The top 8 books to read in October 2020

Here are

The top 8 books
I plan to read in October 2020

Click on the covers to know more

CURRENTLY READING

L'énigme de la chambre 622    The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle 

The Girl Behind the Wall

📚 L’Énigme de la chambre 622 (2014), by Joël Dicker
Reading in French with the French Book Club (on Discord).
Dicker is the author of The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair.

So far, I find this one a bit confusing, there’s a lot of back and forth, and going back ito different times in the past.

“Une nuit de décembre, un meurtre a lieu au Palace de Verbier, dans les Alpes suisses. L’enquête de police n’aboutira jamais.
Des années plus tard, au début de l’été 2018, lorsqu’un écrivain se rend dans ce même hôtel pour y passer des vacances, il est loin d’imaginer qu’il va se retrouver plongé dans cette affaire.
Que s’est-il passé dans la chambre 622 du Palace de Verbier?”

📚 The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle (1994), by Haruki Murakami
Reading with the Haruki Murakami Online Book Club (on Discord)

There are some amazing passages I so enjoy here, for instance about the well, and some type of Transfiguration-like experience.
And at some other passages, I’m nearing a Murakami-overdose!!

“Japan’s most highly regarded novelist now vaults into the first ranks of international fiction writers with this heroically imaginative novel, which is at once a detective story, an account of a disintegrating marriage, and an excavation of the buried secrets of World War II.
In a Tokyo suburb a young man named Toru Okada searches for his wife’s missing cat. Soon he finds himself looking for his wife as well in a netherworld that lies beneath the placid surface of Tokyo. As these searches intersect, Okada encounters a bizarre group of allies and antagonists: a psychic prostitute; a malevolent yet mediagenic politician; a cheerfully morbid sixteen-year-old-girl; and an aging war veteran who has been permanently changed by the hideous things he witnessed during Japan’s forgotten campaign in Manchuria.”

📚 The Girl Behind the Wall: Edgar Allan Poe, The Girl, And the Mysterious Raven Murders  (October 21st, 2020), by Bruce Wetterau
Received for review.

I’m about half done, and so far, this is one of those self-published gem. It is a fascinating use of so many stories and poems by Poe!

Did Edgar Allan Poe know more about murder than he revealed in his bizarre stories of murder and mayhem? Was he in fact guilty of killing a girlfriend in a fit of rage many years before he became famous?
Bruce Wetterau’s taut thriller weaves a murder mystery worthy of Poe himself as it follows Poe through actual events in the last months of his life. The year 1849 saw the real-life Poe dealing with his alcoholism, failing health, poverty, and painful memories of his recently deceased child-bride wife. His life had become a psychological pressure cooker, with severe anxiety attacks and bouts of strange hallucinations.
The Girl Behind the Wall opens in early 1849. Poe is being tormented by frightening visions about murdering Annabel Lee while he was a student at the University of Virginia. Afraid of the hangman’s noose, Poe knows he can never tell anyone about the repressed memories haunting him. But a newspaper reporter named Sam Reynolds has overheard him talking erratically about Annabel while in a drunken stupor. That a man as famous as Poe could be a murderer would be the scoop of a lifetime and Reynolds will do anything to get it.
Flash forward nearly two hundred years to the present. The book’s hero, Clay Cantrell, accidentally uncovers damning evidence–Annabel’s skeleton and a locket from Poe–behind an old brick wall at the university. While the mystery of Annabel’s murder and Poe’s strange visions unfolds in flashbacks, Cantrell and friends launch a search of their own for the truth about Annabel’s death. But another murder mystery much closer to home overtakes them when a cold-blooded serial killer named the Raven claims his first victim, a UVA coed.
Obsessed with Poe, the Raven stages his murders with clever ties to Poe’s works. Clay tries to stop the murders and soon winds up in the Raven’s cross hairs. Though this isn’t the first vicious killer Clay has fought, he doesn’t know the Raven has a diabolical plan to execute him.
Will Poe finally reveal the truth about Annabel, or will he take the secret to his grave? Can Clay escape the Raven’s plot, find what drives the Raven’s murderous obsession with Poe, and at last answer the question, who killed Annabel Lee?

READING NEXT

  Foundation  To Hold Up the Sky

Alina_A Song For the Telling

📚 Foundation (1951), by Isaac Asimov
I will be reading it along with Lory at The Emerald City, for The Classics Club
Let us know if you want to join. It will be a low key event.

“For twelve thousand years the Galactic Empire has ruled supreme. Now it is dying. But only Hari Seldon, creator of the revolutionary science of psychohistory, can see into the future — to a dark age of ignorance, barbarism, and warfare that will last thirty thousand years. To preserve knowledge and save mankind, Seldon gathers the best minds in the Empire — both scientists and scholars — and brings them to a bleak planet at the edge of the Galaxy to serve as a beacon of hope for a future generations. He calls his sanctuary the Foundation.
But soon the fledgling Foundation finds itself at the mercy of corrupt warlords rising in the wake of the receding Empire. Mankind’s last best hope is faced with an agonizing choice: submit to the barbarians and be overrun — or fight them and be destroyed.”

📚 To Hold Up the Sky,  (October 20th, 2020) by Cixin Liu
Received for review.
Cixin Liu is the author of the amazing Supernova Era, so I’m really looking forward to this one.

“From Cixin Liu, the New York Times bestselling author of The Three-Body ProblemTo Hold Up the Sky is a breathtaking collection of imaginative science fiction.”
It contains 11 short stories.

📚 Alina: A Song for the Telling, (October 20th, 2020) by Malve von Hassell 
Received for review, for France Book Tours

ALINA: A SONG FOR THE TELLING is the coming-of-age story of a young woman from Provence in the 12th century who travels to Jerusalem, where she is embroiled in political intrigue, theft, and murder, and finds her voice.
“You should be grateful, my girl. You have no dowry, and I am doing everything I can to get you settled. You are hardly any man’s dream.”
Alina’s brother Milos pulled his face into a perfect copy of Aunt Marci’s sour expression, primly pursing his mouth. He got her querulous tone just right. Maybe Alina’s aunt was right. She could not possibly hope to become a musician, a trobairitz—impoverished as she was and without the status of a good marriage. But Alina refuses to accept the life her aunt wants to impose on her.
At the first opportunity she and her brother embark on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land to pray for their father’s soul and to escape from their aunt and uncle’s strictures. Their journey east takes them through the Byzantine Empire all the way to Jerusalem, where Alina is embroiled in political intrigue, theft, and murder.
Forced by a manipulative, powerful lord at court into acting as an informer, Alina tries to protect her wayward brother, while coming to terms with her attraction to a French knight.”

CURRENT AND NEXT AUDIOBOOKS

The Mystery of the Blue Train    L'humanité en péril

📚 The Mystery of the Blue Train, (Hercule Poirot #6, 1928) by Agatha Christie
Part of my project to listen to all of HP, for The Classics Club

“A mysterious woman, a legendary cursed jewel, and a night train to the French riviera — ingredients for the perfect romance or the perfect crime? When the train stops, the jewel is missing, and the woman is found dead in her compartment. It’s the perfect mystery, filled with passion, greed, deceit. And Hercule Poirot is the perfect detective to solve it…”

📚L’Humanité en péril,  (2019) by Fred Vargas
I have listened I believe to all the thrillers by Fred Vargas, an amazing French author. This time, this is her cry (nonfiction) to try to save the planet.

« Mais bon sang, comment vais-je me sortir de cette tâche insensée ? De cette idée de m’entretenir avec vous de l’avenir du monde vivant ? Alors que je sais très bien que vous auriez préféré que je vous livre un roman policier.
Il y a dix ans, j’avais publié un très court texte sur l’écologie. Et quand on m’a prévenue qu’il serait lu à l’inauguration de la COP 24, c’est alors que j’ai conçu un projet de la même eau, un peu plus long, sur l’avenir de la Terre, du monde vivant, de l’Humanité.
Rien que ça. »

CURRENT GIVEAWAYS

Listed on the homepage 

List of books I can swap with yours

Review copies (middlegrade/historical novel and mystery/women’s fiction)
available at France Book Tours

PLANS FOR OCTOBER

📚 Start a monthly Throwback Thursday, starting with September 2010, since I’m now 10.
📚 Looking more closely at doing a  monthly Newsletter, with special content.
Let me know what you would like to find in it.

Eiffel Tower Orange

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

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The top 8 books to read in September 2020

Here are

The top 8 books
I plan to read in September 2020

Click on the covers to know more

CURRENTLY READING

The French Widow  The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

 Le Livre de Perle L'énigme de la chambre 622

📚 The French Widow (Hugo Marston #9) (September 15, 2020), by Mark Pryor
Received for review

I have really enjoyed previous books by Mark Pryor, see for instance my review of The Sorbonne Affair, so I accepted this one for review.”

“A young American woman is attacked at an historic Paris chateau and four paintings are stolen the same night, drawing Hugo Marston into a case where everyone seems like a suspect. To solve this mystery Hugo must crack the secrets of the icy and arrogant Lambourd family, who seem more interested in protecting their good name than future victims. Just as Hugo thinks he’s close, some of the paintings mysteriously reappear, at the very same time that one of his suspects goes missing.”

📚 The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle (1994), by Haruki Murakami
Reading with the Haruki Murakami Online Book Club (on Discord)

“Japan’s most highly regarded novelist now vaults into the first ranks of international fiction writers with this heroically imaginative novel, which is at once a detective story, an account of a disintegrating marriage, and an excavation of the buried secrets of World War II.
In a Tokyo suburb a young man named Toru Okada searches for his wife’s missing cat. Soon he finds himself looking for his wife as well in a netherworld that lies beneath the placid surface of Tokyo. As these searches intersect, Okada encounters a bizarre group of allies and antagonists: a psychic prostitute; a malevolent yet mediagenic politician; a cheerfully morbid sixteen-year-old-girl; and an aging war veteran who has been permanently changed by the hideous things he witnessed during Japan’s forgotten campaign in Manchuria.”

📚 Le Livre de Perle (2014), by Timothée de Tombelle
Reading with another of my French students.

YA, fantasy, and historical fiction. Yes, all of that together!
This author is very well know in France.
It’s very beautifully written.

📚 L’Énigme de la chambre 622 (2014), by Joël Dicker
Reading in French with the French Book Club (on Discord) – let me know if you want to join. Besides me, the participants are French second language, we do’t correct the mistakes, we just enjoy reading and sharing in French.
The book has been translated in several languages, but not yet in English, I think.

Dicker is the author of The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair.

“Une nuit de décembre, un meurtre a lieu au Palace de Verbier, dans les Alpes suisses. L’enquête de police n’aboutira jamais.
Des années plus tard, au début de l’été 2018, lorsqu’un écrivain se rend dans ce même hôtel pour y passer des vacances, il est loin d’imaginer qu’il va se retrouver plongé dans cette affaire.
Que s’est-il passé dans la chambre 622 du Palace de Verbier?”

 

READING NEXT

  The Readers' Room The Sleepwalkers  

📚The Readers’ Room, by Antoine Laurain
To be published on September 22, 2020 by Gallic Books
Received for review.

I really enjoy Antoine Laurain’s books, such as Vintage 1954, so I’m thrilled I received it for review.

“When the manuscript of a debut crime novel arrives at a Parisian publishing house, everyone in the readers’ room is convinced it’s something special. And the committee for France’s highest literary honour, the Prix Goncourt, agrees.
But when the shortlist is announced, there’s a problem for editor Violaine Lepage: she has no idea of the author’s identity. As the police begin to investigate a series of murders strangely reminiscent of those recounted in the book, Violaine is not the only one looking for answers. And, suffering memory blanks following an aeroplane accident, she’s beginning to wonder what role she might play in the story…
Antoine Laurain, bestselling author of The Red Notebook, combines intrigue and charm in this dazzling novel of mystery, love and the power of books.”

📚 The Sleepwalkers, by Hermann Broch (1932)
This is the book I got for the last Classics Spin.
I know I will not have time to finish it, but I hope to begin it at least.
Details on the link

CURRENT AND NEXT AUDIOBOOKS

  Pandemia  Vesper Flights

📚 Pandemia, by Franck Thilliez (2015)
This French author knows how to write thrillers! There are some pretty horrific details at times, but man, this guy knows how to write!!
I decided to read this one, as the details are so so close to what we have been going through with Covid-169, yet he write it 5 years ago!!

Julie disappeared when she was 17.
Twelve years later, her dad, a cop who investigated a lot to find her, wakes up in a hotel room, not remembering anything from the past 12 years, and with ID papers bearing another person’s name. Why? What happened? Who is he? Where’s Julie?
This plot is unbelievable, so clever, with books within the book.

📚 Vesper Flights, by Helen Macdonald (August 27 by Vintage)
Ebook received for review through Netgalley
And I just received it in audio through Libro.fm!!
If you have a blog and love audiobooks, you should check that link to their Influence Program. They have amazing titles this month!

I actually listened to her previous book, H is For Hawk, she’s a great narrator, so I’m really excited about this one.

“From the internationally acclaimed author of H is for Hawk comes Vesper Flights, a transcendent collection of essays about the human relationship to the natural world. In Vesper Flights Helen Macdonald brings together a collection of her best loved pieces, along with new essays on topics and stories ranging from nostalgia and science fiction to the true account of a refugee’s flight to the UK. Her pieces ranges from accounts of swan upping on the Thames to watching tens of thousands of cranes in Hungary to seeking the last golden orioles in Suffolk’s poplar forests. She writes about wild boar, swifts, mushroom hunting, migraines, the strangeness of birds’ nests, what we do when we watch wildlife and why.
This is a book about observation, fascination, time, memory, love and loss and how we make the world around us, by one of this century’s most important and insightful nature writers.”

CURRENT GIVEAWAYS

Listed on the homepage 

List of books I can swap with yours

Review copies (historical novel and horror) available at France Book Tours
And another one will be posted today or tomorrow,
in Middle Grade Historical fiction!

PLANS FOR SEPTEMBER

📚 Now the big news for September 29 is my 10th blogiversary!!!
I want to do something special, but don’t know yet exactly what, so come back on September 4 to help me plan this big event!

Eiffel Tower Orange

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

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Bout of Books 29: Day 7 and final recap

BOUT OF BOOKS 29
FINAL RECAP

Boutofbooks 29

#boutofbooks
This is my 16th participation in #boutofbooks

Click on the logo to join the fun!

The Bout of Books readathon is organized
by Amanda Shofner and Kelly Rubidoux Apple.
It’s a weeklong readathon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 17th
and runs through Sunday, August 23rd in YOUR time zone.
Bout of Books is low-pressure.
All reading-in-place times, Twitter chats,
and exclusive Instagram challenges a
re completely optional.
For Bout of Books 29 information and updates,
visit the Bout of Books blog
. – From the Bout of Books team

📚📚📚

FINAL RECAP

This was a good reading week, I ended up having more time than expected, especially on Saturday

So instead of 525 pages, I read 774 pages.
Instead of an average of 75, my average is 110 pages/day, thanks to the audio time.
I only finished one book, which was to be expected, as most of my books to read are for read-alongs, so I have to space them out every week.
But I’m glad I read more than half of Don’t Look For Me, another excellent psychological thriller by Wendy Walker (upcoming).

See you on January 4 for Bout of Books 30!
Hopefully, it won’t be too busy and I can aim at an even higher level

📚📚📚

Here is what I read on DAY 7:

  1. Don’t Look for Me, by Wendy Walker = 61 pages

Total for Day 7:  61 pages
TOTAL:    774/525

Sundays are busy days for me, so 61 pages is actually a good number for me

📚 For the 9:30 p.m Central reading-in-place:
I didn’t participate

I did the Instagram challenge, doing a shelfie-video of my main bookshelf!

 

📚📚📚

Here is what I read on DAY 6:

  1. Killer, Come Back to Me: The Crime Stories of Ray Bradbury = 36 pages
  2. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, by Haruki Murakami = 48 pages
  3. Don’t Look for Me, by Wendy Walker = 98 pages
  4. Psalm 118: Commentary by Theophan the Recluse = 12 pages
  5. Audiobook: Pandemia, by Franck Thilliez = 12 pages

Total for Day 6:  206 pages
TOTAL so far:    713/525

Wow, that was a great day!
If you are curious about the number of books I have been reading from, during this week, three are for read-alongs, so I have to stop when I have read the allotted number of pages for the week. And the spiritual book, I only read a bit at a time, as it’s really meaty.

📚 For the 9:30 p.m Central reading-in-place:
I read 21 pages. I never do too well for this, as I take notes.
I posted a short video as I was preparing for this.

I did the Instagram challenge, featuring an under-rated 2020 book.

📚📚📚

Here is what I read on DAY 5:

  1. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, by Haruki Murakami = 24 pages
  2. Audiobook: Pandemia, by Franck Thilliez = 51 pages

Total for Day 5:  75 pages
TOTAL so far:  507/525

Wooh, just made it to 75 pages!

📚 For the 9:30 p.m. Central reading-in-place:
I forgot again, even though I was reading. Definitely not my type of things.

I did the Instagram challenge, featuring one of my Auto-buy authors.

📚📚📚

Here is what I read on DAY 4:

  1. L’énigme de la chambre 622, by Joël Dicker = 10 pages
  2. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, by Haruki Murakami = 18 pages
  3. Audiobook: Pandemia, by Franck Thilliez = 58 pages

Total for Day 4:  86 pages
TOTAL so far:  432 /525

A pathetic 43 pages, as I had something else going on yesterday night, the only time I can really read.

📚 For the 9:30 p.m. Central reading-in-place:
I totally forgot to participate! I was so engrossed in reviewing my Russian. A sure sign I’m getting totally obsessed by languages right now. Learning Russian with a tutor and doing practice with 8 different sources, plus teaching myself Italian for reading

And I forgot the Instagram challenge of the day!!

📚📚📚

Here is what I read on DAY 3:

  1. L’énigme de la chambre 622, by Joël Dicker = 5 pages
  2. Audiobook: Pandemia, by Franck Thilliez = 38 pages

Total for Day 3:  43 pages
TOTAL so far:  346/525

A pathetic 43 pages, as I had something else going on yesterday night, the only time I can really read.

📚 For the 9:30 p.m. Central reading-in-place: I couldn’t participate

I did the Instagram challenge, featuring a recent 5 star read

📚📚📚

Here is what I read on DAY 2:

  1. Le livre de Perle, by Timothée de Fombelle = 60 pages
  2. L’énigme de la chambre 622, by Joël Dicker = 17 pages
  3. Audiobook: The Big Four, by Agatha Christie = 18 pages – FINISHED
  4. Audiobook: Pandemia, by Franck Thilliez = 4 pages

Total for Day 2:  99 pages
TOTAL so far:  303/525

I caught up with the pages I needed to read for my read along with a student on Le Livre de Perle, so I started reading L’énigme de la chambre 622, for a French read-along on Discord – we read and comment in French. Let me know if you are interested.

📚 For the 9:30 p.m. Central reading-in-place, I read 30 pages.

I also did the Instagram challenge, featuring a beautiful book cover.

📚📚📚

Here is what I read on DAY 1:

  1. Le livre de Perle, by Timothée de Fombelle = 63 pages
  2. Audiobook: The Big Four, by Agatha Christie = 141 pages

Total for Day 1:  204 pages
TOTAL so far:  204/525

I had a lot of house chores to do today: wash, gardening, cooking, dishes, so ended up with almost 3 hours of audiobook listening!

📚 For the 9:30 p.m. Central reading-in-place, I read 27 pages.
Not many, because I take notes to help for reviews.
I didn’t participate in the Twitter Chat, but I already met interesting readers through the #boutofbooks hashtag

I also did the Instagram challenge

📚📚📚

I’m setting my goal at 525 pages, that is, 75 pages per day. 

Here are the books I plan to read from. Some I’m currently reading.

  1. Killer, Come Back to Me: The Crime Stories of Ray Bradbury
  2. Le livre de Perle, by Timothée de Fombelle
  3. L’énigme de la chambre 622, by Joël Dicker
  4. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, by Haruki Murakami
  5. Vesper Flights, by Helen Macdonald
  6. Don’t Look for Me, by Wendy Walker
  7. Psalm 118: Commentary by Theophan the Recluse
  8. Audiobook: The Big Four, by Agatha Christie FINISHED
  9. Audiobook: Pandemia, by Franck Thilliez

SCHEDULE

For Bout of Books 29, no daily challenges will be hosted on our blog. Instead, we’ll have reading-in-place times!

Reading-in-place times, or reading sprints, happen daily on Twitter. If you don’t have Twitter, make note of these times and report your reading progress on your platform of choice.

All reading-in-place times last 30 minutes.

Daily Reading-in-Place Times

📚 10 a.m Eastern | 7 a.m. Pacific
📚 4 p.m. Eastern | 1 p.m. Pacific
📚 10:30 p.m. Eastern | 7:30 p.m. Pacific

Twitter Chats

(chats last approximately one hour)
TZC = Time Zone Conversion

Monday: 9 p.m. Eastern | 6 p.m. Pacific
Saturday: 11 a.m. Eastern | 8 a.m. Pacific

Click on the logo to sign up

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