Sunday Post #39 – 2/21/2021

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

Same refrain: cold and snow – but looks like it might be the last week of that. Finally.
This past week, however, I finished only one book. Well, that’s what happens when you are reading seven at the same time…

📚 JUST READ 📚  

Encre sympathique

📚 Encre sympathique, by Patrick Modiano
Published in 2019
It was translated in English (Invisible Ink) in 2020 by Mark Polizzotti

I first wrote my review here, and then realized it ended up being long enough for a post by itself, so it will be live tomorrow.

📚 CURRENTLY READING/LISTENING TO 🎧

Gone by Midnight Dictionnaire amoureux du polar

  Jourde & Naulleau  FutureofBuildingsBookCover

La Vallée

📚 Gone by Midnight, by Candice Fox
Published on March 10, 2020 (US publication)

This is book 3 in this series, after Crimson Lake and Redemption Point.
A few couples were staying at a hotel. While the parents were downstairs having a nice time together, their kids stayed together playing in their room. When Sara goes up to check on them, her own son is gone.
The police can’t find any clue at all. And as Sara has had some issues in her earlier life, she becomes a suspect herself. So she decides to ask Ted’s help because of his own experience: In the previous books, policeman Ted was accused of kidnapping a girl.

I’m halfway and really enjoying it. The author is really good at creating ambiance and suspense.

📚 Dictionnaire amoureux du polar, by Pierre Lemaitre
Published on October 22, 2020

I have read at least five books by Lemaitre (the shortest and least disturbing as far violence is definitely Three Days and a Life – highly recommended), so when I saw a review of this book on a French book blog, I didn’t hesitate a second. And I even started reading it right away!
Lemaitre, a very renowned author of thrillers (and historical novels) himself, decided to share his love of the genre by presenting other authors. The introduction is very good. The only problem is I’m probably going to end up adding tons of titles to my TBR!

📚 Le Jourde & Naulleau, by Perre Jourde and Éric Naulleau
Published in 2008

A totally hilarious pastiche on a famous collection of French literature textbooks. Loving it!

📚 The Future of Buildings, Transportation, and Power, 
by Roger Duncan and Michael E. Webber
Published in July 2020

I featured this book a few weeks ago, and ended up winning the giveaway!
It’s quite technical, but accessible and fascinating, about current and future use of buildings, transportation and power, and the interaction between the three. For instance, how some parking decks produce all the electricity hey need, thanks to solar panels, and even more than they need, so that nearby buildings use that surplus.

🎧 La Vallée, by Bernard Minier
Published on April 2, 2020
Not yet available n English

A woman disappeared. Then eight years later, police inspector Martin Servaz receives a phone call from her, asking for his help.
This is very good so far, but I’m a bit nervous about the role some Cistercian monks may have in the story. A zone of interest is indeed close to heir abbey, deep in the Pyrenees.

I am also reading two spiritual books.
And the author of Stone Killer has asked me to be his first reader of the thriller he is currently writing, and to send him my reactions after each chapter.

📚 BOOK UP NEXT 📚

A Fine Line

📚 A Fine Line, by Alan Burns
Published in 2017

Dan Burns in an Illinois Chicago author I met at a couple of events. I liked his style in his short story collection No Turning Back.

“A Fine Line is a story about Sebastian Drake, a struggling writer working out of a dilapidated apartment in the city and trying to come up with his next story idea. Drake receives an unexpected visit from a man interested in hiring him for a project and who thinks he has just the solution to Drake’s writing challenges. He also thinks that Drake’s past and secret life with a shadow government organization is a valuable asset.
His proposition to Drake is simple: become a hired agent to investigate a cold murder case involving one of Chicago’s most powerful political families. The job comes with a decent paycheck, all the support he might need, and the types of real life experiences that can form the basis for great fiction stories.
This is a story about a man with a new lease on life, a man who leads a dual existence. By day, he is an aspiring author. By night, he is a rogue undercover and unknown vigilante. His biggest challenge is keeping intact the fine line of reality and fiction.”

📚 LAST 2 BOOKS ADDED TO MY GOODREADS TBR 📚

  The Noise of Time Yokohama Station SF

📚 The Noise of Time, by Julian Barnes
Published in 2016

We had our book club meeting yesterday night (on Google Meet). We do trading titles every month, meaning, at each meeting, each member talks about the book he/she has recently read. One member presented this one, a historical novel on Shostakovich.
I have yet to read this author (I know, really!!), but I watched this fascinating documentary on Shostakovich, so I definitely want to read this one.

“A compact masterpiece dedicated to the Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich: Julian Barnes’s first novel since his best-selling, Man Booker Prize–winning The Sense of an Ending.
In 1936, Shostakovitch, just thirty, fears for his livelihood and his life. Stalin, hitherto a distant figure, has taken a sudden interest in his work and denounced his latest opera. Now, certain he will be exiled to Siberia (or, more likely, executed on the spot), Shostakovitch reflects on his predicament, his personal history, his parents, various women and wives, his children—and all who are still alive themselves hang in the balance of his fate. And though a stroke of luck prevents him from becoming yet another casualty of the Great Terror, for decades to come he will be held fast under the thumb of despotism: made to represent Soviet values at a cultural conference in New York City, forced into joining the Party and compelled, constantly, to weigh appeasing those in power against the integrity of his music.
Barnes elegantly guides us through the trajectory of Shostakovitch’s career, at the same time illuminating the tumultuous evolution of the Soviet Union. The result is both a stunning portrait of a relentlessly fascinating man and a brilliant exploration of the meaning of art and its place in society..”

📚 Yokohama Station SF, by Yuba Isukari, Tatsuyuki Tanaka (Visual Art)
Expected publication: March 30th 2021 by Yen On

I saw mention of this on a French book blog I think. but I’m not even sure if it’s a graphic novel or not. Anyway, I like the premise of this Japanese scifi.

In a future where Yokohama Station covers most of the island of Honshu, there are two ways of life-inside the station and outside. Life within the station is strictly controlled, and those who fail to follow the rules are expelled to the harsher world outside. When one of these exiles receives a temporary ticket to go into the station, he’s also given a mission to find the leader of a group determined to free humanity. ”

📚 BOOK ACQUIRED THIS PAST WEEK 📚

Dictionnaire amoureux du polar

See above

INTERESTING LINKS

Some bloggers share links they found interesting n the past week. I have tried doing this on and off. I’ll try again. Let me know if this is something you would appreciate finding on this blog. Obviously, there will links to articles in English or French.

ABOUT BOOKS:
The genrefication of national literatures
Unseen work by Proust announced as ‘thunderclap’ by French publisher
La Villa du Temps retrouvé : un musée-maison de Marcel Proust, à Cabourg

ON MEMORY, and other important elements to live better in our current society:
Advice Given by a Famous Author [Umberto Eco] to his Grandson

ABOUT JAPANESE:
Wondrous Words: Kaika and Ikigai

THIS PAST WEEK ON
WORDS AND PEACE
MYRTLE SKETE
and FRANCE BOOK TOURS

📚 Book of the month giveaway
Loving Modigliani
📚 Books available for free this month, to review an your own pace
Alina_A Song For the Telling
The Last CollectionThe Beautiful American  
📚
Review copy available for upcoming book tour: Victorine (literary/histfic)Victorine
📚 Subscribe to my Newsletter, and win a book each month!
Here is a sample, with link for subscription at the bottom
📚 Books available for swapping

COMING UP ON
WORDS AND PEACE
MYRTLE SKETE
FRANCE BOOK TOURS

  • 2/23: Top Ten Tuesday maybe, on Books That Made Me Laugh Out Loud
  • 2/24: Book review: The Toughest Sudoku Puzzle Book
  • 2/26: Book Beginnings: L’Origine

HOW WAS YOUR WEEK?

Read or skip #8

READ OR SKIP

Inspired by book blogger Davida, at The Chocolate Lady’s Book Review Blog, herself inspired by a couple of other bloggers (see here for instance). I plan to post about it on Saturdays, except the 1st Sat of the month, when I usually feature another meme.

The rules are simple:

  1. Sort your Goodreads TBR shelf from oldest to new
  2. Pick the first 5 or 10 (or whatever number you choose, depending on how large your list is) books you see
  3. Decide whether to keep them or get rid of them.

I’m finally back on this feature, after a few months away from it!

RESULTS FOR PREVIOUS READ OR SKIP

read-or-skip-7

I’m actually keeping a lot this time: 24, 26, 27, 28, 30, and 31
Skip: 29
Read maybe: 25

READ OR SKIP #8

read-or-skip-8

#readorskip

Let’s see what YOU think about these 8 titles today.

28) Pale Fire

  • A classic!
    READ

29) The Tie That Binds

  • I enjoy this author
    READ

30) Crossing to Safety

  • A masterpiece, several readers say
  • BUT an “insight into the alchemy of friendship and marriage”, themes that I usually find uninteresting in literature.
    SKIP?

31) Something to Declare

  • I enjoy the author and the topic
    READ

32) Satantango

  • A classic
  • And I enjoy Hungarian literature
    READ

33) Sixty Million Frenchmen Can’t Be Wrong

  • I think I have already read too many similar books
    SKIP

34) Proust’s Overcoat

  • I love Proust, but this book no longer attracts me
    SKIP

35) Miss Me When I’m Gone

  • I enjoyed a lot The Broken Teaglass by the same author
  • BUT several readers seemed to be confused about this one
    SKIP?

What do YOU think? What would you do for 30 and 35?

HAVE YOU READ THESE?
READ OR SKIP?
I ALSO WELCOME SUGGESTIONS
FOR GOOD BOOKS ON SIMILAR THEMES

 

8 titles for our March 2013 Book Club

Recap of our Block Book Club March 2013 meeting

 

Recap of the titles we shared [synopsis from Goodreads.com].

 

1) The Russian Revolution,

by Marcel Liebman (1929-1986) (written in French in 1967,  published in the US in 1970) 389 p. The French subtitle translates as origins, steps, and meaning of the Bolshevik victory.  [presented by P]

I could not find an online synopsis. Paul said this was a bit biased, as it was written by a Communist writer. The author is not Russian, but Belgian. Paul thought that was a good presentation anyway of the 2 different Russian revolutions.

 

2) Killing Kennedy: The End of Camelot

by Bill O’Reilly, Martin Dugard (2012) 325 p. [presented by B]

A riveting historical narrative of the shocking events surrounding the assassination of John F. Kennedy, and the follow-up to mega-bestselling author Bill O’Reilly’s Killing Lincoln

More than a million readers have thrilled to Bill O’Reilly’s Killing Lincoln, the page-turning work of nonfiction about the shocking assassination that changed the course of American history. Now the anchor of The O’Reilly Factor recounts in gripping detail the brutal murder of John Fitzgerald Kennedy—and how a sequence of gunshots on a Dallas afternoon not only killed a beloved president but also sent the nation into the cataclysmic division of the Vietnam War and its culture-changing aftermath.

In January 1961, as the Cold War escalates, John F. Kennedy struggles to contain the growth of Communism while he learns the hardships, solitude, and temptations of what it means to be president of the United States. Along the way he acquires a number of formidable enemies, among them Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev, Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, and Alan Dulles, director of the Central Intelligence Agency.  In addition, powerful elements of organized crime have begun to talk about targeting the president and his brother, Attorney General Robert Kennedy.

In the midst of a 1963 campaign trip to Texas, Kennedy is gunned down by an erratic young drifter named Lee Harvey Oswald. The former Marine Corps sharpshooter escapes the scene, only to be caught and shot dead while in police custody.

The events leading up to the most notorious crime of the twentieth century are almost as shocking as the assassination itself. Killing Kennedy chronicles both the heroism and deceit of Camelot, bringing history to life in ways that will profoundly move the reader.  This may well be the most talked about book of the year.

3) 11/22/63

by Stephen King (2011) 849 p [presented by M]

If you had the chance to change the course of history, would you? Would the consequences be what you hoped?

Jake Epping 35 teaches high school English in Lisbon Falls, Maine, and cries reading the brain-damaged janitor’s story of childhood Halloween massacre by their drunken father. On his deathbed, pal Al divulges a secret portal to 1958 in his diner back pantry, and enlists Jake to prevent the 11/22/1963 Dallas assassination of American President John F. Kennedy. Under the alias George Amberson, our hero joins the cigarette-hazed full-flavored world of Elvis rock n roll, Negro discrimination, and freeway gas guzzlers without seat belts. Will Jake lurk in impoverished immigrant slums beside troubled loner Lee Harvey Oswald, or share small-town friendliness with beautiful high school librarian Sadie Dunhill, the love of his life?

 

 

4) Pearl of China

by Anchee Min (2010) 278 p [presented by P]

It is the end of the nineteenth century and China is riding on the crest of great change, but for nine-year-old Willow, the only child of a destitute family in the small southern town of Chin-kiang, nothing ever seems to change. Until the day she meets Pearl, the eldest daughter of a zealous American missionary. Pearl is head-strong, independent and fiercely intelligent, and will grow up to be Pearl S Buck, the Pulitzer- and Nobel Prize-winning writer and humanitarian activist, but for now all Willow knows is that she has never met anyone like her in all her life. From the start the two are thick as thieves, but when the Boxer Rebellion rocks the nation, Pearl’s family is forced to leave China to flee religious persecution. As the twentieth century unfolds in all its turmoil, through right-wing military coups and Mao’s Red Revolution, through bad marriages and broken dreams, the two girls cling to their lifelong friendship across the sea.In this ambitious and moving new novel, Anchee Min, acclaimed author of Empress Orchid and Red Azalea, brings to life a courageous and passionate woman who loved the country of her childhood and who has been hailed in China as a modern heroine

 Painted Girls

5) The Painted Girls

by Cathy Marie Buchanan (Jan 2013) 357 p [presented by me]

A gripping novel set in Belle Époque Paris and inspired by the real-life model for Degas’s Little Dancer Aged Fourteen and a notorious criminal trial of the era.

Paris. 1878. Following their father’s sudden death, the van Goethem sisters find their lives upended. Without his wages, and with the small amount their laundress mother earns disappearing into the absinthe bottle, eviction from their lodgings seems imminent. With few options for work, Marie is dispatched to the Paris Opéra, where for a scant seventy francs a month, she will be trained to enter the famous ballet. Her older sister, Antoinette, finds work—and the love of a dangerous
young man—as an extra in a stage adaptation of Émile Zola’s naturalist masterpiece L’Assommoir.

Marie throws herself into dance and is soon modelling in the studio of Edgar Degas, where her
image will forever be immortalized as Little Dancer
Aged Fourteen. Antoinette, meanwhile, descends
lower and lower in society, and must make the choice between a life of honest labor and the more profitable avenues open to a young woman of the Parisian demimonde—that is, unless her love affair derails her completely.

Set at a moment of profound artistic, cultural,
and societal change, The Painted Girls is a tale of two remarkable sisters rendered uniquely vulnerable to the darker impulses of “civilized society.

 

Please see my review, with links to the art works presented in the book:

https://wordsandpeace.com/2013/03/05/i-love-france-45-book-review-the-painted-girls/

6) Justice: Crimes, Trials, and Punishments

by Dominick Dunne (2002) 448 p [presented by R]

For more than two decades, Vanity Fair has published Dominick Dunne’s brilliant, revelatory chronicles of the most famous crimes, trials, and punishments of our time. Here, in one volume, are Dominick Dunne’s mesmerizing tales of justice denied and justice affirmed. Whether writing of Claus von Bülow’s romp through two trials; the Los Angeles media frenzy surrounding O.J. Simpson; the death by fire of multibillionaire banker Edmond Safra; or the Greenwich, Connecticut, murder of Martha Moxley and the indictment—decades later—of Michael Skakel, Dominick Dunne tells it honestly and tells it from his unique perspective. His search for the truth is relentless.

7) The Sense of an Ending

by Julian Barnes (2011) 150 p [presented by J]

Tony Webster and his clique first met Adrian Finn at school. Sex-hungry and book-hungry, they would navigate the girl-less sixth form together, trading in affectations, in-jokes, rumour and wit. Maybe Adrian was a little more serious than the others, certainly more intelligent, but they all swore to stay friends for life.

Now Tony is in middle age. He’s had a career and a single marriage, a calm divorce. He’s certainly never tried to hurt anybody. Memory, though, is imperfect. It can always throw up surprises, as a lawyer’s letter is about to prove

 

8) Catch Me (Detective D.D. Warren #6)

by Lisa Gardner (2012) 400 pages [presented by J]

In New York Times bestselling author Lisa Gardner’s latest D.D. Warren thriller, the relentless Boston investigator must solve a coldly calculated murder–before it happens.
In four days, someone is going to kill me . . .
Detective D. D. Warren is hard to surprise. But a lone woman outside D.D.’s latest crime scene shocks her with a remarkable proposition: Charlene Rosalind Carter Grant believes she will be murdered in four days. And she wants Boston’s top detective to handle the death investigation.
It will be up close and personal. No evidence of forced entry, no sign of struggle.
Charlie tells a chilling story: Each year at 8:00 p.m. on January 21st, a woman has died. The victims have been childhood best friends from a small town in New Hampshire; the motive remains unknown. Now only one friend, Charlie, remains to count down her final hours.
But as D.D. quickly learns, Charlie Grant doesn’t plan on going down without a fight. By her own admission, the girl can outshoot, outfight, and outrun anyone in Boston. Which begs the question, is Charlie the next victim, or the perfect perpetrator? As D.D. tracks a vigilante gunman who is killing pedophiles in Boston, she must also delve into the murders of Charlie’s friends, racing to find answers before the next gruesome January 21 anniversary. Is Charlie truly in danger, or is she hiding a secret that may turn out to be the biggest threat of all?
In four days, someone is going to kill me. But the son of a bitch has gotta catch me first.

 

 HAVE YOU READ ANY OF THOSE?
WHICH ONE IS YOUR FAVORITE?