Sunday Post #69 – 11/06/2022

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

November is full of so many blogging events. I’m participating in two, Nonfiction November and Novellas in November, as reflected by I what I have read and posted this week:

I finished 5 books this past week.

📚JUST READ/LISTENED TO 🎧 

Bel-Ami

 

📚 Bel-Ami,
by Guy de Maupassant
French literary fiction
Published in 1885
416 pages
Read with French student F.
It counts for The Classics Club

I like Maupassant’s short stories, but I think Bel-Ami might be the very first novel I read by him.
I found in it the same talent Maupassant has to describe scenes, people, and the social milieu.
I have a lot to say about this book, so I’m planning on writing a review on it next week.

I read these 3 novellas – click on the pictures to read my short reviews of them:The Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk The Lifted Veil The Snow Goose 2

And I finished the audiobook I presented last week:

The Leavenworth Case🎧  The Leavenworth Case (Mr. Gryce #1)
by Anna Katharine Green
Mystery
Published in 1878
439 pages
12H03
It counts for The Classics Club

This was a major discovery for me.
Anna Katharine Green (1846-1935) was an American poet and novelist.
She was one of the first writers of detective fiction in America and distinguished herself by writing well plotted, legally accurate stories.

Check last week’s post where I give more details about it.

📚  CURRENTLY READING/LISTENING TO 🎧 

 

Wanderlust

 

📚 Wanderlust, by Rebecca Solnit
Nonfiction / History and Travel Essays
Published in 2001
328 pages

Finally reading this book that I bought a long time ago.

I’m not far into it, but loving it so far: a neat history of walking.

“This volume provides a history of walking, exploring the relationship between thinking and walking and between walking and culture. The author argues for the preservation of the time and space in which to walk in an ever more car-dependent and accelerated world.”

Scarlet Sails

 

📚 Crimson Sails,
by Alexander Grin

Translated by Fainna Glagoleva
Russian literature
Published in 1922
Reading it for Novellas in November
It counts for The Classics Club

I am actually reading a different edition than the book cover – couldn’t find a decent cover of my edition. And the title of Glagoleva’s translation is Crimson Sails, not Scarlet Sails.

“In a small fisherman’s village there lived the widowed and reclusive Longren with his daughter Assol. The neighbors consider the family odd, which was true. Assol is waiting for her prophesied fate–that she will meet the man of her dreams when he comes to her on a ship with red sails.”

Il Visconte Dimezzato

 

📚 Il Visconte Dimezzato,
by Italo Calvino
Translated into English as The Cloven Discount
Italian literature / Fantasy
Published inn 1952
Reading it for Novellas in November
It counts for The Classics Club

The day has finally come: after several months of studying Italian through Duolingo, I’m now reading Italo Calvino in the original text – which was my goal in learning Italian.
The advantage of reading ebooks is that it’s easy to check a word I’m not sure of, but knowing how sentences work, grammar, and conjugation, makes it smooth. I’m really thrilled by this.
And I’m starting to dare dream being able to do the same one day in Japanese as well. That type of dream never hurts, right?

Now, this is a very weird story, and I am very curious to see how Calvino will show here he is a true Oulipo member.

“The narrator tells the story of his uncle, Medardo di Torralba, who fighting in Bohemia against the Turks, ended up cut in half by a cannon shot.
The two parts of his body, perfectly preserved, show different characters: the first half shows a cruel disposition, rages on his subjects and threatens the beautiful Pamela, while the other half, the good one, does its utmost to repair the misdeeds of the other and even Pamela asks in marriage.
The two halved faces challenge each other to a duel, and in the clash they begin to bleed in their respective broken parts. A doctor takes advantage of this to reunite the two halves of the body and restore an entire viscount to life, in which good and bad are mixed.”

Unbeaten tracks in Japan🎧  Unbeaten Tracks in Japan,
by Isabella Lucy Bird
Nonfiction
Published in 1885
400 pages
12H56
It counts for The Classics Club

Another awesome discovery, and I am glad a Librivox member recorded it, so I’m actually listening to it.
Imagine, an English woman traveling to Japan unchaperoned in 1878, and discovering the real Japan of the interior, far from touristy places, visiting villages who had never seen “a foreigner” before, and “a woman foreigner” at that.
She is seeing the real Japan of the time, far from romantic views reported by wealthy tourists.
Lots of poverty, even miserable people, living in miserable conditions, plagued by insects and skin diseases.
But Isabella L Bird also knows how to appreciate and describe a gorgeous landscape when she sees one, especially after going through horrible paths.
These are actually the letters she sent to her sister all during her trip. Most most fascinating. Full of details on daily life there at the time, on architecture, food, etc.
And my first months of Japanese do help him understand the use of some local words!

I am also still reading two books with French students:
Respire, by Niko Tackian
Les nouvelles enquêtes de Maigret, by Georges Simenon

📚  BOOK UP NEXT 📚 

A Dog's Heart

📚  A Dog’s Heart by Mikhail Bulgakov
Russian literature
Published in 1925
Will be reading for Novellas in November
It counts for The Classics Club

I enjoyed The Master and Margarita, so I’m really looking forward to this one.

“Mikhail Bulgakov’s absurdist parable of the Russian Revolution.
A world-famous Moscow professor — rich, successful, and violently envied by his neighbors — befriends a stray dog and resolves to achieve a daring scientific first by transplanting into it the testicles and pituitary gland of a dead man. But the results are wholly unexpected: a distinctly and worryingly human animal is on the loose, and the professor’s hitherto respectable life becomes a nightmare beyond endurance.
As in The Master and Margarita, the masterpiece he completed shortly before his death, Mikhail Bulgakov’s early novel, written in 1925, combines outrageously grotesque ideas with a narrative of deadpan naturalism. The Heart of a Dog can be read as an absurd and wonderfully comic story; it can also be read as a fierce parable of the Russian Revolution.”

📚  LAST BOOK ADDED TO MY GOODREADS TBR 📚 

November is a crazy month with so many book blogging events. It’s also sci-fi month.
I won’t have time to read any sci-fi right now, but I’m running into new titles on blogs I visit. This one sounds fabulous:

The Last Gifts of the Universe📚 The Last Gifts of the Universe,
by Rory August

Published on April 7, 2022
Scifi
203 pages

“A dying universe.
When the Home worlds finally achieved the technology to venture out into the stars, they found a graveyard of dead civilizations, a sea of lifeless gray planets and their ruins. What befell them is unknown. All Home knows is that they are the last civilization left in the universe, and whatever came for the others will come for them next.

A search for answers.
Scout is an Archivist tasked with scouring the dead worlds of the cosmos for their last gifts: interesting technology, cultural rituals—anything left behind that might be useful to the Home worlds and their survival. During an excavation on a lifeless planet, Scout unearths something unbelievable.
A past unraveled.
An adventure at the end of a trillion lifetimes.”

Once again, looks like the official synopsis gives too much away, so I shortened it.

📚 NO BOOK RECEIVED THIS PAST WEEK 📚 

📚📚📚

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

The top 9 books to read in November 2022

Here are
The top 9 books
I plan to read in November 2022

Two special events I’ll be participating in this month:
Nonfiction November and Novellas in November:

Nonfiction November 2022  Novellas in November 2022

Click on the images to check what this is about

And as you can see here below, besides a brand new French audiobook and a book written twenty years ago, my focus is definitely the classics, in various genres.

Click on the covers to know more

📚 CURRENTLY READING 📚

Bel-Ami📚 Bel-Ami, by Guy de Maupassant
 French literary fiction
Published in 1885
Reading with French student F.
It counts for The Classics Club

“Guy de Maupassant’s scandalous tale of an opportunistic young man corrupted by the allure of power.
Young, attractive and very ambitious, George Duroy, known to his admirers as Bel-Ami, is offered a job as a journalist on La Vie française and soon makes a great success of his new career. But he also comes face to face with the realities of the corrupt society in which he lives – the sleazy colleagues, the manipulative mistresses, and wily financiers – and swiftly learns to become an arch-seducer, blackmailer and social climber in a world where love is only a means to an end. Written when Maupassant was at the height of his powers, “Bel-Ami” is a novel of great frankness and cynicism, but it is also infused with the sheer joy of life – depicting the scenes and characters of Paris in the belle époque with wit, sensitivity, and humanity.”

Les nouvelles enquêtes de Maigret

📚 Les nouvelles enquêtes de Maigret,
by Georges Simenon

Mystery – short stories collection
Published in 1944
Reading with French student E.
It counts for The Classics Club

This is the first collection of short stories in the Maigret series.

These are 20 short stories written between 1936-1938.
It’s really neat to see that Simenon displays the same quality of writing, in his plots and his way of creating bleak atmosphere, than in his novels.

Respire

📚 Respire, by Niko Tackian
French Mystery
Published on January 5, 2022
Reading with French student S.

“The very white sand, the turquoise ocean. This is what Yohan discovers when he wakes up. A heavenly place where he will start a new life. Have a second chance to be happy. To arrive on this unknown island, he signed up with a mysterious company that promised to make him disappear and erase all traces of his past.
During the first few days, Yohan savored his rediscovered carelessness. Even if little by little, a feeling of strangeness gets over him. The island is home to a dozen inhabitants, each more enigmatic than the next. Yet the abandoned houses, the deserted stalls in the windswept streets, suggest that they were once much more numerous. Where have the others gone?
Yohan wants to understand. But he should never have looked behind the scenes. Because it is well known that knowledge can shatter Paradise…”

Wanderlust📚 Wanderlust, by Rebecca Solnit
Nonfiction / History and Travel Essays
Published in 2001

I bought this book a long time ago, and am finally reading it!
I was actually planning to read it with another blogger, but I didn’t write down who was talking about a read-along on this, and I can no longer find who it was! Let me know if you know who!

“This volume provides a history of walking, exploring the relationship between thinking and walking and between walking and culture. The author argues for the preservation of the time and space in which to walk in an ever more car-dependent and accelerated world.”

The Lifted Veil📚 The Lifted Veil,
by George Eliot
Gothic, Horror
Published in 1859
Reading it for Novellas in November
and for The Classics Club

I have already read a good chunk of it, so far it’s definitely more gothic than horror per se, though psychological horror might be a good way to look at it — so far.

“Quite unlike the realistic fiction for which Eliot is best known, The Lifted Veil explores themes of extrasensory perception, the essence of physical life, possible life after death, and the power of fate. ”

📚 READING NEXT 📚

The Snow Goose📚 The Snow Goose, by Paul Gallico
Novella, Historical fiction
Published in 1941

I will be reading it
for Novellas in November.
It counts for The Classics Club.

“Classic storytelling from a bestselling author. Gallico’s most famous story, The Snow Goose,
is set in the wild,
desolate Essex marshes and is an intense and moving tale about the relationship between a hunchback and a young girl. ”

Scarlet Sails

📚  Scarlet Sails, by Alexander Grin
Novella, Classic Russian fiction
I don’t know yet the translator
Published in 1922
It counts for The Classics Club
And I will be reading it
for Novellas in November.

“In this Russian classic of romance and adventure at sea, Arthur Grey falls in love with Asole without ever having exchanged a word with her.
Also known in English translation as “Crimson Sails.”

These are just two of several (possibly 8??) novellas I’m planning to red this month.

🎧 CURRENT AND NEXT AUDIOBOOKS 🎧

  Unbeaten tracks in Japan  The Story of the Treasure Seekers

🎧 Unbeaten Tracks in Japan, by Isabella Lucy Bird
Nonfiction, Travel, Japan
Published in 1885
It counts for The Classics Club

I am very happy I am able to listen to this one.

“This classic travel book details Isabella Bird’s 1878 trip, where she set out alone to explore the interior of Japan – a rarity not only because of Bird’s sex but because the country was virtually unknown to Westerners. The Japan she describes is not the sentimental world of Madame Butterfly but a vibrant land of real people with a complex culture and hardscrabble lives.”

🎧 The Story of the Treasure Seekers (Bastable Children #1),
by
E. Nesbit
Children classic
Published in 1899
It counts for The Classics Club

It’s about time to discover this great classic.
If I like it, I may go on and listen to the 4 books in the series, we’ll see.

“When their father’s business fails, the six Bastable children decide to restore the family fortunes. But although they think of many ingenious ways to do so, their well meant efforts are either more fun than profitable, or lead to trouble…”

Eiffel Tower Orange

HAVE YOU READ
OR ARE YOU PLANNING TO READ
ANY OF THESE?
WHAT ARE YOUR READING PLANS FOR NOVEMBER?

https://linktr.ee/wordsandpeace

Sunday Post #68 – 10/30/2022

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

These past weeks have been too busy for me to participate in this meme and to post much on this blog. I have been restarting slowly. Hopefully, I’m back for quite a while.

I have finished only 2 books this past week, but I am in the process of reading a whole bunch, particularly 4 different books as read-along with students, so I only read a few chapters per week.

📚JUST READ/LISTENED TO 🎧 

The Picadilly Murder

The Piccadilly Murder
(Ambrose Chitterwick #1),

by Anthony Berkeley
Published in 1929
352 pages
Mystery
Goodreads
It counts for The Classics Club

I am a bit disappointed by this one, but am planning to try another apparently better book by the same author.

Come this way to check my short review.

The Sound and the Fury

 

The Sound and the Fury
by William Faulkner
Published in 1929
366 pages
Literary fiction

Goodreads
It counts for The Classics Club
Read for The 1929 Club

VERDICT: Challenging novels are worth it! Stream of consciousness at its best?

I wrote a full review. It’s this way.

📚  CURRENTLY READING/LISTENING TO 🎧 

Bel-Ami

 

📚 Bel-Ami,
by Guy de Maupassant
 French literary fiction
Published in 1885
Reading with French student F.
It counts for The Classics Club

With French student F., I recently reread Le Horla, Maupassant’s most famous collection of short stories among French students.
We loved it and decided to read one of his novels.
Maupassant impresses me more and more in his style and talent at describing characters.

“Guy de Maupassant’s scandalous tale of an opportunistic young man corrupted by the allure of power.
Young, attractive and very ambitious, George Duroy, known to his admirers as Bel-Ami, is offered a job as a journalist on La Vie française and soon makes a great success of his new career. But he also comes face to face with the realities of the corrupt society in which he lives – the sleazy colleagues, the manipulative mistresses, and wily financiers – and swiftly learns to become an arch-seducer, blackmailer and social climber in a world where love is only a means to an end. Written when Maupassant was at the height of his powers, “Bel-Ami” is a novel of great frankness and cynicism, but it is also infused with the sheer joy of life – depicting the scenes and characters of Paris in the belle époque with wit, sensitivity, and humanity.”

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

With French student E., we have already read the first 19 novels by Simenon featuring Inspector Maigret.
We decided to keep the chronological order of publication, so we are now in the first collection of short stories.
These are 20 short stories written between 1936-1938.
It’s really neat to see that Simenon displays the same quality of writing, in his plots and his way of creating bleak atmosphere, than in his novels.

Respire

 

📚 Respire,
by Niko Tackian
French Mystery
Published on January 5, 2022

I have already read and really appreciated 3 books by Tackian, for instance Avalanche hôtel.
So when French student S. asked if we could read together a contemporary French mystery, I knew where to go.
We have read 30% of the novel so far, and it’s very intriguing. We have no idea what’s really going on, and like the main protagonist, even where we are at.
The book is actually based on the Japanese social phenomenon of the Jōhatsu (lit. “evaporation”, hence the name in French of “Les Évaporés”) . It refers to the people in Japan who purposely vanish from their established lives without a trace.
Actually, I already read a French novel based on this phenomenon last year: Les Évaporés, by Reverdy.

“The very white sand, the turquoise ocean. This is what Yohan discovers when he wakes up. A heavenly place where he will start a new life. Have a second chance to be happy. To arrive on this unknown island, he signed up with a mysterious company that promised to make him disappear and erase all traces of his past.
During the first few days, Yohan savored his rediscovered carelessness. Even if little by little, a feeling of strangeness gets over him. The island is home to a dozen inhabitants, each more enigmatic than the next. Yet the abandoned houses, the deserted stalls in the windswept streets, suggest that they were once much more numerous. Where have the others gone?
Yohan wants to understand. But he should never have looked behind the scenes. Because it is well known that knowledge can shatter Paradise…”

The Leavenworth Case🎧  The Leavenworth Case (Mr. Gryce #1)
by Anna Katharine Green
Mystery
Published in 1878
It counts for The Classics Club

Wow, what a neat discovery!
Anna Katharine Green (1846-1935) was an American poet and novelist.
She was one of the first writers of detective fiction in America and distinguished herself by writing well plotted, legally accurate stories.
Born in Brooklyn, New York, her early ambition was to write romantic verse, and she corresponded with Ralph Waldo Emerson.
When her poetry failed to gain recognition, she produced her first and best known novel, The Leavenworth Case (1878). She became a bestselling author, eventually publishing about 40 books. She was in some ways a progressive woman for her time-succeeding in a genre dominated by male writers-but she did not approve of many of her feminist contemporaries, and she was opposed to women’s suffrage.”

I’m almost done listening to this fairly long mystery (439 pages – 12H03), and it’s been fabulous. I actually identified the murderer very early on (and for reasons different from those of the detective), but still, it was fascinating to see how the author plotted the whole thing and was trying to make her readers follow a different track.
This is really good, great plot and excellent descriptions of characters.
I’m listening to it through Hoopla. They say the narrator is Tamara Davis, which doesn’t sound correct. Unfortunately, Audible doesn’t seem to have this same edition, so I cannot identify for sure the excellent narrator, who is so good at changing his voice and accent for the various people involved.

“The novel begins when a wealthy retired merchant named Horatio Leavenworth is shot and killed in his library. When investigator Ebenezer Gryce and lawyer Everett Raymond look into the case, it is revealed that no one could have left the Manhattan Mansion before the body was discovered the next day. As the story progresses, Leavenworth’s orphaned nieces Mary and Eleanore, Hannah the maid, and a mysterious gentleman who appears on the scene all factor into the investigation”.

I am also almost done with an xth rereading of Le petit prince, with my French student I.
I am so loving each page of Revenge of the Librarians, a collection of cartoons by the so-gifted Tom Gauld.
And I’m reading two books on Orthodoxy.

📚  BOOK UP NEXT 📚 

The Lifted Veil

📚  The Lifted Veil, by George Eliot
Classics horror short story
Published in 1859
Will be reading for Novellas in November
It counts for The Classics Club

The Lifted Veil is a novella by George Eliot, first published in 1859.
Quite unlike the realistic fiction for which Eliot is best known, The Lifted Veil explores themes of extrasensory perception, the essence of physical life, possible life after death, and the power of fate. The novella is a significant part of the Victorian tradition of horror fiction, which includes such other examples as Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1886), and Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1897).

📚  LAST BOOK ADDED TO MY GOODREADS TBR 📚 

The Poisoned Chocolates Case

📚 The Poisoned Chocolates Case (Roger Sheringham Cases #5),
by Anthony Berkeley

Published in 1929
256 pages
Mystery

This is the other book by Berkeley I mentioned above I should read.

“After arriving at his London club at 10:30 am precisely, which he has been doing every morning for many years, Sir Eustace Pennefather, a known womanizer whose divorce from his current wife is pending, receives a complimentary box of chocolates through the post.
Disapproving of such modern marketing techniques, Sir Eustace is about to throw away the chocolates in disgust but changes his mind when he learns that Graham Bendix, another member of the club whom he hardly knows, has lost a bet with his wife Joan and now owes her a box of chocolates.
Bendix takes the box home and, after lunch, tries out the new confectionery together with his wife. A few hours later Joan Bendix is dead, whereas her husband, who has eaten far fewer chocolates, is taken seriously ill and hospitalized.”

📚 NO BOOK RECEIVED THIS PAST WEEK 📚 

📚📚📚

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