2021: February wrap-up

February 2021 WRAP-UP

Time flies! Which is a good thing, as it means we are getting closer to warmer days, and to getting a COVID vaccine.
I am very happy with my reading schedule these days, focusing more on my TBR. And with reviewing a lot of what I have been reading, mostly thanks to doing short reviews for my Sunday Post.
I hope this will allow me soon to catch up with reviews I was supposed to write in 2020.

📚 So here is what I read in February:

13 books:
9 in print 
with 1,759 pages, a daily average of 62 pages/day
4 in audio
= 24H06
, a daily average of 51 minutes

4 in nonfiction:

  1. In Praise of Shadows, by Junichiro Tanizaki – for The Classics Club,  the Japanese Reading Challenge 14, and the Books in Translation Challenge
  2. Le Jourde & Naulleau, by Pierre Jourde and Eric Naulleau
  3. The Book of Proverbs – audiobook, for The Classics Club and the Books in Translation Challenge
  4. The Book of Ecclesiastes – audiobook, for The Classics Club and the Books in Translation Challenge

4 in literary fiction:

  1. L’Anomalie, by Hervé Le Tellier
  2. Hikikomori and the Rental Sister, by Jeff Backhaus
  3. A Cat, a Man, and Two Women, by Junichiro Tanizaki – for The Classics Club,  the Japanese Reading Challenge 14, and the Books in Translation Challenge
  4. Encre sympathique, by Patrick Modiano

4 in mystery:

  1. Murder in Mesopotamia (Hercule Poirot #14), by Agatha Christie – for The Classics Club
  2. Dans l’oeil du démon, by Junichiro Tanizaki – for The Classics Club,  the Japanese Reading Challenge 14, and the Books in Translation Challenge
  3. Gone by Midnight, by Candice Fox
  4. La Vallée, by Bernard Minier – French audiobook

1 in poetry:

  1. The Half-Finished Heaven, by Tomas Tranströmer – for The Classics Club and the Books in Translation Challenge


   L'Anomalie Hikikomori


Classics Club: 20/137 (from November 2020-until November 2025)
Japanese Literature Challenge: 6 books 

Total of books read in 2021 = 26/120
Number of books added to my TBR this past month = 30


The Toughest Sudoku Puzzle Book Word Detective 3rd Grade Ocean Life

Zoo animals Brain Candy Stone Killer


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Arsene Lupin

click on the cover to access my review


Sunday Post #38


That Artsy Reader Girl
please go visit, there are a lot of good things there!


Marianne at Let’s Read
Judy at Keep the Wisdom
Deb at Readerbuzz

please go and visit them,
they have great book blogs


2,306 posts
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Come back tomorrow
to see the books I plan to read in March

📚 📚 📚

How was YOUR month of February?

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

Book review: Encre sympathique

Encre sympathique

Encre sympathique
by Patrick Modiano
144 pages
Literary fiction

It was translated in English (Invisible Ink) in 2020 by Mark Polizzotti

I fell in love with Modiano‘s writing back in 1978 with Rue des boutiques obscures (Prix Goncourt – translated as Missing Person). Since then, after reading several more of his novels, I got sometimes tired of his style, with so many characteristics common to all his novels.
Still, he received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2014. And some of his later novels had even sometimes elements closer to the mystery genre, like Pour que tu ne te perdes pas dans le quartier, translated as So you don’t get lost in the neighborhood).
A French student of mine managed to convince me to try Encre sympathique.

Click to continue reading

Sunday Post #39 – 2/21/2021

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

Same refrain: cold and snow – but looks like it might be the last week of that. Finally.
This past week, however, I finished only one book. Well, that’s what happens when you are reading seven at the same time…


Encre sympathique

📚 Encre sympathique, by Patrick Modiano
Published in 2019
It was translated in English (Invisible Ink) in 2020 by Mark Polizzotti

I first wrote my review here, and then realized it ended up being long enough for a post by itself, so it will be live tomorrow.


Gone by Midnight Dictionnaire amoureux du polar

  Jourde & Naulleau  FutureofBuildingsBookCover

La Vallée

📚 Gone by Midnight, by Candice Fox
Published on March 10, 2020 (US publication)

This is book 3 in this series, after Crimson Lake and Redemption Point.
A few couples were staying at a hotel. While the parents were downstairs having a nice time together, their kids stayed together playing in their room. When Sara goes up to check on them, her own son is gone.
The police can’t find any clue at all. And as Sara has had some issues in her earlier life, she becomes a suspect herself. So she decides to ask Ted’s help because of his own experience: In the previous books, policeman Ted was accused of kidnapping a girl.

I’m halfway and really enjoying it. The author is really good at creating ambiance and suspense.

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

I have read at least five books by Lemaitre (the shortest and least disturbing as far violence is definitely Three Days and a Life – highly recommended), so when I saw a review of this book on a French book blog, I didn’t hesitate a second. And I even started reading it right away!
Lemaitre, a very renowned author of thrillers (and historical novels) himself, decided to share his love of the genre by presenting other authors. The introduction is very good. The only problem is I’m probably going to end up adding tons of titles to my TBR!

📚 Le Jourde & Naulleau, by Perre Jourde and Éric Naulleau
Published in 2008

A totally hilarious pastiche on a famous collection of French literature textbooks. Loving it!

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

I featured this book a few weeks ago, and ended up winning the giveaway!
It’s quite technical, but accessible and fascinating, about current and future use of buildings, transportation and power, and the interaction between the three. For instance, how some parking decks produce all the electricity hey need, thanks to solar panels, and even more than they need, so that nearby buildings use that surplus.

🎧 La Vallée, by Bernard Minier
Published on April 2, 2020
Not yet available n English

A woman disappeared. Then eight years later, police inspector Martin Servaz receives a phone call from her, asking for his help.
This is very good so far, but I’m a bit nervous about the role some Cistercian monks may have in the story. A zone of interest is indeed close to heir abbey, deep in the Pyrenees.

I am also reading two spiritual books.
And the author of Stone Killer has asked me to be his first reader of the thriller he is currently writing, and to send him my reactions after each chapter.


A Fine Line

📚 A Fine Line, by Alan Burns
Published in 2017

Dan Burns in an Illinois Chicago author I met at a couple of events. I liked his style in his short story collection No Turning Back.

“A Fine Line is a story about Sebastian Drake, a struggling writer working out of a dilapidated apartment in the city and trying to come up with his next story idea. Drake receives an unexpected visit from a man interested in hiring him for a project and who thinks he has just the solution to Drake’s writing challenges. He also thinks that Drake’s past and secret life with a shadow government organization is a valuable asset.
His proposition to Drake is simple: become a hired agent to investigate a cold murder case involving one of Chicago’s most powerful political families. The job comes with a decent paycheck, all the support he might need, and the types of real life experiences that can form the basis for great fiction stories.
This is a story about a man with a new lease on life, a man who leads a dual existence. By day, he is an aspiring author. By night, he is a rogue undercover and unknown vigilante. His biggest challenge is keeping intact the fine line of reality and fiction.”


  The Noise of Time Yokohama Station SF

📚 The Noise of Time, by Julian Barnes
Published in 2016

We had our book club meeting yesterday night (on Google Meet). We do trading titles every month, meaning, at each meeting, each member talks about the book he/she has recently read. One member presented this one, a historical novel on Shostakovich.
I have yet to read this author (I know, really!!), but I watched this fascinating documentary on Shostakovich, so I definitely want to read this one.

“A compact masterpiece dedicated to the Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich: Julian Barnes’s first novel since his best-selling, Man Booker Prize–winning The Sense of an Ending.
In 1936, Shostakovitch, just thirty, fears for his livelihood and his life. Stalin, hitherto a distant figure, has taken a sudden interest in his work and denounced his latest opera. Now, certain he will be exiled to Siberia (or, more likely, executed on the spot), Shostakovitch reflects on his predicament, his personal history, his parents, various women and wives, his children—and all who are still alive themselves hang in the balance of his fate. And though a stroke of luck prevents him from becoming yet another casualty of the Great Terror, for decades to come he will be held fast under the thumb of despotism: made to represent Soviet values at a cultural conference in New York City, forced into joining the Party and compelled, constantly, to weigh appeasing those in power against the integrity of his music.
Barnes elegantly guides us through the trajectory of Shostakovitch’s career, at the same time illuminating the tumultuous evolution of the Soviet Union. The result is both a stunning portrait of a relentlessly fascinating man and a brilliant exploration of the meaning of art and its place in society..”

📚 Yokohama Station SF, by Yuba Isukari, Tatsuyuki Tanaka (Visual Art)
Expected publication: March 30th 2021 by Yen On

I saw mention of this on a French book blog I think. but I’m not even sure if it’s a graphic novel or not. Anyway, I like the premise of this Japanese scifi.

In a future where Yokohama Station covers most of the island of Honshu, there are two ways of life-inside the station and outside. Life within the station is strictly controlled, and those who fail to follow the rules are expelled to the harsher world outside. When one of these exiles receives a temporary ticket to go into the station, he’s also given a mission to find the leader of a group determined to free humanity. ”


Dictionnaire amoureux du polar

See above


Some bloggers share links they found interesting n the past week. I have tried doing this on and off. I’ll try again. Let me know if this is something you would appreciate finding on this blog. Obviously, there will links to articles in English or French.

The genrefication of national literatures
Unseen work by Proust announced as ‘thunderclap’ by French publisher
La Villa du Temps retrouvé : un musée-maison de Marcel Proust, à Cabourg

ON MEMORY, and other important elements to live better in our current society:
Advice Given by a Famous Author [Umberto Eco] to his Grandson

Wondrous Words: Kaika and Ikigai


📚 Book of the month giveaway
Loving Modigliani
📚 Books available for free this month, to review an your own pace
Alina_A Song For the Telling
The Last CollectionThe Beautiful American  
Review copy available for upcoming book tour: Victorine (literary/histfic)Victorine
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Here is a sample, with link for subscription at the bottom
📚 Books available for swapping


  • 2/23: Top Ten Tuesday maybe, on Books That Made Me Laugh Out Loud
  • 2/24: Book review: The Toughest Sudoku Puzzle Book
  • 2/26: Book Beginnings: L’Origine