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Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer.
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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.
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📚 The Ten Loves of Nishino
Read for Japanese Literature Challenge 13
Received for review through Edelweiss Plus.
My review is here.
📚The Missing Sister
Received for review for Criminal Element
Release date: April 1st
My review will be published on Criminal Element, around mid March
Shayna is called to identify the remains of her twin sister Angela found in Paris. But she discovers a clue that Angela might actually still be alive, so she decides to investigate what’s going on.
The book kept getting creepier and creepier. Very atmospheric for sure, but I think there were some issues in the plot. I have to let it sit a bit before writing my review.
I also listened to The Book of Exodus, and The Book of Leviticus.
I can’t find them listed on Goodreads. It’s odd, they only show some titles of all the Bible books recorded by Alexander Scourby, though he did narrate the whole Bible, Old and New Testament, back in the 1950s. He was the first one to narrate the whole Bible. All his recording are on YouTube.
CURRENTLY READING/LISTENING TO
📚 Lessons from Walden: Thoreau and the Crisis of American Democracy, by Bob
Expected publication: March 30th 2020 by Pepperman Taylor
Received for review through Edelweiss Plus.
I really enjoyed Walden last year, so I thought it might be good to revisit it this year through this analysis:
“Throughout this original and passionate book, Bob Pepperman Taylor presents a wide-ranging inquiry into the nature and implications of Henry David Thoreau’s thought in Walden and Civil Disobedience.
As Taylor says in his introduction, ” Walden is a central American text for addressing two of the central crises of our time: the increasingly alarming threats we now face to democratic norms, practices, and political institutions, and the perhaps even more alarming environmental dangers confronting us.”
Taylor pursues this inquiry in three chapters, each focusing on a single theme: chapter 1 examines simplicity and the ethics of “voluntary poverty,” chapter 2 looks at civil disobedience and the role of “conscience” in democratic politics, and chapter 3 concentrates on what “nature” means to us today and whether we can truly “learn from nature”–and if so, what does it teach?
Taylor considers Thoreau’s philosophy, and the philosophical problems he raises, from the perspective of a wide range of thinkers and commentators drawn from history, philosophy, the social sciences, and popular media, breathing new life into Walden and asking how it is alive for us today.”
📚 Hardboiled Wonderland and the End of the World, by Haruki Murakami
This is the book we are reading now in our online Murakami book club.
‘A narrative particle accelerator that zooms between Wild Turkey Whiskey and Bob Dylan, unicorn skulls and voracious librarians, John Coltrane and Lord Jim. Science fiction, detective story and post-modern manifesto all rolled into one rip-roaring novel, Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World is the tour de force that expanded Haruki Murakami’s international following. Tracking one man’s descent into the Kafkaesque underworld of contemporary Tokyo, Murakami unites East and West, tragedy and farce, compassion and detachment, slang and philosophy.’
I’m also reading:
📚 Le Pendu de Saint-Pholien, which is Maigret #4, by Georges Simenon, with one of my French students.
📚 Theological Territories, by David Bentley Hart.
Slowly but surely, I’m still reading this collection of essays. I hope to finish it this month.
And I’m listening to the latest book by Michel Bussi
📚 Au Soleil redouté
BOOK UP NEXT
Maybe this one:
📚 Summer of Reckoning, by Marion Brunet, translated from the French
Expected publication: April 15, 2020 by Bitter Lemon
Received for review
“The story takes place in the suffocating atmosphere of a social housing estate in the south of France. Sixteen-year-old Céline and her sister Jo, fifteen, dream of escaping to somewhere far from their daily routine, far from their surly, alcoholic father and uncaring mother, both struggling to make ends meet.
That summer Celine falls pregnant, devastating news that reopens deep family wounds. Those of the mother Severine whose adolescence was destroyed by her early pregnancy and subsequent marriage with Manuel. Those of Manuel, grandson of Spanish immigrants, who takes refuge in alcoholism to escape the open disdain of his in-laws. Faced with Celine’s refusal to name the father, Manuel needs a guilty party and Saïd, a childhood friend of the girls and conveniently Arab, seems to fit the role perfectly. In the suffocating heat of summer Manuel embarks on a drunken mission of revenge. A dark and upsetting account of an ailing society, filled with silent and murderous rage.”
📚 I may also re-read The Brothers Karamazov with a group of parishioners. Not sure yet about this, as I have a lot of books going on already.
LAST 2 BOOKS ADDED TO MY GOODREADS TBR
📚 La soustraction des possibles, by Joseph Incardona
Release date 1/02/20
I found this on a French blog, and the plot intrigues me.
📚 Shadowplay, by Joseph O’Connor
Published on 6/6/2019
A historical novel on three people, Bram Stoker being one of them.
Lory at The Emerald City recommends it as a complement to Dracula, a classic which I still plan on reading one day!
BOOKS RECEIVED THIS PAST WEEK
Believe it or not, I received 14 books this past week!!
On Thursday, I discovered a BIG box at my door. I couldn’t remember ordering anything, so I was really intrigued, plus I couldn’t really identify the sender.
I opened the box with trepidation (I know, I should have done a video!!), and discovered, surprise surprise, they were books. Then I realized there were 12 books, so I now understood: this one the gift I won at Shooting Star Mags.
Back in August, Lauren organized a giveaway to celebrate her 12 years of blogging. Her generous gift was 12 books, and I ended up being the winner.
Working with my tastes and my Goodreads shelves, Lauren did an AMAZING job at picking books I would be interested in. So there are classics, thrillers, and books in translation. Thanks again Lauren.
Please, I recommend you go visit her great book blog! Not too many bloggers have been around for 12 years. And she has a cool Facebook book club too.
I also received two books for review:
📚 I was at a wedding, so only had time to read a few pages from Theological Territories, by David Bentley Hart. He totally trounces two Roman Catholics authors about their view of capital punishment.
📚 I finished The Ten Loves of Nishino. See review above
📚 The Missing Sister, by Elle Marr, is raising more and more questions
📚 I listened to The Book of Exodus (audiobook on youtube), chapters 16-23. There’s actually so much in this book about the life of migrants, to use contemporary vocabulary.
📚 The Missing Sister is actually getting more and more creepy. I wonder where this is going. The identity issue comes even more to the surface, as we get to know more about the characters of both twins, about their life as kids and teens.
📚 Today, as I listened to chapters 24-35 of The Book of Exodus, I discovered a detail I had not been aware before. As Moses is going down from the mountain, having just received the Tables of the Law, he hears noise in the camp and wonders what’s going on. He realizes they are partying, with a golden calf. As we recently had the passage of the Prodigal Son at Church, it made me think of the elder brother, coming back from the fields, and hearing sounds in his house. He is told his family is partying for the return of his younger brother, and they have killed a calf to celebrate.
I don’t think I have ever read exegetical studies on this parallel. Has anyone read anything about this? I’m curious.
Which makes me highlight the importance to read a (Biblical or other) text in different translation, or format, as you get to discover things you have never paid attention to, especially if it;s a text you basically think you know by heart.
📚 I started reading Le Pendu de Saint-Pholien, which is Maigret #4, by Georges Simenon, as a read-along with one of my French students.
I like the atmospheric setting from the very beginning. This book is not set in France, but at the border between Germany and the Netherlands.
📚 I discover that I really still know nothing about who did what in The Missing Sister . Talk about unreliable narrators and red-herrings!!
📚 I finished listening to The Book of Exodus, and listened to the whole book of Leviticus. In these days of coronavirus, it’s interesting to read about all these laws of purification, which I believe had also a hygiene value.
📚 Tonight was my book club, but I still managed to read a lot. It was really hard to have to go to bed with only a few pages of The Missing Sister. But it was getting so intense, I knew it might not be good to read before trying to sleep…
📚 I read some of the more cozy style in Le Pendu de Saint-Pholien. Maigret seems to be totally confused after what he did. He may actually have been the cause of someone’s death. That’s not too good for a detective. Well, we’ll see what the story reveals.
📚 But mostly, as I had to do lots of house chores, I listened to 20% of the latest book by Michel Bussi: Au soleil redouté. (published on 2/6/20). Bussi loves an island as his setting, this time it’s The Marquesas Islands (French Polynesia), an important place for Jacques Brel and Gauguin, among others.
Five women from around the world go there for a writing workshop. Au Soleil redouté is actually the name of the resort where the workshop is held.
And then the author leading the workshop disappears, apparently staging his latest writing prompt. So, is he dead, murdered, drowned, or just hidden? If he was killed, who did it? One of these 5 women? Why?
There are references to And Then There Were None, so I believe this is just the beginning… Plus Bussi is really good at tricking his readers…
Beside the suspense, I love all the passages on writing, and the different narrators, including a local teenager.
📚 Yeah, an extra day of reading!! Oh boy, I’m really glad I didn’t finish The Missing Sister last night. There was a rather horrific scene…
THIS PAST WEEK ON
WORDS AND PEACE
and FRANCE BOOK TOURS
📚 Book of the month giveaway:
The Missing Sister! see above. Mystery set in Paris
COMING UP ON
WORDS AND PEACE
FRANCE BOOK TOURS
- 3/2: February wrap-up
- 3/3: March titles
- 3/4: Book review: Creativity for Kids
- 3/5: More notes of Theological Territories
- 3/7: 6 Degrees of Separation
- Throughout the week, I’ll do several posts on book notes from the Orthodox book Orthodox Prayer Life
HOW WAS YOUR WEEK?