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!

 

 

Sunday Post #41 – 3/7/2021

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

Spring is springing in Chicagoland. I spent some nice time yesterday afternoon in our sunny yard, which aloud me to finish a novel.
Then thus energized, I did a lot of cleaning around the house. Mind you, this was just a pretext to be able to finish my audiobook!

📚 JUST READ / LISTENED TO 🎧

 

  Kusamakura Cards on the Table

📚 Kusamakura, by Natsume Soseki
Published in 1906
Read for the Japanese Literature Challenge, the Classics Club, and the Books in Translation Challenge.

This was a very beautiful book, so I will do a separate review post, with lots of excerpts.

🎧 Cards on the Table, by Agatha Christie (Hercule Poirot #15)
Published in 1936
Listened to for the Classics Club, and personal project to listen to all of HP.

I had no memory at all of seeing this episode in the TV series, so it was a total surprise. And surprise you have, to the end, in this very clever plot. Many times all along, you get information about who did what, and you think, hmm, this was a great idea, but then shortly after, you realize this was just one more red herring, and revelation after revelation gets even deeper, and more clever.
It felt like reading a mystery with a matryoshka effect – I’m referring to these nestling Russian dolls, with one murder within a murder within a murder.
I really don’t remember reading anything like this, and I now understand why several bloggers I have read recently said this was one of their favorite stories by Agatha Christie.
This is the first mystery in this series with Ariadne Oliver.
I’m glad the audiobook was narrated by Hugh Fraser, masterful as always at doing all the different characters.

“A flamboyant party host is murdered in full view of a roomful of bridge players… Mr Shaitana was famous as a flamboyant party host. Nevertheless, he was a man of whom everybody was a little afraid. So, when he boasted to Poirot that he considered murder an art form, the detective had some reservations about accepting a party invitation to view Shaitana’s private collection. Indeed, what began as an absorbing evening of bridge was to turn into a more dangerous game altogether…”

🎧 I also listened to 2 Biblical books, as part of my project to listen to the whole Bible:
the Book of the Song of Songs
the Book of Wisdom

📚 CURRENTLY READING/LISTENING TO 🎧

  The Miner Dumb Witness

📚 The Miner, by Natsume Soseki
Published in 1908
Reading for the Japanese Literature Challenge, the Classics Club, and the Books in Translation Challenge.

I couldn’t find it in English, so I’m actually reading a French translation. The more I read Soseki, seven books so far, the more I am amazed by the diversity of his style and content.

“The Miner is the most daringly experimental and least well known novel of the great Meiji novelist Natsume Soseki (1867-1916). Written in 1908, it is an absurdist novel about the indeterminate nature of human personality, which in many respects anticipates the work of Joyce and Beckett. Virtually devoid of plot and characterization, it unfolds entirely within the mind of the unnamed protagonist. Focusing on a young man whose love life has fallen to pieces, The Miner follows him as he flees from Tokyo, is picked up by a procurer of cheap labor for a copper mine, and then travels toward – and finally burrows into the depths of – the mine where he hopes to find oblivion. The young man reflects at length on nearly every thought and perception he experiences along the way, in terms of what the experience means to him at the time and in retrospect as a mature adult narrating the tale. The narrator concludes that there is no such thing as human character, and the many passages in which he ruminates on the nature of personality constitute the theoretical core of the book. The intellectual distancing carries over into the style of writing as well, and instead of a tragedy of alienation, we find here an absurdist – truly absurd and comical – allegory of descent into the psyche.”

🎧 Dumb Witness, by Agatha Christie (Hercule Poirot #16)
Published in 1937
Listening to for the Classics Club, and personal project to listen to all of HP.

“Everyone blamed Emily’s accident on a rubber ball left on the stairs by her frisky terrier. But the more she thought about her fall, the more convinced she became that one of her relatives was trying to kill her. On April 17th she wrote her suspicions in a letter to Hercule Poirot. Mysteriously he didn’t receive the letter until June 28th… by which time Emily was already dead.”

I am still reading the two books I presented last Sunday:

📚 Dictionnaire amoureux du polar, by Pierre Lemaitre
Published on October 22, 2020

📚 The Future of Buildings, Transportation, and Power, 
by Roger Duncan and Michael E. Webber
Published in July 2020

🎧And I am listening to the Ecclesiasticus.

📚 BOOK UP NEXT 📚

 

To the Spring Equinox and Beyond

📚 To the Spring Equinox and Beyond, by Natsume Soseki
Published in 1910
Will be reading for the Japanese Literature Challenge, the Classics Club, and the Books in Translation Challenge.

“Legendary Japanese novelist Soseki Natsume dissects the human personality in all its complexity in this unforgettable narrative. Keitaro, a recent college graduate, lives a life intertwined with several other characters, each carrying their own emotional baggage. Romantic, practical, and philosophical themes enable Soseki to explore the very meaning of life.”

📚 LAST 2 BOOKS ADDED TO MY GOODREADS TBR 📚

    Once There Were Wolves Miss Pym Disposes

📚 Once There Were Wolves, by Charlotte McConaghy
Expected publication: August 3rd 2021 by Flatiron Books

I thoroughly enjoyed the author’s first novel, Migrations, so I am curious about this one, also to do with the natural world.

“From bestselling author Charlotte McConaghy, Once There Were Wolves is a novel about a scientist reintroducing wolves to the Scottish Highlands, and the secrets that begin to catch up to her when a local farmer goes missing.
Inti Flynn arrives in Scotland with a singular purpose: to reintroduce wolves into the Highlands. Her efforts to rewild the dying landscape, however, are met with fierce opposition from the locals, who fear for their safety and way of life.
When a farmer is mauled to death, Inti decides to bury the evidence, unable to believe her wolves could be responsible. But if the wolves didn’t make the kill, is something more sinister at play? And will it happen again? Over the course of a cold year, Inti will take desperate action to save the creatures she loves, and, perhaps, save herself along the way–if she isn’t consumed by a wild that was once her refuge.
Once There Were Wolves is a story of violence and tenderness, about the healing power of nature and the rewilding of our spirits in a world that has lost so much.”

📚 Miss Pym Disposes, by Josephine Tey
Published in 1946

I enjoy classic mysteries, and yet I haven’t read this author yet!

“To Lucy Pym, author of a best-seller on Psychology, the atmosphere at the college where she is lecturing is heavy with tension. Beneath the so normal surface run sinister undercurrents of rivalry and jealousy. Then comes tragedy. An accident? Or is it murder? Respectable, law-abiding Miss Pym discovers some vital evidence – but should she reveal it?”

📚 BOOKS RECEIVED THIS PAST WEEK 📚

None, but I was one of the three winners at my public library, for having read and reviewed a book suggested for me by the staff: The Romanov Sisters.
The gift were gift cards for purchase in local stores of my city. Will be nice for groceries.

INTERESTING LINKS FOUND THIS WEEK

My inspiration to add this section comes from
Book Jotter‘s posts called “Winding Up the Week”.

ABOUT BOOKS AND CATS:
TEN FELINE BOOK TITLES THAT MADE ME LAUGH OUT LOUD
 

THIS PAST WEEK ON
WORDS AND PEACE
MYRTLE SKETE
and FRANCE BOOK TOURS

📚 Book of the month giveaway 
Victorine
📚 Book available for free this month, to review at your own pace!
L'Origine
📚
Review copies available for upcoming book tours:
Victorine  Madeleine Last French Casquette Bride in New Orleans

📚 Subscribe to my Newsletter, and win a book each month!
Here is a sample, with link for subscription at the bottom
📚 Books available for swapping

COMING UP ON
WORDS AND PEACE
MYRTLE SKETE
FRANCE BOOK TOURS

  • A few reviews I hope.
  • I will also post two more virtual book tours!

HOW WAS YOUR WEEK?

The top 8 books to read in March 2021

Here are

The top 8 books
I plan to read in March 2021

Click on the covers to know more

CURRENTLY READING

  Kusamakura FutureofBuildingsBookCover

  Less Than Fully Catholic Dictionnaire amoureux du polar

📚 Kusamakura, by Natsume Soseki
Published in 1906
Reading for Japanese Reading Challenge 14Books in Translation Challenge, and for The Classics Club

“”Natsume Sōseki’s Kusamakura follows its nameless young artist-narrator on a meandering walking tour of the mountains. At the inn at a hot spring resort, he has a series of mysterious encounters with Nami, the lovely young daughter of the establishment. Nami, or “beauty,” is the center of this elegant novel, the still point around which the artist moves and the enigmatic subject of Sōseki’s word painting. In the author’s words, Kusamakura is “a haiku-style novel, that lives through beauty.” Written at a time when Japan was opening its doors to the rest of the world, Kusamakura turns inward, to the pristine mountain idyll and the taciturn lyricism of its courtship scenes, enshrining the essence of old Japan in a work of enchanting literary nostalgia.”

📚 The Future of Buildings, Transportation, and Power, 
by Roger Duncan and Michael E. Webber
Published in July 2020

See my latest words about it here.

📚 Less Than Fully Catholic: Losing My Religion, Finding My Faith, by Trisha Day
Published in 2018, by a friend of mine

“”Less than fully Catholic.” Some bishops use the phrase pejoratively to describe those who struggle to find a place in the Church today. But for Trisha Day, to be less than fully Catholic is to reconcile what is harmful about the Church with what is beautiful and life-giving about it by looking for the wisdom buried beneath the Church’s questionable doctrines and antiquated liturgical language. In describing her struggles with Catholicism, Day focuses on what she has learned in the process of questioning her religion, as well as on what the Church’s great contemplative monastic tradition has taught her about what is genuinely sacred in life and the responsibilities we all have to one another, Catholics and non-Catholics alike. Less Than Fully Catholic affirms the importance of doubt as well as the necessity of confronting what we do not believe about religion in order to discover what it means to be a person of faith.”

📚 Dictionnaire amoureux du polar, by Pierre Lemaitre
Published on October 22, 2020

See my latest words about it here.

READING NEXT

  The Miner  To the Spring Equinox and Beyond

📚 The Miner, by Natsume Soseki
Published in 1908
Will be reading for Japanese Reading Challenge 14Books in Translation Challenge, and for The Classics Club

“The Miner is the most daringly experimental and least well known novel of the great Meiji novelist Natsume Soseki (1867-1916). Written in 1908, it is an absurdist novel about the indeterminate nature of human personality, which in many respects anticipates the work of Joyce and Beckett. Virtually devoid of plot and characterization, it unfolds entirely within the mind of the unnamed protagonist. Focusing on a young man whose love life has fallen to pieces, The Miner follows him as he flees from Tokyo, is picked up by a procurer of cheap labor for a copper mine, and then travels toward – and finally burrows into the depths of – the mine where he hopes to find oblivion. The young man reflects at length on nearly every thought and perception he experiences along the way, in terms of what the experience means to him at the time and in retrospect as a mature adult narrating the tale. The narrator concludes that there is no such thing as human character, and the many passages in which he ruminates on the nature of personality constitute the theoretical core of the book. The intellectual distancing carries over into the style of writing as well, and instead of a tragedy of alienation, we find here an absurdist – truly absurd and comical – allegory of descent into the psyche.”

📚 To the Spring Equinox and Beyond, by Natsume Soseki
Published in 1910
Will be reading for Japanese Reading Challenge 14Books in Translation Challenge, and for The Classics Club

“Legendary Japanese novelist Soseki Natsume dissects the human personality in all its complexity in this unforgettable narrative. Keitaro, a recent college graduate, lives a life intertwined with several other characters, each carrying their own emotional baggage. Romantic, practical, and philosophical themes enable Soseki to explore the very meaning of life.

CURRENT AND NEXT AUDIOBOOKS

I actually already listened to two short Bible audiobooks yesterday: The Book of the Song of Songs, and The Book of Wisdom.

  Cards on the Table  Dumb Witness  

📚 Cards on the Table (Hercule Poirot #15) by Agatha Christie
Published in 1936
Part of my project to listen to all of HP, for The Classics Club

A flamboyant party host is murdered in full view of a roomful of bridge players… Mr Shaitana was famous as a flamboyant party host. Nevertheless, he was a man of whom everybody was a little afraid. So, when he boasted to Poirot that he considered murder an art form, the detective had some reservations about accepting a party invitation to view Shaitana’s private collection. Indeed, what began as an absorbing evening of bridge was to turn into a more dangerous game altogether…”

📚 Dumb Witness (Hercule Poirot #16) by Agatha Christie
Published in 1937
Part of my project to listen to all of HP, for The Classics Club

“Everyone blamed Emily’s accident on a rubber ball left on the stairs by her frisky terrier. But the more she thought about her fall, the more convinced she became that one of her relatives was trying to kill her. On April 17th she wrote her suspicions in a letter to Hercule Poirot. Mysteriously he didn’t receive the letter until June 28th… by which time Emily was already dead”

CURRENT GIVEAWAYS

Listed on the homepage 

Review copies available throughout March:
The first two for book tours,
the third one to read and review at your own pace!

  Victorine Madeleine Last French Casquette Bride in New Orleans L'Origine

List of books I can swap with yours

PLANS FOR MARCH

📚 More reading for The Japanese Reading Challenge (January-March)
📚 Post my last review of RockRidgePress books, and start catching up for reviews of books read in 2020.

Eiffel Tower Orange

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