2022: April wrap-up


April was a super busy month, tons of teaching hours and a lot of time in Church (Great Lent, Great Week, Pascha), which often would leave me very tired for my usual evening reading hours.
So this is the most pathetic month. I can’t even recall a month where I would have read so few pages… Though at least I have almost reviewed them all!
But my first three months were full of books, so I’m still 8 books ahead of schedule (39% done) to read 120 books this year.

I note that of the 7 books I read 3 are in French and 3 were translated from other languages. Quite characteristic.

I wasn’t able to participate in memes, but I hope to be restarting this coming week.

📚 Here is what I read in April:

7 books:
4 in print 
with 823 pages, a daily average of 27 pages/day
3 in audio
= 24H30
, a daily average of 49 minutes

5 in mystery:

  1. Death Going Down, by Maria Angelica Bosco – For the #1954Club
  2. Code Lupin, by Michel Bussi – French audiobook
  3. Vanda, by Marion Brunet – received for review
  4. Code 612: Qui a tué le Petit Prince ?, by Michel Bussi – French audiobook
  5. The Man in the Queue, by Josephine Tey – my Spin for The Classics Club

1 in science-fiction:

  1. Nouvelle Babel, by Michel Bussi – French audiobook

1 in literary fiction:

  1. Moshi Moshi, by Banana Yoshimoto

Yes, you read that right, 3 audiobooks by Michel Bussi!


Vanda The Man in the Queue


Classics Club: 115/137 (from November 2020-until November 2025)
Japanese Literature Challenge: 9/12 books – During the year: 10
2022 TBR Pile Reading Challenge: 0/12 books
2022 books in translation reading challenge
: 16/10+

Total of books read in 2022 = 47/120 (39%)
Number of books added to my TBR this past month = 3




BUT we offer a Book Box!


Before the Coffee Gets Cold

click on the cover to access my review


My top 8 books for the 1954 Club


Stuck in a Book
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Come back tomorrow to see the titles I’ll be reading in May

How was YOUR month of APRIL?


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


My top 8 books for the 1954 Club

The 1954 Club

The #1954Club

For several years, Simon at Stuck in a Book, has been organizing club years, in which he encourages everybody to read books published in the same year.

This time, he chose 1954

I think the main idea is to draw a literary portrait of that year.
If you are curious, you can check which books were published during that year, on this Goodreads list or on this one (less complete, but you can compare with the books you have read), or on this wikipedia page.

Before focusing on The 1954 club, it seems I had read 7 books published that year:

  1. The Bridge over the River Kwai, by Pierre Boulle
  2. Lord of the Flies, by William Golding
  3. The Horse and His Boy (Chronicles of Narnia, #5), by C.S. Lewis
  4. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, by J. R. R. Tolkien
  5. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, by J. R. R. Tolkien
  6. Bonjour Tristesse, by Françoise Sagan

And more recently, with a review:

The sound of wavesThe Sound of Wavesby Yukio Mishima

For the #1954club, I read the following:

Death Going Down


Death Going Down,
by María Angélica Bosco
Published in 1954
as La muerte baja en el ascensor
Translated from the Spanish
by Lucy Greaves
November 24, 2016 by Pushkin Vertigo
160 pages

As I currently try to focus on my TBR, I looked on my Goodreads TBR shelf, and there was only one book published in 1954.
It’s a mystery, a genre of classics I usually enjoy. And this book also qualifies for my Books in Translation Challenge.

I had never read anything by Argentinean author María Angélica Bosco (1917–2006).
She won the “Emecé Literary Prize” (Premio Emecé Argentina) in 1954 (the year of its creation) thanks to this novel.

First, I have to say I really enjoyed the title, even though we quickly realize its meaning. Still, I found it more attractive than the original in Spanish, which I found too explanatory: La muerte baja en el ascensor.

Though it is indeed what happens.
Pancho Soler comes home in Buenos Aires completely drunk one August night at 2am. He calls the elevator. He opens the door and finds a dead woman in it. Who is she? Who killed her? How? Why?

Definitely the type of discovery that might help you sober up quickly:

“He felt a desperate need to shout in protest. Why did this have to happen to him?”

I really liked the opening of the book a lot, with its neat descriptions of Soler and his discovery. Obviously, he is the first suspect. Did he do it?
The officers then focus on each person living in the apartment building. So it is a type of variation on the locked room mystery genre.
Each of these inhabitants could really be the guilty party, as they all have something to hide, in their past (many immigrants made their way to Argentina after WWII), their activity, or their relationships.

Bosco has  some interesting turns of phrases or images, such as this one about Superintendent Ericourt:

“He had nothing of the prowling predator, but all the fearsome patience of an elephant scanning the ground with its trunk for the piece of food it has dropped”.


“Lahore squirmed gently in his seat, like a cat that feels someone is tying a dog to its tail.”

I also liked the clever ending, which I realize I should have guessed much earlier on.

My year 1954 recap:
Beside María Angélica Bosco, I didn’t have time to read any other book for this event. Still, 1954 has an impressive list of biggies, world wide.



The top 8 books to read in April 2022

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

Click on the covers to know more

I don’t have the energy to do a video today, so here is a post for my April TBR.


  Vanda    Death Going Down

La Nuit des temps

📚 Vanda, by Marion Brunet
Expected publication: April 19th 2022 by Bitter Lemon Press
Received for review
Reading for the Books in Translation Challenge

I really enjoyed Summer of Reckoning, and this one seems to be quite intense as well.

“A psychological thriller set in Southern France. Brunet has followed on from the success of “the Summer of Reckoning” with this magnificent portrait of a woman and a mother, a beautiful and often poetic tale that is unflinching about social and personal violence.
Set in Marseilles, this is the story of Vanda, a beautiful woman in her thirties, arms covered in tats, skin so dark that some take her for a North African. Devoted to her six-year-old son Noé, they live in a derelict shed by the beach. She had wanted to be an artist; she is now a cleaner in a psychiatric hospital. But Vanda is happy living alone, like a mama bear with her cub.
“The two of them against the world”, as she says. Everything changes when Simon, the father of her son, surfaces in Marseilles. He had left Vanda seven years earlier, not knowing that she was pregnant. When Simon demands custody of his son, Vanda’s suppressed rage threatens to explode. The tension becomes unbearable, both parents fully capable of extreme violence.”

📚  Death Going Down, by María Angélica Bosco
Mystery, published in 1954 (Argentina)
Reading for the #1954Club (April 18-24), hosted by Stuck in a Book
It counts for The Classics Club and for the Books in Translation Challenge

I’m just reading one book for the #1954Club, as this was the only 1954 book on my TBR shelves, and I’m really trying hard to focus on them.
I’m thrilled this is actually an Argentinian mystery, I can’t even remember if I ever read a mystery from that country. Really enjoying it so far.

“In the early hours of the morning, a woman is found in the elevator of a plush apartment block on Santa Fe Road, Buenos Aires. She’s young, gorgeous and dead. With this opening image starts one of the greatest crime novels ever written in Argentina. A woman has been murdered and it is immediately apparent that all the suspects have secrets to hide.
Death Going Down contains all the ingredients of a classic detective novel, and is set during the aftermath of World War II, when many immigrants were making their way to Argentina, some of them with dark pasts in Europe to hide…”

📚  La Nuit des temps, by René Barjavel
Science-fiction published in 1968 (France)
Was published in English as The Ice People
Reading with one of my French students.
It counts for The Classics Club

I read this book about forty years ago, and can’t remember anything of it at all. So as one of my French students enjoys classic scifi, we decided to read it together. Enjyoing the beginning.

“When a French expedition in Antarctica reveals ruins of a 900,000 year old civilization, scientists from all over the world flock to the site to help explore & understand. The entire planet watches via global satellite tv, mesmerized, as they uncover a chamber in which a man & a woman have been in suspended animation since, as the French title suggests, ‘the night of time’. The woman, Eléa, is awakened.
Through a translating machine she tells the story of her world, herself & her husband Paikan & how war destroyed her civilization. She also hints at an incredibly advanced knowledge her still-dormant companion possesses, knowledge that could give energy & food to all humans at no cost. But the superpowers of the world are not ready to let Eléa’s secrets spread, & show that, 900,000 years & an apocalypse later, humankind has not grown up & is ready to make the same mistakes again.”


The Man in the Queue    Moshi moshi

Under Lock and Skeleton Key

📚 The Man in the Queue (Inspector Alan Grant #1), by Josephine Tey
Published in 1929
Will be reading for The Classics Club (Spin #29)

“Inspector Alan Grant searches for the identity of a man killed in the line at a theater and for the identity of the killer—whom no one saw.
A long line had formed for the standing-room-only section of the Woffington Theatre. London’s favorite musical comedy of the past two years was finishing its run at the end of the week. Suddenly, the line began to move, forming a wedge before the open doors as hopeful theatergoers nudged their way forward. But one man, his head sunk down upon his chest, slowly sank to his knees and then, still more slowly, keeled over on his face. Thinking he had fainted, a spectator moved to help, but recoiled in horror from what lay before him: the man in the queue had a small silver dagger neatly plunged into his back. With the wit and guile that have made Inspector Grant a favorite of mystery fans, the inspector sets about discovering just how a murder occurred among so many witnesses, none of whom saw a thing.”

📚 Moshi Moshi, by Banana Yoshimoto
Published in 2010
Will be reading with the TW Book Club
(The Tokyo Weekender Book Club, on Goodreads)

I have read a couple of books by Yoshimoto (The Lake for instance), and am looking forward to this one.

“In Moshi Moshi, Yoshie’s much-loved musician father has died in a suicide pact with an unknown woman. It is only when Yoshie and her mother move to Shimokitazawa, a traditional Tokyo neighborhood of narrow streets, quirky shops, and friendly residents that they can finally start to put their painful past behind them. However, despite their attempts to move forward, Yoshie is haunted by nightmares in which her father is looking for the phone he left behind on the day he died, or on which she is trying—unsuccessfully—to call him. Is her dead father trying to communicate a message to her through these dreams?
With the lightness of touch and surreal detachment that are the hallmarks of her writing, Banana Yoshimoto turns a potential tragedy into a poignant coming-of-age ghost story and a life-affirming homage to the healing powers of community, food, and family.
Published in 2010 in Japanese in Tokyo, it has sold over 29,000 copies there so far. “In Moshi Moshi, Banana’s narrator addresses the poignant question, how do you rebuild your life when your much-loved father loses his life in shocking circumstances?”

📚 Under Lock & Skeleton Key (Secret Staircase Mystery #1), byGigi Pandian
Cozy Mystery
Published March, 15 2022, by Minotaur Books
Received for review through Netgalley

I have enjoyed another book (Michaelangelo’s Ghost) by this author, and even though I’m late on this review copy, I’m looking forward to finally get to it.

Under Lock & Skeleton Key layers architecture with mouthwatering food in an ode to classic locked-room mysteries.
An impossible crime. A family legacy. The intrigue of hidden rooms and secret staircases.
After a disastrous accident derails Tempest Raj’s career, and life, she heads back to her childhood home in California to comfort herself with her grandfather’s Indian home-cooked meals. Though she resists, every day brings her closer to the inevitable: working for her father’s company. Secret Staircase Construction specializes in bringing the magic of childhood to all by transforming clients’ homes with sliding bookcases, intricate locks, backyard treehouses, and hidden reading nooks.
When Tempest visits her dad’s latest renovation project, her former stage double is discovered dead inside a wall that’s supposedly been sealed for more than a century. Fearing she was the intended victim, it’s up to Tempest to solve this seemingly impossible crime. But as she delves further into the mystery, Tempest can’t help but wonder if the Raj family curse that’s plagued her family for generations—something she used to swear didn’t exist—has finally come for her.”


Code Lupin  Nouvelle Babel

🎧 Code Lupin, by Michel Bussi
French mystery
Published on 6/10/2021 

As you know, I really enjoy Michel Bussi and I have tried to listen to all his books.
This one was actually his very first book I think. He republished it last year.
I started it last month. When I realized it was speaking so much of L’Aiguille creuse (The Hollow Needle), one of the most famous novels with Arsène Lupin, I stopped to listen to this classic with Lupin (I had only read the first volume with Lupin). I even found the French audio available on Hoopla! Kuddos to my public library!
So now I’m back into this one. Bussi does an awesome spin-off on the mystery featured in The Hollow Needle and makes tons of other references to Arsène Lupin and its author Maurice Leblanc.
It’s so fascinating that now, I’m getting close to the decision to listen to all of Arsène Lupin (26 books), just as I did with Sherlock Holmes and Hercule Poirot. 

🎧  Nouvelle Babel, by Michel Bussi
Published on 2/3/2022

I have a couple of other more recent books by Bussi to listen to, this time in scifi. Or rather, it seems this one is a great mix of scifi and mystery, and possibly more!


This is a total of 8 books, and so far this year, I have an average of 13 books per month.
So I’ll probably have time to read many more. I have 3 other books received for review. And I will finally launch into my TBR Reading Challenge list.

Eiffel Tower Orange