The top 7 books to read in October 2021

Here are

The top 7 books
I plan to read in October 2021

Click on the covers to know more

📚 CURRENTLY READING 📚

Again reading a crazy number of books at the same time, but by now, this should not surprise anyone, lol.

  Termination Shock  

  Speedboat   Ficciones  

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

I haven’t finished yet this technothriller about climate change. Partly because this is around 896 pages, but also because I have more urgent reading commitments for various book clubs.
Nothing much happens before around 500 pages…
I’m at 60%, and so far it’s really not blowing my mind, though I do learn a lot about many things, such as for instance the Sikh culture, martial arts, and the LAC (Line of Actual Control),  the notional demarcation line between the Indian-controlled territory and the Chinese-controlled territory.

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

David Bentley Hart’s translation IS blowing my mind, especially in the Pauline writings.  If early on, we had looked more closely at the Greek without relying so much on Saint Jerome’s Latin translation, we would not have had all these crazy notions between grace and acts for instance, as really Romans 5 for example has nothing to do with this. The acts Paul is referring to are actually the fact of observing the Mosaic Law. Each time I’m reading texts by Paul on grace/acts, I’m shocked that Mosaic observance is indeed always in the background. Hence the essential importance of translating correctly a text!

“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?”

📚  Speedboat, by Renata Adler
Published in 1976
Reading for #1976Club, hosted by Stuck in a Book

Planning to read two books for this club. Already halfway in this one, and really not impressed. It’s a collection of vignettes and stream of consciousness. There are a few lines I do like a lot, but I’m actually a bit disappointed by the whole thing. I’m glad it’s short.
Are you participating in #1976Club (October 11-17)? Which books are you reading for it?

“This story of a young female newspaper reporter coming of age in New York City was originally published serially in the New Yorker; it is made out of seemingly unrelated vignettes—tart observations distilled through relentless intellect—which add up to an analysis of our brittle, urban existence. It remains as fresh as when it was first published.”

📚  Ficciones, by Jorge Luis Borges
Published in 1944
Reading with The World’s Literature Goodreads Club and for The Classics Club and the Books in Translation Challenge.

As a teenager, I really enjoyed a lot this author. I may even already have read this one, so when I saw this Goodreads club was going to read it, I joined.
Cool collection of short stories – a genre I don’t often enjoy, unless the author is a genius.

“The seventeen pieces in Ficciones demonstrate the whirlwind of Borges’s genius and mirror the precision and potency of his intellect and inventiveness, his piercing irony, his skepticism, and his obsession with fantasy. Borges sends us on a journey into a compelling, bizarre, and profoundly resonant realm; we enter the fearful sphere of Pascal’s abyss, the surreal and literal labyrinth of books, and the iconography of eternal return. To enter the worlds in Ficciones is to enter the mind of Jorge Luis Borges, wherein lies Heaven, Hell, and everything else in between.”

📚 READING NEXT 📚

A River Runs Through it

📚 A River Runs Through it, by Norman Maclean
Published in 1976
Will be reading for #1976Club, hosted by Stuck in a Book

“From its first magnificent sentence, “In our family, there was no clear line between religion and fly fishing,” to the last, “I am haunted by waters,” “A River Runs Through It” is an American classic.
Based on Norman Maclean’s childhood experiences, “A River Runs Through It” has established itself as one of the most moving stories of our time; it captivates readers with vivid descriptions of life along Montana’s Big Blackfoot River and its near magical blend of fly fishing with the troubling affections of the heart.”

I will probably read a couple more books, from my Summer list I didn’t finish.

🎧 CURRENT AND NEXT AUDIOBOOKS 🎧

the thirteenth tale   The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding

🎧  The Thirteenth Tale, by Diane Setterfield
Published in 2006

This is the very first book I added on my TBR Goodreads list. Yes, I just started this plan of revisiting the books I added there ten years ago and read them or delete them.
OMG, why did I wait for ten years to read this? It feels a bit like Kate Morton‘s books (which I enjoy a lot), but focused on the world of books (book sellers, readers, authors). Anyway, most of you have probably read it, so you know all about it.
The narrators Bianca Amato and Jill Tanner are fabulous!

“All children mythologize their birth…So begins the prologue of reclusive author Vida Winter’s collection of stories, which are as famous for the mystery of the missing thirteenth tale as they are for the delight and enchantment of the twelve that do exist.
The enigmatic Winter has spent six decades creating various outlandish life histories for herself — all of them inventions that have brought her fame and fortune but have kept her violent and tragic past a secret. Now old and ailing, she at last wants to tell the truth about her extraordinary life. She summons biographer Margaret Lea, a young woman for whom the secret of her own birth, hidden by those who loved her most, remains an ever-present pain. Struck by a curious parallel between Miss Winter’s story and her own, Margaret takes on the commission.
As Vida disinters the life she meant to bury for good, Margaret is mesmerized. It is a tale of gothic strangeness featuring the Angelfield family, including the beautiful and willful Isabelle, the feral twins Adeline and Emmeline, a ghost, a governess, a topiary garden and a devastating fire.
Margaret succumbs to the power of Vida’s storytelling but remains suspicious of the author’s sincerity. She demands the truth from Vida, and together they confront the ghosts that have haunted them while becoming, finally, transformed by the truth themselves.
The Thirteenth Tale is a love letter to reading, a book for the feral reader in all of us, a return to that rich vein of storytelling that our parents loved and that we loved as children. Diane Setterfield will keep you guessing, make you wonder, move you to tears and laughter and, in the end, deposit you breathless yet satisfied back upon the shore of your everyday life.”

🎧 Adventure of the Christmas Pudding (Hercule Poirot #35), by Agatha Christie
Published in 1960- Part of my project to listen to all of HP, for The Classics Club
After this one, only 10 left.

“An English country house at Christmas time should be the perfect place to get away from it all – but nothing is ever simple for Hercule Poirot, as he finds not one but five baffling cases to solve.
First comes a sinister warning on his pillow to avoid the plum pudding…then the discovery of a corpse in a chest…next, an overheard quarrel that leads to murder…the strange case of a dead man’s eating habits…and the puzzle of a victim who dreams of his own suicide.”

🎧 I will probably also listen to 3 other books with Hercule Poirot.
🎧 And a French audiobook if I have time

GIVEAWAY

UNTIL 10/31

The Education of Delhomme

Choose between 4 books

BOOK AVAILABLE TO REVIEW
2 more books coming mid October!

UNTIL 10/31

in another life

PLANS FOR OCTOBER

  • Participate in the #1976Club – see above
  • Participate in the World’s Literature Goodreads discussion – see above
  • Watch two zoom book talks: one with Walter Mosley (Brooklyn Book Festival), one on Sandra Cisneros (AARP)
  • Write my last review for a theology book I read last year for Edelweiss Plus
  • Restart sharing reading notes on my Orthodox blog

Eiffel Tower Orange

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

Top Ten Books on My Fall 2021 To-read List

Top Ten Books on My Fall 2021 To-read List

TTT for September 21, 2021
#TopTenTuesday

🌼🌼🌼

Here are ten books I’m planning to read this Fall.

Please click on the picture to access my special Fall2021 Goodreads page
and discover more about each book

Top Ten Fall 2021 TBR

Have you read any of these?
Show me your list!

Sunday Post #45 – 9/5/2021

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

I wrote 5 posts this past week, but no review. As I managed to finish reading two books since last Sunday, I’ll use the Sunday Post opportunity to talk to you briefly about them.

The Satanic VersesI would like also to remind you that this coming November, I will be cohosting a read-along/buddy-read with Marianne (at Let’s Read) on The Satanic Verses, by Salman Rushdie (published in 1988 – magical realism).
Click on the title or book cover to know more, and tell us if you would like to participate, by adding your own comments to our upcoming posts or by co-hosting some on your blog as well.

📚 JUST READ / LISTENED TO 🎧

  The Village of Eight Graves   The Madness of Crowds  

📚 The Village of Eight Graves, by Seishi Yokomizo
Expected publication: December 2nd 2021, by Pushkin Vertigo
I actually read it in the French translation (by René de Ceccatty and Ryôji Nakamura) published in 1999! Whay is the English translation so late in the game??

The original in Japanese was published in 1949.
Read it for the Classics Club and the Books in Translation Reading Challenge

I recently reviewed The Inugami Curse in the same series, and decided to read this one with one of my French students.
This is part of a long series (77 books!), by one of the most famous Japanese author of thrillers.

“Nestled deep in the mist-shrouded mountains, The Village of Eight Graves takes its name from a bloody legend: in the 16th century eight samurais, who had taken refuge there along with a secret treasure, were murdered by the inhabitants, bringing a terrible curse down upon their village.
Centuries later a mysterious young man named Tatsuya arrives in town, bringing a spate of deadly poisonings in his wake.”

My student ended up loving it more than I did.
What I liked most was the gothic ambiance of so many scenes, for instance very narrow passages in caves with stalactites, dark underground ponds. Japanese gothic can really be creepy! There’s a constant effect of doom, all along the book.
There are also so many red-herrings and possible killers. So many characters who could be victims of killers.

Why I actually only gave it 3 stars is that there are really too many characters, and a lot of deaths. The list of characters at the beginning of the book helps a bit, but still.
This time, I found the story too complex.
I was intrigued that Detective Kosuke Kindaichi (the series is based on him) does not appear much in this book, only at a few key moments. He certainly appears more in The Inugami Curse.
My students tells me The Honjin Murders (first book in the series) is less complicated, so I’m planning to read it.
Have you read this series?

📚 The Madness of Crowds, (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache #17), by Louise Penny
Published on 8/24/21 by Minotaur Books

I thought I was going to have to wait for this one, but then one neighbor got it from the library and devoured it in two days, so she lent it to me!
End of August brings its yearly treat with a new book with Inspector Armand Gamache.
This time, everyone is back from Paris to the Quebec village of Three Pines, and the story is set after Covid. But with themes closely connected with it.
This is another fabulous book by Louise Penny, in which she tackles extremely important themes for our time, with lucidity and kindness.
Some of these themes (I prefer to leave you the surprise on which themes) are intricately connected with the characters, and the author shows that sometimes, things are not clearly black or white.
Ultimately love and goodness will win, but the fight can be rough.

📚 CURRENTLY READING/LISTENING TO 🎧

Termination Shock   Rue des boutiques obscures 

  The New Testament  Rider on the Rain

Les deux châteaux  

📚 Termination Shock, by Neal Stephenson
Expected publication: November 16th 2021 by William Morrow
Received for review through Netgalley

I had 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!
This is a long book (896 pages).
I have already read 25% of it, and so far, I really have no idea where things are going, and how the different scenes and characters of the book are connected.
But the writing flows very easily, and I’m learning about all kinds oft things, from martial arts to Sikh culture, to Dutch history. I have read somewhere that things pick up at about 50%!!

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?”

📚 Rue des boutiques obscures, by Patrick Modiano
Published in 1978.
And translated as Missing Person in 2004!
Reread

This is the book that made me discover and enjoy Patrick Modiano (he won the Nobel Prize in literature in 2014), when I was a teen.
One of my French students decided to read it, so I’m rereading it with him. Which makes me realize even more that most of Modiano’s subsequent books are almost a variation of this one! – for instance Encre sympathique, published in 2019.

“In this strange, elegant novel, winner of France’s premier literary prize, Patrick Modiano portrays a man in pursuit of the identity he lost in the murky days of the Paris Occupation, the black hole of French memory.
For ten years Guy Roland has lived without a past. His current life and name were given to him by his recently retired boss, Hutte, who welcomed him, a onetime client, into his detective agency. Guy makes full use of Hutte’s files – directories, yearbooks, and papers of all kinds going back half a century – but his leads are few. Could he really be the person in that photograph, a young man remembered by some as a South American attaché? Or was he someone else, perhaps the disappeared scion of a prominent local family? He interviews strangers and is tantalized by half-clues until, at last, he grasps a thread that leads him through the maze of his own repressed experience.
On one level Missing Person is a detective thriller, a 1950s film noir mix of smoky cafés, illegal passports, and insubstantial figures crossing bridges in the fog. On another level, it is also a haunting meditation on the nature of the self. Modiano’s sparce, hypnotic prose, superbly translated by Daniel Weissbort, draws his readers into the intoxication of a rare literary experience.”

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

David Bentley Hart’s translation is a good way for me to reread the whole New Testament.
His introduction and postscript where he explains his choices in his translation are absolutely fabulous.
If you are curious to read an English translation as close as possible to the original text, this is the way to go. And you will get more out of the book if you read the translator’s explanation first.

“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?”

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

I really enjoy a lot the beginning! Also neat the find early on the reason for the title.

“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.”

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

Michel Bussi usually writes thrillers, but has recently launched into YA fantasy.
I am enjoying volume 2 as much as volume 1.
After the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower, we are now moving to Versailles. The way the author approaches the theme of tyranny is quite interesting.

“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…”

📚 BOOK UP NEXT 📚

The Islanders by Christopher Priest

📚  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.”

📚 LAST 2 BOOKS ADDED TO MY GOODREADS TBR 📚

State of Fear  A Medicine For Melancholy

📚  State of Fear, by Michael Crichton
Published in  2004

As mentioned above, I’m currently reading Termination Shock, a techno-thriller on climate change. One commenter mentioned this as pertaining to the cli-fi genre. This was a new genre name for me, so I read more about it, and found out this book was a good representative. As I thoroughly enjoyed The Andromeda Strain, I think this might be my next by him.
have you read it?

“In Paris, a physicist dies after performing a laboratory experiment for a beautiful visitor. In the jungles of Malaysia, a mysterious buyer purchases deadly cavitation technology, built to his specifications. In Vancouver, a small research submarine is leased for use in the waters off New Guinea. And in Tokyo, an intelligence agent tries to understand what it all means. Thus begins Michael Crichton’s exciting and provocative technothriller, State of Fear. Only Michael Crichton’s unique ability to blend science fact and pulse-pounding fiction could bring such disparate elements to a heart-stopping conclusion. This is Michael Crichton’s most wide-ranging thriller. State of Fear takes the reader from the glaciers of Iceland to the volcanoes of Antarctica, from the Arizona desert to the deadly jungles of the Solomon Islands, from the streets of Paris to the beaches of Los Angeles. The novel races forward, taking the reader on a rollercoaster thrill ride, all the while keeping the brain in high gear. Gripping and thought-provoking, State of Fear is Michael Crichton at his very best.”

📚  A Medicine for Melancholy and Other Stories, by Ray Bradbury
Published in 1959

I don’t often enjoy short-stories, but Ray Bradbury is definitely a good exception. Besides The Martian Chronicles, I so enjoyed the latest collection of his crime (yes!) short-stories (my review of Killer, Come Back to Me is in draft!).
I didn’t know about this older collection, but saw it on another blog.

📚  NO BOOK RECEIVED THIS WEEK  📚

GIVEAWAYS AND BOOKS AVAILABLE FOR REVIEW

SEPTEMBER GIVEAWAY:
your choice between 5 books!

BOOKS AVAILABLE FOR REVIEW:
request today, review when it’s comfortable for you!
Click on the covers to know more and request
The House of Shudders 2   in another life

Historical novel – WWII
and/or
Historical Fiction/Contemporary Women’s Fiction/
Fantasy/Romance


***

HOW WAS YOUR WEEK?