The top 8 books to read in November 2020

Here are

The top 8 books
I plan to read in November 2020

Click on the covers to know more


The Education of Delhomme To Hold Up the Sky

📚 The Education of Delhomme: Chopin, Sand, & la France (Nov 17, 2020), by Nancy Burkhalter
Reading for France Book Tours

Beaulieu Delhomme, a piano tuner, faces the guillotine for committing treason against the newly elected French president due to his part in the bloody worker uprisings in 1848. The one person who could save him from this fate is his former arch-rival, the celebrated author, George Sand. The plot leading to his imprisonment revolves around the triangle of composer Frédéric Chopin, his lover George Sand, and Delhomme, Chopin’s loyal piano tuner. Both Sand and Delhomme compete for the attention of Chopin, who fights a losing battle with tuberculosis. The president’s spymaster uses this triangle to lure cash-strapped Delhomme into exploiting his friendship with Chopin to spy on George Sand, whose fiery rhetoric threatens the new president.
At first, before the uprisings that marked a tumultuous period out of which France’s Second Republic grew, Delhomme favors preserving the status quo because any policy changes might jeopardize his (and Chopin’s) wealthy client base. Sand wields her pen against the oppressive laws and ridicules Delhomme for his views.
Delhomme changes his opinion of the monarchy when he sees how his nephew is abused as an orphan working in a piano factory in industrial London. Delhomme becomes a double agent, paid to spy for the president while secretly working for the resistance. Sand softens her contempt when she discovers that he has switched allegiances and now promotes workers’ rights.
Delhomme is caught working for the resistance, jailed in Paris’ infamous Conciergerie prison, and faces a trial for treason. Even Sand’s testimony is not enough to trump that of the vaunted spymaster, but her fame may be enough to persuade the new president to pardon him.”

📚 To Hold Up the Sky,  (October 20th, 2020) by Cixin Liu
Received for review.
Cixin Liu is the author of the amazing Supernova Era, that’s why I decided to read this one.

“From Cixin Liu, the New York Times bestselling author of The Three-Body ProblemTo Hold Up the Sky is a breathtaking collection of imaginative science fiction.”
It contains 11 short stories.


La grande escapade Les grands cerfs

The Vexations Flood

📚 La Grande escapade (2019), by Jean-Philippe Blondel
Received for review in 2019!
By a French author I really like, this time, I should finally have time to read it.

📚 Les Grands cerfs (2019), by Claude Hunzinger
Received for review in 2019!
I’m looking forward to discovering this author, dealing with a nature theme, like several other French novels I read recently.

📚 The Vexations, (2019) by Caitlin Horrocks
I can’t believe it’s already been a year since a friend lent it to me!! I started it, but then had to stop for books received for review.
It’s a historical novel on Erik Satie!

“Erik Satie begins life with every possible advantage. But after the dual blows of his mother’s early death and his father’s breakdown upend his childhood, Erik and his younger siblings — Louise and Conrad — are scattered. Later, as an ambitious young composer, Erik flings himself into the Parisian art scene, aiming for greatness but achieving only notoriety.
As the years, then decades, pass, he alienates those in his circle as often as he inspires them, lashing out at friends and lovers like Claude Debussy and Suzanne Valadon. Only Louise and Conrad are steadfast allies. Together they strive to maintain their faith in their brother’s talent and hold fast the badly frayed threads of family. But in a journey that will take her from Normandy to Paris to Argentina, Louise is rocked by a severe loss that ultimately forces her into a reckoning with how Erik — obsessed with his art and hungry for fame — will never be the brother she’s wished for.
With her buoyant, vivid reimagination of an iconic artist’s eventful life, Caitlin Horrocks has written a captivating and ceaselessly entertaining novel about the tenacious bonds of family and the costs of greatness, both to ourselves and to those we love.”

📚 Flood, (2008) by Stephen Baxter
This one was more recently offered to me by one of my French students. He loves this author, and knowing that I like scifi, he thought I should definitely read it!

It begins in 2016. Another wet summer, another year of storm surges and high tides. But this time the Thames Barrier is breached and central London is swamped. The waters recede, life goes on, the economy begins to recover, people watch the news reports of other floods around the world. And then the waters rise again. And again.
Lily, Helen, Gary and Piers, hostages released from five years captivity at the hands of Christian Extremists in Spain, return to England and the first rumours of a flood of positively Biblical proportions…
Sea levels have begun to rise, at catastrophic speed. Within two years London and New York will be under water. The Pope will give his last address from the Vatican before Rome is swallowed by the rising water. Mecca too will vanish beneath the waves.
The world is drowning. A desperate race to find out what is happening begins. The popular theory is that we are paying the price for our profligacy and that climate change is about to redress Gaia’s balance. But there are dissenting views. And all the time the waters continue to rise and mankind begins the great retreat to higher ground. Millions will die, billions will become migrants. Wars will be fought over mountains.”


La Chute du soleil de fer Lord Edgware Dies

📚 La Chute du soleil de fer, (N.E.O. #1, Oct 1st, 2020) by Michel Bussi
I really enjoy a lot Michel Bussi, and have listened to almost all of his books. He usually writes thrillers, but for the first time, he’s trying YA fantasy, Two genres I usually don’t read, but how could I resist Bussi?
I have actually already listened to half of it, and am loving it!
The description of the setting are fantastic, and I have no idea how things are going to evolve.

📚 Lord Edgware Dies,  (Hercule Poirot #9, 1933) by Agatha Christie
Part of my project to listen to all of HP, for The Classics Club

“An Agatha Christie mystery story. Poirot had been present when Jane bragged of her plan to ‘get rid of’ her estranged husband. Now the monstrous man was dead. And yet the great Belgian detective couldn’t help feeling that he was being taken for a ride. After all, how could Jane have stabbed Lord Edgware to death in his library at exactly the same time she was seen dining with friends? And what could be her motive now that the aristocrat had finally granted her a divorce?”


Listed on the homepage 

List of books I can swap with yours


📚 I’ll be participating in Nonfiction November. My first post will be on Novelber6
📚 I hope to finalize my plans for a  monthly Newsletter, with special content.
Let me know what you would like to find in it.

Eiffel Tower Orange



2020: May wrap-up


One of my online French students is done with her AP. With one of these big burdens away, I have been able to go back to reading more (double books from last month!) as well as blogging. I plan to do that even more in June, for instance with going back to my reading journaling sections and Sunday Posts.

This past month, it was nice taking part in Bout of Books. On June 1st, I’ll be participating in 20 Books of Summer for the first time.

Thanks to Zoom sessions, I watched a few events of Book Expo America (if you haven’t, you can watch the recordings on their Facebook page), which is pretty cool, as anyway, I can never go to New York for that.
I also took part in a book event sponsored by City Lit Books from Chicago. Every week in the Chicago Tribune, @biblioracle recommends a book when you send him the list of the last 5 books you have read. This time, he did it live on Zoom. We were 100 participants. I ended up of 23 titles I have to look closely at!
Once again, I really enjoy these online events, as I would never be able to go there in person.

“We still haven’t been able to go back to Church. I dare hope it will be possible in June, but who knows at this point?”:
I wrote this last month. Well, our Church space is very small, making social distancing simply impossible, so God knows when we’ll convene again. Last time was March 11… And the Orthodox Divine Liturgy is not really possible outdoors either.

📚 So here are the titles I read in May :

12 books:
7 in print 
with 2,049 pages, an average of 66 pages/day
5 in audio
= 22H15
, an average of 43 minutes

6 in nonfiction:

  1. La Panthère des neiges, by Sylvain Tesson – audio
  2. On The Ecclesiastical Mystagogy, by Saint Maximus the Confessor
  3. The Church, the Litany, and the Soul of Man, by Saint Maximus the Confessor – same book than #2, but different translation, and I wanted to read both to better study this book
  4. The Book of Deuteronomy – audio, for my Bible personal project, and for The Classics Club
  5. Lessons from Walden, by Bob Pepperman Taylor – ebook, received for review
  6. The Book of Joshua – audio, for my Bible personal project, and for The Classics Club

2 in literary fiction:

  1. A Hundred Million Years and a Day, by Jean-Baptist Andrea – received for review, it will be live on June 12
  2. Wind/Pinball, by Haruki Murakami – ebook, for the online Murakami Book Club

2 in historical fiction:

  1. Three Hours in Paris, by Cara Black – audio, received for review
  2. The Mirror and the Light, by Hilary Mantel

2 in mystery:

  1. Au soleil redouté, by Michel Bussi – I listened to it last month, and this time I read it, readalong with one of my French students
  2. The Mysterious Affair at Styles, by Agatha Christie  – audio, for my Hercule Poirot project, and for The Classics Club



La Panthère des neiges The Mirror and the Light

A Hundred Million Years and a Day



Classics Club: 29/50 (from October 2019-until September 2024)
Japanese Literature Challenge: 8 books read

Total of books read in 2020 = 49/110
Number of books added to my TBR this past month= 31


This month I reviewed:

Sight Words Storybook Phonics storybook Solar System for Kids The English Grammar Workbook for Grades 3, 4, and 5


The open giveaways are on my homepage



click on the cover to access my review 


20 Books of Summer 2020


Feed Your Fiction Addiction
please go visit


Davida at The Chocolate Lady’s Book Review Blog
Karen at The Simply Blog
Karen at Booker Talk
Judy at Keep the Wisdom

please go and visit them,
they have great book blogs


2,184 posts
over 5,280 followers
over 197,000 hits


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

Eiffel Tower OrangeEiffel Tower OrangeEiffel Tower Orange

How was YOUR month of May?


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


Bout of Books 28: Day 3 recap

Day 3 recap

Bout of Books 28

NB: This is my 15th participation in #boutofbooks

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized
by Amanda Shofner and Kelly Rubidoux Apple.
It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 11th
and runs through Sunday, May 17th in whatever time zone you are in.
Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, Twitter chats, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional.
For all Bout of Books 28 information and updates,
be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. 
– From the Bout of Books team


Here is what I read on DAY 3:

  1. Au Soleil redouté, by Michel Bussi = 82 pages
  2. Lessons from Walden, by Bob Pepperman Taylor = 4 pages

Total for Day 3:  86 pages
TOTAL so far:  267/525

I also did 2 challenges:

– on Twitter, Book to Movie
– on Instagram, Diverse Books

And I wrote a review


Here is what I read on DAY 2:

  1. Wind/Pinball, by Haruki Murakami = 39 pages
  2. Audiobook: The Mysterious Affair at Styles, by Agatha Christie = 65 pages

Total for Day 2:  104 pages
TOTAL so far:  181/525

I also did 2 challenges:

– on Twitter, If This, Then That
– on Instagram, Seasonal Readings


Here is what I read on DAY 1:

  1. Lessons from Walden, by Bob Pepperman Taylor= 7 pages
  2. The Mirror and the Light, by Hilary Mantel = 41 pages
  3. Audiobook: The Book of Deuteronomy = 29 pages FINISHED

Total for Day 1:  77 pages
TOTAL so far:  77/525

Phew, 2 pages above my goal! Although I didn’t have the feeling of reading  a lot.

I also did 2 challenges:

– on Twitter, Introduce yourself #insixwords
– on Instagram, currently reading


I’m setting my goal at 525 pages, that is, 75 pages per day. 

I will try to organize a giveaway!

Here are the books I plan to read (from).

  1. Wind/Pinball, by Haruki Murakami
  2. Lessons from Walden, by Bob Pepperman Taylor
  3. Au Soleil redouté, by Michel Bussi
  4. The Mirror and the Light, by Hilary Mantel
  5. A Hundred Million Years and a Day, by Jean-Baptiste Andrea
  6. Psalm 118: A Commentary by Saint Theophan the Recluse
  7. Audiobook: The Book of Deuteronomy FINISHED
  8. Audiobook: The Mysterious Affair at Styles, by Agatha Christie


**This is the overall list for the challenges offered during Bout of Books 28. Make sure you check the blog each day of the read-a-thon for instructions and details on how to complete the daily challenges**

Wednesday 5/13
Book to Movie

Thursday 5/14
Bookish Matchmaking

Friday 5/15
Share Your Favorites

Saturday 5/16
Leave a Review

Sunday 5/17
Stretch Goal

Twitter Chats
(chats last approximately one hour)
TZC = Time Zone Conversion

Saturday: 10am CST (TZC)