Throwback Thursday: July 2012

Throwback Thursday


Revisiting what I posted 10 years ago
(my blog was born on September 29, 2010)
following the idea I found at The Chocolate Lady’s Book Review Blog
(click on this link or the logo to see where the idea started from,
and to post the link to your own post).

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Today, I’m revisiting July 2012.
I published 19 posts, 6 of these were reviews.

Of these books, here is the one that received most views then:

Click on the covers to know more

The Age of Miracles

To tell the truth, I don’t remember much about the book, more about the feeling I had while I read it, and that I liked it.

But two books read that month have really stayed with me:

Rebecca    In The Garden Of Beasts

This was my first book by Daphne du Maurier, and a strong discovery.
Check my post: besides my review, it has lots of questions and answers (unless you have not yet read the book, because that part is obviously full of spoilers), and a fascinating analysis of the famous first sentence.
Since then, I have read My Cousin Rachel; and Jamaica Inn this past summer, which I also enjoyed a lot.
As well as Manderley Forever, a biography by Tatiana Du Rosnay.

My review on Rebecca is currently the book review that has received most views ever on my blog – for a long time, it was Of Mice and Men, but now Rebecca has over a 1,000 more views that Steinbeck’s novella.

In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin is an excellent nonfiction.
In my review, I mention that I was going to read more by Larson. I haven’t done it yet!
I still want to read The Devil in the White City (I live in a suburb of Chicago), and probably also Isaac’s Storm.

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My next post on this meme will be on October 6


July wrap up

You can almost always find a positive side to anything. What about storms and power outage? You cannot work from home, you don’t have internet, you cannot go to your work place, they don’t have power either, and it’s so crazy hot outside you can’t even garden. So what to do for 60 hours? READ!!

That’s what happened, and that’s why my reading average is really good for July.

I read 12 books, 5 being non-fiction works. Total of 2606 pages, that is 84 pages/day.

And I listened to 2 audiobooks, representing 15:29 hours, so an average of 29 mn/day! I have actually listened to much more than that, but my current audiobook is very long and I’m only half through.

A total of 14 books is my best this year, though I read more pages in January.

The books I read were:

The Lovers of Algeria, by Anouar Benmalek
The Age of Miracles, by Karen Thompson Walker
The Housekeeper and the Professor, by Yoko Ogawa – upcoming review


Historical fiction:
Days of Splendor, Days of Sorrow, by Juliet Grey
The Second Empress, by Michelle Moran – upcoming review: very soon!

Cliffs Notes on The Taming of The Shrew, by Linda Hillegass – upcoming review
Cliffs Notes on Shakespeare’s As You Like It, by Tom Smith – upcoming review
Little Princes, by Conor Grennan – upcoming review
Le Road Trip, by Vivian Swift – upcoming review: very soon!
Iraq: The Borrowed Kettle, by Slavoj Zizek

The Taming of The Shrew, by Shakespeare – upcoming review
As You Like It, by Shakespeare – upcoming review

And the books I listened to, both non-fiction:

In The Garden of Beasts, by Erik Larson
Running In The Family, by Michale Ondaatje – upcoming review

My favorites this month:

I also enjoyed a lot Le Road Trip, by Vivian Swift
and In The Garden of Beasts.

Reading Challenges recap

Around the World in 52 books:  24/52
Around the world in 12 books: 7/12
European reading challenge: 8/5 – COMPLETED
I love Italy: 3/3 – COMPLETED
Dewey Decimal: 21/20 – COMPLETED
We want you to read French authors: 6/5 or 10 (ends in August)
Books in translation: 8/10-12
South Asia: 3/7
Middle East: 4/18
My own reading challenge: 1/5
What’s in a Name: 5/6
Ebook challenge: 7/10
Audiobook: 8/12
Support your library: 30/37
Finishing the series: 1/1 – COMPLETED
2nds challenge: 4/3 – COMPLETED
Foodies: 1/3
Japanese literature: 1/8??
Historical novels: 7/7-10
New authors challenge: 24/15 -COMPLETED
A Shakespeare play a month: 7 /12
Graham Green Challenge: 0/1

Special events in July:

– I joined a great read-along of Rebecca and even won a DVD!
– I also participated in Paris in July 2012, with 9 posts.
– I finally introduced a rating system for my reviews, with a fun design I came up with. In case you forget what the logo is for, each time you click on it, it will send you to the rating explanation page.
– While downloading an egalley, the BlueFire Reader app crashed on my ipod touch. It had never happened before, usually it was smooth sailing. I uninstalled and reinstalled the app several times, with no luck. So I gave up, and finally bought a real ereader! I chose the Nook Color, because I receive egalleys in epub and pdf format that the Kindle does not support!! Really!
I enjoy very very much my Nook color: it is finally so easy to read pdfs with nice size, and the browser is actually fast! Of course, I also use it to play Words With Friends, follow your owns posts on my Google Reader, and keep updates on Goodreads, among other things! For less than $200!

Plans for August

– I still need to write a post on 3 amazing Christian Orthodox books recently published, as announced last month!
– I will join another read-along, on The End of The Affair, by Graham Greene

Currently reading

– The Master and Margarita, by Mikhail Bulgakov, finally!
– Flight Behavior, by Barbara Kingsolver, on my Nook Color!

(2012) #33 review: The Age of Miracles


The Age of Miracles


Karen Thompson Walker

269 pages

Published by Random House
in June 2012




Do you really know what’s going to happen to our planet on the winter solstice of 2012? Will the magnetic poles be reversed? Do you know the exact speed of the rotation of the Earth? What if this speed gets dramatically altered? Do you really know more than Julia, the teenage heroin of The Age of Miracles?
She admits: “It still amazes me how little we really knew. . . .”, as she discovers one day that the Earth’s rotation has started slowing down.

If you are in for a good thrill and an easy read, you have to read this book. Warning: you will have a hard time putting it down, but you may be a bit depressed at the end.

I’m usually not too much of a fan of coming of age novels, but this one is really smartly done, combined with the element of science-fiction, as Julia experiences one after another all the consequences of “the slowing”, together with personal crisis at her personal and family levels.

The characters, the younger ones as well as the adults, sound real, in their behavior, language, and daily struggles.

It is actually quite a scary book, with events presented in the long line of current problems we are already experiencing on our planet, because of too long of an abuse. If all of this is already happening, why not this phenomenon as well?

No doubt that publishing this book a mere 6 months before the expect-the-unexpected-2012-winter-solstice should be a great marketing idea!


“It still amazes me how little we really knew. . . . Maybe everything that happened to me and my family had nothing at all to do with the slowing. It’s possible, I guess. But I doubt it. I doubt it very much.”

On a seemingly ordinary Saturday in a California suburb, Julia and her family awake to discover, along with the rest of the world, that the rotation of the earth has suddenly begun to slow. The days and nights grow longer and longer, gravity is affected, the environment is thrown into disarray. Yet as she struggles to navigate an ever-shifting landscape, Julia is also coping with the normal disasters of everyday life—the fissures in her parents’ marriage, the loss of old friends, the hopeful anguish of first love, the bizarre behavior of her grandfather who, convinced of a government conspiracy, spends his days obsessively cataloging his possessions. As Julia adjusts to the new normal, the slowing inexorably continues. From the author’s website.

On the website, you will find a trailer, a reader’s guide of  The Age of Miracles, and much more!


Karen Thompson Walker was born and raised in San Diego, California, where The Age of Miracles is set. She studied English and creative writing at UCLA, where she wrote for the UCLA Daily Bruin. After college, she worked as a newspaper reporter in the San Diego area before moving to New York City to attend the Columbia University MFA program.

A former book editor at Simon & Schuster, she wrote The Age of Miracles in the mornings before work—sometimes while riding the subway.

She is the recipient of the 2011 Sirenland Fellowship as well as a Bomb Magazine fiction prize. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband. From her website

And you can read her interview on the future of American Fiction here.

If you hear tomorrow that the rotation of the earth has been altered,
what would you do first?