Blogiversary #3! A to Z survey

Words And Peace celebrates
its 3rd blogiversary!

I thought it would be cool to do something a bit different to celebrate this day, after the stats I gave you a few hours ago. Did you check?

So here are my answers to the A to Z survey, created I believe last month by  The Perpetual Page-Turner:

[click on the logo to join the fun!, and click on the book covers to access my reviews]

A to Z survey

Author you’ve read [no: devoured!] the most books from:

Ellis Peters, with her Cadfael Chronicles – 21 books.
But alas, that was before my Book Blogging Era!

Best Sequel Ever:

same as above!

Currently Reading:

7 actually.
But here is the one I started most recently,
by a great French historical novelist:

The Strangled Queen

Drink of Choice While Reading:

Relaxing tea, as I do most of my reading after 6:30 pm

E-reader or Physical Book?

Both, with an increasing number of ebooks,
simply because it is easier to get free egalleys these days than ARCs.
And oh, audiobooks too!

Fictional Character You Probably Would Have Actually Dated In High School:

Me? Dating in high school? Too busy reading and studying!

Glad You Gave This Book A Chance:

Syncopationgreat historical fiction on Victor Hugo’s daughter

Hidden Gem Book:

Chronicle of the Mount Buildea fascinating historical novels on Native Americans

Important Moment in your Reading Life:

September 29, 2010,
when I first posted on this book blob

Just Finished:

The Greenland Breach

Kinds of Books You Won’t Read:


Longest Book You’ve Read:

A long time ago: Les Misérables, 1,463 pages
More recently, reviewed on this blog: 1Q84, by Murakami [925 pages]

Major book hangover because of:

Consolations of the Forest

Number of Bookcases You Own:

Only 6, lol.
Most of the books I read come actually from my Public Library – or egalleys!

One Book You Have Read Multiple Times:

Le rêve [The Dream], by Emile Zola

Preferred Place To Read:

On our tiny porch, with bird songs in the background

Quote that inspires you/gives you all the feels from a book you’ve read:

I felt that to be happy, I needed nothing more than the library.
[In Casanova, not read, but quoted in Consolations of the Forest, see above, p.85]

Reading Regret:

Not being able to finish In Search of Lost Time this year,
will have to go on next year.

Series You Started And Need To Finish (all books are out in series):

The series on Mrs. Pollifax, by Dorothy Gilman

Three of your All-Time [too tough, let’s say this year] Favorite Books:

still tough, and I won’t repeat titles already mentioned above, so let’s say:

The Lavender Garden, by Lucinda Riley
The Painted Girls, by Cathy Marie Buchanan
The Forgotten Garden, by Kate Morton

Unapologetic Fangirl For:

Barbara KingsolverBarbara Kingsolver

Very Excited For This Release More Than All The Others:

TreacheryGiordano Bruno #4!,
I have to wait until February 2014

Worst Bookish Habit:

Always want to talk books with others!
Talking hairdo, clothes, TV which I don’t have, fashion, sports, et
makes me want to flee miles away

X Marks The Spot: Start at the top left of your shelf and pick the 27th book:

Therapy of Spiritual Illnesses

Your latest book purchase:


ZZZ-snatcher book (last book that kept you up WAY late):

hmmm, which does NOT?? But let’s say:

The Bones of Paris

I hope you enjoyed this survey.
Which of the books I mentioned
is your favorite?

Come back later in the day
to see if you won my blogiversary giveaway!


Armchair BEA 2013: Introductions

Armchair BEA

So excited to be a full participant this year!

Today is the day for INTRODUCTIONS

1. Please tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? How long have you been blogging? Why did you get into blogging? 

* My name is Emma. I’m married, and my teen years are way way back…
* After a few false starts, I seriously began posting book reviews here in September 2010
* I started book blogging because reading is a passion; and I always want to share about what I read and am interested in what others are reading.
I also discovered that if I don’t write about a book I read, sometimes I may forget a few weeks later what this was about, what I thought about it. So this is also a great way for me of keeping track of what I read and liked.

2. Where in the world are you blogging from? Tell a random fact or something special about your current location. Feel free to share pictures. 

* I’m French but book blogging in English from Chicagoland! Well, everything is special in Chicago, isn’t it?

3. Have you previously participated in Armchair BEA? What brought you back for another year? If you have not previously participated, what drew you to the event? 

* I participated briefly in 2011. May-June is usually a difficult time for me, with lots of other things going on. So glad I can fully participate this year!
* I came back because I enjoyed the contacts with other bloggers, and  learned a lot about book blogging.

4. What are you currently reading, or what is your favorite book you have read so far in 2013? 

* I’m currently reading

Taking Root in Provence

a great book on the life of this retired American couple in Provence. I’m also listening to

Ready Player One

Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline, the best audio ever!
* My favorite book read so far in 2013 is probably

Painted Girlsclilck on the cover to access my review

5.  Tell us one non-book-related thing that everyone reading your blog may not know about you

* I am also an artist, painting almost exclusively on rocks. See my works: Rocks By Emmanuelle

* May I add one more thing? I am also an English-French translator

6.  Name your favorite blog(s) and explain why they are your favorite(s)

* According to my RSS Feed Reader, I follow over 300 book blogs, and I really like many of them. I will just mention Devourer of Books, because she was one of the first I followed, and I enjoy the quality of her reviews, the diversity of her reading, the presence of audiobooks; and her author seems to have a very courageous inspiring life. Plus she’s almost  a neighbor, though I still have to meet her in person!

7. Which is your favorite post that you have written that you want everyone to read?

* I would like first to stay I’m really not proud of my first reviews posted here: they were not personal enough, with just a few notes added to the synopsis and reactions of other bloggers. My format has evolved with the months and years. I have now a rating system (based on nothing less than the Eiffel Tower!, French oblige), and then I present my own thoughts before the synopsis and links to other bloggers. I have noticed that the more I enjoy a book the better my reviews tends to be.

My rating system

One of the most recent I like most is on

The Secret Keeperbecause of its special structure. Go have a look!

8. If you could eat dinner with any author or character, who would it be and why?

* Maybe Le Grand Meaulnes or his author Alain-Fournier, because they are so romantically inventive, creative, and so deeply in love with their countryside

Le Grand Meaulnes

9.  What literary location would you most like to visit? Why?

* I’m going to answer with a real literary place: The Iowa Writers’ Workshop, because I have discovered several new great writers who had been through these workshops. It would be fascinating to go and talk with the teachers and young writers as they share ideas and discover their potential.

10. What is your favorite part about the book blogging community?

* The blessing and the curse for me: to hear about great books I did not know about. The curse part of it is that my TBR threatens to be as high as the Babel tower, and I would need 2 or 3 lives to read them all.

11. Is there anything that you would like to see change in the coming years?

* Even more connections with writers
* All bloggers to answer when I send them an email
* All bloggers to have a clear way of contacting them on their blog, and a clear page where they say what genres of books they like, and if they accept books for review.
Why? Ask in a comment and I will tell you!

Book review: The Distant Hours

The Distant Hours



562 pages

Published by Atria in 2010

Softcover received from Santa!

The Distant Hours

This book counts for the following Reading Challenge:




rating system

There was one book by Kate Morton I had not read yet, and Santa had the great idea to offer it to me! Now I’m not sure really which Morton’s book is my favorite. Maybe the first one I read, The Forgotten Garden.

I loved The Distant Hours very much though. I loved especially the ambiance: from the story of the mudman to the current castle and its sometimes spooky old ladies, you have all the Gothic elements you would wish for. I also enjoyed the different layers, going back and forth between the present time and a mysterious past; how the narrator related to her mother, as she discovers progressively what her life has been; and the unexpected turns!

As I love books within books, it was a pleasure to have that element, to the point of being tempted and check if that book ever existed. This is something also present in The Forgotten Garden, but Morton has the knack for using same things in different innovative ways, so that not 2 of her books are alike, although they all contain very similar features.


A long lost letter arrives in the post and Edie Burchill finds herself on a journey to Milderhurst Castle, a great but moldering old house, where the Blythe spinsters live and where her mother was billeted 50 years before as a 13 year old child during WWII. The elder Blythe sisters are twins and have spent most of their lives looking after the third and youngest sister, Juniper, who hasn’t been the same since her fiance jilted her in 1941.

Inside the decaying castle, Edie begins to unravel her mother’s past. But there are other secrets hidden in the stones of Milderhurst, and Edie is about to learn more than she expected. The truth of what happened in ‘the distant hours’ of the past has been waiting a long time for someone to find it.

Morton once again enthralls readers with an atmospheric story featuring unforgettable characters beset by love and circumstance and haunted by memory, that reminds us of the rich power of storytelling. [Goodreads]



Kate Morton grew up in the mountains of southeast Queensland, Australia. She has degrees in Dramatic Art and English Literature and is currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Queensland. Kate lives with her husband and two young sons in Brisbane.
Kate Morton’s books have been published in 31 countries. The House at Riverton was a Sunday Times #1 bestseller in the UK in 2007 and a New York Times bestseller in 2008. The Shifting Fog (know The House of Riverton) won General Fiction Book of the Year at the 2007 Australian Book Industry Awards. Was nominated for Most Popular Book at the British Book Awards in 2008. Her second book, The Forgotten Garden, was a #1 bestseller in Australia and a Sunday Times #1 bestseller in the UK in 2008


Historical Tapestry
7 reviewers on the HF Virtual Book Tour