The top 9 books to read in July 2020

Here are

The top 9 books
I plan to read in July 2020

Click on the covers to know more

CURRENTLY READING

A Wild Sheep Chase  Celle qui pleurait sous l’eau

 Le Livre de Perle   Complètement cramé 

     Psalm 118 

I know, reading 6 books at the same time, plus 1 audiobook, that’s getting excessive. But four of these books are read-alongs, so I only read a few chapters of each every week, and I need more to satisfy my book hunger!

📚 A Wild Sheep Chase (1982), by Haruki Murakami
Reading with the Murakami online book club
“His life was like a recurring nightmare: a train to nowhere. But an ordinary life has a way of taking an extraordinary turn. Add a girl whose ears are so exquisite that, when uncovered, they improve sex a thousand-fold, a runaway friend, a right-wing politico, an ovine-obsessed professor and a manic-depressive in a sheep outfit, implicate them in a hunt for a sheep, that may or may not be running the world, and the upshot is another singular masterpiece from Japan’s finest novelist.”

We have read already half of the book, and I have absolutely NO idea how all these things are going to connect, IF they ever do! We are totally in Murakami’s universe!

📚 Celle qui pleurait sous l’eau (2020), by Niko Tackian
Reading with one of my French students.
A young woman was found dead in a public swimming pool. The main inspector thinks it’s a suicide, but his wife, also working in the police, thinks there has to be more to it.

We both love this author, who always comes up with original ideas. We have read a quarter of it, and things start slowly to emerge.

📚 Le Livre de Perle (2014), by Timothée de Tombelle
Reading with another of my French students.
I rarely read YA and fantasy, but I’ll do almost anything to adjust to the interest of my students, so here I am in a new adventure.
This author is very well know in France for these genres.
We have only read the first six chapters so far, its very beautifully written.So far, it’s a fairy who renounces her magical powers to be able to be with the boy she loves. Well, it’s more complicated than that!

📚 Complètement cramé (2012), by Gilles Legardinier
Reading with another blogger, Lory @ The Emerald City.
Lory and I read Don Quijote together last year. She wanted to read something in French this time, so we chose this one. He’s a very popular author, but I haven’t read anything by him yet. Several readers put it under “humor”, another genre I rarely read, so more of outside-my-comfort-zone!
We use Discord. If you are interested in reading and discussing this book in French, let’s know. 

📚 Psalm 118: A Commentary by Theophan the Recluse (1815-1894)
Psalm 118 is my favorite of all psalms, with its fascinating structure. This commentary is so rich! I only read a bit every day.

READING NEXT

No Woods So Dark As These  Marie Antoinette's World

📚 No Woods So Dark as These, by Randall Silvis (Ryan DeMarco Mystery #4)
To be published on August 4th 2020 by Poisoned Pen Press
Received for review for Criminal Element
I really enjoy a lot this author. See for instance his previous book I reviewed last year.

“Former Sergeant Ryan DeMarco’s life has been spent in defiance–he’s defied death, loneliness, and betrayal all while fighting the worst parts of humanity. He’s earned a break, and following the devastation of their last case, DeMarco and his girlfriend Jayme want nothing more than to live quietly in each other’s company. To forget the horrors they’ve experienced and work on making each other whole again.
But dreams of a peaceful life together are shattered when two bodies are discovered in a smoldering car in the woods, and another is found brutally mutilated nearby. Much as he’d like to leave the case to his former colleagues, dark forces are at play and DeMarco cannot escape the vortex of lies, betrayal, and desperation. He and Jayme are dragged back into the fray, where they must confront the shady dealings of a close-knit rural community.”

📚 Marie Antoinette’s World: Intrigue, Infidelity, And Adultery In Versailles, by Will Bashor
Toe be published on July 30 at Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Received for review. This is a book tour I organize, and we still have free review copies! Click on the cover to get it.

“This riveting book explores the little-known intimate life of Marie Antoinette and her milieu in a world filled with intrigue, infidelity, adultery, and sexually transmitted diseases.
Will Bashor reveals the intrigue and debauchery of the Bourbon kings from Louis XIII to Louis XV, which were closely intertwined with the expansion of Versailles from a simple hunting lodge to a luxurious and intricately ordered palace. It soon became a retreat for scandalous conspiracies and rendezvous—all hidden from the public eye.
When Marie Antoinette arrived, she was quickly drawn into a true viper’s nest, encouraged by her imprudent entourage. Bashor shows that her often thoughtless, fantasy-driven, and notorious antics were inevitable given her family history and the alluring influences that surrounded her. Marie Antoinette’s frivolous and flamboyant lifestyle prompted a torrent of scathing pamphlets, and Bashor scrutinizes the queen’s world to discover what was false, what was possible, and what, although shocking, was most probably true.
Readers will be fascinated by this glimpse behind the decorative screens to learn the secret language of the queen’s fan and explore the dark passageways and staircases of endless intrigue at Versailles.”

CURRENT AND NEXT AUDIOBOOKS

The Murder on the Links  Poirot Investigates

📚 The Murder on the Links, by Agatha Christie (1923) Hercule Poirot #2
My project is to listen to all of Hercule Poirot’s novels and stories, in chronological order, to honor the 100th anniversary of his first appearance.

“Belgian detective Hercule Poirot is summoned to France after receiving a distressing letter with a urgent cry for help. Upon his arrival in Merlinville-sur-Mer, the investigator finds the man who penned the letter, the South American millionaire Monsieur Renauld, stabbed to death and his body flung into a freshly dug open grave on the golf course adjoining the property. Meanwhile the millionaire’s wife is found bound and gagged in her room. Apparently, it seems that Renauld and his wife were victims of a failed break-in, resulting in Renauld’s kidnapping and death.”

📚 Poirot Investigates, by Agatha Christie (1923) Hercule Poirot #3
This the very first collection of short stories featuring Hercule Poirot and Captain Hastings. The book contains 11 stories.

CURRENT GIVEAWAYS

Listed on the homepage 

List of books I can swap with yours

Review copies available at France Book Tours

PLANS FOR JULY

📚 20 Books of Summer 2020
I have already read 9/20

📚 Posts in connection with Paris in July?

📚 Review several books received through The Callisto Publisher’s Club. I still have several  books behind

📚 I have a few reviews to catch up with, and mostly, I’d like to post more notes from the last theological book I read, and from the one I am currently reading.

📚 Do more Tweeter/Periscope short videos for my daily reading  journal

📚 Update my Links page!

Eiffel Tower Orange

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

Save

The top 8 books to read in June 2020

Here are

The top 8 books
I plan to read in June 2020

Click on the covers to know more

CURRENTLY READING

A Wild Sheep Chase Inhabitation

  Un crime en Hollande Psalm 118

📚 A Wild Sheep Chase (1982), by Haruki Murakami
Reading with the Murakami online book club
This is the third book in the Rat series, and even though it’s very famous, I haven’t read it yet. So I’m really glad to have now the opportunity with the Murakami online book club. I get a lot of insights through the input of the participants.
“His life was like a recurring nightmare: a train to nowhere. But an ordinary life has a way of taking an extraordinary turn. Add a girl whose ears are so exquisite that, when uncovered, they improve sex a thousand-fold, a runaway friend, a right-wing politico, an ovine-obsessed professor and a manic-depressive in a sheep outfit, implicate them in a hunt for a sheep, that may or may not be running the world, and the upshot is another singular masterpiece from Japan’s finest novelist.”

📚 Inhabitation, by Teru Miyamoto
Written in 1984, published in English in 2019 by Counterpoint Press
Received for review through Edelweiss Plus
I received this book last year, and finally taking time to read it now. It sounds a bit like a Japanese Metamorphosis (Kafka), though with many more levels. It starts almost normal and becomes weird, I’m really loving it!
“A living lizard nailed to a pillar and a young man bound by a family misfortune––a tale that poses questions about life, death, and karma by one of Japan’s most beloved living writers.
In 1970s Osaka, college student Tetsuyuki moves into a shabby apartment to evade his late father’s creditors. But the apartment’s electricity hasn’t been reconnected yet, and Tetsuyuki spends his first night in darkness. Wanting to hang up a tennis cap from his girlfriend, Yōko, he fumbles about in the dark and drives a nail into a pillar. The next day he discovers that he has pierced the body of a lizard, which is still alive. He decides to keep it alive, giving it food and water and naming it Kin.
Inhabitation unfolds from there, following the complications in Tetsuyuki’s relationship with Yōko, a friendship with his supervisor who hides his heart disease at work, and his father’s creditors, always close on his heels. Daunted, Tetsuyuki speaks to Kin night after night, and Kin’s peculiarly tortured situation reflects the mingled pain, love, and guilt that infuses Tetsuyuki’s human relationships.
For more than four decades, Teru Miyamoto’s gentle prose—which often explores a kind of spiritual isolation—has enthralled Japanese readers. Now, translator Roger K. Thomas brings one of Miyamoto’s most well-loved novels to an English-speaking audience for the first time.”

📚 Un Crime en Hollande (1931)
Readalong with one of my French students. Works for The Classics Club
We are back to reading Georges Simenon. This is the 8th book in the Maigret series.
“When a French professor visiting the quiet, Dutch coastal town of Delfzjil is accused of murder, Maigret is sent to investigate. The community seem happy to blame an unknown outsider, but there are people much closer to home who seem to know much more than they’re letting on: Beetje, the dissatisfied daughter of a local farmer, Any van Elst, sister-in-law of the deceased, and, of course, a notorious local crook.
Written in the dark, grimly comic prose that Simenon is renowned for, A Crime In Holland will delight lifelong fans and new readers alike.”

📚 Psalm 118: A Commentary by Theophan the Recluse (1815-1894)
Psalm 118 is my favorite of all psalms, with its fascinating structure. This commentary is so rich! Theophan highlights how the verses follow each other in a logical way, as far as the spiritual life is concerned. He also makes references to both the Hebrew and the Greek texts, and to many Fathers of the Church. Loving it!.

READING NEXT

  Or What You Will And the Earth Will Sit on the Moon  

📚 Or What You Will, by Jo Walton
To be published on July 7th 2020 by Tor Books
Received for review
He has been too many things to count. He has been a dragon with a boy on his back. He has been a scholar, a warrior, a lover, and a thief. He has been dream and dreamer. He has been a god.
But “he” is in fact nothing more than a spark of idea, a character in the mind of Sylvia Harrison, 73, award-winning author of thirty novels over forty years. He has played a part in most of those novels, and in the recesses of her mind, Sylvia has conversed with him for years.
But Sylvia won’t live forever, any more than any human does. And he’s trapped inside her cave of bone, her hollow of skull. When she dies, so will he.
Now Sylvia is starting a new novel, a fantasy for adult readers, set in Thalia, the Florence-resembling imaginary city that was the setting for a successful YA trilogy she published decades before. Of course he’s got a part in it. But he also has a notion. He thinks he knows how he and Sylvia can step off the wheel of mortality altogether. All he has to do is convince her.

📚 And the Earth Will Sit on the Moon: Essential Stories, by Nikolai Gogol
December 5th 2019 by Pushkin Press
Received for review, will read for The Classics Club.
I usually don’t read short stories, but this is a Russian classic I want to be more familiar with.
“Admired by writers from Nabokov to Bulgakov to George Saunders, Gogol is considered one of the more enigmatic of the Russian greats. He only wrote one novel, Dead Souls, and destroyed much of his later work, so his stories constitute his major output.
In this collection, beautifully and skilfully translated by Oliver Ready, Gogol’s three greatest St Petersburg stories – ‘The Nose’, ‘The Overcoat’ and ‘The Diary of a Madman’ – are presented alongside three masterworks set in the Ukrainian and Russian provinces, demonstrating the breadth of Gogol’s work.
Gogol’s extraordinary work is characterised by his idiosyncratic, and often very funny sensibility, and these stories offer us his unique, original and marvellously skewed perspective on the world.”

CURRENT AND NEXT AUDIOBOOKS

Berezina   Migrations

📚 Berezina, by Sylvain Tesson (2015) – available in English
French audiobook
As far as audiobooks are concerned, I tend to binge on some authors. Last year, I binged on Michel Bussi. Right now, I’m in a Sylvain Tesson period. After listening to La Panthère des neiges, I’m listening to Berezina: on sidecars, Sylvain and a few friends decided to drive from Moscow to Paris, following Napoleon’s route in his debacle. Fascinating narrative, full of details about the environment and Russian culture that Sylvain appreciates so much, and full also of many historical details, thanks to books and memoirs the team reads by night. The descriptions I got in French textbooks a few decades ago are miles away from the horrific reality.
Take four friends, put them on two Ural motorcycles (complete with sidecars), send them off on a 2,500-mile odyssey retracing history’s most famous retreat, add what some might consider an excessive amount of Vodka, and you’ve got Sylvain Tesson’s Berezina, a riotous and erudite book that combines travel, history, comradery, and adventure.
The retreat of Napoleon’s Grande Armée from Russia culminated, after a humiliating loss, with the crossing of the River Berezina, a word that henceforth became synonymous with unmitigated disaster for the French and national pride for the Russians. Two hundred years after this battle, Sylvain Tesson and his friends retrace Napoleon’s retreat, along the way reflecting on the lessons of history, the meaning of defeat, and the realities of contemporary Europe. A great read for history buffs and for anyone who has ever dreamed of an adventure that is out of the ordinary.

📚 Migrations, by Charlotte McConaghy (To be published on August 4th 2020, by Flatiron Books)
Will be listening thanks to Libro.fm (check for ways to get free audiobooks and support independent bookstores – excellent app!)
I listened to Book Expo America, thanks to their Zoom sessions (I would not have been able to participate if it had been the usual BEA in New York), still available on their Facebook page.
One of the books highlighted was Migrations, and it sounded really good. so I was delighted that it was a title available on Libro.fm!
‘Franny Stone has always been a wanderer. By following the ocean’s tides and the birds that soar above, she can forget the losses that have haunted her life. But when the wild she so loves begins to disappear, Franny can no longer wander without a destination. She arrives in remote Greenland with one purpose: to find the world’s last flock of Arctic terns and follow them on their final migration. She convinces Ennis Malone, captain of the Saghani, to take her onboard, winning over his salty, eccentric crew with promises that the birds she is tracking will lead them to fish.
As the Saghani fights its way south, Franny’s new shipmates begin to realize that the beguiling scientist in their midst is not who she seems. Battered by night terrors, accumulating a pile of letters to her husband, and dead set on following the terns at any cost, Franny is full of dark secrets. When the story of her past begins to unspool, Ennis and his crew must ask themselves what Franny is really running toward—and running from.
Propelled by a narrator as fierce and fragile as the terns she is following, Migrations is a shatteringly beautiful ode to the wild places and creatures now threatened. But at its heart, it is about the lengths we will go, to the very edges of the world, for the people we love.”

CURRENT GIVEAWAYS

Listed on the homepage – will be updated later on today

List of books I can swap with yours

PLANS FOR JUNE

📚 20 Books of Summer 2020

📚 Review several books received through The Callisto Publisher’s Club. I still have several  books behind

📚 I have a few reviews to catch up with, and mostly, I’d like to post more notes from the last theological book I read, and from the one I am currently reading.

📚 Restart my daily reading  journal

📚 Update my Links page!

Eiffel Tower Orange

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

Save

2020: May wrap-up

MAY 2020 WRAP-UP

One of my online French students is done with her AP. With one of these big burdens away, I have been able to go back to reading more (double books from last month!) as well as blogging. I plan to do that even more in June, for instance with going back to my reading journaling sections and Sunday Posts.

This past month, it was nice taking part in Bout of Books. On June 1st, I’ll be participating in 20 Books of Summer for the first time.

Thanks to Zoom sessions, I watched a few events of Book Expo America (if you haven’t, you can watch the recordings on their Facebook page), which is pretty cool, as anyway, I can never go to New York for that.
I also took part in a book event sponsored by City Lit Books from Chicago. Every week in the Chicago Tribune, @biblioracle recommends a book when you send him the list of the last 5 books you have read. This time, he did it live on Zoom. We were 100 participants. I ended up of 23 titles I have to look closely at!
Once again, I really enjoy these online events, as I would never be able to go there in person.

“We still haven’t been able to go back to Church. I dare hope it will be possible in June, but who knows at this point?”:
I wrote this last month. Well, our Church space is very small, making social distancing simply impossible, so God knows when we’ll convene again. Last time was March 11… And the Orthodox Divine Liturgy is not really possible outdoors either.

📚 So here are the titles I read in May :

12 books:
7 in print 
with 2,049 pages, an average of 66 pages/day
5 in audio
= 22H15
, an average of 43 minutes

6 in nonfiction:

  1. La Panthère des neiges, by Sylvain Tesson – audio
  2. On The Ecclesiastical Mystagogy, by Saint Maximus the Confessor
  3. The Church, the Litany, and the Soul of Man, by Saint Maximus the Confessor – same book than #2, but different translation, and I wanted to read both to better study this book
  4. The Book of Deuteronomy – audio, for my Bible personal project, and for The Classics Club
  5. Lessons from Walden, by Bob Pepperman Taylor – ebook, received for review
  6. The Book of Joshua – audio, for my Bible personal project, and for The Classics Club

2 in literary fiction:

  1. A Hundred Million Years and a Day, by Jean-Baptist Andrea – received for review, it will be live on June 12
  2. Wind/Pinball, by Haruki Murakami – ebook, for the online Murakami Book Club

2 in historical fiction:

  1. Three Hours in Paris, by Cara Black – audio, received for review
  2. The Mirror and the Light, by Hilary Mantel

2 in mystery:

  1. Au soleil redouté, by Michel Bussi – I listened to it last month, and this time I read it, readalong with one of my French students
  2. The Mysterious Affair at Styles, by Agatha Christie  – audio, for my Hercule Poirot project, and for The Classics Club

 

MY FAVORITE BOOKS IN MAY

La Panthère des neiges The Mirror and the Light

A Hundred Million Years and a Day

 

READING CHALLENGES & RECAP

Classics Club: 29/50 (from October 2019-until September 2024)
Japanese Literature Challenge: 8 books read

Total of books read in 2020 = 49/110
Number of books added to my TBR this past month= 31

OTHER BOOKS I REVIEWED IN MAY

This month I reviewed:

Sight Words Storybook Phonics storybook Solar System for Kids The English Grammar Workbook for Grades 3, 4, and 5

GIVEAWAYS

The open giveaways are on my homepage

MOST POPULAR BOOK REVIEW THIS PAST MONTH

Civilizations

click on the cover to access my review 

MOST POPULAR POST THIS PAST MONTH
– NON BOOK REVIEW –

20 Books of Summer 2020

BOOK BLOG THAT BROUGHT ME MOST TRAFFIC THIS PAST MONTH

Feed Your Fiction Addiction
please go visit

TOP COMMENTERS 

Davida at The Chocolate Lady’s Book Review Blog
Karen at The Simply Blog
Karen at Booker Talk
Judy at Keep the Wisdom

please go and visit them,
they have great book blogs

BLOG MILESTONES 

2,184 posts
over 5,280 followers
over 197,000 hits

*

Come back tomorrow
to see the books I plan to read in June


Eiffel Tower OrangeEiffel Tower OrangeEiffel Tower Orange

How was YOUR month of May?

2019-Monthly-Wrap-Up-Round-Up_300

Nicole at Feed Your Fiction Addiction
has created a Month In Review meme
where you can link your monthly recap posts
Thanks Nicole!