2021: September wrap-up

SEPTEMBER 2021 WRAP-UP

September was another great reading month, with progress on my own challenges:

  • I have already reached my reading goal for the year, which was 120 books. Seems like I need to raise the bar every year!
  • I’m almost done with listening to all of Hercule Poirot
  • Which allowed me a little break in my audio program: I then listened to a French audio, a long sequel I was really looking forward.
  • And I even just started listening to The Thirteenth Tale.
    This is actually BIG for me, as it is the title that has been for the longest time on my Goodreads TBR. When I say longest, I really mean it. This is the first title I added to my TBR 10 years ago, when I joined Goodreads. My goal is to focus more and more on these titles that I have meant to read for so many years
  • I posted my review of Lessons From Walden, so I now only have one review late for books I requested a year ago (through Edelweiss). Alas, there are many books I have read this year and never wrote a review for them, but at least I’ll be caught up soon with the books I had requested.
  • And yesterday, I celebrated my 11th blogiversary. Didn’t do anything special, beside preparing this post!!

These goals actually are not really reflected in the number of pages I have read this year. The reason being I’m currently reading two massive books (one is 900 pages or so), and I’m not done. So numbers of pages will be high next month when I’m done with these two books.

📚 Here is what I read in September:

12 books:
6 in print 
with 1,590 pages, a daily average of 53 pages/day
6 in audio
= 48H05
, a daily average of 1H36
(which is almost 20 minutes more than last month. And the reason being a lot of work in the garden, especially picking a lot of green beans, cutting them, and blanching them. Perfect activity for audio time!

5 in mystery:

  1. After the Funeral (Hercule Poirot #33), by Agatha Christie
  2. Hickory Dickory Dock (Hercule Poirot #34), by Agatha Christie
  3. Dead Man’s Folly (Hercule Poirot #35), by Agatha Christie
  4. Cat Among the Pigeons (Hercule Poirot #36), by Agatha Christie – these first 4 were as audiobooks, for The Classics Club
  5. Rider on the Rain, by Sébastien Japrisot – for the Books in Translation Challenge and for The Classics Club. My review will be live on October 4

2 in science-fiction:

  1. The Islanders, by Christopher Priest
  2. Constance, by Matthew FitzSimmons – read to prepare for the Virtual Crime Book Club (Zoom discussion on October 11)

2 in YA/Children’s Book:

  1. Les deux châteaux (N.E.O. #2), by Michel Bussi – French audiobook
  2. Kaleidoscope, by Brian Selznick

1 in historical fiction:

  1. Les Évaporés, by Thomas B. Reverdy – in French with one of my students

1 in literary fiction:

  1. Rue des boutiques obscures, by Patrick Modiano – in French another of my students. This is a reread
  2. Les Mystères de Paris, volume 1, by Eugène Sue – French audiobook, for The Classics Club. 

MY FAVORITE BOOKS THIS PAST MONTH

Rider on the Rain  Les Évaporés

READING CHALLENGES & RECAP

Classics Club: 80/137 (from November 2020-until November 2025)
Japanese Literature Challenge: 12 books
#20BooksofSummer21: 37/20 books
Total of books read in 2021 = 125/120 (104%)

Number of books added to my TBR this past month = 39

OTHER BOOKS  REVIEWED THIS PAST MONTH

Lessons From Walden Killer Come Back to Me

Trap For Cinderella

And two short reviews:

  The Village of Eight Graves The Madness of Crowds

GIVEAWAYS

The open giveaways are on my homepage

Books available for swapping

REVIEW COPIES AVAILABLE

Posted on my homepage

And we offer a Book Box!
And monthly raffle with a Newsletter
(see sample with link to sign up)

MOST POPULAR BOOK REVIEW THIS PAST MONTH

Lessons From Walden

click on the cover to access my review

MOST POPULAR POST THIS PAST MONTH
– NON BOOK REVIEW –

Top Ten Books on my Fall 2021 To-read List

BOOK BLOG THAT BROUGHT ME MOST TRAFFIC THIS PAST MONTH

Caffeinated Reviewer
please go visit, there are a lot of good things there!

TOP COMMENTERS 

Marianne at Let’s Read
Lexlingua
Greg at Book Haven
please go and visit them,
they have great book blogs

BLOG MILESTONES 

2,389 posts
over 5,500 followers
over 227,510 hits

📚

Come back on October 5
to see the books I plan to read in October

📚 📚 📚

How was YOUR month of September?

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

The top 7 books to read in September 2021

Here are

The top 7 books
I plan to read in September 2021

Click on the covers to know more

📚 CURRENTLY READING 📚

  Termination Shock The Hands On French Cookbook

📚 Termination Shock, by Neal Stephenson
Expected publication: November 16th 2021 by William Morrow

OK, this is a new plunge for me. I have been meaning to read so many books by Stephenson, and  never dared so far. But when I saw it on Netgalley, I couldn’t resist. A technothriller about climate change, totally my thing!
I usually do not request a book that long (896 pages) by a new to me author, as it means I cannot DNF it (I do not DNF books I requested). But so far anyway, I’m just loving it.

“A visionary technothriller about climate change.
Neal Stephenson’s sweeping, prescient new novel transports readers to a near-future world where the greenhouse effect has inexorably resulted in a whirling-dervish troposphere of superstorms, rising sea levels, global flooding, merciless heat waves, and virulent, deadly pandemics.
One man has a Big Idea for reversing global warming, a master plan perhaps best described as “elemental.” But will it work? And just as important, what are the consequences for the planet and all of humanity should it be applied?
Ranging from the Texas heartland to the Dutch royal palace in the Hague, from the snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas to the sunbaked Chihuahuan Desert, Termination Shock brings together a disparate group of characters from different cultures and continents who grapple with the real-life repercussions of global warming. Ultimately, it asks the question: Might the cure be worse than the disease?”

📚 The Hands On French Cookbook, by Elisabeth de Châtillon
Published on 6/2/21
For a tour on France Book Tours

“If you think French food is complicated, decadent, and heavy, think again!
If you think learning and exploring another language is difficult or boring, think again!
And if you think cooking French food and learning French at the same time is impossible, teacher and home cook Elisabeth de Châtillon is here to prove you wrong. It might sound too good to be true, but THE HANDS ON FRENCH COOKBOOK is full of healthy, simple French recipes that you can make for friends and family while you learn not only the French language but also a little bit about French culture in a relaxed, fun, tasty way.”

📚 The New Testament: A Translation, by David Bentley Hart
Published in 2017

As you may know, I’m in the process of listening to the whole Bible. I recently finished listening to all the books of the Old Testament.
As David Bentley Hart recently published a new translation, I thought I would at the same time listen to all the books of the New Testament (narrated by Alexander Scourby) AND read this new translation. The translator is Orthodox, as I am, and I’m very intrigued to see what he did here.

“From one of our most celebrated writers on religion comes this fresh, bold, and unsettling new translation of the New Testament.
David Bentley Hart undertook this new translation of the New Testament in the spirit of “etsi doctrina non daretur,” “as if doctrine is not given.” Reproducing the texts’ often fragmentary formulations without augmentation or correction, he has produced a pitilessly literal translation, one that captures the texts’ impenetrability and unfinished quality while awakening readers to an uncanniness that often lies hidden beneath doctrinal layers.
The early Christians’ sometimes raw, astonished, and halting prose challenges the idea that the New Testament affirms the kind of people we are. Hart reminds us that they were a company of extremists, radical in their rejection of the values and priorities of society not only at its most degenerate, but often at its most reasonable and decent. “To live as the New Testament language requires,” he writes, “Christians would have to become strangers and sojourners on the earth, to have here no enduring city, to belong to a Kingdom truly not of this world. And we surely cannot do that, can we?”

📚 READING NEXT 📚

  Rider on the Rain The Islanders by Christopher Priest  

📚 Rider on the Rain, by Sébastien Japrisot
Published in 1969 – will read for The Classics Club and the Books in Translation Challenge. Getting republished by Gallic Books on October 5, 2021

“The bus never stops in Le Cap-des-Pins. Not in autumn, when the small Riviera resort is deserted. Except today, when a man with a red bag and a disconcerting stare steps out into the rain.His arrival will throw the life of young housewife Mellie Mau into disarray. After surviving a horrific attack, she has a dark secret to hide. But a stranger at a wedding, the enigmatic American Harry Dobbs, is determined to get the truth out of her, leading her into a game of cat and mouse with dangerous consequences …A cool, stylish and twisty thriller from cult French noir writer Sébastien Japrisot.”

📚  The Islanders, by Christopher Priest
Published in 2011

Christopher Priest is a big name in the word of scifi, but I have never read anything by him. This book intrigued me, so I chose it when I won a book of my choice a few years ago on a blog (sorry, can’t remember where).

“Reality is illusory and magical in the stunning new literary SF novel from the multiple award-winning author of The Prestige—for fans of Haruki Murakami and David Mitchell.

A tale of murder, artistic rivalry, and literary trickery; a Chinese puzzle of a novel where nothing is quite what it seems; a narrator whose agenda is artful and subtle; a narrative that pulls you in and plays an elegant game with you. The Dream Archipelago is a vast network of islands. The names of the islands are different depending on who you talk to, their very locations seem to twist and shift. Some islands have been sculpted into vast musical instruments, others are home to lethal creatures, others the playground for high society. Hot winds blow across the archipelago and a war fought between two distant continents is played out across its waters. The Islanders serves both as an untrustworthy but enticing guide to the islands; an intriguing, multi-layered tale of a murder; and the suspect legacy of its appealing but definitely untrustworthy narrator. It shows Christopher Priest at the height of his powers and illustrates his undiminished power to dazzle.”

🎧 CURRENT AND NEXT AUDIOBOOKS 🎧

Les deux châteaux    After the Funeral

🎧  Les deux châteaux (N.E.O. #2), by Michel Bussi
Published on June 3, 2021

Michel Bussi is one of my favorite contemporary French authors. He usually writes thrillers, but has recently launched into YA fantasy – a genre I usually don’t read. I listened to volume 1 and so loved it, that I had to listen to volume 2. I’m about half way and it’s so so good.

“Le clan du château et le clan du tipi sont réconciliés ! Grâce à l’alliance de tous, les frontières de la ville et de ses environs peuvent enfin être repoussées : le monde s’ouvre désormais à eux.
Mais au-delà des grandes découvertes, des amitiés et des amours naissants, et derrière une cohabitation en apparence sereine, Alixe, Zyzo et leurs amis devront percer de nouveaux mystères. Comment les enfants ont-ils pu survivre juste après le passage du nuage ? Quelles sont les origines des deux clans ? Qui était vraiment Marie-Lune ?
Mordélia, chassée de la ville, a conservé un objet secret qui contient peut-être des réponses à toutes ces questions. Or habitée par une féroce volonté de survivre, elle compte bien prendre sa revanche…”

🎧 After the Funeral (Hercule Poirot #33), by Agatha Christie
Published in 1953 – Part of my project to listen to all of HP, for The Classics Club

“The master of a Victorian mansion dies suddenly – and his sister is convinced it was murder…. When Cora is savagely murdered with a hatchet, the extraordinary remark she made the previous day at her brother Richard’s funeral suddenly takes on a chilling significance. At the reading of Richard’s will, Cora was clearly heard to say: ‘It’s been hushed up very nicely, hasn’t it…But he was murdered, wasn’t he?’ In desperation, the family solicitor turns to Hercule Poirot to unravel the mystery.”

🎧 I will probably also listen to 3 other books with Hercule Poirot.
🎧 And a few books of the New Testament, as explained above.

CURRENT GIVEAWAYS AND BOOKS AVAILABLE FOR REVIEW

Listed on the homepage 

List of books I can swap with yours

PLANS FOR SEPTEMBER

  • Hopefully write 3 reviews for books received for review through Edelweiss Plus and read last year

Eiffel Tower Orange

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

2021: March wrap-up

March 2021 WRAP-UP

I introduced my February recap saying we were getting closer to a Covid vaccine. I didn’t think things would suddenly accelerate, at least in some areas. So I just got my first vaccine yesterday!

March has been an interesting reading month, with the highest number of books read per month I believe, and possibly also for the first time more audiobooks than books in print!!
I have discovered that listening to audiobooks and doing jigsaw puzzles (checked out at my awesome public library) was indeed a great way to relax.

The focus these past 3 months has been on Japanese literature, for the Japanese Reading Challenge 14, and I managed to read 12 books, so actually 3 more than originally planned. This is also the most I have read for this challenge.
I’m actually going to read more Japanese fiction, even if the challenge is technically over.

I have also restarted posting notes from my Orthodox reads.

BUT, I am again way behind in my reviews, as I haven’t had time to participate in the Sunday Post, where I usually do short reviews.

📚 So here is what I read in March:

16 books:
7 in print 
with 1,859 pages, a daily average of 59 pages/day
9 in audio
= 39H17
, a daily average of 1H16

6 in nonfiction:

  1. The Book of the Song of Songs
  2. The Book of Wisdom
  3. The Book of Sirach
  4. The Book of Hosea
  5. The Book of Amos – these first 5 books were as audiobooks, for The Classics Club and the Books in Translation Challenge
  6. Less Than Fully Catholic, by Trisha Day – written by a friend

5 in literary fiction:

  1. Kusamakura, by Natsume Soseki
  2. Le Mineur, by Natsume Soseki – French ebook
  3. To the Spring Equinox and Beyond, by Natsume Soseki – this one and all the above were ebooks for The Classics Club,  the Japanese Reading Challenge 14, and the Books in Translation Challenge
  4. Klara and the Sun, by Kazuo Ishiguro – for the Japanese Reading Challenge 14
  5. Before the Coffee Gets Cold, by Toshikazu Kawaguchi – for the Japanese Reading Challenge 14. And Buddy read

5 in mystery:

  1. Cards on the Table (Hercule Poirot #15), by Agatha Christie
  2. Dumb Witness (Hercule Poirot #16), by Agatha Christie
  3. Death on the Nile (Hercule Poirot #17), by Agatha Christie – these 3 were audiobooks for The Classics Club
  4. The Black Lizard/Beast in the Shadows, by Edogawa Rampo – ebook for The Classics Club,  the Japanese Reading Challenge 14, and the Books in Translation Challenge
  5. Rien ne t’efface, by Michel Bussi – French audiobook

MY FAVORITE BOOKS THIS PAST MONTH

This is too hard, I have to pick four this time!!

 The Miner The Black Lizard

 Klara and the Sun Rien ne t'efface

READING CHALLENGES & RECAP

Classics Club: 32/137 (from November 2020-until November 2025)
Japanese Literature Challenge: 12 books 

Total of books read in 2021 = 42/120
Number of books added to my TBR this past month = 10

NO OTHER BOOKS  REVIEWED THIS PAST MONTH

GIVEAWAYS

The open giveaways are on my homepage

Books available for swapping

REVIEW COPIES AVAILABLE

Posted on my homepage

And we offer a Book Box!
And monthly raffle with a Newsletter
(see sample with link to sign up)

MOST POPULAR BOOK REVIEW THIS PAST MONTH

The only woman in the room

click on the cover to access my review

MOST POPULAR POST THIS PAST MONTH
– NON BOOK REVIEW –

The top 8 books to read in March 2021

BOOK BLOG THAT BROUGHT ME MOST TRAFFIC THIS PAST MONTH

Caffeinated Reviewer
please go visit, there are a lot of good things there!

TOP COMMENTERS 

Marianne at Let’s Read
Judy at Keep the Wisdom
Iza at Books & Livres

please go and visit them,
they have great book blogs

BLOG MILESTONES 

2,313 posts
over 5,460 followers
over 217,360 hits

📚

Come back tomorrow
to see the books I plan to read in April

📚 📚 📚

How was YOUR month of March?

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