Sunday Post #19 – 1/5/2020

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

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This post also counts for
Mailbox Monday2 It's Monday! What Are You Reading2 WWW Wednesdays 2

Mailbox Monday,
It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?
and WWW Wednesdays

I’m baaaaack! Last time I wrote for The Sunday Post was in January 2016!
One of my 2020 resolution is to post short reviews of books I have just finished (and keeping long review formats only for books received for review).
Plus, I’d like to start a type of book journaling, we’ll see how this goes.
So I think the Sunday Post will work well for that – though I may not be able to link it until late afternoon, because of Church commitments.

Click on book covers to access synopsis or review

JUST READ

Crenshaw

Crenshaw,
by Katherine Applegate
Feiwel and Friends
9/22/2015
Childrens Books
245 pages
Goodreads

I really like Applegate’s style: it’s very simple, though at the same time beautiful and very real. She always tackles important themes. In this one, we meet young Jackson.
He understands much more than his parents tell him, and he knows they are major financial problems. Because of that, they will probably have to go back and live in their van, as they did some time ago. When things get too tough, Jackson suddenly meet Crenshaw, a very special giant cat.
These are difficult issues, homelessness, how kids cope with adversity, poverty, and hunger, for instance by living in their head with imaginary friends. But Applegate, as usual, does it in a delicate way, with lots of tenderness and wisdom.
Highly recommended.

CURRENTLY READING

Perfect Little Children Theological Territories

Perfect Little Children
Received for review through Edelweiss
Release date February 4
A woman goes to have a peek at the place where her former friends are now leaving. She sees their kids, but they have not aged, whereas they should be 12 years older.

Theological Territories: A David Bentley Hart Digest
Received for review through Edelweiss
Release date April 15
It is so unusual to find Orthodox theology on Edelweiss or Netgalley. Plus I have read an enjoyed another book by this author, so of course I had to request it.

Audio book

The Book of Tea

The Book of Tea
Am listening for The Classics Club
“That a nation should construct one of its most resonant national ceremonies round a cup of tea will surely strike a chord of sympathy with at least some readers of this review. To many foreigners, nothing is so quintessentially Japanese as the tea ceremony–more properly, “the way of tea”–with its austerity, its extravagantly minimalist stylization, and its concentration of extreme subtleties of meaning into the simplest of actions.”

BOOK UP NEXT

Sanshiro

BOOK JOURNALING

1/1
📚 I managed to finish my first book of the year, Crenshaw (see above) = 1/110
📚 I also started listening (35 minutes) to the Book of Genesis. Indeed it recently dawned on me (finally!), that I could listen to the whole Bible, a nice way to revisit it. So I plan to do this. I found a good recording of it on YouTube – I chose The King James, which is close to the Orthodox translation.
📚 I also figured out a way of reading 2 ebooks at the same time, without having to switch back and forth between 2 books on my kindle. Actually, I didn’t realize I could read books sent by Edelweiss Plus on the kindle app!! So I’m now reading a theological book on my kindle, and a mystery on my phone (see titles above), through the kindle app. Works great!
📚 Perfect Little Children: What’s going on? I have some ideas, but I may be wrong. In the mean time, I enjoy the flow of the writing and the suspense. Sophie Hannah is masterful.

1/2
📚 Perfect Little Children: It’s getting really weird, and now there are many more issues about the reliability of the narrator. I enjoy how her teenagers, especially her daughter, is trying to help explain what’s going on.
📚 Theological Territories: I have read the introduction, that basically presents each of the 26 essays. Some of them may totally be over my had, as they refer to authors I have not read.

1/3
📚 Listened to the book of Genesis for about 15 minutes. I really enjoy the experience, it’s like rediscovering the text.

1/4
📚 Theological Territories: Read the 1st chapter on Rowan Williams’s The Tragic Imagination. I don’t really agree, as I will explain in my review, for instance with this statement: “As aesthetic experiences go, tragedy is probably among the least intellectual.”

RECENTLY ON WORDS AND PEACE/FRANCE BOOK TOURS

LAST 2 BOOKS ADDED TO MY GOODREADS TBR

 Everything is Illuminated  The Salt Path

Everything is Illuminated
Recommended by my niece
With only a yellowing photograph in hand, a young man — also named Jonathan Safran Foer — sets out to find the woman who may or may not have saved his grandfather from the Nazis. Accompanied by an old man haunted by memories of the war; an amorous dog named Sammy Davis, Junior, Junior; and the unforgettable Alex, a young Ukrainian translator who speaks in a sublimely butchered English, Jonathan is led on a quixotic journey over a devastated landscape and into an unexpected past.
A reviewer wrote: “a very complicated narrative structure”. I am intrigued!

The Salt Path
Recommended by Booker Talk
“Just days after Raynor learns that Moth, her husband of 32 years, is terminally ill, their home and livelihood is taken away. With nothing left and little time, they make the brave and impulsive decision to walk the 630 miles of the sea-swept South West Coast Path, from Somerset to Dorset, via Devon and Cornwall.”

BOOK RECEIVED THIS PAST WEEK

Sido

Sido
Downloaded for free
Classic recommended by my niece.
Colette write about her Mum and her childhood

COMING UP ON WORDS AND PEACE

  Bout of Books 27   Japanese Literature 13

January 6-12: Bout of Books 27
It starts on Monday, but I’ll probably won’t be able to read much the first two days!

1/6: Book review: Lady Clementine
1/7: Top Ten Tuesday, if I have time, about Most anticipated 2020 titles
1/8: Book review: Dreamland
1/9: My top 12 favorites of the decade!
1/10: Book review: Figure Drawing for Kids

January-March: Japanese Literature Challenge 13
You are going to read a lot about Japanese Literature here for three months!!

HOW WAS YOUR WEEK?

 

Six degrees of separation: From Daisy Jones to Japan

#6Degrees

Six degrees of separation:
From Daisy Jones to Japan

Using my own rules for this fun meme hosted by Kate at Booksaremyfavouriteandbest (see there the origin of the meme and how it works – posted the first Saturday of every month), I started with Daisy Jones and ended up in Japan!
Come with me!

Here are my own quirky rules:

1. Use your list of books on Goodreads
2. Take the first word of the title offered and find another title with that word in it
3. Then use the first word of THAT title to find your text title
4. Or the second if the title starts with the same word, or you are stuck

Daisy Jones & the Six  The One And Only Ivan

 To Open One's Heart  Open World

 The Secret World of Arrietty  Ikigai

1. Daisy Jones and the Six
I haven’t read this book and have no intention to do so. I couldn’t find any book on my Goodreads shelf with the first two words, so I had to go with and.

2. The One and Only Ivan
From my review: “Applegate has a knack for writing deep stories full of wisdom, in a very accessible style for middle graders.”

3. To Open One’s Heart
A beautiful short book on the heart in Orthodox spirituality. Unfortunately, I never took the time to review t, so here’s the Goodreads synopsis:
“There are many ways to open one’s heart. The heart is opened in those who love, and yet the heart is injured in those who sorrow. It is a deep well, and he who plumbs its depths can find spiritual wonders. The heart is the locus of the person— emotional, physical, and moral. But over and above all these dimensions, the heart is also the place of spiritual encounter with God.
Since God is constantly inviting each person to open his heart, he also wishes to heal those whose hearts have been bruised or injured by the hardships of life. Drawing freely from the writings of Scripture, the saints, and even Pascal, Michel Evdokimov offers an initiation into this spirituality of the heart born out of the traditions of Orthodox Christianity.”

4. Open World: The Collected Poems 1960-2000
This one has been on my TBR for a while. It looks like these nature poems should talk to my heart.
“His vision is a remarkably consistent one and the same elements recur again and again—rocks, sea, mist, gulls and the natural world.”
Have you read this Scottish poet?

5. The Secret World of Arrietty
Sad, but gorgeous art, so detailed, so good with nature, colors. Totally my cup of tea!It is actually a Film Comic Adaptation, I didn’t even know such a thing existed before I discovered Miyazaki, one of my major 2019 discoveries.

6. Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life
From my review: “Fascinating, about the Japanese concept of ikigai – a reason for living, as the root of happiness. This little book is packed with goodness, lots of great tips on health.”

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Visit other chains here

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HAVE YOU READ AND ENJOYED ANY OF THESE BOOKS?

 

Year of reading 2019 Part 2: Statistics

After the list of my 2019 favorites, here are my statistics.
Then tomorrow you can see the fun I had with the titles I read in 2019.

Year of reading 2019
Part 2: Statistics

As I wrote yesterday, if 2018 was my most pathetic year in the last decade, with only 77 books read, 2019 is my best year, with 118 books!
I read and listened to many more books than last year, though apparently shorter ones.
90 books reads (61 in 2018), and 28 listened to (16 in 2018) = 118, which is an average of 9.8/month (77 books in 2018, with a monthly average of 6.4).

Books read in 2019:
90
. That’s an average of 7.5/month
Total of 23,033 pages (17,761 in 2018), which is an average of 63 pages/day (48 in 2018).
That’s an average of 255 pages/book (291 in 2018). So I actually read shorter books this year. It makes sense with all the mangas I read!

Books listened to in 2019:
28
[16 in 2018]. This is an average of 2.3/month (1.3 in 2018)
Total of 14,323 mn (10,405 min in 2018) with an average of 39 mn/day (28 in 2018)
That’s an average of over 8 hours/audiobook. (10 hours/audiobook in 2018, so I also listened to shorter audiobooks)

In graphs, this is what it looks like:

 

2019 Average number of pages

So many months with average over 60, compared to 2018!

 

2019 Average number of minutes

Those 2 peaks over an hour are impressive!

 

2019 Genre

Nonfiction actually same percentage 3 years in a row!
And I like this better balance.

 

2019 Format

I decided to include here a Graphic Novel section,
as I read 20 this year.
Otherwise, about the same,
though less ebooks and more audiobooks

 

2019 authors

Some of you are may be appalled,
but honestly, as long as a book is well written,
I really don’t care if a man or a woman wrote it

 

2019 nationality

9 more countries represented than last year,
mostly due to the fact that I was part of
the Man Booker International Prize Shadow Panel

 

2019 languages

6 more languages than last year!
Neat that less than half of the books I read
were not originally published in English.
Also due to the Shadow Pan
el.
I actually read exactly as many books translated into English
as published originally in English (51)!

In translation: 51 [21 in 2018]:

  • 19 from the Japanese (mostly mangas)
  • 6 from the French
  • 5 from the Russian
  • 4 from the Spanish
  • 3 from he Korean
  • 2 from the Chinese, Polish, Swedish, Arabic, Dutch, German
  • 1 from the Serbian and from the Aleut!
    I’m super happy about this one from the Aleut. It’s a short Orthodox spiritual book written by Bishop Innocent when he was working with missions in Alaska.
    I originally thought it was translated from the Russian, but then I realized Saint Innocent of Moscow actually wrote it directly in Aleut! (he taught himself several local languages in Alaska)

16 in original language: in French

Out of a Total of 90 authors (60 in 2018)
53 were new to me (58%. It was 55% in 2018)

Books by the same author: 32 [22 in 2018]:
15 by Hayao Miyazaki (Mangas)
4 by Guillaume Musso
3 by Katherine Applegate
and 2 by Michel Bussi, Sarah Bailey, Candice Fox, Ichigo Takano, Clement Sederholm

Re-Reads:
Le Horla, by Guy de Maupassant (first time read, this time: listened to)

Oldest: Don Quixote, 1st part, by Cervantes (1604)
Newest: Lady Clementine, by Marie Benedict, and Dreamland, by Nancy Bilyeau, to be released at the beginning of January 2020.

 

2019 year

A bit less books published after 2010 than last year.
I do try to go through classics and old TBRs

 

2019 source

NB: Most books bought are part of my EStories audio subscription.
11% less books received for review than last year!
Indeed, I try to exercise more discernment on what I request or not

21 countries these books led me to (19 last year):
US (22), France (21),
Japan (18), England (12),
Russia (7), Australia (5),
3 were set in Spain, South Korea, and space,
2 were set in Germany, China, and Canada.
1 was set in Morocco, Norway, Malaysia, Switzerland, Austria, Oman, Poland, Columbia, and Czechoslovakia.

Shortest book: Bear and Wolf, by Daniel Salmieri –  44 pages (picture book)

Longest book: La vie mode d’emploi, by Georges Pérec 580 pages.

Longest audio: The Moonstone, by Wilkie Collins – 22:28 hours

Funniest: Are We French Yet? by Keith Van Sickle = nonfiction on life of expats 

Most Unique Book: Secret Agent Brainteasers: More Than 100 Codebreaking Puzzles Inspired by Britain’s Espionage Masterminds, by Sinclair McKay

Most tearjerker: The One and Only Ivan, by Katherine Applegate

Most disappointing (and totally unbearable): Valerie, by Sara Stridsberg

Creepy: Scare Me, by Richard Jay Parker

Eye-opener: Talk to Me: How Voice Computing Will Transform the Way We Live, Work, and Think, by James Vlahos

Best reading companion: Quichotte, by Salman Rushdie (as a spin off on Don Quixote, by Cervantes, that I also read this year)

Beautiful illustrations: The Secret World of Arrietty, vol. 1 by Hayao Miyazaki

Biggest discovery: Hayao Miyazaki (several books), and Liu Cixin

Favorite characters of the year: Louis and Sam (The Trumpet of the Swan), Trace (Trace), Naho & Kakeru (Orange), Colin (Sang Famille), Jayme (A Long Way Down), Azi (The Gomorrah Gambit), Arrietty (The Secret World of Arrietty), Joshua (Avalanche hôtel), Alexander (Alexander Schmorell), Satsuki and Mei (My Neighbor Totoro), Giordano Bruno (Treachery), Mrs Bunting (The Lodger), Ivan (The One and Only Ivan), Sarah & Christopher (le cri).

Classics I finally got to read:
Don Quixote, by Cervantes
On the Edge of the World, by Nikolai Leskov
The Castle of Otranto, by Horace Walpole
Tender is the Night, by Fitzgerald
Parnassus on Wheels, by Christopher Morley
Walden, by Thoreau,
Travels with Charley, by Steinbeck
Dictionnaire des idées reçues, by Flaubert
Travels with a Donkey, by Stevenson
The Lodger, by Marie Belloc Lowndes
The Moonstone, by Wilkie Collins
Le mystère de la chambre jaune, by Gaston Leroux
The Masque of the Red Death, by Edgard Allan Poe
The Mystery of the Hansom Cab, by Fergus Hume
We, by Yevgeny Zamyatin
Solaris, by Lem
Childhood’s End, by Clarke
The Trumpet of the Swan, by E. E. White

Books present for a while on my TBR that I finally got to read (other than the classics just mentioned):
Prayers by the Lake, by Nikolai Velimirovich
La vie mode d’emploi, by Georges Pérec
Earthern Vessels, by Gabriel Bunge
Poustinia, by Catherine de Hueck Doherty
If You Love Me, by Matthew the Poor
Elder Leonid of Optina, by Fr Clement Sederholm
Elder Anthony of Optina, by Fr. Clement Sederholm
Indication of the Way into the Kingdom of Heaven, by Saint Innocent of Moscow

Which authors new to me in 2019 that I now want to keep reading?
Un-Su Kim, Pat Cummings, Poschmann, Tom Chatfield, Candice Fox, Sarah Bailey, Olivier Norek, Salman Rushdie, Arthur C. Clarke, Liu Cixin, Marie Belloc Lowndes, Nicolas Beuglet

New Series I want to pursue:
Crimson Lake, Gemma Woodstock, Sarah Geringën

Best title: HHhH, by Laurent Binet

Longest book title:
Secret Agent Brainteasers: More Than 100 Codebreaking Puzzles Inspired by Britain’s Espionage Masterminds, by Sinclair McKay

Shortest book title: We, by Yevgeny Zamyatin

MORE FUN RECAP TOMORROW!

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