The top 7 books to read in June 2023

Here are
The top 7 books
I plan to read in June 2023

Here is a sample of what I am planning on reading this month, another nice mix.



Is the Algorithm Ploting Against Us📚 Is the Algorithm Plotting Against Us?
A Layperson’s Guide to the Concepts, Math,

and Pitfalls of AI,
by Kenneth Wenger
May 1, 2023
264 pages
Nonfiction / Artificial intelligence
Received for review

I received the offer to read this book from the author at the perfect time when I thought I needed to read more on the topic.
The subtitle says what it’s trying to do.

It can get very technical, with math that goes beyond my understanding, but yet it’s very interesting, with lots of examples.
I’m curious about the part on pitfalls.

I am also currently reading:

  • PerchĂ© legere i classici? by Italo Calvino: I have gone back to reading a few pages daily. Just read an excellent essay on Cardano
  • Les Trois Mousquetaires, by Alexandre Dumas (with French student E.)
  • L’Arabe du futur #4 : Une jeunesse au Moyen-Orient, 1987-1992, by Riad Sattouf (with French student F. We are planning to read the 6 volumes)
  • Les Vacances du petit Nicolas (Le petit Nicolas vol. 3), by RenĂ© Goscinny (with French student I.)
  • Thinking Orthodox: Understanding and Acquiring the Orthodox Christian Mind, by  Eugenia Scarvelis Constantinou (slow weekly reading with the catechumens of my Orthodox parish)
  • The Transfiguration of Christ in Greek Patristic Literature from Irenaeus of Lyons to Gregory Palamas, by Christopher Veniamin
  • John the Theologian and his Paschal Gospel: A Prologue to Theology, by John Behr (reading with another Orthodox parishioner)

đź“š READING NEXT đź“š

An Astronomer in Love


đź“š An Astronomer in Love,
by Antoine Laurain
Literary fiction
US expected release: June 23, 2023
218 pages
Received for review

I really enjoy Antoine Laurain‘s books, this will be my 8th by him, and I hope I won’t be disappointed!
Here is the last one I read by him: Red is My Heart

“From the best-selling author of The Red Notebook comes the enchanting story of two men, 250 years apart, who find themselves on separate missions to see the transit of Venus across the Sun.
In 1760, astronomer Guillaume le Gentil sets out on a quest through the oceans of India to document the transit of Venus. The weather is turbulent, the seas are rough, but his determination will conquer all.
In 2012, divorced estate agent Xavier Lemercier discovers Guillaume’s telescope in one of his properties. While looking out across the city, the telescope falls upon the window of an intriguing woman with what appears to be a zebra in her apartment.
Then the woman walks through the doors of Xavier’s office a few days later, and his life changes for evermore . . .
Part swashbuckling adventure on the high seas and part modern-day love story set in the heart of Paris, An Astronomer in Love is a time-travelling tale of adventure, destiny and the power of love.”

Voyage au centre de la terre đź“š Voyage au centre de la terre
by Jules Verne
Science fiction
304 pages

Starting on June 15, I will be reading this classic in French with a bunch of other Francophone readers.
We are planning on reading one chapter a day, and we will be commenting in French on Discord.
Clickon the link to join us – all levels of French accepted, this is not a class, we won’t be correcting mistakes.

“Dans la petite maison du vieux quartier de Hambourg oĂą Axel, jeune homme assez timorĂ©, travaille avec son oncle, l’irascible professeur Lidenbrock, gĂ©ologue et minĂ©ralogiste, dont il aime la pupille, la charmante GraĂĽben, l’ordre des choses est soudain bouleversĂ©.
Dans un vieux manuscrit, Lidenbrock trouve un cryptogramme. Arne Saknussemm, célèbre savant islandais du xvie siècle, y révèle que par la cheminée du cratère du Sneffels, volcan éteint d’Islande, il a pénétré jusqu’au centre de la Terre !
Lidenbrock s’enflamme aussitôt et part avec Axel pour l’Islande où, accompagnés du guide Hans, aussi flegmatique que son maître est bouillant, ils s’engouffrent dans les mystérieuses profondeurs du volcan…
En dĂ©crivant les prodigieuses aventures qui s’ensuivront, Jules Verne a peut-ĂŞtre atteint le sommet de son talent. La vigueur du rĂ©cit, la parfaite maĂ®trise d’un art accordĂ© Ă  la puissance de l’imagination placent cet ouvrage au tout premier plan dans l’œuvre exceptionnelle du romancier.”

Descent into Hell

đź“š Descent into Hell,
by Charles Williams
Literary fiction/fantasy/Christianity
208 pages
It counts for The Classics Club

This is the result of my jar pick for April, and hopefully I’ll finally have time in June for this one!

“In this provocative, classic metaphysical thriller, a group of suburban amateur actors plagued by personal demons and terrors explore the pathways to heaven and hell.
Certain inhabitants of Battle Hill, a small community on the outskirts of London, are preparing to mount a new play by the neighborhood’s most illustrious resident, the writer Peter Stanhope. Each actor struggles with self-absorption, doubt, fear, and sin. But “the Hill” is not like other places. Here the past and present intermingle, ghosts walk among the living, and reality is often clouded by dreams and the dark fantastic. For young Pauline Anstruther, who is caring for an aging grandmother and frightened by the specter of a doppelgänger who gets closer with each visitation, the prospect of heaven exists in the renowned playwright’s willingness to bear the burden of her terror. For eminent historian Lawrence Wentworth, the rejection of his desire pulls him deeper inside himself, leaving him vulnerable to the lure of the succubus and opening wide the entrance to hell.
A brilliant theological thriller, Descent into Hell is an extraordinary fictional meditation on sin and personal salvation by one of the twentieth century’s most original and provocative literary artists. Charles Williams, a member of the Inklings alongside fellow Oxfordians C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, and Owen Barfield, has written a powerful work at once profoundly disturbing and gloriously uplifting, an ingenious amalgam of metaphysics, religious thought, and darkest fantasy.


Sur la dalle

đź“š Sur la dalle (Commissaire Adamsberg #12),
by Fred Vargas
Expected publication May 17, 2023
521 pages

This is the result of my May random pick among the books I added to my TBR that month.
Looks like Vargas is breaking sales record with this one, so am really eager to meet Adamsberg for the 12th time.

“- Le dolmen dont tu m’as parlĂ©, Johan, il est bien sur la route du petit pont ?- Ă€ deux kilomètres après le petit pont, ne te trompe pas. Sur ta gauche, tu ne peux pas le manquer. Il est splendide, toutes ses pierres sont encore debout.- Ça date de quand, un dolmen ?- Environ quatre mille ans.- Donc des pierres pĂ©nĂ©trĂ©es par les siècles. C’est parfait pour moi.- Mais parfait pour quoi ?- Et cela servait Ă  quoi, ces dolmens ? demanda Adamsberg sans rĂ©pondre.- Ce sont des monuments funĂ©raires. Des tombes, si tu prĂ©fères, faites de pierres dressĂ©es recouvertes par de grandes dalles. J’espère que cela ne te gĂŞne pas.- En rien. C’est lĂ  que je vais aller m’allonger, en hauteur sur la dalle, sous le soleil.- Et qu’est-ce que tu vas foutre lĂ -dessus ?- Je ne sais pas, Johan.”

If I have more time, I’ll be reading other books from my 20 books of Summer Challenge.


The Ferryman   

🎧 The Ferryman, by Justin Cronin
Science fiction
May 2, 2023
560 pages / 19H55
Narrated by Scott Brick & Suzanne Elise Freeman
Free audiobook for review, received through Libro.Fm

I had never read a book by Cronin, so this generous offer was tempting.
However, I only have 4 more hours to go, and I still don’t really understand what’s going on. And it’s too long.
I keep going mostly because I had requested it, but if it’s Cronin’s usual style of writing, that will be it for me.

“Founded by the mysterious genius known as the Designer, the archipelago of Prospera lies hidden from the horrors of a deteriorating outside world. In this island paradise, Prospera’s lucky citizens enjoy long, fulfilling lives until the monitors embedded in their forearms, meant to measure their physical health and psychological well-being, fall below 10 percent. Then they retire themselves, embarking on a ferry ride to the island known as the Nursery, where their failing bodies are renewed, their memories are wiped clean, and they are readied to restart life afresh.

Proctor Bennett, of the Department of Social Contracts, has a satisfying career as a ferryman, gently shepherding people through the retirement process–and, when necessary, enforcing it. But all is not well with Proctor. For one thing, he’s been dreaming–which is supposed to be impossible in Prospera. For another, his monitor percentage has begun to drop alarmingly fast. And then comes the day he is summoned to retire his own father, who gives him a disturbing and cryptic message before being wrestled onto the ferry.
Meanwhile, something is stirring. The Support Staff, ordinary men and women who provide the labor to keep Prospera running, have begun to question their place in the social order. Unrest is building, and there are rumors spreading of a resistance group–known as “Arrivalists”–who may be fomenting revolution.

Soon Proctor finds himself questioning everything he once believed, entangled with a much bigger cause than he realized–and on a desperate mission to uncover the truth.

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Passage comes a riveting standalone novel about a group of survivors on a hidden island utopia–where the truth isn’t what it seems.”

🎧 Wildcard (Warcross #2), by Marie Lu
YA scifi
352 pages / 10H51
Narrated by Nancy Wu

I really enjoyed the first volume of Warcross. I have heard book 2 is not as good, but still I hope it will work for me.

“Emika Chen barely made it out of the Warcross Championships alive. Now that she knows the truth behind Hideo’s new NeuroLink algorithm, she can no longer trust the one person she’s always looked up to, who she once thought was on her side.
Determined to put a stop to Hideo’s grim plans, Emika and the Phoenix Riders band together, only to find a new threat lurking on the neon-lit streets of Tokyo. Someone’s put a bounty on Emika’s head, and her sole chance for survival lies with Zero and the Blackcoats, his ruthless crew. But Emika soon learns that Zero isn’t all that he seems–and his protection comes at a price.
Caught in a web of betrayal, with the future of free will at risk, just how far will Emika go to take down the man she loves?”

Eiffel Tower Orange



20 Books of Summer 2023

20 books of summer


Once again, organizes a special challenge:

20 Books of Summer
June 1 – September 1st

I am back for my 4th participation.

So here is the file with my 20 books. Actually, I‘m listing only 15, as I want to leave room for spontaneous reading.
Last summer, I ended up reading 28 books, but only 16 were on my original list.

I color coded the genres:
as usual, a mix of nonfiction, literary fiction, science fiction, and mystery.
8 are classics.
As for the format, I may end up listening to some of these, depending on the availability through my public library.

Why these books?

  • 4 have been on my physical shelf for a while
  • The classics are for my Classics challenge
  • 2 are brand new French novels
  • 1 is for review
  • and 1 is for a buddy read, in French:
    if you are interested in reading Jules Verne’s classic in French, Voyage au centre de la terre, please join my Discord channel.

Here is my chart, feel free to copy the format if it’s of any help for you.

I will update it as I go along :

How many of these have you read?
Which one is your favorite?

2022: September wrap-up


I have only read 6 books this month, but I also listened to 6 audiobooks, so that’s a decent result.
And I just finished book 101 of the year!
I’m currently 12 books ahead of schedule (84% done) to read 120 books this year.
This past month, I also started a 4th list of Classics for The Classics Club.
And yesterday, I celebrated my 12th blogiversary!

đź“š Here is what I read in September:

12 books:
6 in print 
=  with 1,459 pages, a daily average of 48 pages/day
6 in audio
= 39H51
, a daily average of 1H19/ day

6 in children’s fiction:

  1. The Sword in the Stone (The Once and Future King #1), by T. H. White
  2. The Witch in the Wood (The Once and Future King #2), by T. H. White
  3. The Ill-Made Knight (The Once and Future King #3), by T. H. White
  4. The Candle in the Wind (The Once and Future King #4), by T. H. White
  5. The Book of Merlyn (The Once and Future King #5), by T. H. White – these 5 books were audiobooks, and counted for The Classics Club
  6. All From a Walnut, by Ammi-Joan Paquette & Harry N.Abrams

3 in  literary fiction:

  1. Eventide, by Kent Haruf
  2. Le Chant du monde, by Jean Giono – read with a French student, counts for The Classics Club
  3. Un Chien Ă  ma table, by Claudie Hunzinger

2 in mystery:

  1. Epitaph for a Spy, by Eric Ambler – counts for The Classics Club
  2. Malice (Detective Kaga #1), by Keigo Higashino – read with the Virtual Crime Book Club

1 in science-fiction:

  1. Autour de la Lune, by Jules Verne – read with a French student, counts for The Classics Club

This month, it was again very hard to pick 2 winners.


The Ill-Made Knight   Eventide


Classics Club: 7/150 (from September 2022-until September 2027)
Japanese Literature Challenge: 9/12 books – During the year: 13
2022 TBR Pile Reading Challenge: 9/12 books
2022 books in translation reading challenge
: 22/10+

Total of books read in 2022 = 101/120 (84%)
Number of books added to my TBR this past month = 24


Ensemble, c'est tout


Un Chien Ă  ma table



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Sunday Post #67


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Come back on Sunday to see the titles I’ll be reading in October
How was YOUR month of September?


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