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:


Progress Report

📚 Progress Report,
by Roman Lando
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
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.


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
by R. Austin Freeman
Published in 1907
224 pages
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.


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.”




📚 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.”



Progress Report

See details above

Click on the cover to see my review
And share what books you just received at Mailbox Monday




Year of reading 2020 part 3

And after my list of 2020 favorites,
as well as my 2020 stats,
here is to a fun wrap up:

Year of reading 2020 part 3

There are a lot of those online, but these are my favorites. The idea is to finish the sentences and answer the questions exclusively with titles I read in 2020.

If you are intrigued by a title, just copy and paste it in the search button, and you will access the review. If nothing shows up, look it up in Goodreads

– When I was younger I was The French Widow
– People might be surprised to discover that I’m The Missing Sister
– I will never be Celle qui pleurait sous l’eau [The girl who was crying under the water]
– At the end of a long day I need (a) Second Sister
– Right now I’m feeling (like) The Girl Behind the Wall
– Someday I want to (have a) Summer of Reckoning
– At a party you’d find me… no ! Don’t Look For Me!
– I’ve never (been) Complètement cramé
– I really don’t enjoy Migrations
– In my next life I want Inhabitation

– If you could go anywhere, where would you go: Au Soleil redouté
– Your favorite form of transportation: Vesper Flights
– Your best friend is La Panthère des neiges [The Snow Leopard]
– You and your friends are The Letter Killers Club
– What’s the weather like: The Inugami Curse
– Favorite time of day: A Thousand Mornings
– If your life was: A Hundred Million Years and a Day
– What is life to you: L’Humanité en péril
– Your fear: Wild Dog
– What is the best advice you have to give: Civil Disobedience [NB: as understood by Thoreau!!]
– Thought for the Day: Or What You Will
– How I would like to die: Upstream
– My soul’s present condition: A Wild Sheep Chase

I began the day with Black Coffee.
On my way to work, I saw Le Chien jaune [The Yellow Dog]
and walked by The Gate,
to avoid The Norwegian Wood,
but I made sure to stop at The Haunted Bookshop.
In the office, my boss said, I Will Judge You by Your Bookshelf 
and sent me to research The Murder on the Links.
At lunch with The One and Only Bob,
I noticed (a) Silver Spoon
under La Tête d’un homme [A Man’s Head],
then went back to my desk (in)  The Readers’ Room.
Later, on the journey home, I bought The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle
because I have Three Hours in Paris.
Then settling down for the evening, I picked up The Book of Tea
and studied The Education of Delhomme
before saying goodnight to La Femme au carnet rouge [The Red Notebook].

I have so much fun with this every year!
Have you tried with the titles of the books you read in 2020?


A big Thank You to all of you,
book bloggers
and other readers who subscribed to this blog
through email, bloglovin, wordpress, facebook, twitter,
linkedin, pinterest, instagram, youtube,
thanks for stopping by and leaving comments,
with great reading recommendations!
Thanks again for following this blog!

Happy year of reading 2021 to each of you!

Please leave the link of your post in a comment
if you did some of that fun stuff
with the titles you read yourself in 2020

Year of reading 2020: Part 1 – My top 18

Year of reading 2020
Part 1
 My top 18

To follow my tradition, here is part 1 of my yearly recap.
There is a total of 3 parts:

  1. my favorites, with my usual categories, see here below
  2. my stats
  3. my fun list with titles

2020 was a difficult year for many book bloggers, due to problems to focus on anything beside Covid-19. It actually ended up being my best year of reading ever, since I started keeping  track. With a total of 123 books.
BUT I did experience something very different this year in my reading trends. I’ll talk more about this tomorrow when I present my year stats.

The final choice here below is based on the quality of the book, on how it resonated with me and my own experience, and on how it stayed with me. Some of these books may actually have got only 4 out 5 Eiffel Towers at the time I read them.


click on the covers to access either my review,
or the Goodreads page for the titles I have not reviewed yet


Fiction Historical Fiction NonFiction Mystery
The Readers' Room The Girl Behind the Wall Upstream All the Devils Are Here


Fiction Historical Fiction NonFiction Mystery
If You Cross the River L'humanité en péril Killer Come Back to Me


Fiction              Historical Fiction NonFiction Mystery
                                          Three Hours in Paris La Panthère des neiges Pandemia



  Migrations Flood


A Thousand Mornings


The One and Only Bob



Silver Spoon 2


Theological Territories



Out of the 18, my favorite of all might be The Girl Behind the Wall.
I also notice that 7 are either in French (3), translated from the French (2), or set in France (2). That’s 38%.