Sunday Post #47 – 1/2/2022

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,
and on the book covers to access synopsis or review

Happy New Year to all, and to a great new year of bookish discoveries!

📚  JUST READ / LISTENED TO 🎧 

A Single Rose Les Mystères de Paris3

📚  A Single Rose, by Muriel Barbery
Published in 2020
Literary fiction

You may have read The Elegance of the Hedgehog, which I found fantastic.
This one is very different, and each word is there to enjoy!
I’m starting my 2022 plans, that is, reading more from my TBRs. I wanted to read this one by Barbery for a while and ended up listening to it.
Oh the writing!
I have never been to Japan, but listening to this book, I feel so nostalgic of a country I have never been to and would so much love to discover, that it hurts.
Each word seems chiseled. The result is an amazing gem.

🎧  Les Mystères de Paris, volume 3, by Eugène Sue
Published between 1842-1843
Literary fiction
Read it for the Classics Club 

A huge book that inspired Victor Hugo to write Les Misérables.
The audiobook is being published in many parts. It is fabulously narrated by Loïc Richard.
It is great fun discovering what elements Hugo took and transformed. You have the same sample of population, a man trying to spread social justice, bad and good people, poor and rich, but with different combinations and evolution than in Les Misérables. And an interesting story about a man and his daughter!
It’s also a more popular book, with no real historical background, but the focus definitely on the social circumstances.
Sue is here the first author to describe the injustices and miserable situation of the people, and to openly criticize the institutions. He thus became the spokesman for the humanitarian and socialist ideals in vogue in the 1840s, with the ultimate result in the 1848 Revolution.
And his portraits of his characters are excellent.
The style may sound overly romantic to some. I actually do enjoy it a lot.
If you love Les Misérables, I highly recommend you to try it. It’s available in English as The Mysteries of Paris.

📚  CURRENTLY READING/LISTENING TO 🎧 

The Three Body Problem  Gravé dans le sable

📚  The Three Body Problem (Remembrance of Earth’s Past #1), by Cixin Liu
Published in 2006
Chinese science-fiction

Every winter, my awesome public library organizes a Winter Challenge: you answer a few questions, and the staff picks a book for you to read and review.
Lucky me, this is actually not a challenge! I have so much loved Supernova Era, that I meant to read this one.
This is so far very different in setting and themes. Curious to see where this is going.

“Set against the backdrop of China’s Cultural Revolution, a secret military project sends signals into space to establish contact with aliens. An alien civilization on the brink of destruction captures the signal and plans to invade Earth. Meanwhile, on Earth, different camps start forming, planning to either welcome the superior beings and help them take over a world seen as corrupt, or to fight against the invasion. The result is a science fiction masterpiece of enormous scope and vision.”

🎧  Gravé dans le sable, by Michel Bussi
First published in 2007
Historical thriller
Sorry, not available in English

So far, excellent historical thriller. I can’t believe this was his very first novel, so good already. It’s about what happened on D Day: a group of soldiers draw lots to know which ones will go first – as the first twenty or so won’t have much chance to survive.
One of them gets number 4, but then…
Hopefully, it will soon be translated into English, so I’m not going to reveal any spoiler.
I did a video some years ago to present Michel Bussi to my English speaking freinds – lots of his books are available in English translation.

📚  BOOK UP NEXT 📚 

Red is my Heart📚 Red is my Heart, by Antoine Laurain
Expected publication: January 18th 2022 by Gallic Books
Literary fiction –  received for review

Click on the cover to access my video, where I speak about it, show you a few cool pages, and present all my January TBR!

📚  LAST BOOK ADDED TO MY GOODREADS TBR 📚 

The Aleph

📚   The Aleph and Other Stories, by Jorge Luis Borges
Published in 1949
Short stories – magical realism

I recently read Ficciones and posted notes on each of the stories of the collection, and now want to reread The Aleph collection.

“Full of philosophical puzzles and supernatural surprises, these stories contain some of Borges’s most fully realized human characters. With uncanny insight, he takes us inside the minds of an unrepentant Nazi, an imprisoned Mayan priest, fanatical Christian theologians, a woman plotting vengeance on her father’s “killer,” and a man awaiting his assassin in a Buenos Aires guest house.  This volume also contains the hauntingly brief vignettes about literary imagination and personal identity collected in The Maker, which Borges wrote as failing eyesight and public fame began to undermine his sense of self.”

📚   LAST BOOK RECEIVED  📚 

A Brush With Birds

It is so gorgeous, I decided to use a bigger picture format.
This one was under the Christmas tree!! I show you a few pages of it in my video.

📚  GIVEAWAYS  📚 

Constellation   The Queen's Lover

📚  BOOK AVAILABLE FOR REVIEW 📚
Review in your own time!

1 copy available: first come first serve!
Alina_A Song For the Telling

📚📚📚

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

2021: December wrap-up

DECEMBER 2021 WRAP-UP

Another great reading month to end the year!
In 2022, I plan to focus almost exclusively on my TBRs, and I started to do that a bit in December, with some very enjoyable titles.

Lots of things on the blog as well:

And I have tried writing at least a few words after most of the books I read – definitely a trend I want to follow in 2022!

📚 Here is what I read in December:

15 books:
8 in print 
with 1,217 pages, a daily average of 39 pages/day
7 in audio
= 40H13
, a daily average of 1H17

5 in literary fiction:

  1. Oscar et la dame rose, by Éric-Emmanuel Schmitt – reread to prepare a French student for the IB exam
  2. Ficciones, by Jorge Luis Borges – for The Classics Club
  3. Les Mystères de Paris, Tome 2, by Eugène Sue – audio for The Classics Club
  4. Les Mystères de Paris, Tome 3, by Eugène Sue – audio for The Classics Club
  5. Une Rose seule, by Muriel Barbery – audio

4 in mystery:

  1. L’Ombre chinoise (Inspecteur Maigret #13), by Georges Simenon – read with a French student – for The Classics Club
  2. Regarder le Noir, by various authors – audio
  3. Sauve-la, by Sylvain Forge – audio
  4. The Mousetrap, by Agatha Christie – video/text for The Classics Club

3 in children books:

  1. The Little Wooden Robot and the Log Princess, by Tom Gauld
  2. Watercress, by Andrea Wang
  3. The Beatryce Prophecy, by Kate DiCamillo

2 in historical fiction:

  1. Katherine’s Wish, by Linda Lappin – for review for France Book Tours
    You can request this book until tonight!
  2. The Samurai’s Garden, by Gail Tsukiyama

1 in scifi:

  1. Noor, by Nnedi Okorafor

MY FAVORITE BOOKS THIS PAST MONTH

  Une Rose seule  The Samurai's Garden

READING CHALLENGES & RECAP

Classics Club: 97/137 (from November 2020-until November 2025)
Japanese Literature Challenge: 12 books
#20BooksofSummer21: 37/20 books
Total of books read in 2021 = 165/120 (137.5%)

Number of books added to my TBR this past month = 33

OTHER BOOKS  REVIEWED THIS PAST MONTH

Ficciones

I posted notes on each story of this collection.
Just click on the cover and scroll down to access all the posts

GIVEAWAYS

The open giveaways are on my homepage

Books available for swapping

REVIEW COPIES AVAILABLE

Posted on my homepage

And we offer a Book Box!
PERFECT gift – original and affordable
2 books per month for a low price!!

MOST POPULAR BOOK REVIEW THIS PAST MONTH

Katherine's Wishclick on the cover to access my review

MOST POPULAR POST THIS PAST MONTH
– NON BOOK REVIEW –

Six degrees of separation: from New England to Paris

BOOK BLOG THAT BROUGHT ME MOST TRAFFIC THIS PAST MONTH

Cross Examining Crime
please go visit, there are a lot of good things there!

TOP COMMENTERS 

Marianne at Let’s Read
Deb at Readerbuzz
Greg at Book Haven
please go and visit them,
they have great book blogs

BLOG MILESTONES 

2,439 posts
over 5,550 followers
over 233,960 hits

📚

Check here (video!)
the books I plan to read in January!

📚 📚 📚

How was YOUR month of December?

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

Ficciones, by Jorge Luis Borges: last stories and conclusion

Ficciones

Ficciones,
by Jorge Luis Borges,
1944
Magical realism/Short stories
576 pages
Goodreads
Buy the book on my Bookshop

  📚 📚 📚  

Click here to see my other posts on this book.

Today, I’ll share my thoughts on the last two stories:

The Sect of the Phoenix

This is about a sect, its origin, its name, and its secret rites. This could possibly refer to sex. But in the background is a reflection on the sad disappearance of mysteries, as sacred mysteries in the world.

The South

In the Prologue to the second part of the book, Borges says this is his favorite story.
A man leaves the sanatorium, on his way to the South, he meets a couple of people, and his death. I guess the main jest of this one escaped me. I rea there could be some autobiographical element, as Borges was very close to death after severe septicemia.

📚

As a conclusion, I thoroughly enjoyed this book, with its various ways of considering time, history, and the universe, through for instance the images of mirrors and labyrinths. And the use of metafiction (with real and fictional books and authors) as a tool for that as well, through a diversity of possible interpretations.
All this is actually connected with idealism, which I really didn’t talk much about when exploring the stories. With the ideal/idea-l world superior to the material one.
It’s really fun to approach metaphysics through fiction. And only a brilliant brain like Borges’s can do this is a satisfying way.

📚

To go more in depth, check the Course Hero page on this book.

HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK?
WHAT DID YOU THINK OF IT,
OR OF T
HIS STORY?