Sunday Post #25 – 2/16/2020

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    Stacking the Shelves  Mailbox Monday2

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

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

Click on the logos to join the memes,
and on the book covers to access synopsis or review

JUST READ

     Complot  The Book of Ichigo Ichie

             Second Sister  Norwegian Wood

 Once Upon a Word

Yes, I managed to finish 5 books this week!

📚 Complot, by Nicolas Beuglet
Published in May 2018. 496 pages. Alas, not yet available in English, I’m afraid.
I actually listened to it, it was 12H20 minutes

I really enjoyed book 1 in this series. So I decided to listen to the sequel right away.
Sarah is asked to investigate the death of the Norwegian Prime Minister.
She discovers some weird stuff on the scene of the crime, like a bull’s head, and some strange codes on her body. “Strange” is a weird that keeps coming at the beginning of the book.
I loved the setting, on this very isolated island in the Barents Sea. But actually, as Sarah follows clues, she goes to the ancient city of Byblos (Lebanon) and to the Vatican.
There are some crazy suspenseful scenes, so well done by this great writer.
This author loves to use real data and go from there, data that most people don’t usually know about. This time, the plot is partially connected to archaeology, and the mysterious Late Bronze Age Burial Pit 3666 in Cliffs End Farm, Isle of Thanet, Kent. I learned a lot about that, fascinating!
Some major themes of the theme are feminism, masculinism (with a brilliant analysis of the recent evolution of Western Christianity), and religion.
I had the great satisfaction of guessing which Ludmila we were going to meet, because years ago, I read the book Out of the Depths: a Biography of Ludmila Javorová, by Miriam Therese Winter.
There are intriguing data about ancient religious texts, though some analysis may need to be taken with a grain of salt.
And all along, there are also issues about Sarah’s relationships with her friend Christopher and his son.
I was shocked though by the end of the books, and as book 3 is available in audio, I’m listening to it now. But I’m worried it’s only 5 hours long. In so short of a book, what am I going to learn about Sarah’s past?
The French narrator is fantastic!

📚 The Book of Ichigo Ichie: The Art of Making the MOst of Every Moment, the Japanese Way, by Héctor Garcia and Francesc Miralles,
Published in December 2019.
By the same authors as Ikigai, a book I fully enjoyed. So I thought I would also read this one, as I am in a Japanese mood. The authors are Spanish, but they have been living in Japan for at least 10 years.
I think this book is excellent if you feel part of the rat race, and you need to rediscover peace in your everyday life, and have no religion upbringing.
For me, deeply rooted in Orthodoxy (which is really Christian spirituality as it used to be at its very beginning, that is, with a very mystical dimension that has alas mostly been lost in Western Christianity), it actually didn’t bring me much.
It’s definitely much more zen oriented than Ikigai.
It actually even made me sad, as I know some readers will feel like discovering something totally new and exotic coming from the Far East, without knowing that actually this spirituality of attention to the present moment is there in Christian spirituality.
We even have a long tradition, starting in about the third century, of silent meditation in connection with breathing (see The Jesus Prayer, if you are curious).
But many Christians no longer know about it, as so many Western Churches have got rid of all their symbols and other mystical elements, and put the emphasis strictly on the social dimension, thinking this is the only way they’ll be relevant to our current times. Sad.
I did learn some interesting cultural things about Japan, for instance related to the blooming of the cherry trees.
And I had no idea Steve Jobs had been so immersed in zen.

📚 Second Sister
Received for review through Edelweiss
Release date: February 18
VERDICT: If you are looking for something different, geeky, suspenseful, and smart, don’t wait, read Second Sister now.
My full review is here

📚 Norwegian Wood, by Haruki Murakami
Published in English December 2000
Read with the Murakami Online Book Club.
My review, mostly quotations actually, will be live on 2/19

📚 Once Upon a Word: A Word-Origin Dictionary for Kids–Building Vocabulary Through Etymology, Definitions & Stories
Release day 2/25/20, received for review through The Callisto Publisher’s Club
My review will be live tomorrow

CURRENTLY READING/LISTENING TO

Monsieur Gallet décédé The Essential Haiku

📚 Monsieur Gallet, décédé [The Late Monsieur Gallet]
Published in 1931. Maigret #3, reading with one of my French students.
Counts for The Classics Book Club
“In the third Maigret mystery, the circumstances of Monsieur Gallet’s death all seem fake: the name he was traveling under, his presumed profession, and, more worryingly, his family’s grief. Their haughtiness seems to hide ambiguous feelings about the hapless man. Soon Maigret discovers the appalling truth and the real crime hidden beneath the surface of their lies.”

📚 The Essential Haiku
Reading for Japanese Literature Challenge 13
“American readers have been fascinated since their exposure to Japanese culture late in the nineteenth century, with the brief Japanese poem called the hokku or haiku.

The seventeen-syllable form is rooted in a Japanese tradition of close observation of nature, of making poetry from subtle suggestion. Infused by its great practitioners with the spirit of Zen Buddhism, the haiku has served as an example of the power of direct observation to the first generation of American modernist poets like Ezra Pound and William Carlos Williams and also as an example of spontaneity and Zen alertness to the new poets of the 1950s.
This definitive collection brings together in fresh translations by an American poet the essential poems of the three greatest haiku masters: Matsuo Basho in the seventeenth century; Yosa Buson in the eighteenth century; and Kobayashi Issa in the early nineteenth century.
Robert Hass has written a lively and informed introduction, provided brief examples by each poet of their work in the haibun, or poetic prose form, and included informal notes to the poems. “

Audio book

l ile du diable

📚  L’ile du diable:
This is the sequel to Complot, presented above.
It definitely tackles Sarah’s past!

BOOK UP NEXT

The Ten loves of Mr Nishino

📚 The Ten Loves of Nishino
Do you think I will FINALLY get to it soon?? for Japanese Literature Challenge 13 and also because it’s been on my egalley shelf for a while.
“Each woman in this book has succumbed, even if only for an hour, to that seductive, imprudent, and furtively feline man who managed to glide so naturally into their lives. But who really was Mr. Nishino?
Still clinging to the vivid memory of his warm breath, his indecipherable silences, and his nonchalance, ten women who have loved him tell their stories as they attempt to recreate the image of the unfathomable and seemingly unattainable Mr. Nishino. Through accounts that are full of humor, intelligence, and the bittersweet joys of love, these women evoke Nishino’s image but reveal themselves. Each perspective is both captivating and sensual, droll but important, and each is a variation on themes of love and identity.”

LAST 2 BOOKS ADDED TO MY GOODREADS TBR

  Persona Toms Midnight Garden

📚 Persona
Release date 2/20/20
I keep running into this French title. A thriller involving GAFAM (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft). Sounds totally like the genre I like!

📚 Tom’s Midnight Garden
1958
Two bloggers have recently recommended Philippa Pearce to me. This is the last book by her I heard about.
“Lying awake at night, Tom hears the old grandfather clock downstairs strike . . . eleven . . . twelve . . . thirteen . . . Thirteen! When Tom gets up to investigate, he discovers a magical garden. A garden that everyone told him doesn’t exist. A garden that only he can enter . . .
A Carnegie-Medal-winning modern classic that’s magically timeless.”

BOOKS RECEIVED THIS PAST WEEK

 The First Men in the Moon Tricky Logic Puzzles for Adults

 New SAT Vocabulary Workbook Creativity for Kids

📚 The First Men in the Moon
1901. This is one of the two books I won and chose at the occasion of Chris Wolak’s bookgiversary! With her generous gift, I was able to purchase another book, I chose an Orthodox book: The Epistle to the Hebrews: A Commentaryby Archbishop Dmitri Royster.
Thanks Chris!
Please go visit her wonderful book blog, full of so many resources. She also cohosts a great podcast!
“In the 1901 classic The First Men in the Moon, Wells reveals not only a fertile imagination at ease with biological and astronomical phenomena, but also a passionate concern for man and society. His “first men in the moon” prove to be the eccentric Mr. Cavor and his traveling companion, Mr. Bedford, who navigate a gravity-defying sphere through space before executing a rough landing on the moon. As castaways from earth, they practice lunar locomotion, get lost in the wilds of a moon jungle, and confront intelligent life forms living in lunar caverns. Through the adventures of these two earthlings, the author is able to look at mankind from a distance and, in his words, “burlesque the effects of specialization.” The result is a delightful tale filled with adventure, romance, and fantasy that is still capable of stirring the imagination of readers in the 21st century.”

📚 Tricky Logic Puzzles for Adults
Release day 2/25/20, received for review through The Callisto Publisher’s Club
“It’s time to give your mental muscles a real workout! Stuffed full of clever and cunning challenges, this collection of logic puzzles for adults is perfect for puzzlers looking to prove (and improve) their skill.
Featuring a variety of puzzle types–including Sudoku, Masyu, Logic Grids, and Nonograms–these easy-to-understand (but tough-to-solve) puzzles will help keep your mind sharp as you remain engaged and entertained for days to come. Brainpower on!

📚 New SAT Vocabulary Workbook
Release day 2/25/20, received for review through The Callisto Publisher’s Club
“Seberson Method: New SAT® Vocabulary Workbook helps students master more than 700 high-frequency words that frequently appear on the test’s Reading, Writing, and Essay sections. The book’s approach reflects changes made to the SAT in recent years, focusing on more contextual vocabulary understanding than rote memorization.
Each of the 145 bite-size lessons features a theme to help improve vocabulary retention, and each includes an activity to test understanding. It’s a modern workbook designed to give college-bound students the edge needed to improve their SAT scores.”

📚 Creativity for Kids
Release day 3/10/20, received for review through The Callisto Publisher’s Club
“Make creativity their superpower with 75 imaginative exercises for kids!
Help children explore their curiosity and learn how to be more creative! Creativity for Kids provides fun and helpful activities that will not only help kids express themselves but also build confidence and enhance problem-solving skills as they make creativity a part of everything they do.
Go beyond artistic expression with guided activities―like the Bridge-Building Challenge or the Cut-Out Story―that help your child learn how to take innovative and inventive approaches to a variety of situations and challenges. They’ll also have a super-fun time with each activity whether working independently or in a group.”

BOOK JOURNAL

2/10-11
📚 Oops, I have been forgetting to keep track. These two days, I read Complot and Second Sister, already reviewed.

2/12
📚 I finished Complot and Ichigo Ichie, also presented above.
I also finished reading the chapter of The Essential Haiku (edited by Robert Hass) on Basho. And felt inspired to write my first haiku!

2/13
📚 Having finished Complot, with a crazy end, I couldn’t wait to know what was going to happen next. So I started book 3 in this series, L’ile du diable.
I’m worried that it’s so short, 5 hours instead of 12 hours for book 2.
In case this series gets translated in English and you’ll read them, I will avoid spoilers. Just to say that the book opens 1 year after book 2. And it gets very focused on Inspector Sarah’s life from the get go. I hope I’ll know more about her past and her family in 5 hours…

2/14
📚 It’s interesting that I finished Norwegian Wood by Murakami on Saint Valentine’s Day! On the 19, I will post a review, or at least quotations I enjoyed the book.
I know it’s a must book by my favorite author, but this is actually not a book I enjoyed. It didn’t totally feel like all the other books I read by Muramaki.
Let’s just  say, why would you read Fifty Shades of Grey when you have Norwegian Wood??
📚 I read half of Maigret #3, Monsieur Gallet, décédé (see above).
I am thoroughly enjoying it. As many series, the books seem to get better and better.
In this one, I start seeing a lot of humor in Simenon’s style, something that was not as apparent in the previous two books. It’s very atmospheric.

THIS PAST WEEK ON
WORDS AND PEACE
and FRANCE BOOK TOURS

📚 Book of the month giveaway

COMING UP ON WORDS AND PEACE

    Japanese Literature 13

January-March: Japanese Literature Challenge 13

HOW WAS YOUR WEEK?

 

Sunday Post #24 – 2/9/2020

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    Stacking the Shelves  Mailbox Monday2

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

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

Click on the logos to join the memes,
and on the book covers to access synopsis or review

JUST READ

     Selected poems  Le charretier de la Providence

📚 Selected Poems, by Masaoka Shiki (1902)
Translation by Burton Watson
Read for Japanese Literature Challenge 13 and The Classics Club.

As you know, I’m into a Japanese mood. I found reference to this book in Natsume Soseki’s books. Actually Shiki was born the same year as Soseki, and they even spent some time together.
Masaoka Shiki (1867-1902) is credited with modernizing Japan’s two traditional verse forms, haiku and tanka.
I’m French and have always enjoyed poetry in French, or in Spanish – Pablo Neruda is one of my favorite poets. But for some reason, I have always had problems with most English speaking poets (with a few exceptions). I usually find them too wordy.
I had run into haiku before, obviously, but it never completely clicked.
This book had an excellent introduction explaining the origin and structure of authentic haiku. I’m finally realizing that preferring short poems and the presence of nature, haiku was actually perfect for me, as they usually (in their traditional form) refer to nature.
I really enjoyed this selection, ranged chronologically to highlight the importance of and evolution between the various seasons.
My favorite was this one

Haiku by Shiki

So be prepared, you will hear more about haiku from me!

📚 Le charretier de la Providence [Lock 14] (1931)
Maigret #2
Read as a readalong with one of my French students and for The Classics Club.

This whole novel is about the world of locks on (usually) quiet (mostly) small French rivers. There were some technical details, but it was neat to learn more about this job of what you have to do to let boats go in and out locks, through the long French network of canals.
And Maigret observes this world often on his bike on the path alongside the river.
Living mostly on a boat is a total different culture. I think Simenon did a fantastic job here at recreating this atmosphere, the feeling of space on a boat, and the relationship between the people living on them, as well as with the people in the villages they stop at, for instance le café where they often stop for a drink while their boat is in the lock.
Simenon is also great at describing some special characters here!
About the title, I don’t think it’s a spoiler, it has nothing to do with the Divine Providence – though there might be a message somewhere about that. La Providence here is simply the name of a boat. And le charretier is the man who leads the horses that drag some boats from the side of the river.
As for the mystery: A woman was found murdered in a barn near Lock 14, with fancy clothes on and expensive jewelry, and very far from where she lived.Who is she? Why was she there? Why was she murdered? Maigret has to get deep into getting to know the culture and life of this world of locks and boats to find out what happened.
It was well done.
All along, I was amazed at discovering lots of details reminding me of Jean Valjean. Could it be an early example of fanfiction?

CURRENTLY READING/LISTENING TO

Second Sister  Norwegian Wood

📚 Second Sister
Received for review through Edelweiss
Release date: February 18
“An up-to-the-minute tale of a Darwinian digital city where everyone from tech entrepreneurs to teenagers is struggling for the top.
A schoolgirl—Siu-Man—has committed suicide, leaping from her twenty-second floor window to the pavement below. Siu-Man is an orphan and the librarian older sister who’s been raising her refuses to believe there was no foul play—nothing seemed amiss. She contacts a man known only as N.—a hacker, and an expert in cybersecurity and manipulating human behavior. But can Nga-Yee interest him sufficiently to take her case, and can she afford it if he says yes?”

📚 Norwegian Wood
Reading for Japanese Literature Challenge 13 and with the Murakami online book club.
“Toru, a quiet and preternaturally serious young college student in Tokyo, is devoted to Naoko, a beautiful and introspective young woman, but their mutual passion is marked by the tragic death of their best friend years before. Toru begins to adapt to campus life and the loneliness and isolation he faces there, but Naoko finds the pressures and responsibilities of life unbearable.”

Audio book

Complot

📚  Complot:
I really enjoyed book 1 in this series. 
Why would the Norwegian Prime Minister be found murdered in the same way as a woman found in a very old burial pit in England?

BOOK UP NEXT

The Missing Sister

📚 The Missing Sister
Received for review for Criminal Element
Release date: April 1st
“Shayna Darby is finally coming to terms with her parents’ deaths when she’s delivered another blow. The body of her estranged twin sister, Angela—the possible victim of a serial killer—has been pulled from the Seine. Putting what’s left of her life on hold, Shayna heads to Paris. But while cleaning out Angela’s apartment, Shayna makes a startling discovery: a coded message meant for her alone…
Alive. Trust no one.
Taking the warning to heart, Shayna maintains the lie. She makes a positive ID on the remains and works to find out where—and why—her missing sister is hiding. Shayna retraces her sister’s footsteps, and they lead her down into Paris’s underbelly.
As she gets closer to the truth—and to the killer—Shayna’s own life may now be in the balance…”

LAST 2 BOOKS ADDED TO MY GOODREADS TBR

2 nonfiction books:

 The Rise and Fall of Modern Japanese Literature  On Tyranny

📚 The Rise and Fall of Modern Japanese Literature
Published in 2018
I think I found reference to this book in my Haruki Murakami online Book Club. With all the Japanese literature I have read, I think it would be most interesting at this point to read this type of literary criticism.

The Rise and Fall of Modern Japanese Literature tells the story of Japanese literature from its start in the 1870s against the backdrop of a rapidly coalescing modern nation to the present. John Whittier Treat takes up both canonical and forgotten works, the non-literary as well as the literary, and pays special attention to the Japanese state’s hand in shaping literature throughout the country’s nineteenth-century industrialization, a half-century of empire and war, its post-1945 reconstruction, and the challenges of the twenty-first century to modern nationhood.
Beginning with journalistic accounts of female criminals in the aftermath of the Meiji civil war, Treat moves on to explore how woman novelist Higuchi Ichiyo’s stories engaged with modern liberal economics, sex work, and marriage; credits Natsume Soseki’s satire I Am a Cat with the triumph of print over orality in the early twentieth century; and links narcissism in the visual arts with that of the Japanese I-novel on the eve of the country’s turn to militarism in the 1930s. From imperialism to Americanization and the new media of television and manga, from boogie-woogie music to Yoshimoto Banana and Murakami Haruki, Treat traces the stories Japanese audiences expected literature to tell and those they did not. The book concludes with a classic of Japanese science fiction a description of present-day crises writers face in a Japan hobbled by a changing economy and unprecedented natural and manmade catastrophes. The Rise and Fall of Japanese Literature reinterprets the “end of literature”—a phrase heard often in Japan—as a clarion call to understand how literary culture worldwide now teeters on a historic precipice, one at which Japan’s writers may have arrived just a moment before the rest of us.”

📚 On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century
2017
Recommended by another bookblogger as a must for everyone, and presented by a member of my book club. It seems really timely to read.
A historian of fascism offers a guide for surviving and resisting America’s turn towards authoritarianism.
On November 9th, millions of Americans woke up to the impossible: the election of Donald Trump as president. Against all predictions, one of the most-disliked presidential candidates in history had swept the electoral college, elevating a man with open contempt for democratic norms and institutions to the height of power.
Timothy Snyder is one of the most celebrated historians of the Holocaust. In his books Bloodlands and Black Earth, he has carefully dissected the events and values that enabled the rise of Hitler and Stalin and the execution of their catastrophic policies. With Twenty Lessons, Snyder draws from the darkest hours of the twentieth century to provide hope for the twenty-first. As he writes, “Americans are no wiser than the Europeans who saw democracy yield to fascism, Nazism and communism. Our one advantage is that we might learn from their experience.”
Twenty Lessons is a call to arms and a guide to resistance, with invaluable ideas for how we can preserve our freedoms in the uncertain years to come.
 ”

BOOK RECEIVED THIS PAST WEEK

Once Upon a Word

📚 Once Upon a Word: A Word-Origin Dictionary for Kids–Building Vocabulary Through Etymology, Definitions & Stories
Release day 2/25/20, received for review through The Callisto Publisher’s Club
“Where do words come from?–Learning new words by understanding their stories.
The English language is made up of words from different places, events, and periods of time. Each of those words has an exciting story to tell us about where, when, how, and why they came about. Once Upon a Word is packed with easy-to-understand definitions and awesome word-origin stories. With this dictionary for kids, you can understand the history and meaning of English words, improve your vocabulary and spelling, and learn to play with language.
Explore how weird words like gnome, fun words like zombie, and common words like caterpillar came to exist. Discover why some words sound funnier than others (like cacklesizzle, and twang) and why some groups of words start with the same few letters (like hydratehydrogen, and fire hydrant). In this dictionary for kids, there’s a whole world of English words to uncover!”

BOOK JOURNAL

2/2
📚 In the trilogy I read by Natsume Soseki (Sanshiro / And Then / The Gate), I found reference to the master of Haiku Masaoka Shiki (1867-1902). I checked a volume of Selected Poems at my library and devoured it tonight. It also had an excellent introduction by the translator, Burton Watson. See my short review above.

2/3
📚 Time to confess, yesterday, I also checked out three other books from my library, and tonight I started reading two of them: The Essential Haiku: versions of Basho, Buson, and Issa, edited by Robert Hass. These are exactly the 3 other Haiku masters referred to in introduction or afterward to Soseki’s trilogy! I know, they are the top ones, but still, it was amazing that my library had THAT book. Now don’t be surprised I checked it out, lol.
It’s got a good general introduction, and then another introduction specific to each master before the selection of their haiku. For Basho, they mention his various trip journals, another temptation on the horizon…
📚 The other one I started is The Book of Ichigo Ichie: The Art of Making the Most of Every Moment, the Japanese Way, by Héctor Garcia and Francesc Miralles, the authors of Ikigai, a book I really enjoyed last year.
📚 Today, I also started reading the 2nd Maigret book, that I’m reading with my French student: Le charretier de la providence, by Georges Simenon (see short review above). One English translation has for title Lock 14, which I think is much better for the suspense.
📚 I also read chapters 8-9 of Norwegian Wood, by Haruki Murakami, to be ready for our online discussion this Sunday.
I know, it’s a lot of books going on at the same time, but if they are different, and with different format (paper, digital, audio), I manage not to mix them up. Plus I take notes.

2/4
📚 Le charretier de la providence was an easy read, and I finished it tonight.

2/5
📚 I read up to 17% of Second Sister, by Chan Ho-Kei.
I like the suspense about who Siu-Man really was, about what really happened or not to her in the subway, and the craziness going on on Chinese social media, and the world of hackers and the dark web. Really well done so far.
📚 I finally went on reading Theological Territories, by David Bentley Hart. I am in essay on on Tradition and Authority. The author’s view on a dynamic Tradition in Orthodoxy makes total sense to me. This was much easier to read than the six previous essays. Still, when I’m too tired, I have to choose easier reading.

2/6
📚 My French audio, Complot, by Nicolas Beuglet, is getting really intense. There was a very tough torture scene today… Still, the author has really a knack at combining all kinds of fascinating real data, like on feminism, masculinism, a very old grave (burial pit 3666) found at Cliffs End Farm, Isle of Thanet, Kent, and the ancient city of Byblos!

2/7
📚 Complot, by Nicolas Beuglet. As in the first book in the series, there are actually elements related to religion. I wonder where this is going. The author does read a lot of religious texts, including the Bible, and he does a lot of research. He likes starting from real data.
📚 Second Sister, by Chan Ho-Kei. The hacker the victim’s older sister has found is very rude, but he is so good as what he’s doing. So she can only put up with him, as she so wants him to find out what really happened to her sister, and why.

THIS PAST WEEK ON
WORDS AND PEACE
and FRANCE BOOK TOURS

📚 Book of the month giveaway

COMING UP ON WORDS AND PEACE

    Japanese Literature 13

January-March: Japanese Literature Challenge 13

HAVE YOU READ ANY OF THESE?
HOW WAS YOUR WEEK?

 

Sunday Post #23 – 2/2/2020

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    Stacking the Shelves  Mailbox Monday2

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

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

Click on the logos to join the memes,
and on the book covers to access synopsis or review

JUST READ

     The Gate

📚 The Gate
Last book in the trilogy after Sanshiro and And Then.
Read for Japanese Literature Challenge 13 and The Classics Club.

Planning to publish my review on 2/4.

CURRENTLY READING/LISTENING TO

Theological Territories Norwegian Wood

📚 Theological Territories: A David Bentley Hart Digest
Received for review through Edelweiss
Release date April 15
A collection of 26 essays related to Orthodoxy.
I’m publishing notes on it as I read it.

📚 Norwegian Wood
Reading for Japanese Literature Challenge 13 and with the Murakami online book club – see explanation in my Book Journal here below.

Audio book

Complot

📚  Complot:
I really enjoyed book 1 in this series. 
A mysterious plot involving the Norwegian Prime Minister.

BOOK UP NEXT

Second Sister

📚 Second Sister
Received for review through Edelweiss
Release date: February 18
“An up-to-the-minute tale of a Darwinian digital city where everyone from tech entrepreneurs to teenagers is struggling for the top.
A schoolgirl—Siu-Man—has committed suicide, leaping from her twenty-second floor window to the pavement below. Siu-Man is an orphan and the librarian older sister who’s been raising her refuses to believe there was no foul play—nothing seemed amiss. She contacts a man known only as N.—a hacker, and an expert in cybersecurity and manipulating human behavior. But can Nga-Yee interest him sufficiently to take her case, and can she afford it if he says yes?

LAST 2 BOOKS ADDED TO MY GOODREADS TBR

The Godwulf Manuscript     The Scarlet Pimpernel

📚 The Godwulf Manuscript
Published in 1973
This sounds like an intriguing mystery.
“The first in the series featuring private detective Spenser, sees Spenser hired to return a rare stolen fourteenth-century manuscript to its rightful owners, a Boston university who has hired him.
Spenser earned his degree in the school of hard knocks so he is hardly surprised that his only clue is a radical student with four bullets in his chest. The investigation soon leads him into a complex web of murder, radical politics, adultery, drugs and organised crime.
The cops are ready to throw the book at the pretty blond coed whose prints are all over the murder weapon but Spenser knows there are no easy answers. He tackles some very heavy homework and knows that if he doesn’t finish his assignment soon, he could end up marked “D” — for dead.”

📚 The Scarlet Pimpernel
1905
A classic set in France I had not heard about!
“Armed with only his wits and his cunning, one man recklessly defies the French revolutionaries and rescues scores of innocent men, women, and children from the deadly guillotine. His friends and foes know him only as the Scarlet Pimpernel. But the ruthless French agent Chauvelin is sworn to discover his identity and to hunt him down.”

BOOKS RECEIVED THIS PAST WEEK

I actually haven’t received anything this week, at least at the time I’m preparing this post, but here are 2 books I checked out at my library:

     Selected poems The Book of Ichigo Ichie

📚 Selected Poems, by Masaoka Shiki
Translation by Burton Watson
As you know, I’m into a Japanese mood. I found reference to this book in Natsume Soseki’s books.
Masaoka Shiki (1867-1902) is credited with modernizing Japan’s two traditional verse forms, haiku and tanka.

📚 The Book of Ichigo Ichie: The Art of Making the Most of Every Moment, the Japanese Way
Release day 12/31/2019
Another Japanese book, by the author of the great Ikigai

BOOK JOURNAL

1/26
📚 Ok, looks like 2020 is going to be Japanese madness. As you know by now, I’m doing the Japanese Literature Challenge from January-March. And I have already read 3 books by Natsume Soseki for this.
Now, Bryan from Still An Unfinished Person, had the good idea to leave a comment today on my Sunday Salon #22, and he mentioned he was in an online book club on Murakami! How do you want me to resist this?
Plus this book club is using Discord, that I just joined to participate in the #Pondathon. So now I have 7 chapters of Norwegian Wood to read before next Sunday to catch up.
So I’ll be reading this before continuing with The Gate. Did I write madness?
I
am not sure, but I don’t think I ever read Norwegian Wood. Anyway, even if I did, that would have been over 10 years ago, so it won’t hurt.
So tonight, I have read already 28% of the book, that is chapters 1-4 that were discussed on Sunday in the book club.
I think I will integrate my notes in my final review review of the book.
My plan is to try to finish The Gate, then read Norwegian Wood chapters 5-7 before Sunday, as these will be discussed on 2/2.

1/27
📚 I I listened to a bit over an our of Complot, the sequel of Le Cri, by Nicolas Beuglet. This French author is fantastic. I feel I’m there on this super cold Norwegian island. I love the characters, and I wonder the impact this new case (the gruesome and mysterious murder of the Prime Minister!) will have on Inspector Sarah.
📚 The Gate: So far, I don’t enjoy as much as the 2 previous books. There’s actually more happening that I expected or wanted!

1/28
📚 Complot: getting totally strange, as the police keeps repeating. There was this crazy suspenseful scene when Sarah was getting over the icy water to recover something. And now, the whole question is, who was really this Norwegian Prime Minister? Was she leading a double life? What was going on in her secret lab??
📚 The Gate: Ah! Tonight, I read beautiful passages on the life of this quiet couple. I will have lots of quotations to share in my review!!

1/29-30
📚 Complot: this is getting crazy now, as this could involve some international forces. Plus looks like Sarah’s family will be in danger as well!!
📚 The Gate: Now there’s this long flashback, where we see how the two main characters met in the first place. Though what happened then remains a bit blurred. It puts the quietness of this couple’s life in a very different light!
📚 Norwegian Wood: I have now read chapters 5-7, to be ready for our Sunday online discussion. I plan to post all my notes by chapter along with my review, so I won’t give any more details here.

1/31
📚 This was our monthly book club, so I came home late and didn’t read.
This was our 8th anniversary. So for the occasion, we do a full potluck meal, everyone bringing something. Plus I organize a Jeopardy game (questions related to literature only), with 3 bags of books and goodies for the top 3 winners.
And as usual, each member presents the book he/she has enjoyed reading this past month. This is our usual format, we love it, we would never all read the same book. So much more interesting, you discover all kinds of books in many genres, but obviously, this is super dangerous for your TBRs!

THIS PAST WEEK ON
WORDS AND PEACE
and FRANCE BOOK TOURS

📚 Book of the month giveaway

COMING UP ON WORDS AND PEACE

    Japanese Literature 13

January-March: Japanese Literature Challenge 13

  • 2/3 February titles
  • 2/4 Book review: The Gate
  • 2/5 Notes on Chapters 4-5 of Theological Territories
  • And will be catching up on 2019 book reviews

HAVE YOU READ ANY OF THESE?
HOW WAS YOUR WEEK?