series with my student. But there are actually 75 (!!) Maigret books, so we still have plenty to keep us busy with!
I have read 65% of this one so far, and am liking it a lot!
There’s a lot of humor, as Maigret arrives on the Riviera in the full heat of summer, and feels more like resting, and drinking with the local cop, than investigating.
What’s special too, is that so far, in the 16 previous books, the story is usually set in cold, foggy, and greyish areas. And Maigret is really good at creating an ambiance in that type of setting.
So I was very surprised at how excellent he is here to evoke the super hot and bright sun of the Mediterranean region!

Half an hour later, he was in Cannes . . . White everywhere! Huge white hotels, white shops, white trousers and dresses, white sails out at sea. It was as if life were no more than a pantomime fairy-tale, a white and blue fairy-tale.
Dazzled at first by the glamor of sunny Antibes, Maigret soon finds himself immersed in the less salubrious side of the Riviera when he tracks the steps of a shabby former spy who is fond of pretty women and dive bars.

📚  Thomas Jefferson’s Creme Brulee: How a Founding Father and His Slave James Hemings Introduced French Cuisine to America, by Thomas J. Craughwell
Nonfiction / History / Food and drink
Published in 2012
Will be reading for the 2022 TBR Pile Reading Challenge

I got this book ten years ago, didn’t read it, gave it away, and somehow, another copy landed on my shelf.
I have read only 25 pages so far, but I find it excellent at describing how and what people were eating in 18th century America.

“This culinary biography recounts the 1784 deal that Thomas Jefferson struck with his slaves, James Hemings. The founding father was traveling to Paris and wanted to bring James along “for a particular purpose”— to master the art of French cooking. In exchange for James’s cooperation, Jefferson would grant his freedom.
Thus began one of the strangest partnerships in United States history. As Hemings apprenticed under master French chefs, Jefferson studied the cultivation of French crops (especially grapes for winemaking) so the might be replicated in American agriculture. The two men returned home with such marvels as pasta, French fries, Champagne, macaroni and cheese, crème brûlée, and a host of other treats. This narrative history tells the story of their remarkable adventure—and even includes a few of their favorite recipes!”

🎧 So Big, by Edna Ferber
Published in 1924
376 pages/10H12
Narrated by Laural Merlington

Historical fiction
It counts for The Classics Club

A novel I have meant to read for a while.
A friend didn’t seem too impressed, deemed it as popular literature, especially compared to Willa Cather.
I’m actually enjoying it a lot, and her descriptions of landscapes and characters seem to me just as good as Cather’s – for instance in My Ántonia.
Ferber won the Pulitzer prize for novel with it in 1925.

Author Edna Ferber described the story of So Big as being about a “material man, son of his earth-grubbing, idealistic mother”. Left an orphan at 19 years old in the late 1880s, Selina Peake needs to support herself. She leaves the city life she has known to become a teacher in the farming community of High Prairie, IL. Her father had told her that life is an adventure, and one should make the most of it.
Selina sees beauty everywhere, including in the fields of cabbages. She has a natural curiosity about farming and oversteps the woman’s traditional role by having the audacity to ask the men questions. She soon marries Pervus DeJong, a farmer. Selina eagerly offers suggestions for operational improvements, but Pervus ignores her, preferring to use the unprofitable farming methods employed by his father.
Though she suffers many hardships, Selina always remembers the importance of beauty, and she admires those who exercise their creative talents. She tries to instill these views in her son Dirk and fights with her husband over the need for their child to get a full education. Once Dirk finishes college and starts work, will he retain Selina’s values?
So Big was the first book to have the rare distinction of being the best-selling book of the year and win the Pulitzer Prize for fiction.”

📚  BOOK UP NEXT 📚 

Le Grand Meaulnes

📚 Le Grand Meaulnesby Alain-Fournier
French Literary fiction
1913
Published in English as The Lost Estate
Will be reading in French with another blogger,
it counts for The Classics Club

This is my favorite French classic. I have reread it a few times, and will again, starting on June 13, with Lory @ Entering the Enchanted Castle.
If you would like to practice your reading French, please join us. We will take it easy, just one chapter a day, and some chapters are very short – it will keep us busy until mid July.
If you want to join us, we will post comments on this Discord channel – in French.
Let me know if the invitation link no longer works, and I will send you a new one. It expires after a while.
Your French doesn’t need to be perfect, as long as we understand you. This is NOT a French class.

“When Meaulnes first arrives at the local school in Sologne, everyone is captivated by his good looks, daring and charisma. But when Meaulnes disappears for several days, and returns with tales of a strange party at a mysterious house – and his love for the beautiful girl hidden within it, Yvonne de Galais – his life has been changed forever. In his restless search for his Lost Estate and the happiness he found there, Meaulnes, observed by his loyal friend Francois, may risk losing everything he ever had. Poised between youthful admiration and adult resignation, Alain-Fournier’s compelling narrator carries the reader through this evocative and unbearably poignant portrayal of desperate friendship and vanished adolescence.”

📚  LAST BOOK ADDED TO MY GOODREADS TBR 📚 

The Life of Crime

📚  The Life of Crime, by Martin Edwards
Nonfiction
Published May 12th 2022 by Collins Crime Club

“In the first major history of crime fiction in fifty years, The Life of Crime: Detecting the History of Mysteries and their Creators traces the evolution of the genre from the eighteenth century to the present, offering brand-new perspective on the world’s most popular form of fiction.
The Life of Crime is the result of a lifetime of reading and enjoying all types of crime fiction, old and new, from around the world. In what will surely be regarded as his magnum opus, Martin Edwards has thrown himself undaunted into the breadth and complexity of the genre to write an authoritative – and readable – study of its development and evolution. With crime fiction being read more widely read than ever around the world, and with individual authors increasingly the subject of extensive academic study, his expert distillation of more than two centuries of extraordinary books and authors – from the tales of E.T.A. Hoffmann to the novels of Patricia Cornwell – into one coherent history is an extraordinary feat and makes for compelling reading.

📚  NO BOOK RECEIVED THIS PAST WEEK 📚 

📚📚📚

HAVE YOU READ ANY OF THESE BOOKS?
HOW WAS YOUR WEEK?