2022: September wrap-up

SEPTEMBER 2022 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!

📚 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 à 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.

MY FAVORITE BOOKS THIS PAST MONTH

The Ill-Made Knight   Eventide

READING CHALLENGES & RECAP

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

 OTHER BOOK  REVIEWED THIS PAST MONTH

Ensemble, c'est tout

BOOK RECEIVED FOR REVIEW

Un Chien à ma table

through Netgalley.fr

MOST POPULAR BOOK REVIEW THIS PAST MONTH

Talk to me

click on the cover to access my review

MOST POPULAR POST THIS PAST MONTH
– NON BOOK REVIEW –

Sunday Post #67

BOOK BLOG THAT BROUGHT ME MOST TRAFFIC THIS PAST MONTH

Caffeinated Reviewer
please go visit, there are a lot of good things there!

TOP COMMENTERS 

Karen at Booker Talk
Marianne at Let’s Read

Tammy at Books, Bones & Buffy
please go and visit them,
they have great blogs

BLOG MILESTONES 

2,600 posts
over 5,195 followers
over 260,730 hits

📚 📚 📚

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

2022-Monthly-Wrap-Up-Round-Up400

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

2022 TBR Pile Reading Challenge: September checkpoint

tbr 2022 rbrbutton

#TBR2022RBR

Adam is asking us how we are doing so far with this challenge.
Since the August checkpoint, I have finished two books:

Eventide

📚 Eventide, by Kent Haruf
Literary fiction
Published in 2004

I so enjoyed this book!
It was great meeting again the McPheron brothers, and Victoria. The brothers are two old farmers, living and working together on this isolated farm  near the very small village of Holt, Colorado.
Victoria is a young woman they sheltered in the previous book (Plainsong), when she was in trouble. She now has a young child, and she is going back to school.
I really enjoyed the slow pace, the description of the landscape, of the daily chores on the farm. And obviously the study of the relationships between people in this city. The focus is really on relationships, within different families, in different social milieus.
And Haruf is so good at dialogs, especially at evoking the accent and speech characteristics of these two old guys. I read the book, I didn’t listen to the audiobook, but still, their voice was so alive to me through Haruf’s writing!
He wrote a 3rd book in this trilogy (Benediction), but it’s not about the same characters. I’m disappointed, as Raymond is kind of turning a new page in his life (you are never too old for that), and I wanted to know more about that. I also wanted more on the young boy DJ. But alas the author has passed away, so no more adventures coming on these characters I feel like I met in real life.

📚 Ensemble, c’est tout,Ensemble, c'est tout
by Anna Gavalda
Literary fiction

574 pages
Published in 2004

I read French Leave by Anna Gavalda in 2011. I liked it, but was not super impressed. But something (or someone??) told me to try another book, and I must have found Ensemble, c’est tout at a second-hand book sale – not easy to find these in French around Chicago!

VERDICT: Very enjoyable character-focused novel, with flowing dialogues.

Click on the cover to read my full review.

📚 📚 📚

Here is my full list for this challenge:

  1. Thomas Jefferson’s Crème brûlée: How a Founding father and his slave James Hemings introduced French cuisine to America, by Thomas J. Craughwell 6/12/22
  2. Le Voyage d’Octavio, by Miguel Bonnefoy 5/22/22
  3. A Raisin in the Sun, by Lorraine Hansberry 5/21/22
  4. Stuart Little, by E.B. White 5/18
  5. The First Men in the Moon by H.G. Wells 7/22/22
  6. Eventide, by Kent Haruf 9/10/22
  7. The Daughter of Time, by Josephine Tey 8/21/22
  8. Ensemble, c’est tout, by Anna Gavalda 8/26/22
  9. Wanderlust: A History of Walking, by Rebecca Solnit
  10. Absolutely on Music: Conversations with Seiji Ozawa, by Haruki Murakami (currently reading)
  11. Arvo Pärt: Out of Silence, by Peter C. Bouteneff
  12. A is For Alibi, by Sue Grafton 7/13/22

Alternates:
11. Joie de Vivre: Secrets of Wining, Dining, and Romancing Like the French, by Harriett Welty Rochefort
12. The Discovery of France: A Historical Geography, by Graham Robb

TBR 2022

HOW ARE YOU DOING SO FAR WITH YOUR CHALLENGES?

Sunday Post #67 – 09/18/2022

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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Sunday Salon      Mailbox Monday2

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This past week was very important for my reading of the classics, as you can see with what I just posted:

  • Tuesday: Top 10 Books With Geographical Terms in the Title
  • Wednesday: The Classics Club: 2020-2025, 3rd list recap (137 titles)
  • Thursday: The Classics Club: 2022-2027, my 4th list (150 titles)
  • Friday: Friday Face-Off: Clocks
  • Saturday: My list for The Classics Club Spin #31

Here are the 3 books I recently finished:

📚JUST READ/LISTENED TO 🎧 

Eventide

📚 Eventide, by Kent Haruf
Literary fiction
Published in 2004

I so enjoyed this book!
It was great meeting again the McPheron brothers, and Victoria. The brothers are two old farmers, living and working together on this isolated farm  near the very small village of Holt, Colorado.
Victoria is a young woman they sheltered in the previous book (Plainsong), when she was in trouble. She now has a young child, and she is going back to school.
I really enjoyed the slow pace, the description of the landscape, of the daily chores on the farm. And obviously the study of the relationships between people in this city. The focus is really on relationships, within different families, in different social milieus.
And Haruf is so good at dialogs, especially at evoking the accent and speech characteristics of these two old guys. I read the book, I didn’t listen to the audiobook, but still, their voice was so alive to me through Haruf’s writing!
He wrote a 3rd book in this trilogy (Benediction), but it’s not about the same characters. I’m disappointed, as Raymond is kind of turning a new page in his life (you are never too old for that), and I wanted to know more about that. I also wanted more on the young boy DJ. But alas the author has passed away, so no more adventures coming on these characters I feel like I met in real life.

  The Witch in the Wood  The Ill-Made Knight  

🎧  The Witch in the Wood (The Once and Future King #2),
🎧  The Ill-Made Knight (The Once and Future King #3), by T. H. White

Children’s Historical fiction
Published in 1939-1940
They count for The Classics Club

If Book 1 is clearly for a children’s audience, the series is growing with the child and now dealing with themes more related to coming of age and even YA themes.
As such, maybe I didn’t enjoy Book 2 as much. There’s a lot about learning to go to battle, and nastiness with the Orkney clan – this is still in Book 4 that I just started listening to yesterday night.
BUT I did enjoy a lot Book 3, which focuses on Lancelot, my I believe first ever literary crush – I was around 8 or 9!
It was really neat meeting him again. And now almost 50 years later, I can better understand why I loved him so much!
I love his eagerness to learn, to be loyal and faithful, and his struggle between his friendship with King Arthur and his love for Arthur’s wife, Guinevere. And in between, the call for following God’s summons – even if T.H. White first presents his going on the Grail Quest as a way of leaving Guinevere and escaping this inner struggle.
Maybe one day, I’ll read Chrétien de Troyes’s or Malory’s version, to see their views (I’ve read that T.H. White kind of follows Malory’s), to check also how the Grail Quest begins – here it’s presented as some spiritual occupation needed, after the kniggts no longer have real other fights to do. They are bored, and tend to go back to their old quarrels, whereas King Arthur was trying to create a better world away from the use of brute force for brute force sake.

📚  CURRENTLY READING/LISTENING TO 🎧 

Absolutely on Music

📚 Absolutely on Music: Conversations with Seiji Ozawa, by Haruki Murakami
Nonfiction, music
Published in 2016

If you are familiar with my blog, you know how much I enjoy Japanese literature, and especially Haruki Murakami.
Several years ago, I bought this book in a neat bookstore in “Three Pines, Quebec”, and am FINALLY reading it, as part of my 2022 TBR Pile Reading Challenge.
Murakami is a big fan of jazz music, as it shows in many of his novels, but he loves classics music as well, and knows a lot about it. So these are fascinating conversations!
“A deeply personal, intimate conversation about music and writing between the internationally acclaimed, best-selling author and his close friend, the former conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
Haruki Murakami’s passion for music runs deep. Before turning his hand to writing, he ran a jazz club in Tokyo, and from The Beatles’ Norwegian Wood to Franz Liszt’s Years of Pilgrimage, the aesthetic and emotional power of music permeates every one of his much-loved books. Now, in Absolutely on Music, Murakami fulfills a personal dream, sitting down with his friend, acclaimed conductor Seiji Ozawa, to talk, over a period of two years, about their shared interest. Transcribed from lengthy conversations about the nature of music and writing, here they discuss everything from Brahms to Beethoven, from Leonard Bernstein to Glenn Gould, from record collecting to pop-up orchestras, and much more. Ultimately this book gives readers an unprecedented glimpse into the minds of the two maestros. It is essential reading for book and music lovers everywhere.”

Un Chien à ma table

📚 Un Chien à ma table, by Claudie Hunzinger
Literary fiction/Autofiction?
Published on August 24, 2022

Ah, a book that was not on my TBR lists!
I enjoyed a lot Les grands cerfs by this author. I went to Netgalley.fr (dangerous move!) to check something, and saw that her latest book was available!
I’m about 25% done and am really enjoying all the nature descriptions as well. The narrator is getting old here, as the author.
I think it’s one of these books between fiction and autobiography that the French to write these days. I usually don’t like the autofiction genre, but it works with Hunzinger.

Here is my personal translation of the synopsis:
“One evening, a young dog with a broken chain, witness of the tough life she’s had with her owners, appears at the door of an old couple: Sophie, a novelist, who loves nature and walking in the forest, and her companion Grieg, living out of the world, sleeping by day and reading by night, and surviving through literature.
Where does this wounded dog come from? What has she been through? Is somebody tracking her?
Her sudden arrival will transform the old world and the old couple. It is an ode to life, showing us that another path is still possible.
Un Chien à ma table [A Dog at my Table] connects rebellious femininity and the devastation of the environment: if our disturbing time seems to be threatening our future and that of books, poets in times of distress can save what we have left of humanity.”

And I’m still reading two books with my French students:
Le Chant du monde [The Song of the World], by Jean Giono
Autour de la Lune [Round the Moon], by Jules Verne.

Check my previous Sunday Post to get more details on these.

The Candle in the Wind🎧  The Candle in the Wind (The Once and Future King #4), by T. H. White
Children’s Historical fiction
Published in 1940
It counts for The Classics Club

The Candle in the Wind is the fourth book from the collection The Once and Future King by T. H. White. It deals with the last weeks of Arthur’s reign, his dealings with his son Mordred’s revolts, Guenever and Lancelot’s demise, and his perception of right and wrong.

I’m just 30 minutes into the book. I have the feeling it’s going to be tough, emotionally.

📚  BOOK UP NEXT 📚 

Murder in the Crooked House

📚  Murder in the Crooked House (Kiyoshi Mitarai #2), by Soji Shimada
Japanese mystery
Published in 1982
Translated by Louise Heal Kawai (2019)

This is the sequel to The Tokyo Zodiac Murders.
Now, it will have to be after Hunzinger’s book!!

“The Crooked House sits on a snowbound cliff at the remote northern tip of Japan. A curious place to build a house, but even more curious is the house itself – a maze of sloping floors and strange staircases, full of bloodcurdling masks and uncanny dolls. When a guest is found murdered in seemingly impossible circumstances, the police are called. But they are unable to solve the puzzle, and more bizarre deaths follow.
Enter Kiyoshi Mitarai, the renowned sleuth. Surely if anyone can crack these cryptic murders it is him. But you have all the clues too – can you solve the mystery of the murders in The Crooked House first?”

📚  LAST BOOK ADDED TO MY GOODREADS TBR 📚 

The Thin Man

📚 The Thin Man, by Dashiell Hammett
Mystery
Published in 1934

Well, I had put The Glass Key by Hammett in my brand new 4th list of classics, and talked about it with one of French students, who knows his classics really well.
He encouraged me to switch The Glass Key with The Thin Man (NB: I also have The Maltese Falcon on the list!). So I followed his lead.
What do you think, is this a good move??

“Nick and Nora Charles are Hammett’s most enchanting creations, a rich, glamorous couple who solve homicides in between wisecracks and martinis. At once knowing and unabashedly romantic, The Thin Man is a murder mystery that doubles as a sophisticated comedy of manners.”

📚 BOOK RECEIVED THIS PAST WEEK 📚 

Un Chien à ma table

See above about it.

📚📚📚

HAVE YOU READ ANY OF THESE BOOKS?
HOW WAS YOUR WEEK?
BE SURE TO LEAVE THE LINK TO YOUR POST