The top 8 books to read in June 2022

Here are
The top 8 books
I plan to read in June 2022

Click on the covers to know more


  Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow Liberty Bar

📚  Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, by Gabrielle Zevin
Literary fiction
Expected publication: July 5th 2022, by Knopf Publishing Group
Received for review

Eight years ago (already?!) I enjoyed a previous book by this author, The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry, so I thought I would give this one a try.
My reading taste has changed a lot since, I hope I won’t be disappointed.

“In this exhilarating novel by the best-selling author of The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry two friends–often in love, but never lovers–come together as creative partners in the world of video game design, where success brings them fame, joy, tragedy, duplicity, and, ultimately, a kind of immortality.
On a bitter-cold day, in the December of his junior year at Harvard, Sam Masur exits a subway car and sees, amid the hordes of people waiting on the platform, Sadie Green. He calls her name. For a moment, she pretends she hasn’t heard him, but then, she turns, and a game begins: a legendary collaboration that will launch them to stardom. These friends, intimates since childhood, borrow money, beg favors, and, before even graduating college, they have created their first blockbuster, Ichigo. Overnight, the world is theirs. Not even twenty-five years old, Sam and Sadie are brilliant, successful, and rich, but these qualities won’t protect them from their own creative ambitions or the betrayals of their hearts.
Spanning thirty years, from Cambridge, Massachusetts, to Venice Beach, California, and lands in between and far beyond, Gabrielle Zevin’s Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow is a dazzling and intricately imagined novel that examines the multifarious nature of identity, disability, failure, the redemptive possibilities in play, and above all, our need to connect: to be loved and to love. Yes, it is a love story, but it is not one you have read before.”

📚  Liberty Bar (Inspecteur Maigret #17), by Georges Simenon
Mystery published in1932 (France)
Was published in English as Maigret on the Riviera
Reading with one of my French students.
It counts for The Classics Club

Slowly but surely, we keep going in this series with my student. But there are actually 75 (!!) Maigret books, so we still have plenty to keep us busy with!

Half an hour later, he was in Cannes . . . White everywhere! Huge white hotels, white shops, white trousers and dresses, white sails out at sea. It was as if life were no more than a pantomime fairy-tale, a white and blue fairy-tale.
Dazzled at first by the glamor of sunny Antibes, Maigret soon finds himself immersed in the less salubrious side of the Rivieria when he tracks the steps of a shabby former spy who is fond of pretty women and dive bars.


Le Grand Meaulnes   Thomas Jefferson's Crème Brûlée

             Upgrade          When I Whistle   

📚 Le Grand Meaulnes, by Alain-Fournier
French Literary fiction
Published in English as The Lost Estate
Will be reading with another blogger, it counts for The Classics Club

This is my favorite French classic. I have reread it a few times, and will again, starting on June 13, with Lory @ Entering the Enchanted Castle.
If you would like to practice your reading French, please join us. We will take it easy, just one chapter a day, and some chapters are very short – it will keep us busy until mid July.
If you want to join us, we will post comments on this Discord channel – in French.
Let me know if the invitation link no longer works, and I will send you a new one. It expires after a while.
Your French doesn’t need to be perfect, as long as we understand you. This is NOT a French class.

“When Meaulnes first arrives at the local school in Sologne, everyone is captivated by his good looks, daring and charisma. But when Meaulnes disappears for several days, and returns with tales of a strange party at a mysterious house – and his love for the beautiful girl hidden within it, Yvonne de Galais – his life has been changed forever. In his restless search for his Lost Estate and the happiness he found there, Meaulnes, observed by his loyal friend Francois, may risk losing everything he ever had. Poised between youthful admiration and adult resignation, Alain-Fournier’s compelling narrator carries the reader through this evocative and unbearably poignant portrayal of desperate friendship and vanished adolescence.”

📚  Thomas Jefferson’s Creme Brulee: How a Founding Father and His Slave James Hemings Introduced French Cuisine to America, by Thomas J. Craughwell
Nonfiction / History / Food and drink
Published in 2012
Will be reading for the 2022 TBR Pile Reading Challenge

I got this book ten years ago, didn’t read it, gave it away, and somehow, another copy landed on my shelf, so it seems I really need to read it.

“This culinary biography recounts the 1784 deal that Thomas Jefferson struck with his slaves, James Hemings. The founding father was traveling to Paris and wanted to bring James along “for a particular purpose”— to master the art of French cooking. In exchange for James’s cooperation, Jefferson would grant his freedom.
Thus began one of the strangest partnerships in United States history. As Hemings apprenticed under master French chefs, Jefferson studied the cultivation of French crops (especially grapes for winemaking) so the might be replicated in American agriculture. The two men returned home with such marvels as pasta, French fries, Champagne, macaroni and cheese, crème brûlée, and a host of other treats. This narrative history tells the story of their remarkable adventure—and even includes a few of their favorite recipes!”

📚 Upgrade, by Blake Crouch
Expected publication: July 12th 2022 by Ballantine Books
Received for review

Yes, I am finally going to try this author!

You are the next step in human evolution.”
At first, Logan Ramsay isn’t sure if anything’s different. He just feels a little . . . sharper. Better able to concentrate. Better at multitasking. Reading a bit faster, memorizing better, needing less sleep.
But before long, he can’t deny it: Something’s happening to his brain. To his body. He’s starting to see the world, and those around him—even those he loves most—in whole new ways.
The truth is, Logan’s genome has been hacked. And there’s a reason he’s been targeted for this upgrade. A reason that goes back decades to the darkest part of his past, and a horrific family legacy.
Worse still, what’s happening to him is just the first step in a much larger plan, one that will inflict the same changes on humanity at large—at a terrifying cost.
Because of his new abilities, Logan’s the one person in the world capable of stopping what’s been set in motion. But to have a chance at winning this war, he’ll have to become something other than himself. Maybe even something other than human.
And even as he’s fighting, he can’t help wondering: what if humanity’s only hope for a future really does lie in engineering our own evolution?
Intimate in scale yet epic in scope, Upgrade is an intricately plotted, lightning-fast tale that charts one man’s thrilling transformation, even as it asks us to ponder the limits of our humanity—and our boundless potential.

📚 When I Whistle, by Shusaku Endo
Japanese literature
Published in 1974

I only read 9/12 Japanese books I planned to read between January-March (Japanese Literature Challenge), so I’m planning to go on with my original list.
I have only read a short collection of five stories by this author, so I’m eager to dive more in.
The synopsis makes reference to Never Let Me Go. Really? We’ll see.

One of Endo’s most unusual and powerful novels is set largely in a modern hospital, with themes and scenes that eerily seem to predate Never Let Me Go.
A jaded businessman has a chance encounter with the doctor son of his best friend at school, Ozu, and memories are stirred of a former love interest of Ozu’s, Aiko. The son of his friend proves to be contemptuous of the outmoded values of his father’s world and ruthless in pursuit of success at his hospital. The story reaches a terrible climax when Aiko, now a middle-aged cancer-sufferer, is admitted to the hospital and Ozu leads the way in experimenting on her with dangerous drugs.”


  The Red House Mystery  Le Crépuscule des fauves

🎧  The Red House Mystery, by A. A. Milne
Published in 1922
It counts for The Classics Club

Yes, THE Milne, did write  mysteries – not for children. I really enjoy the characters and the plot.

The creator of such beloved storybook characters for children as Winnie-the-Pooh, Piglet, and Eeyore, A. A. Milne was also the author of numerous dramas, essays, and novels for adults — among them, this droll and finely crafted whodunit.
In it, Milne takes readers to the Red House, a comfortable residence in the placid English countryside that is the bachelor home of Mr. Mark Ablett. While visiting this cozy retreat, amateur detective Anthony Gillingham and his chum, Bill Beverley, investigate their genial host’s disappearance and its connection with a mysterious shooting. Was the victim, whose body was found after a heated exchange with the host, shot in an act of self-defense? If so, why did the host flee, and if not, what drove him to murder?
Between games of billiards and bowls, the taking of tea, and other genteel pursuits, Gillingham and Beverley explore the possibilities in a light-hearted series of capers involving secret passageways, underwater evidence, and other atmospheric devices.
Sparkling with witty dialogue, deft plotting, and an intriguing cast of characters, this rare gem will charm mystery lovers, Anglophiles, and general readers alike.”

🎧  Le Crépuscule des fauves (série 9, volume 2), by Marc Levy
French mystery
Published March 2nd, 2021

I really enjoyed the first volume in this series, so am glad to go on with it.
In fact, book 3 was just published in May, so hopefully it will be available in audio in July.

“Maya a disparu. Une course contre la montre s’engage sur le terrain pour les hackeurs du Groupe 9 qui cherchent à déjouer la conspiration des fauves. Les fauves, une poignée de puissants qui s’attaquent à nos libertés. Leur plan : créer le chaos, s’approprier toutes les richesses et régner sans limites. Mais qui est 9 ? Ce nouveau thriller de Marc Levy est la suite passionnante de l’aventure des 9 héros intrépides et attachants rencontrés dans C’est arrivé la nuit.
9 Robins des Bois d’aujourd’hui, 9 hors la loi qui œuvrent pour le bien au péril de leur vie. Un roman d’espionnage engagé qui dévoile de manière éblouissante les dérives de notre époque.”

20 books of summer

All these books will count for the 20 books of summer challenge. If I have time, I’ll read more from my list.

Eiffel Tower Orange


Bout of Books 30: Day 7 and final recap


Final recap

Bout of Books 30
This is my 17th participation in #boutofbooks

The Bout of Books readathon is organized
by Amanda Shofner and Kelly Rubidoux Apple.
It’s a weeklong readathon that begins Monday, January 4th
and runs through Sunday, January 10th in YOUR time zone.
Bout of Books is low-pressure.
There are reading sprints, Twitter chats,
and exclusive Instagram challenges,
but they’re all completely optional
For Bout of Books 30 information and updates,
visit the Bout of Books blog
. – From the Bout of Books team



This was a good reading week, within the circumstances. I have to remember that the January Bout of Books is not as easy as in August for instance, as it’s the week (of January 7)  my Christian Orthodox Church celebrates the Nativity of Christ, so I’m more busy at church.

So instead of 525 pages, I read only 447 pages.
Instead of an average of 75, my average is 63 pages/day.
I’m actually very happy with this: according to my 2020 stats, my daily average for 2020 was 55 pages/day, so reading 63 pages/day over a week is good for me.

I finished 1 audiobook and a short story, and did a good job on The Romanov Sisters, with now less than 100 pages to finish.
Most days, I forgot to participate in the Instagram Challenges, and did the reading-in-place only once, as I actually find it disrupting – see my comment here below under Day 6 recap.

See you on May 10 for Bout of Books 31!
Hopefully, it won’t be too busy and I can aim at an even higher level


Here is what I read on DAY 7:
Sundays are not easy for reading time for me, but I still managed to read a decent number of pages:

  1. The Romanov Sisters = 42 pages
  2. Les grands cerfs = 13 pages

Total for Day 7:  55 pages
TOTAL so far:  447/525


Here is what I read on DAY 6:
Finally a very good reading day. though I totally forgot the Instagram challenge. As for the reading-in-place, I actually find rather disrupting: if I’m really into a book, I don’t look at the time. And why bother put an alarm to stop in 30 minutes?
I won’t have much time to read today.

  1. The Romanov Sisters = 102 pages
  2. Les grands cerfs = 19 pages
  3. Audiobook: C’est arrivé la nuit = 23 minutes = 20

Total for Day 6:  141 pages
TOTAL so far:  392/525


Here is what I read on DAY 5:
This week wasn’t as planned, lol, I guess that’s life. I read a bit more today, just barely above the average I had as daily goal

  1. The Romanov Sisters = 38 pages
  2. Les grands cerfs = 11 pages
  3. Audiobook: C’est arrivé la nuit = 30 minutes = 29

Total for Day 5:  78 pages
TOTAL so far:  251/525


Here is what I read on DAY 4:
I forgot that the first Bout of Books of the year is always difficult, because it’s the week I celebrate my own Christmas (Christian Orthodox Nativity, on January 7), so more Church time, and less reading.

  1. The Romanov Sisters = 29 pages

Total for Day 4:  29 pages
TOTAL so far:  173 /525


Here is what I read on DAY 3:
Another unusual day, so little reading done

  1. Audiobook: The Book of Psalms = 1H16  = 27 pages – FINISHED
  2. The Romanov Sisters = 18 pages

Total for Day 3:  45 pages
TOTAL so far:  164 /525


Here is what I read on DAY 2:
Well, unexpected eye doctor visit, so afterwards I couldn’t really read. So instead I only listened to my current audiobook for an hour.

  1. Audiobook: The Book of Psalms = 1H  = 23  pages

Total for Day 2:  23 pages
TOTAL so far:  119/525


Here is what I read on DAY 1:

  1. Gaspard =  23 pages – FINISHED
  2. The Romanov Sisters:= 22 pages
  3. Les grands cerfs = 15 pages
  4. Audiobook: The Book of Psalms = 1H54  = 36  pages

Total for Day 1:  96 pages
TOTAL so far:  96/525

📚 I did the 9:30 p.m. reading-in-place
And the Instagram challenge


I’m setting my goal at 525 pages, that is, 75 pages per day. 

Here are the books I plan to read from. Some I’m currently reading.

  1. The Romanov Sisters: The Lost Lives of the Daughters of Nicholas and Alexandra (The Romanov Sisters #2), by Helen Rappaport
  2. Gaspard, a short story sent by a friend for review – FINISHED
  3. Les Grands Cerfs, by Claudie Hunzinger
  4. Audiobook: The Book of Psalms (Bible) FINISHED
  5. Audiobook: C’est arrivé la nuit, by Marc Levy


For Bout of Books 29, no daily challenges will be hosted on our blog. Instead, we’ll have reading-in-place times!

Reading-in-place times, or reading sprints, happen daily on Twitter. If you don’t have Twitter, make note of these times and report your reading progress on your platform of choice.

All reading-in-place times last 30 minutes.

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The top 8 books to read in January 2021

Here are

The top 8 books
I plan to read in January 2021

Click on the covers to know more


Binti The Night Masquerade Les grands cerfs

📚 The Night Masquerade (Binti #3), (2018) by Nnedi Okorafor
My library has a service where they recommend you 5 books every month. Thanks to them, I have discovered Africanfuturism, and have devoured the first two books in the series.
It’s about a Himba girl, going to attend a university on another planet. S it’s a mix of African cultural elements and science fiction! I don’t think I could find more diverse than that!
It made me discover the Himba culture, which I knew nothing about.

📚 Les grands cerfs (2019), by Claudie Hunzinger
This is the last book I had on my Netgalley requests for 2019! Why did I wait so long to read this? This is a gorgeous book on nature (deer), on observation. Loving it, and considering now reading other books by her.


The Romanov Sisters  The sound of waves

NP Some Prefer Nettles

📚 The Romanov Sisters (2014), by Helen Rappaport
This book was chosen by my public library for the winter reading challenge. It’s supposed to get me out of my comfort zone. I guess they forgot I was Christian Orthodox, lol.

“They were the Princess Dianas of their day—perhaps the most photographed and talked about young royals of the early twentieth century. The four captivating Russian Grand Duchesses—Olga, Tatiana, Maria and Anastasia Romanov—were much admired for their happy dispositions, their looks, the clothes they wore and their privileged lifestyle.
Over the years, the story of the four Romanov sisters and their tragic end in a basement at Ekaterinburg in 1918 has clouded our view of them, leading to a mass of sentimental and idealized hagiography. With this treasure trove of diaries and letters from the grand duchesses to their friends and family, we learn that they were intelligent, sensitive and perceptive witnesses to the dark turmoil within their immediate family and the ominous approach of the Russian Revolution, the nightmare that would sweep their world away, and them along with it.
The Romanov Sisters sets out to capture the joy as well as the insecurities and poignancy of those young lives against the backdrop of the dying days of late Imperial Russia, World War I and the Russian Revolution. Rappaort aims to present a new and challenging take on the story, drawing extensively on previously unseen or unpublished letters, diaries and archival sources, as well as private collections. It is a book that will surprise people, even aficionados”

📚 The Sound of Waves, (1954) by Yukio Mishima
This books counts for The Japanese Reading Challenge, for the Books in Translation Challenge, and for The Classics Club

“Set in a remote fishing village in Japan, The Sound of Waves is a timeless story of first love. It tells of Shinji, a young fisherman and Hatsue, the beautiful daughter of the wealthiest man in the village. Shinji is entranced at the sight of Hatsue in the twilight on the beach and they fall in love. When the villagers’ gossip threatens to divide them, Shinji must risk his life to prove his worth.

📚 N.P. (1990, by Banana Yoshimoto
This books counts for The Japanese Reading Challenge and for the Books in Translation Challenge

“In N.P., Banana Yoshimoto’s enchanting novel of uncanny subtlety, style, magic, and mystery, a celebrated Japanese writer has committed suicide, leaving behind a collection of stories written in English. But the book, itself titled N.P., may never be published in his native Japan: each translator who takes up the ninety-eighth story chooses death too—including Kazami Kano’s boyfriend, Shoji. Haunted by Shoji’s death, Kazami is inexorably drawn to three young people whose lives are intimately bound to the late writer and his work. Over the course of an astonishing summer, she will discover the truth behind the ninety-eighth story—and she will come to believe that “everything that had happened was shockingly beautiful, enough to make you crazy.”

📚 Some Prefer Nettles (1928), by Jun’ichirō Tanizaki,
This books counts for The Japanese Reading Challenge, for the Books in Translation Challenge, and for The Classics Club

The marriage of Kaname and Misako is disintegrating: whilst seeking passion and fulfilment in the arms of others, they contemplate the humiliation of divorce. Misako’s father believes their relationship has been damaged by the influence of a new and alien culture, and so attempts to heal the breach by educating his son-in-law in the time-honoured Japanese traditions of aesthetic and sensual pleasure. The result is an absorbing, chilling conflict between ancient and modern, young and old.”


  Death in the Clouds  C'est arrivé la nuit

📚 Death in the Clouds (Hercule Poirot #12, 1935) by Agatha Christie
Part of my project to listen to all of HP, for The Classics Club
Murder on the Orient Express is on a train. This murder is on a plane, and it seems nobody has seen it happening!! Hercule Poirot himself was asleep when it happened. Loving it.

📚 C’est arrivé la nuit (2020) by Marc Levy
His books are usually in the romance genre, so I stay away of those, but they say this is a totally different genre for him, and it’s about hackers, so should be fun!


Listed on the homepage 

Review copies available throughout January-February

List of books I can swap with yours


📚 Bout of Books, January 4-10
📚 Start reading for The Japanese Reading Challenge (January-March)
📚 Post reviews of RockRidgePress books

Eiffel Tower Orange