2015: May wrap-up

The IFFP over, May has been a month of catching up in reading, with titles and reviews long due. I now plan to work more on my TBR and a few reading challenges lagging behind

Here is what I read in May:

12 books.
= 11 books
with 1,979 pages, that is: 63.8 pages/day.
+ 1 audiobook = 10:59 hours, that is an average of  21 mn/day

4 in  literary fiction:

  1. Look Who’s Back, by Timur Vermes
  2. George’s Grand Tour, by Caroline Vermalle
  3. Before Paris, by Adria J. Cimino – ebook
  4. The Room, by Jonas Karlsson

3 in nonfiction:

  1. How to Blog a Book, by Nina Amir – ebook
  2. Petite Confessions, by Vicki Lesage – ebook
  3. Bridges of Paris, by James St Michael

2 in mystery:

  1. The Girl on the Train, by Paula Hawkins – audiobook
  2. Leave No Trace, by Tanya Anne Crosby – ebook

2 in historical fiction:

  1. The Holy Lance, by Andrew Latham
  2. The French Sultana, by Zia Wesley – ebook

1 in science-fiction:

  1. Player Choice, by Jeff Deck – ebook



My favorites in May

    George's Grand Tour The Room


Reading Challenges recap

French Bingo: 18/25
Audiobook: 7/15
Ebook challenge: 27/25 – DONE
Historical fiction: 12/25
My Kind of Mysteries: 12/21-30
New authors challenge: 30/50
New Release (2015): 30/31-45
Nonfiction challenge: 6/16-20
TBR challenge: 0/12
Books in Translation: 13/12 – DONE
What’s in a Name: 5/6
Where Are You Reading?: 17/50 – to be finished in 2015?!
Japanese literature: 0/6 (starts in June)

Total of books read in 2015 = 52/100

Number of books added to my TBR in May = 27


Blog recap

  • 10 of the 12 books read were received for review, and one for translation!

  • 35 reviews posted so far for my French Bingo 2015 Challenge, don’t forget to link yours with the mr Linky widget.

  • I organized 6 giveaways in May. There’s always one going on at France Book Tours. Be sure to check the June Giveaway! 4 books to choose from!

  • May was a super busy month for blogging, with the IFFP, Bout of Books, and Armchair BEA!


Most popular book review in May

The Holy Lanceclick on the cover to access my review

Most popular post last month – non book review

Win a $15 gift card and giveaway

NB: this deal is open until 6/4!

Book blog that brought me
most traffic this past month

Writing My Own Fairy Tale

please go visit

Top commenters of the month

Inspired by Becca at I’m Lost in Books!
and her Blogger Shout-Outs feature

= 1 point per month for the top 3.
The one who has the most points at the end of the year will receive a gift!
NB: just congratulating winners of giveaways does not count as real comment 😉

4: Katherine at I Wish I Lived In a Library
4: Martha at MG’s French Lit Page
3: Denise @DeniseDuvall2
2: Lucy at The Fictional 100

Blog milestones

1,156 posts
over 2,080 subscribers
over 90,600 hits


Blog plans for June

  • Mostly tackling my TBR!
  • Come back tomorrow to see what books I’ll be reading in June.
  • I still plan to to a video for audiobooks reviews.
  • I also would like to take time to participate again in more memes
  • And start organizing stuff to turn my blog into a book…


How was YOUR month of  May?


Armchair BEA 2015: my 5 Introduction questions

ArmchairBEA 2015

Design by Amber of Shelf Notes

Click on the logo to access the site

Waiting fort BEA to come to Chicago, it is supposed to be soon, I’m glad to at least be able to attend Armchair BEA!
This year main theme is DIVERSITY.
The schedule sounds very interesting, as usual, with 2 themes per day for blog posts, but also with 3 Twitter parties, and daily Instagram challenges!
Be sure to come back every day here: one day, there will be both a giveaway AND a contest to win a $15 gift card!

Today, it’s about Introductions.
We can choose 5 out of 10 questions, so here you go – if you don’t know me yet, you might want to read how I presented myself at Armchair BEA 2014

1. What does diversity mean to you?

In the context of book blogging, it means for me reading books in translation and books set in different countries and cultures.
This year, I’m doing the Books in Translation Reading Challenge.
I have just been a judge for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize Shadow Panel – we just announced our winner!
I participate every year in the Japanese Literature Reading Challenge – it begins in June
My most fascinating reading experience was definitely when I did the 52 countries reading Challenge.

2. What is one book everyone should read?

My favorite so far this year, translated from the Swedish! – click on the cover to access my review:

The Ravens cover

3. Share your favorite blog post on your blog

My review of

Au revoir là-haut

4. What is your favorite genre and why?

Historical fiction, because it allows me to revisit fascinating pages of history in a lively way.
For instance, I just read about this amazing French woman, incidentally Empress Josephine’s cousin, who ended up being a sultana in Turkey!

The French Sultana

5. What book are you reading right now?

A fascinating nonfiction, packed with tons of fantastic tips on how to start a book by blogging or how to transform your blog into a book – yes, this is indeed in the works!

How to Blog a Book

And I also always listen to a book, this is what is currently delighting my ears:

Fatal Grace

Choose one of these questions
and answer it
in a comment here



IFFP 2015 shadow panel winner

IFFP Shadow iffp2015logo

  •  Invite 11 book bloggers from the US, UK, India, Australia, and France
  • Serve them the 15 books longlisted for the IFFP 2015
  • let them munch on them for a month, until they decide which 6 novels are delightful to their reading palate
  • let them argue and discuss through a week of numerous email exchanges
  • finally have them vote

and the winner of the year is…:

The End of Days


The End of Days
(Aller Tage Abend)
by Jenny Erpenbeck,
tr. Susan Bernofsky

Hardcover, 256 pages
Published November 27th 2014
by New Directions Publishing Corporation

ISBN: 978-0811221924

Literary awards:
Deutscher Buchpreis Nominee for Longlist (2012), Joseph-Breitenbach-Preis (2013)


A worthy runner-up was Zone, by Mathias Énard, which I did not manage to finish myself, even though it is originally a French novel…

 Read my review here
Read reviews by the other shadow panelists
My final verdict for this title was:

Great piece of literature reflecting on life circumstances and how a small detail could change everything. Illustrated with a unique original structure and writing style. Perfect if you enjoy trying something different.

Tonight, the official IFFP winner will be announced. As this book is part of the official short-list, it may indeed be the official winner.

The IFFP Shadow Panel has been a very interesting experience. It was great sharing with others reading the same books.
Also, I was even more able to appreciate the benefits of my local library and our library network. So many others complained of not finding the books: all the ones I wanted to read I got from my library, and on time, except one!
I discovered 3 amazing authors (Bannerhed, Erpenbeck and Ismailov, whom I may not have heard about otherwise). I repeat that, even if it is not our winner Bannerhed’s book is so far my favorite book read this year.

BUT at the same time, I started and DNFed a good number of books. Seeing the huge number of titles on my TBR, and in there books my authors I enjoy very much on a regular basis, it did feel like a waste of time. Plus I had so many other books already scheduled for review when  signed up, so there was a lot of pressure.

So I am not sure I will participate again next year. The main thing will be not to sign up for scheduled review in May, and see then if the longlist can be potentially interesting. The American equivalent version of this award is very good too, but the longlist is way too long to commit myself to it. Or I may do something with their shortlist. We’ll see, stay tuned!