Sunday Post #76 – 01/29/2023

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      Mailbox Monday2

 It's Monday! What Are You Reading2  IMWAYR  WWW Wednesdays 2

#SundayPost #SundaySalon
#MailboxMonday #itsmonday #IMWAYR
#WWWWednesday #WWWWednesdays

Click on the logos to join the memes

This was a very productive week:

  • lots of French classes,
  • done with my two big outdoor signs for my church (I just need to put three layers of varnish),
  • I have finally caught up with all the many comments waiting (some since November!!) on this blog,
  • I finished 5 books since last Sunday,
  • and they are all reviewed!

The next big project is preparing a conference to give to my church late March.

Posted this week:

Here are the 5 books I finished this past week:

📚JUST READ/LISTENED TO 🎧 

Death of a Red Heroine

📚 Death of a Red Heroine
(Inspector Chen Cao #1), 

by Qiu Xialong
Chinese Mystery
First published in 2000 (in English)
482 pages
Read for my public library winter challenge

VERDICT: 
Police investigation and poetry:
a wonderful immersion into Chinese society and politics. 

Click on the cover to read my review.

Les nouvelles enquêtes de Maigret

 

📚 Les nouvelles enquêtes de Maigret,
by Georges Simenon
Mystery – short stories collection
Published in 1944
624 pages
It counts for The Classics Club
Read with French student E.

As you may know, I don’t often read short stories, as I am often dissatisfed by the lack of development.
This is very different here: it’s really neat to see that Simenon displays the same quality of writing in this format as in his novels.
Some plots are brilliant, sometimes quite different to what I am used to with this author.
And really, Maigret can wrap it up and create stisfying suspense in very few pages!
And there’s a lot of humor! Especially near the end of the collection. We laughed a lot with my student as we shared our experience.
But we also find Maigret violent at times!

If you are curious about Maigret, this is in fact a very good way to begin, I think.
Besides the original elements, you will still meet enough grey,rainy, foggy atmospheres and canals, rivers, etc as in most books in this series.
Check my review on Goodreads if you want to see the list of the 19 stories included in the collection.

Shuna's Journey

 

📚 Shuna’s Journey,
by Hayao Miyazaki
Translated by Alex Dudok de Wit
Graphic novel
Published in 2022
シュナの旅
was first published in 1983
160 pages

Wow, this is a very neat graphic novel, with different style (but just as gorgeous) from the books Miyazaki made on his animes, though some pages are very close to some anime passages.
The plot is basically a young prince defying his village tradition, and deciding to leave on a quest for a golden grain that would save his land. And all the adventures and people/creatures he meets on his way.
The excellent note/afterword by the translator Alex Dudok de Wit explains the genesis of this work, and how it is a spin on a classic Tibetan legend, with the additions moderns elements, such as slavery and human trafficking.
I can’t remember which book blogger mentioned this book, but I am glad I checked it out right away from my public library.

What do you do with a chance

 

📚 What do you do with a chance,
by Kobi Yamada,
illustrated by Mae Besom
Picture book
Published in 2018
Original language: English
38 pages

This is a cute and very inspiring picture book, encouraging you to take the chance as soon as it comes, because who knows, it may not come again, and seizing the chance can lead you to so many discoveries!
The illustrations by Mae Besom are so beautiful (pencil and watercolor).
It made sense to illustrate the chance as a mysterious golden kind of bird.
I want to see what other books by Yamada my library has in store!

🎧 LLa Révolution des fourmisa Révolution des fourmis 
(La Saga des fourmis #3),
by Bernard Werber
French scifi
Published in 1996
671 pages
20H21

This is the very satisfying end to this trilogy.
It is so full of amazing information on ants obviously, but also many other insects and our world at large.
I really loved the characters, especially the old scientists, and the young group of teens, inspired by ants and trying really hard to start a non-violent revolution.
It’s also a reflection on what makes us deeply human.
I highly encourage you to dive into this trilogy.
Unfortunately, it seems only book 1 is available in English… 

📚  CURRENTLY READING/LISTENING TO 🎧 

Master of the Uncanny📚 Okamoto Kidō: Master of the Uncanny,
by Okamoto Kidō
Japanese short stories
Published between 1897-1931
Translated by Nancy H. Ross
Published in 2020
168 pages
It counts for the Japanese Literature Challenge
and The Classics Club

I was planning to read a good amount of books translated from the Japanese this month, but I have been very busy in reading books in French with my students, so I am only in my third book for this challenge.
So far, I have only read two stories. 
The Kiso Traveler talks about the etemono (a shape-shifting kind of creature) and is set in very cold and snowy mountains.
The Green Frog God is about dreams and a wife who might be actually a frog or a strange god.
So they are definitely on the gloomy and spooky side.

“Born just after Japan transitioned from the Shogunate to Meiji, Kidō grew up in a samurai-oriented world being transformed by the West in many ways. As a reporter he covered domestic development and overseas wars, while also marrying a traditional geisha, eventually becoming a playwright and author. In addition to a number of well-received plays, he also penned more than fifty horror stories over a roughly ten-year period starting in the mid-1920s. Just prior to this period, the Great Kantō Earthquake of 1923 destroyed almost everything in Tokyo that remained from the Edo era, and Japanese horror itself was transitioning from the traditional uncanny stories to more modern horror structures.
While many of Kidō’s stories are retellings of tales from China and other nations, he also drew on a diverse range of traditions, including the heritage of Edo-era storytellers such as Ueda Akinari and Asai Ryōi, to produce a dazzling array of work covering the entire spectrum from time-honored ghost tropes to modern horror. The majority of his stories were collected in four volumes: Seiadō kidan (1926), Kindai iyō hen (1926), Iyō hen (1933), and Kaijū (1936).
Kidō remains popular for his elegant, low-key style, subtly introducing the “other” into the background, and raising the specter of the uncanny indirectly and often indistinctly. His fiction spans an enormous range of material, much of it dealing with the uncanny, and as a pioneer in the field his work formed the foundation for the new generation of Japanese authors emerging in post-Restoration literature.
This selection presents a dozen of his best stories: pieces which remain in print almost a century later, and continue to enchant readers—and writers—today. Finally, English-reading audiences can enjoy his strange visions as well.”

Rouvrir le roman📚 Rouvrir le roman,
by Sophie Divry
French nonfiction/ Book about books
Published in 2017
208 pages
Reading with French student F.

“This book aims to discuss preconceived ideas that weigh on the conscience of contemporary French writers. The main purpose is to show that the novel is not dead, and that literature is worth it. 
Sophie Divry offers solutions to reset the novel into a place of research and adventure. She shares her ideas for a literature that is more demanding, more lively and more tenacious, more necessary for authors and readers alike.”
In the beginning she speaks about editors set in their ways, who think novelists should not reflect and explain about their writing process, even though in previous centuries, it was expected the author would explain his/her method in the very introduction to the book!
I like the many references! I have the feeling it’s going to make my TBR explode even more. She mentions for instance several nonfiction books by Virginia Woolf. I only knew about her novels!

 

🎧 Éloge de l’énergie vagabonde,Éloge de l'énergie vagabonde
by Sylvain Tesson
Narrated by Léon Dussollier
French nonfiction/Travel
Published in 2007
227 pages
4H52

This is my 6th book by Sylvain Tesson, this should be enough to tell you how much I enjoy this author.
The last one I listened to was also about a long trip.

The beginning of the book (my translation) explains what this is all about:
“I will go from the Aral to the Caspian. I will reach Azerbaijan on board a ferry.
From Baku, I will travel to Turkey via Georgia. On foot, by bicycle, I don’t know yet, but loyally, without motorized propulsion.
At the end of my journey, I will have connected three seas, taking the same route as that of a tear of black gold from Upper Asia carried through steppes and mountains so that the world can continue its march of madness. Taking advantage of this crossing of lands with high oil value, I will devote my time of solitary journey to reflect on the mystery of energy.
The energy we extract from the strata of geology, but also the one that awaits for its time deep within us. Oil and vital force proceed from the same principle: humans contain a secret deposit of energy that favorable drillings can bring out.
Why do our inner springs push us to agitation instead of converting us to Zen wisdom?”

📚  BOOK UP NEXT 📚 

120 rue de la gare📚 120, rue de la gare,
(Nestor Burma #1)

by Léo Malet
French mystery
Published in 1946
215 pages
Available in English as
Bloody Streets of Paris
It counts for The Classics Club
Will be reading with French student E.

I am excited to read this one with a student, as I don’t think I have ever read any book by Léo Mallet!

 “Set in France during World War II, this is Léo Malet’s first novel starring detective Nestor Burma.
Burma’s assistant Bob Colomer, having just arrived in France after being held prisoner in a German camp, is murdered at the Lyon station as soon as he reunites with his boss. Colomer’s last words, whispered to Burma as he lay dying, are the address 120 Station Street, the same address Burma had heard from an agonizing patient in a military hospital.
And thus begins an investigation that will force Burma to revisit episodes from his past he thought he had buried long ago, and that will take him from Vichy France to Nazi-occupied Paris.
First published in 1942, this passionate noire novel is a description of everyday French life during World War II, where rationing, division of territory, and Nazi-imposed restrictions serve as the backdrop to this tale of intrigue.
It sealed the birth of the French noir novel, a cocktail of suspense, humour, poetry and social reflection.”

📚  LAST BOOK ADDED TO MY GOODREADS TBR 📚 

Blanc

 

 

📚  Blanc,
by
Sylvain Tesson
Nonfiction/Travel
10/13/2022
240 pages

“With my friend the high mountain guide Daniel du Lac, I left Menton on the Mediterranean coast to cross the Alps on skis, to Trieste, passing through Italy, Switzerland, Austria and Slovenia.
From 2018 to 2021, at the end of winter, we were rising in the snow. The sky was virgin, the world without contours, only the effort counted down the days.
I thought I was venturing into beauty, I was diluting myself in a substance. In the White everything is canceled – hopes and regrets. Why did I so love wandering in purity?”

📚 MAILBOX MONDAY 📚 

 

Éloge de l'énergie vagabonde

See description above
Please share what books you just received at Mailbox Monday

📚📚📚

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

Sunday Post #75 – 01/22/2023

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      Mailbox Monday2

 It's Monday! What Are You Reading2  IMWAYR  WWW Wednesdays 2

#SundayPost #SundaySalon
#MailboxMonday #itsmonday #IMWAYR
#WWWWednesday #WWWWednesdays

Click on the logos to join the memes

Oh, my 75th Sunday Post!
Well, that’s nothing when you see that Caffeinated Reviewer has been hosting it for 559 weeks! Still.
I am still in the process of repainting our church outdoor sign, more than half done. It actually gives me lots of hours for audiobooks, my total audio time for January is going to be insane!
And with the two church events I had this week, our Nativity season is finally over. Actually pretty soon preparing for Lent!! Time flies way too fast.

I have been able to post a couple of times this week, and so far, have reviewed the 6 books finished this month. It’s a battle that always begins well in January, until… I eventually lose! We’ll see how long I can persevere.
I also started catching up with lots of your comments, thanks!

Posted this week:

Here are the 3 books I finished this past week:

📚JUST READ/LISTENED TO 🎧 

L'Os de Lebowski

📚  L’Os de Lebowski,
by Vincent Maillard
French mystery
Published in 2021
202 pages
Read with French student S.

First of all, dive into this book without reading the official synopsis which, as too often, reveals way too much.

The book hasn’t been translated into English.
It’s narrated in the first person by Jim Carlos, a gardener working at Prés Poleux, owned by a rich family.
Jim has a very lazy dog (Lebowski), who spends its time sleeping, but one day it manages to dig, and finds a human bone (hence the title: Lebowski’s bone).
So, whose bone is it? What happened to that person?
Why is the bone on this property?
And then, Jim disappears…!

I really enjoyed a lot the structure of the book (that you will discover as you read the book along), the first person narration, full of so many humoristic reflections on French society and culture.
Mailard is not kind towards the world of the very rich, which totally makes sense to me and works perfectly in the plot.
You may have to check lots of names to understand the references, but that’s worth it.
Little by little, there’s a lot of suspense developping, until the end, which of course I didn’t guess.
Definitely an author worth checking.

L'empire de la mort

 

🎧 L’Empire de la mort (N.E.O. #3),
by Michel Bussi
French YA fantasy
Published on June 16, 2022
640 pages
16H24

I have been enjoying this series a lot. I actually thought maybe it was a trilogy, but obviously the last line tells me there’s much more to come!
I find in it some common elements with Supernova Era: something happened (and in this third book we finally know more what happened), and it seems all adults have died, and before they died they helped kids learn and organize to start a new world. In both cases, it’s not that easy to start a better world… Not easy either to identify the bad guys…

I love the setting, Paris and around, with more famous Parisian places now important in the story. It’s fun to meet the same characters and see how they grow.

I have been listening to the books, and the narrator Damien Witecka is really fabulous, with the various voices and tones.

Le jour des fourmis

 

🎧Le Jour des fourmis 
(La Saga des fourmis #2),
by Bernard Werber
French scifi
Published in 1992
463 pages
14H39

The second volume on these infra-terrestrial creatures (ants) is just as fascinating as Book 1.
It’s not only an original idea (turning scifi away from extra-terrestrial dimensions), but also a close scientific look at the world of ants, their complex society, and their ways of communicating.
I also loved all about intercommunication with the world of “fingers”, ie, us human beings.
It was also neat to have a resolution to the mysterious disappearance of people in book 1.
And I liked the part about the ant reaction as she discovers what makes our human culture, through TV programs!
I just realized it was a trilogy, and not a longer series. So I am starting listening to the last volume today. I so enjoy these works, especially as the narrator (François Tavares) is so good.

I actually want to add a very crazy story that happened to me today.
I was listening to this book, while doing a major painting job. As I was painting, I received an important text message. So I stopped painting, paused my audiobook, and started answering the text message. Suddenly, on the line where your phone auto-suggests words as you type, an emoji showed up, and it was…. an ant! You may believe me or not, but I saw it, and showed it to my husband.
I read and reread my message: there was absolutely NO reason an ant would have showed up. Never did I type a sequence of letters forming the word a-n-t (I wrote in English), nor F-O-U-R-M-I (my audiobook is in French).
This is the werdest thing I have ever witnessed!!!

📚  CURRENTLY READING/LISTENING TO 🎧 

Death of a Red Heroine

📚 Death of a Red Heroine
(Inspector Chen Cao #1), 

by Qiu Xialong
Chinese Mystery
First published in 2000 (in English)
482 pages

Yes, still working on this one for my local public library Winter Reading Challenge, as reading books with three of my French students is the priority right now.

I so enjoy the descriptions of Shanghai and all the political and social background. In Asia, but so different from my usual Japanese novels! The plot is slow in developping, but I don’t mind, as the pace allows me to better perceive the cultural specificities of that world.

“A young “national model worker,” renowned for her adherence to the principles of the Communist Party, turns up dead in a Shanghai canal. As Inspector Chen Cao of the Shanghai Special Cases Bureau struggles to trace the hidden threads of her past, he finds himself challenging the very political forces that have guided his life since birth. Chen must tiptoe around his superiors if he wants to get to the bottom of this crime, and risk his career—perhaps even his life—to see justice done.”

Les nouvelles enquêtes de Maigret

📚 Les nouvelles enquêtes de Maigret,
by Georges Simenon
Mystery – short stories collection
Published in 1944
It counts for The Classics Club
Still reading this one with French student E.,
though I should be done tonight.

As you may know, I don’t often read short stories, as I am often dissatisfed by the lack of development. This is different here: it’s really neat to see that Simenon displays the same quality of writing in this format as in his novels.
Some plots are brilliant, sometimes quite different to what I am used to with this author.
And there’s a lot of humor! Especially near the end of the collection. We laughed a lot with my student as we shared our experience.
But we also find Maigret at times violent! 

🎧 LLa Révolution des fourmisa Révolution des fourmis 
(La Saga des fourmis #3),
by Bernard Werber
French scifi
Published in 1996
671 pages
20H21

“What can ants envy us? Humor, love, art. What can humans envy them? Harmony with nature, absence of fear, absolute communication.
After millennia of ignorance, will the two most evolved civilizations on the planet finally be able to meet and understand each other?
Without knowing each other, Julie Pinson, a rebellious student, and 103, an explorer ant, will try to make a revolution in their respective worlds to make it evolve.
Les Fourmis was the book of contact, Le Jour des fourmis the book of confrontation. La Révolution des fourmis is the book of understanding.

But beyond the theme of ants, it is a revolution of humans, a non-violent revolution, a revolution made up of small discreet touches and new ideas that Bernard Werber offers here.
Both an adventure novel and an initiatory book, this crowning achievement of the myrmecian epic invites us to enter a future that is perhaps not just science fiction…”

 

📚  BOOK UP NEXT 📚 

Master of the Uncanny📚 Okamoto Kidō: Master of the Uncanny,
by Okamoto Kidō
Japanese short stories
Published between 1897-1931
Translated by Nancy H. Ross
Published in 2020
168 pages
It counts for the Japanese Literature Challenge
and The Classics Club

“Born just after Japan transitioned from the Shogunate to Meiji, Kidō grew up in a samurai-oriented world being transformed by the West in many ways. As a reporter he covered domestic development and overseas wars, while also marrying a traditional geisha, eventually becoming a playwright and author. In addition to a number of well-received plays, he also penned more than fifty horror stories over a roughly ten-year period starting in the mid-1920s. Just prior to this period, the Great Kantō Earthquake of 1923 destroyed almost everything in Tokyo that remained from the Edo era, and Japanese horror itself was transitioning from the traditional uncanny stories to more modern horror structures.
While many of Kidō’s stories are retellings of tales from China and other nations, he also drew on a diverse range of traditions, including the heritage of Edo-era storytellers such as Ueda Akinari and Asai Ryōi, to produce a dazzling array of work covering the entire spectrum from time-honored ghost tropes to modern horror. The majority of his stories were collected in four volumes: Seiadō kidan (1926), Kindai iyō hen (1926), Iyō hen (1933), and Kaijū (1936).
Kidō remains popular for his elegant, low-key style, subtly introducing the “other” into the background, and raising the specter of the uncanny indirectly and often indistinctly. His fiction spans an enormous range of material, much of it dealing with the uncanny, and as a pioneer in the field his work formed the foundation for the new generation of Japanese authors emerging in post-Restoration literature.
This selection presents a dozen of his best stories: pieces which remain in print almost a century later, and continue to enchant readers—and writers—today. Finally, English-reading audiences can enjoy his strange visions as well.”

📚  LAST BOOK ADDED TO MY GOODREADS TBR 📚 

100 Places to See After You Die

 

📚  100 Places to See After You Die: A Travel Guide to the Afterlife,
by
Ken Jennings
Nonfiction/Literature/Travel Humor
304 pages
Expected publication June 13, 2023

If this book is really what it says it is, it has the potential of being really good! We’ll see.

“From New York Times bestselling author, legendary Jeopardy! champion, and host Ken Jennings comes a hilarious travel guide to the afterlife, exploring destinations to die for from literature, mythology, and pop culture ranging from Dante’s Inferno to Hadestown to NBC’s The Good Place.
Ever wonder which circles of Dante’s Inferno have the nicest accommodations? Where’s the best place to grab a bite to eat in the ancient Egyptian underworld? How does one dress like a local in the heavenly palace of Hinduism’s Lord Vishnu, or avoid the flesh-eating river serpents in the Klingon afterlife? What hidden treasures can be found off the beaten path in Hades, Valhalla, or NBC’s The Good Place? Find answers to all those questions and more about the world(s) to come in this eternally entertaining book from Ken Jennings.
100 Places to See After You Die is written in the style of iconic bestselling travel guides—but instead of recommending must-see destinations in Mexico, Thailand, or Rome, Jennings outlines journeys through the afterlife, as dreamed up over 5,000 years of human history by our greatest prophets, poets, mystics, artists, and TV showrunners. This comprehensive index of 100 different afterlife destinations was meticulously researched from sources ranging from the Epic of Gilgamesh to modern-day pop songs, video games, and Simpsons episodes. Get ready for whatever post-mortal destiny awaits you, whether it’s an astral plane, a Hieronymus Bosch hellscape, or the baseball diamond from Field of Dreams.
Fascinating, funny, and irreverent, this light-hearted memento mori will help you create your very own bucket list—for after you’ve kicked the bucket.”

📚 MAILBOX MONDAY 📚 

La Révolution des fourmis

See description above
Please share what books you just received at Mailbox Monday

📚📚📚

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

Sunday Post #72 – 01/01/2023

 

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      Mailbox Monday2

 It's Monday! What Are You Reading2  IMWAYR  WWW Wednesdays 2

#SundayPost #SundaySalon
#MailboxMonday #itsmonday #IMWAYR
#WWWWednesday #WWWWednesdays

Click on the logos to join the memes

What better way to begin 2023 than with a Sunday Post!

Wishing you all a Happy New Year,
and of course tons of awsome books to discover in 2023!

2022 ended with some great books for me.
As usual, during this coming week I will post detailed stats, but suffice it to say for now that I’m very happy with my 2022 year of reading:
140 books read, so that’s 20 more than my goal (117%).

I only posted once this week:

Here are the 2 books I finished recently:

📚JUST READ/LISTENED TO 🎧 

Progress Report

📚 Progress Report,
by Roman Lando
Self-published
on 12/9/2022
Scifi technothriller
239 pages

VERDICT: Fabulous sci technothriller with kickass characters and excellent plot, to start your 2023 year of reading with a bang!

These days, I rarely request a review copy and even less often accept one. But when Roman Lando contacted me about his self-published scifi technothriller, I thought the genre had some potential. I was hooked when I read the synopsis and the first pages.
I am so glad I accepted to read Progress Report. I devoured it in a couple of days and can close my 2022 reviews with a bang!
Click on the cover to read my ecstatic review! 

The Wonderful Adventures of Nils

🎧 The Wonderful Adventures of Nils/
The Further Adventures of Nils Holgersson
by Selma Lagerlöf

Classics children’s lit
Published in 1906-1907
17H06
It counts for The Classics Club

This is a wonderful children’s classic.
The young naughty boy Nils is transformed into an elf and travels all over his country on the back of a goose.
It’s a delightful way of presenting the whole of Sweden, its geography and landscapes, though sometimes some passages are a bit long.
It’s all mixed with the style of fantasy and fairy tales (for instance with animals talking, and the use of repetitive structure of sentences).
And ultimately, it’s a delightful coming of age story.

I listened to this book through the Cloud Library App (provided by my public library), and their version is actually from Librivox.
The narrator is Lars Rolander, who is Swedish I believe. That was great for the correct pronunciation of place names, etc. He is excellent at dialogues, at making different voices for all the animals. Alas, he is not as good when it comes to the narrative itself, and sometimes quite boring in these lines, with often the same intonation. Sad, as he is so good for the dialogues.

📚  CURRENTLY READING/LISTENING TO 🎧 

Death of a Red Heroine

📚 Death of a Red Heroine
(Inspector Chen Cao #1), 

by Qiu Xialong
Chinese Mystery
First published in 2000 (in English)
482 pages

Every year, my publisc library organizes a Winter Reading Challenge: you tell them the books you like or don’t like, and the last four books you’ve read, and the staff picks a book for you to read.
As I highlighted my love for Japanese mysteries, I guess they thought I had to expand my horizon to Chinese thrillers!
I’m only around page 50, but finding it very good so far.

“A young “national model worker,” renowned for her adherence to the principles of the Communist Party, turns up dead in a Shanghai canal. As Inspector Chen Cao of the Shanghai Special Cases Bureau struggles to trace the hidden threads of her past, he finds himself challenging the very political forces that have guided his life since birth. Chen must tiptoe around his superiors if he wants to get to the bottom of this crime, and risk his career—perhaps even his life—to see justice done.”

Week-end à Zuydcoote📚 Week-end à Zuydcoote,
by Robert Merle

French historical fiction
Published in 1949
244 pages
It counts for The Classics Club

My French student F. wanted to try a French historical novel. Among the titles I proposed, she chose this one, set during WWI, in June 1940 at Dunkirk.
It was actually trasnalted into English as Weekend in Dunkirk.

I had not read any book by Robert Merle for a very long time, so it’s nice to go back to his writing.
This book is raw, and yet a lot of humor at the same time. It tells the life of a group of French soldiers trapped in the pocket of Dunkirk, for two days, after the Franco-British defeat.

The Red Thumb Mark

🎧The Red Thumb Mark
(Dr. Thorndyke Mysteries
#1),
by R. Austin Freeman
Mysteries
Published in 1907
224 pages
9H32
It counts for The Classics Club

I have heard a lot about this author recently, so I was eager to discover Dr Thorndyke.
Richard Austin Freeman (1862-1943) was a British writer of detective stories, mostly featuring the medicolegal forensic investigator Dr Thorndyke. He invented the inverted detective story and used some of his early experiences as a colonial surgeon in his novels. 

“In this first book of the series, Dr. Jervis encounters his old friend Dr. Thorndyke; soon after they are drawn into a mystery in which a man is accused of murder and his own bloody thumbprint – evidence that cannot be denied – places him absolutely at the scene of the crime. But for Thorndyke, things may not be quite as straightforward as they seem. Can one forge a thumb print? As Thorndyke investigates, it becomes apparent that he is too much of a threat, and must be removed…”

This edition I’m listening to, narrated by Luke Barton, has a good and fairly developped introduction on and by the author.

📚  BOOK UP NEXT 📚 

Gaspard Melchior & Balthazar

📚  Gaspard, Melchior & Balthazar,
by Michel Tournier
French historical fiction
288 pages
Published in 1978
Was translated into English as The Four Wise Men

I ended up reading lighter books, so haven’t started this one yet.
Thankfully, my Nativity comes only on January 7th, so when I finally start reading it, I should still be in the Christmas season!

“Displaying his characteristic penchant for the macabre, the tender and the comic, Michael Tournier presents the traditional Magi describing their personal odysseys to Bethlehem–and audaciously imagines a fourth, “the eternal latecomer”‘ whose story of hardship and redemption is the most moving and instructive of all.
Prince of Mangalore and son of an Indian maharajah, Taor has tasted an exquisite confection, “rachat loukoum,” and is so taken by the flavor that he sets out to recover the recipe. His quest takes him across Western Asia and finally lands him in Sodom, where he is imprisoned in a salt mine. There, this fourth wise man learns the recipe from a fellow prisoner, and learns of the existence and meaning of Jesus.”

📚  LAST BOOK ADDED TO MY GOODREADS TBR 📚 

Owls

 

📚 Owls and Other Fantasies: Poems and Essays, by Mary Oliver
Nonfiction, poetry, essays
88 pages
Published in 2003

“Within these pages Mary Oliver collects twenty-six of her poems about the birds that have been such an important part of her life-hawks, hummingbirds, and herons; kingfishers, catbirds, and crows; swans, swallows, and, of course, the snowy owl; among a dozen others-including ten poems original to this volume. She adds two beautifully crafted essays, “Owls,” selected for the Best American Essays series, and “Bird,” one that will surely take its place among the classics of the genre.”

📚 MAILBOX MONDAY: BOOK RECEIVED THIS PAST WEEK 📚 

 

Progress Report

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