Friday Face Off: White covers

Friday Face Off

The Friday Face-Off was originally created by Books by Proxy:
each Friday, bloggers showcase book covers on a weekly theme.
Visit Lynn’s Books (@LynnsBooks) for a list of upcoming themes.
Please visit also Tammy at Books, Bones & Buffy (@tammy_sparks)
thanks to whom I discovered this meme.

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This week, the theme is “White covers”

As I read a lot of French books I encounter many white covers, as often French books don’t really have illustrated covers.
But it’s hard sometimes to find other editions and compare covers.
So I went with a delightful Japanese novel: A Cat, A Man, and Two Women, an awesome classic, and short too – great to introduce you to a famous Japanese author.

Click on the picture if you want to identify the various editions

WHICH COVER IS YOUR FAVORITE? WHY?

Friday Face Off white cover

 

This was a fun exercise.
I read the book in its white cover the one listed first here. No other cover is white, but we do find a couple of white cats.
I’m amazed at actually all the various colors used for this book, with startling colors in #4, or a gorgeous landscape in #5.
I think my favorite is actually #8 (Romanian edition), with the focus on the cat’s eye, where you can guess that this cat is quite foxy! Fits perfectly with the story.

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Have you read this book?
WHICH COVER IS YOUR FAVORITE? WHY?
Next Friday: a scifi written on or before 1975

Year of reading 2021 Part 2: Statistics

After the list of my 2021 favorites, here are my statistics.
Then tomorrow you can see the fun I had with the titles I read in 2021.

Year of reading 2021
Part 2: Statistics

Covid-19 disrupted the reading life of several book bloggers.
2020 was my best year of reading ever, and 2021 made that completely explode!
Go figure.

Let’s look at it more closely.

My total numbers of books read/listened to is actually the highest ever since I have started tracking it seriously through Goodreads and Google sheets:
92 books reads (90 in 2019), and 73 listened to (47 in 2020) = 165, which is an average of 13.75/month (123 books in 2020, with a monthly average of 10.25).

Books read in 2021:
92
. That’s an average of 7.6/month
Total of 21,654 pages (20,317 in 2020), which is an average of 59 pages/day (55 in 2020).
That’s an average of 235 pages/book (267 in 2020).

So I tend to read shorter books, but with a few huge books.

Books listened to in 2021:
73
[47 in 2020]. This is an average of 6/month (3.9 in 2020)
Total of 22,153 minutes (16,937 min in 2020) with an average of 60 min/day (46 in 2020)
That’s an average of about 5 hours/audiobook. (6 hours/audiobook in 2020).

As you can see, the major difference is another explosion in audiobooks:
from 2018-2019: 67% increase in audiobooks!
from 2019-2020: 55% increase!
Mostly thanks to my two audiobooks projects:

listening to the Old Testament and to the whole Hercule Poirot canon, as I did for Sherlock Holmes.

In graphs, this is what it looks like:

2021 pages_dayIn 2020, I had 4 months with an average of under 40 pages/day,
and never reached an average of 80.

in 2021: 3 months under 50, and 3 months above 80!

2021 minutes_dayIn 2020: 1 month with an average above 70 minutes/day
In 2021: 4 months above 70
And beside June, it was quite steady and consistent

2021 Genre

Nice diversity. About the same as last year.

2021 formatExact same print percentage as last year.
But 16% more audiobooks!

2021 authors

10% less female authors than last year.
Male/female doesn’t matter for me,
as long as they know how to write well!
The diversity that counts for me is country of origin
and languages, as you can see below

2021 authors nationality

1 less nationality than last year,
still I’m happy with 16.
Hebrew nationality jumped from 14 to 22, because of OT authors

2021 languages

See details here below.
Glad to see that English books are less than 50%

In translation: 52 [48 in 2020]:

  • 23 from the Hebrew
  • 18 from the Japanese
  • 3 from the French
  • 3 from the Greek
  • 2 from the Spanish
  • 1 from the German
  • 1 from the Arabic (the chart should say 1%)
  • 1 from the Swedish

33 in original language: in French (29 in 2020)

Out of a Total of 105 authors (79 in 2020)
53 were new to me (50%. It was 43% in 2020)

Books by the same author: 69 [50 in 2020]
(which goes along with the above number):
32 by Agatha Christie
4 by Tanizaki and by Georges Simenon
3 by Natsume Soseki, Eugène Sue, Sébastien Japrisot
2 by Michel Bussi, Haruki Murakami, Nnedi Okorafor, Sylvain Forge, Salman Rushdie, Richard Wright, Patrick Modiano, George Perec, Natsu Hyuuga, Dennis Day.

28 Re-Reads:
24 Bible books
Hercule Poirot’s Christmas
Rue des Boutiques Obscures, by Modiano
Le Créa, by Soyez
Oscar et la dame rose, by Schmitt

2021 publication year

Wow, only 35% of very recent books.
I read 91 classics, that is 55% of all my 2021 books

Oldest: The Book of Provers (8th BC)
Newest: Noor, November 16, 2021.

2021 source

Most books bought are part of my EStories audio subscription.
4% less books received for review than last year,
preferring to go with books on my shelf
or at
my public library (10% increase!!
Among the free books are a lot of audio through youtube

24 countries these books led me to (33 last year):
France (39), England (30)
Israel (25), US (23), Japan (20)
Japan (18), Israel (15), England (15), US (12)
5 were set in Egypt
3 in India, Italy, Russia, space!
2 in China, Switzerland, Greece
1 Nigeria, Namibia, Algeria, Jordan, Iraq, Papua New Guinea, Belgium, The Netherlands, Sweden, Spain, Canada, Australia
Plus two in the old Babylonian empire and i in an imaginary country

I also visited 12 US States:
Arizona, Illinois (2), Iowa, Michigan, Montana, New York (3), Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Vermont, and Wisconsin

Shortest book: Gaspard, by Dennis Day –  23 pages

Longest book: Termination Shock, by Neal Stephenson 896 pages

Shortest audiobook: The Book of Obadia – 4 minutes

Longest audiobook: Les deux châteaux (N.E.O. #2), by Michel Bussi – 16H20

Funniest: The Labors of Hercules (Hercule Poirot #27), by Agatha Christie

Most Unique Book: La Disparition, by Georges Perec (great story without ever using the letter e. Available in English translation, with the same feat!: A Void)

Most tearjerker: The Romanov Sisters, by Helen Rappaport

Most disappointing: The Islanders, by Christopher Priest,
I had expected a lot from this one, and didn’t understand a thing!

Creepy: The Black Lizard/Beast in the Shadows, by Edogawa Rampo

Eye-opener: The Future of Buildings, Transportation, and Power, by Roger Duncan & Michael E. Webber

Best reading companions:
Looking for The Stranger: Albert Camus and the Life of a Literary Classic, by Alice Kaplan
A Swim in a Pond in the Rain: In Which Four Russians Give a Master Class on Writing, Reading, and Life, by George Saunders

Beautiful illustrations: The Little Wooden Robot and the Log Princess, by Tom Gauld

Biggest discovery: Haiku: This Other World, by Richard Wright

Favorite characters of the year:
Binti, Shinji+Hatsue (The Sound of Waves), Megumi (Hikikomori and the Rental Sister), DNA (Noor), Oscar (scar et la dame rose), Rodolphe (Les Mystères de Paris), Sachi+Matsu (The Samurai’s Garden), Brother Edik (The Beatryce Prophecy), Rose (Une Rose seule)

Classics I finally got to read:
I read 91 classics, that is 55% of all my 2021 books
Beside the Bible (Old and New Testaments):
The Sound of Waves, by Yukio Mishima
The Old Capital, by Yasunari Kawabata
Le Village aux Huit Tombes, by Seishi Yokomizo
The Black Lizard/Beast in the Shadows, by Edogawa Rampo
Double Indemnity, by James M. Cain
The Swedish Cavalier, by Leo Perutz
Midaq Alley, by Naguib Mahfouz
The Invention of Morel, by Adolfo Bioy Casares
A Man Lay Dead, by Ngaio Marsh
Les Mystères de Paris, Tome 1-3, by Eugène Sue
Ficciones, by Jorge Luis Borges
Sur la lecture, by Marcel Proust
History in English Words, by Owen Barfield
The Andromeda Strain, by Michael Crichton
The Half-Finished Heaven, by Tomas Tranströmer
Alphabet, by Paul Valéry
Haiku: This Other World, by Richard Wright
3 books by Sébastien Japrisot
3 books by Natsume Soseki
4 books by Junichiro Tanizaki
4 books by Simenon
32 books by Agatha Christie

Books present for a while on my TBR that I finally got to read (other than the classics just mentioned):
Hikikomori and the Rental Sister, by Jeff Backhaus
L’Archipel d’une autre vie, by Andreï Makine
The Andromeda Strain, by Michael Crichton
The Grid, by Philip Kerr
Looking for The Stranger: Albert Camus and the Life of a Literary Classic, by Alice Kaplan
The Illusion of Separateness, by Simon Van Booy
Un Trou dans la toile, by Luc Chomarat
A Fine Line, by Dan Burns
The Samurai’s Garden, by Gail Tsukiyama

Which authors new to me in 2021 that I now want to keep reading?
Sébastien Japrisot, Robert MacFarlane, Kate DiCamillo, Gail Tsukiyama, Michael Crichton, Yukio Mishima, Edogawa Rampo, James M. Cain

New Series I want to pursue:
Constance (Constance #1), by Matthew FitzSimmons
Les Mystères de Paris, Tome 1-3, by Eugène Sue

Best title:
A Swim in a Pond in the Rain
Before the Coffee Gets Cold

Longest book title:
A Swim in a Pond in the Rain: In Which Four Russians Give a Master Class on Writing, Reading, and Life, by George Saunders

Shortest book title:
NP, by Banana Yoshimoto

MORE FUN RECAP TOMORROW!

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Nonfiction November: My Year 2021 in Nonfiction

Nonficnov 2021

#NonficNov
#nonfictionbookparty: Instagram Daily Challenge
Click on the logo to see the detailed schedule

POST EDITED on 11/06: 
After visiting another blogger who mentioned Mary Oliver, I realized I forgot to include poetry, and I did read some awesome ones!!

Like every year, a bunch of really cool bloggers are co-hosting Nonfiction November.

Here is the topic for Week 1 (Nov. 1-5):

YOUR YEAR IN NONFICTION

Hosted by Rennie at What’s Nonfiction
Take a look back at your year of nonfiction and reflect on the following questions:
What was your favorite nonfiction read of the year?
Do you have a particular topic you’ve been attracted to more this year?
What nonfiction book have you recommended the most?
What are you hoping to get out of participating in Nonfiction November?

Here is the recap of the nonfiction I have read (the links will send you to my review when it’s posted).
So far, I have read or listened to 43 nonfiction, which is already 22% more than last year (I read 35 nonfiction in 2020).
And I may read a couple more before the end of the year.

Here are the titles. Obviously, most of these are Biblical books, as I finished my project of relistening to the whole Old Testament.

Bible and religious books:

  1. The Book of Psalms
  2. The Book of Job
  3. The Book of Proverbs
  4. The Book of Ecclesiastes
  5. The Book of the Song of Songs
  6. The Book of Wisdom
  7. The Book of Sirach
  8. The Book of Hosea
  9. The Book of Amos
  10. The Book of Micah
  11. The Book of Joel
  12. The Book of Obadiah
  13. The Book of Jonah
  14. The Book of Nahum
  15. The Book of Habakkuk
  16. The Book of Zephaniah
  17. The Book of Haggai
  18. The Book of Zechariah
  19. The Book of Malachi
  20. The Book of Isaiah
  21. The Book of Jeremiah
  22. The Book of Baruch
  23. The Book of Lamentations
  24. The Book of Ezekiel
  25. The Book of Daniel – so all the above were audiobooks.
    They count for The Classics Club and The Books in Translation Challenge
  26. The New Testament, by David Bentley Hart
    I read this new translation.
    It counts for The Classics Club and The Books in Translation Challenge
  27. Less Than Fully Catholic, by Trisha Day

About words and authors:

  1. Le Jourde & Naulleau, by Pierre Jourde and Eric Naulleau
  2. A Swim in a Pond in the Rain: In Which Four Russians Give a Master Class on Writing, Reading, and Life, by George Saunders
  3. Languages of Truth, by Salman Rushdie
  4. Living With a Dead Language, by Ann Patty
  5. Sur la lecture, by Marcel Proust
    It counts for The Classics Club 
  6. History in English Words, by Owen Barfield
    It counts for The Classics Club 
  7. Looking for The Stranger: Albert Camus and the Life of a Literary Classic, by Alice Kaplan

About science:

  1. The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing, and the Future of the Human Race, by Walter Isaacson

About history:

  1. The Romanov Sisters, by Helen Rappaport

About Japan:

  1. In Praise of Shadows, by Jun’ichiro Tanizaki
    It counts for The Classics Club and The Books in Translation Challenge

On contemporary issues:

  1. The Future of Buildings, Transportation, and Power, by Roger Duncan & Michael E. Webber

About nature:

  1. A Bird Watcher’s Guide to Blue Jays, by Katherine Ponka

Poetry:

  1. The Half-Finished Heaven, by Tomas Tranströmer
  2. The Lost Spells, by Robert MacFarlane & Jackie Morris
  3. Alphabet, by Paul Valéry
  4. Haiku: This Other World, by Richard Wright

I also reviewed 8 books published by Rockridge Press, but I didn’t read these books from A to Z as I would read other books, so I didn’t count them in my statistics.

So really, this was a big nonfiction year for me.
I’m very happy for the diversity of topics as well.

***

What was your favorite nonfiction read of the year?

A Swim in the Pond in the Rain    Languages of Truth

I had to choose two. And it was very difficult. I actually loved a lot titles 2 to 7 in my “words and authors” category above.

What nonfiction books
have you recommended the most?

The Code Breaker

Haiku This Other World

Do you have a particular topic
you’ve been attracted to more this year?
Besides religious topics, words and authors

What are you hoping to get out
of participating in Nonfiction November?
As usual, to get acquainted with more nonfiction readers
and find good titles unknown to me.

WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE NONFICTION THIS YEAR?

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