Six degrees of separation: from truth to a notebook


Six degrees of separation:
from truth to a notebook

This month, we are supposed to start with the last book on our last chain, so for me, that was this awesome nonfiction on Conan Doyle – which is kind of neat, as I’m also participating in Nonfiction November.

Using my own rules for this fun meme hosted by Kate at Booksaremyfavouriteandbest (see there the origin of the meme and how it works – posted the first Saturday of every month).

See where it led me, on the other side of the pond!

Here are my own quirky rules:

1. Use your list of books on Goodreads
2. Take the first word of the title offered and find another title with that word in it
3. Then use the first word of THAT title to find your text title
4. Or the second if the title starts with the same word, or you are stuck

   Conan Doyle for the Defense  Aleppo Codex

  99 ways to tell a story   Ninety-three  

  Black Coffee    the-black-notebook

1. Conan Doyle for the Defense: The True Story of a Sensational British Murder, a Quest for Justice, and the World’s Most Famous Detective Writer
VERDICT: A must read for all Sherlock Holmes’ fan. A well researched piece of literary critique.

2. The Aleppo Codex: A True Story of Obsession Faith and the International Pursuit of an Ancient Bible
Do you like a good mystery? Do you like “serious” books about things that actually happened? Do you have lots of commuting time? Well, these are three reasons you have to listen to this book!

3. 99 Ways to Tell a Story: Exercises in Style
 Raymond Queneau and his famous Exercices de Style (Exercises in Style) is a great representative of the Oulipo movement: he takes one short and simple event, and then retells that same thing in 99 different styles.
Matt Madden does a fantastic job by doing the exact same thing, but this time all in different variations with graphics and comics. Loved it! 

4. [ok, I kind of cheated, I went from ninety-9 to ninety-3)
Most people read Les Misérables (at best), but have you also red Ninety-Three?
The last of Victor Hugo’s novels, it is regarded by many including as his greatest work. I recently revisited it to study with one of my students. Really good!

5. Black Coffee: A Mystery Play in Three Acts (Hercule Poirot #7)

I actually just finished reading this one!
As you may know, I’m into a project of listening to all of Hercule Poirot’s stories and novels, for The Classics Club. I hit an obstacle when I got to #7:  it is listed as a play, and I could see it was indeed played during Agatha Christie’s lifetime, but I could find no audio recording, nor even any play on videos. I would end up each time on a novel adaptation of this play, by another author! Even though this adaptation is famous, I still wanted to read the original play. As usual, my public library managed to find the precious book!
I wonder why no one seems to play this any more, it was a lot of fun. It was neat to see Hercule Poirot in a play setting. The mystery was very satisfying, with obviously lots of red herrings and a good amount of potential guilty parties.
“The story concerns a physicist named Sir Claude Amory who has come up with a formula for an atom bomb (Black Coffee was written in 1934!). In the first act, Sir Claude is poisoned (in his coffee, naturally) and Hercule Poirot is called in to solve the case. He does so after many wonderful twists and turns in true Christie tradition.”


6. The Black Notebook

VERDICT: Great typical book by Modiano. The excellent translation lets you plunge in Modiano’s hazy labyrinth between past and present.


Visit other chains here




Book review: The Black Notebook – I love France 205

The Black Notebook



Author: Patrick Modiano
Translator: Mark Polizzotti
Publisher: Mariner Books/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
US Release date: 9/27/2016
L’herbe des nuits
was first released in French in 2012
Pages: 144
ISBN: 978-0544779822
also available as ebook


Buy the book | Follow Harcourt on Facebook
on Twitter | on Pinterest


 rating systemrating systemrating systemrating system

You read the first paragraph, and you know right away who wrote The Black Notebook:

And yet, it was no dream. Sometimes I catch myself saying those words in the street, as if hearing someone else’s voice. A toneless voice. Names come back to me, certain faces, certain details. No one left to talk with about it. One or two witnesses must still be alive. But they’ve probably forgotten the whole thing. And in the end, I wonder if there really were any witnesses.

Click to continue reading

2016: September wrap-up

September 2016 wrap-up

Wow, not too sure what happened, but September was an awesome reading month, actually my best so far this year as for number of books and pages read!
I have thus finished several reading challenges – though I still need to post my reviews of those!

Here is what I read in September:

13  books:
12 in print
with 2,851 pages, that is: 95 pages/day
+ 1 audiobook
with 11H11, that is: 22 mn/day

3 in mystery:

  1. The Madonna of Notre Dame, by Alexis Ragougneau
  2. Exit Strategy, by Colleen Cross – ebook that I translated into French
  3. Blood Wedding, by Pierre Lemaitre

3 in literary fiction:

  1. The Black Notebook, by Patrick Modiano – ebook
  2. Home of the Brave, by Katherine Applegate
  3. French Rhapsody, by Antoine Laurain

3 in nonfiction:

  1. James Joyce: Portrait of a Dubliner, by Alfonso Zapico – graphic “novel”
  2. Patristic Theology, by John Romanides
  3. Saint Innocent, Apostle to America, by Paul D. Garrett

4 in historical fiction:

  1. Katharina Luther, by Anne Boileau
  2. Café Budapest, by Alfonso Zapico – graphic novel
  3. The Empty Throne, by Bernard Cornwell – audiobook
  4. Historical mystery: Death at the Paris Exposition, by Frances McNamara
To recap in charts, inspired by The Book Date:
Book Formats:
Some books fall into a couple of categories
Print 10
E-Book 1
Audiobook 1
Published in 2016 6
Books for review 6

Genres Read

Nonfiction 3
Literary fiction 3
Historical fiction 4
Mystery 3

My favorites in September

       home-of-the-brave  Katharina Luther

 Reading Challenges recap

French Bingo: 35/25 – FINISHED
Audiobook: 9/10-15
Classics Club: 5/50 (until end of 2018)
Cloak and Dagger (Mysteries): 25/21-30
Ebook challenge: 25/25 – FINISHED
Historical fiction: 15/15 – FINISHED
Japanese literature: 3/5
New authors challenge: 37/50
New Release (2016): 32/16-30 – FINISHED
Nonfiction challenge: 11/11-15
Books in Translation: 23/12 – FINISHED
What’s in a Name: 3/6
Where Are You Reading?: 20/50 – to be finished in ??

Total of books read in 2016 = 74/100

Number of books added to my TBR in September= 14

Blog recap

  • I celebrated my 6th blogiversary last Thursday! For the occasion, there’s a great giveaway, open until Oct 5!
  • I posted my list for Classic Spins #14, that will be my first Classics Spin! I can’t wait Monday to know which book I need to read soon from that list. It’s neat to connect with new to me book bloggers through this spin
  • I hosted 1 guest-post
  • French Bingo 2016 has 34 reviews posted so far. Don’t forget to link your reviews!

  • I organized 3 giveaways. The one for October at France Book Tours is now available.
  • One big thing: I have decided to be even more picky at the books I accept to review, to have more time to read the books on my shelves and the ones I absolutely want to read. Along the same idea, I have started purging my Goodreads TBR. I’m down to 1,121, don’t laugh, I thing I have already deleted close to 200
  • And, not totally blog related, I have started working on my next book, it will be in the line of my first, but much bigger

Most popular book review in September

The Paris Librarian
click on the cover to access my review.

Most popular post last month
– non book review –

Blogiversary #6: giveaway and stats

Book blog that brought me
most traffic this past month

Flashlight Commentary

please go visit

Top commenters of the month

Inspired by Becca at I’m Lost in Books!
and her Blogger Shout-Outs feature

= 1 point per month for the top 3.
The one who has the most points at the end of the year will receive a gift!
NB: just congratulating winners of giveaways does not count as a real comment 😉

9: Lucy at The Fictional 100 

8: Karen at Booker Talk

5: Elizabeth at Silver’s Reviews

3: Freda at Freda’s Voice

2: Katherine at I Wished I Lived In a Library

Blog milestones

1,453 posts
over 3,870 subscribers
over 121,00 hits

Plans for October

  • Keep purging my Goodreads TBR shelf
  • Spend time looking at blogs recommended by you, to choose a nicer look, and from there go to self-hosting, one day…


Come back on Monday
to see what I plan to read in October!

Eiffel Tower OrangeEiffel Tower OrangeEiffel Tower Orange

How was YOUR month of  September?

Month in Review

Kathryn at The Book Date
has created a Month In Review meme
I’ll now be linking my monthly recap posts
Thanks Kathryn, great idea!